SPONSOR NEWS: Punter Planet
The X Awards would like to thank Punter Planet for sponsoring the 2020 X Awards and awarding Prize Winners this year with incredible prizes which we detail below. We also take the time to find out more about this incredible adult industry supporting business.
Tell Us About Your Business?
It's Punter Planet, home of the escort connoisseur. We are, primarily and above all, a community of reviewers of escort services and many of the escorts themselves, who also grace our boutique directory with their profiles.
Where Did The Idea For Punter Planet Arise?
We cannot take credit for the idea of reviews forums, as these have been around from the late 1990s in Australia, when some Internet geeks put their two passions together. Clients generally want to know from their peers what they think about someone's service before spending their money. This is pretty much the same across most industries and the internet has facilitated it. Punter Planet started in 2010, so we are turning 10 this year. What was new about Punter Planet was the combination of a sleek forum and directory, with an uncompromising separation between what's information and what's advertising. It is a site with a strong consumer focus, which is something that benefits not only clients but also those service providers who excel at their job
What Does Punter Planet do?
We provide advertising to escorts, escort agencies, brothels and other businesses that in turn supply their services to them (eg. adult shops). However, our main attraction and source of revenue is provided by our forum members, who can buy an affordable subscription to have unrestricted access to reviews that serve as invaluable guidance before booking an escort or visiting a brothel
What is your mission at Punter Planet?
Punter Planet exists because their members are passionate about sharing their experiences and secret liaisons with escorts. Even the most standard of sexual encounters presents some novelty factor, and it's probably a primal need humans have of sharing their stories. This is something that I personally relate to, and have tailored the site for that purpose. Beyond that, there is also the goal of preserving in writing the pleasures, sometimes displeasures and complexities of this form of interaction among people. It is my hope that, beyond the names of those involved, the stories survive for many years, as a form of sample of how paid sexual relations took place in the early 21st century, and also being able to see how it evolved. How the stigmas attached varied for better or for worse as time went by. It's an absolute shame that most Australian forums that preceded Punter Planet have been swallowed in cyberspace and have only left some anecdotal memories behind them.
What inspired you to enter the Adult Industry?
I may be wrong here, but I don't consider ourselves as working in the Adult Industry as such. However, we do provide a service to members and participants of the adult industry, and we have a strong connection with it. We are the clients of the adult industry, who have organised ourselves in order to push forward in a self-sufficient manner as a site.
What have been some of the most challenging issues you have faced in the Adult Industry and how did you overcome them?
The most challenging issues we've faced have been technological and cultural changes. Our core membership is a combination of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, with the odd Millennial thrown in for good measure. So, things like the adoption of mobile phones as the main way of accessing the internet has made the general quality of reviews and discussion suffer a bit. People don't type as much but more importantly don't elaborate as much either, so we are always trying to make some members write a little more in order to explain why an experience was so mind-blowing or so disappointing.
What is the biggest misconception about the adult entertainment Industry from your perspective? What do you think needs to change for the industry to be accepted?
The adult industry, and in particularly the sex work industry, which is the part of it we deal more directly with, needs to be decriminalised across Australia, just as a starting point; and once there's a levelled playing field for everyone, its operators have to behave in a truly professional manner. As to whether it will be fully accepted one day, I'm not so sure that will ever happen, as sex tends to be so alluring, among other things, due to its taboo nature. For me cultural norms (those that stick for decades, not ephemeral fashions) are just a consequence or a practical interpretation of biological preconditions, so I'm doubtful some things involving sex will be fully accepted. Also, if it was to become 100% accepted, some things that today are mysterious and enticing would end up being as banal as going to a clinic for some minor procedure. That doesn't mean that sexual things among consenting adults need to be regulated by the government. We can make our own decisions behind closed doors, we don't need nannies looking after us.
What have been some of the valuable lessons you have learnt in your adult industry career?
That sex is just a vehicle to fill other voids, sometimes satisfactorilly, other times not quite so. But we often expect too much from life, so sex can keep us entertainted or become a solution for some, if we are talking of achieveing a financial goal, or as a means to an end which otherwise would be too hard to achieve.
What would you tell someone who is not fully comfortable with the adult industry?
I personally wouldn't try to convince anyone who is uncomfortable about it, because at some deep level I could probably share some of the same reservations. But depending on the other person's willingness to understand, I would explain how it differs from the movies, or worse, the way the media often depicts it. Basically explain to him or her the difference between the cliches and the reality.
What are some of your achievements?
Punter Planet's main achievement has been a clear positioning as the go-to site for reviews, after someone spots an escort's ad at any directory. It has served as a meeting point between clients and service providers, to understand a bit more about one another. Our directory has attracted and also launched some of the most established names in the Australian escorting scene.
Why do people in the industry and abroad choose to work with Punter Planet?
As a reviews forum we are very trusted by punters, because when it comes to reviews, we allow positive ones, negative ones, and everything in between. We have thousands of reviews they can access for the price of two or three cups of coffee a month. For service providers, they know that Punter Planet has its own niche, and it's not a directory where just anyone advertises, as it takes a good reputation to make it work for them. So, it generally attracts business-savvy women with a great track-record. It also works as a great platform for new escorts
How has the Adult Industry changed since you first entered the industry with your business?
Since I started as a client many decades ago, I've seen some radical changes. AIDS was probably the first game changer back in the 80s, and then the Internet much more so a decade or so later. I've seen a transition from girls working at brothels to working independently. I've also seen more middle class girls getting into the adult industry in the last decades, while many years ago it wasn't so common.
What message do you have the for the adult businesses and adult entertainers who want to succeed in industry?
It's a job treat it as such, and keep a healthy separation between it and your personal life. A lot of money can be made but never lose sight of how difficult it is for other people to make money, because it's also an industry where money can be lost as fast too if you lose your sense of perspective. Treat it as a means to an end, not as an end in itself. Save and invest money if you can. Remain an individual and not part of a tribe. Try to keep in touch with people who are not connected to the industry... and leave politics at the door.
Punter Planet is sponsoring the Female Escort X Awards Winner with a $550 Showcase Package.
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