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The Man Behind Online Porn's 'Steve Lightspeed' 246

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-to-know-your-neighbors dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "'In the online pornography business, just about everybody has heard of Steve Lightspeed,' who runs a network of sites, reports the Wall Street Journal Online. 'But few in the porn world know much about Steve Jones, the 39-year-old married father of two behind the Lightspeed persona -- and that's the way he wants to keep it.' In WSJ.com's profile of Jones, tension between his job and the rest of his life is evident: 'He said he and his wife mostly socialize with others inside the porn business, in part because it avoids the awkwardness of explaining his line of work. "Most of our friends tend to be in the industry," he said. Relationships with family members can also be tricky. Mr. Jones's mother works for Lightspeed Media, handling customer service duties, but he said some relatives don't know about his work and likely wouldn't approve.'"
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The Man Behind Online Porn's 'Steve Lightspeed'

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  • This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLinuxSRC (683475) <slashdot&pagewash,com> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:49AM (#15121547) Homepage
    I am unsure as to why this is news. Subject X works in the Y industry, an industry not looked upon with great respect by a majority of the public. Because of this X does not want his family to know he works in the Y industry and generally associates with people from the Y industry so as to avoid embarassment due to his profession.
  • Click here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:49AM (#15121551)
    You know you want google to always remember you searched for Tawnee Stone [google.com]. How old is she now, like, 25?
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:51AM (#15121569)
    I'm not at all clear why this is a story for Slashdot.

    Having an successful Internet business doesn't make an interesting in and of itself.

    Is this supposed to make those of us not in the porn business feel grateful that we don't have his problems?

  • by thepotoo (829391) <thepotoospam.yahoo@com> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:58AM (#15121649)
    ...this is something that a lot of us are interested in.

    I have no problem with WSJ submitting one or two articles that we might like now and again, but if it happens more than a couple of times, I'll start getting really worried.
    Bottom line: The occasional submission; OK, regular submissions; they're using us.

  • by erbmjw (903229) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:59AM (#15121658)
    From the tail end of the article
    As his children get closer to adulthood, he said, he'll explain what their parents do. "I wouldn't mind if my kids get involved in this business," he said. Then he added: "Behind the scenes."
  • by Mach5 (3371) <dkf2NO@SPAMnjit.edu> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:00PM (#15121664) Homepage
    Slashdot doesn't have to publish the story if they don't want to. The article is interesting, and relevant to the site. If it came from Joe Whogivesafuck, or the author, who cares? What real difference does it make?
  • by IflyRC (956454) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:05PM (#15121738)
    Great, exploit other people's family members, just not his. Personally, if I was working in something that I was ashamed to tell my family members about I think I'd rather be digging ditches.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by utlemming (654269) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:08PM (#15121770) Homepage
    Why? I wouldn't want his job or any job like it. The guy has a job that carries social stigmas. FTA, he said that he had to move his family when peopel found out about his job, and he generally only associates with people that are in the business. Sure he may get to look at porn, but when he has practically isolated himself and his family from the real world is it really worth it? In fact his daughters have no clue what their Dad does. Why on earth would you want to work in an industry that carries such a cost? Sure he may be financially secure, but sometimes the costs of wealth are too much.

    The other thing that really made me wonder is that Mr. Jones shields his daughters from his business. It makes me wonder why he shields them? What exactly does that mean?
  • by kevin_conaway (585204) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:12PM (#15121805) Homepage
    "Carl Bialik" from the WSJ has had dozens of stories accepted. Who cares? His summaries are usually concise and accurate and the linked articles are informative as well.

    I have no problem with him or the WSJ submitting articles to Slashdot
  • by Kunt (755109) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:14PM (#15121827)
    I don't see anything morally wrong with it, as long as it is done by consenting adults. It's entertainment.
  • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zone-MR (631588) * <slashdot@zonQUOTEe-mr.net minus punct> on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:32PM (#15122007) Homepage
    Combined with Google, yes.
    "But few in the porn world know much about Steve Jones, the 39-year-old married father of two behind the Lightspeed persona -- and that's the way he wants to keep it".

    Some relatives don't know about his work and likely wouldn't approve.

    Except shortly everyone Googling for his name will know who he is and what industry he works in. Nice responsible journalism. Why not ruin someone's life so you can write an interesting article.
    "A few years ago, Mr. Jones relocated his family after some neighbors learned of his profession, and forbade their children from playing with his. "It was kind of heartbreaking," Mr. Jones said. He added: "My kids have no clue what we do."

    The media stooped lower than usual this time. The least they could have done was shown some slight respect for the guy and his kids, and obscured the names.
  • by conJunk (779958) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:35PM (#15122037)
    "Carl Bialik" from the WSJ has had dozens of stories accepted. Who cares? His summaries are usually concise and accurate and the linked articles are informative as well. I have no problem with him or the WSJ submitting articles to Slashdot

    amen. especially since they are honestly attribute. not beatlesbeatles shennanigans here, he says who he is upfront, it's all on the up and up, and the articles are usually of interest.

  • Family values (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mariox19 (632969) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:39PM (#15122070)
    Mr. Jones said he has been particularly worried about shielding his children. The Joneses installed software to block illicit content on both of their kids' PCs, and Mr. Jones has password-protected his and his wife's computers.

    And it's as simple as that, even if you yourself are in the porn business. If only more parents would take the time to do this, we wouldn't suffer the spectacle of holier-than-thou types demanding that the government step in and place the entire Internet under a giant, child-proof cap.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by skintigh2 (456496) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:40PM (#15122094)
    I wouldn't want his job for even more basic reasons than that:
    He works 12 hour days
    7 days a week
    travels often
    and isn't even rich.

    I also hear about young lawyers and doctors making well over 6 figures but I'm not jealous of them, either, because when you divide their salary by the 100 hours a week they work I'm making a lot more than them AND I have time to enjoy it.

    But back to the other guy, it would be nice to be surrounded by nude models all the time...
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:00PM (#15122281) Homepage Journal
    But back to the other guy, it would be nice to be surrounded by nude models all the time...

    Yeah, you'd think so but really, after a while they all blend together and the enjoyment ceases.

    I'm saying this not as someone who works in the industry but rather from every story I've ever read written about people in the industry (the adult industry as a whole, not just online). To a one they all say the same thing: it's just a job.

    Sure, looking at cute/hot girls seems like it would be great. They come in and you get look them up and down without fear of them calling the cops on you. But you're not looking at them and imagining all the lascivious things you could do with them (well, maybe a little) but rather, do they have the look? How do they react in front of the camera? Can they follow directions? Anything about their body that might turn people off (big feet, hairy butt, etc).

    When I was getting my photography degree we were required to do sketches of nude models. Both male and female. I can assure you that when the model is on the stand you're not thinking, "Whoa! She's hot. Wonder if I can take her out to dinner or something else, hint, hint, wink, wink". Rather, you're thinking, "Holy shit, how am I supposed to draw her elbow in that position?", "Dammit! Why can't I get that shadow around her hip right?", "It would be nice if I didn't have to see her fingers in profile" Repeat for every session you drew a nude model.

    For the record, in case you were wondering about getting a programming job for an adult website, check my journal for a lengthy article about what the reality is like. You may have to go back a bit to find it. It's called, 'Getting a tech job in the adult industry'. It was never accepted which is why it's in my journal. After all, why would the editors accept a story about programming and porn.

  • Re:Slashdot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheLongshot (919014) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:01PM (#15122289)
    As the article says, his real name is all over the internet anyways, so this doesn't change anything.

    There is no mention of his wife's or his kids' names anywhere in the article, and having a last name of "Jones" is innocuous enough.

  • Re:Slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Caiwyn (120510) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:30PM (#15122566)
    At first I had the same reaction, until I realized that the man would have had to agree to an interview with the Wall Street Journal. If he's really interested in keeping his privacy, why is he fielding questions about his work?
  • by Cumikaze (955966) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:46PM (#15122697) Homepage
    I always wonder what some names really mean. For example, before I read the article I assumed "lightspeed" was an indicator of ... well ... something else.

    I wish the article would say a little more about how he got started and also how he got his wife and mom?!? (wtf?) involved. That just seems odd. I wonder how many porn company owners have either their wife or mother working for them?

    "...he and his wife mostly socialize with others inside the porn business.." And that's a bad thing? Damn, I wish I had those problems!

    For those bitching that this isn't news: maybe you're right, but put the word "porn" in the title and it'll get posted on slashdot!
  • by Illbay (700081) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:48PM (#15122720) Journal
    These statements are in no way contradictory or hypocritical.

    You gotta be kiddin' me.

    "Kids, I just want you to know that we would be very proud for you to be in the family business. We're very proud of our business. Uh, NOT the product, mind you, just the business.

    "You'll go into the 'production' end over my dead body."

    Your take on this is like saying it's "not hypocritical" for a narco-trafficker to punish his kids for taking drugs.

  • Re:Slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AoT (107216) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:02PM (#15122830) Homepage Journal
    Except shortly everyone Googling for his name will know who he is and what industry he works in. Nice responsible journalism. Why not ruin someone's life so you can write an interesting article.

    Boo-fucking-hoo!

    He's a pornographer. If he has a problem with his friends and family knowing that, maybe he should work in that field. This is as absurd as some guy driving race cars being terribly secretive about his job because all his family rides bikes.
  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:03PM (#15122835) Journal
    >But there is no clear definition of porn at this time.

    I can't claim I made this up but I read a great definition hereabouts, that I think is absolutely accurate: "if you lose interest in it once you've come, it's porn."
  • Re:Slashdot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dsgitl (922908) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:04PM (#15122852)
    I am one of those "neocon" republicans that everyone here hates... Any Christian that would segregate themselves and their family from their neighbors should study the life of Christ a bit more

    Are you SURE you're one of those Republicans? I didn't think treating people like equals was allowed. Maybe you've got the wrong Christ or something. The Republican Christ seems to love segregating people, ideas, and countries. Not to mention the whole warring/conquering nation thing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:19PM (#15122992)
    (Note: I'm in Ireland)

    I used to run a network of adult websites. I also had to hide this fact from people. Not because I think there is anything wrong with porn, or becuase I'm ashamed or anything like that - I had to hide it because quite a lot of people associate porn with child porn. Obviously this is retarded, but I got tired of having to explain myself.

    It was funny - generally, guys would have great respect for my producing and publishing porn. Girls would either hate me or love me (normally the former.)

    A lot of people would look at me like I was a danger to society, yet afterwards they'd go to the pub, get drunk and fuck some stranger (a typical Friday night in Dublin.) Yet somehow this was perfectly acceptable to them, but I was the weird one...

    PS - HA! The spam verification image for this post is "fondling"!!!!!
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:23PM (#15123030)

    It seems to me that for someone to be concerned about shielding his children, etc

    Do you drink? Do you want children to drink? I guess you're concerned about alcohol then. Do you think someone that works for Anheuser-Bush shouldn't shield their kids from alchohol because they work for an industry that sells it?

    There's such a thing as age appropriateness. I fail to see how there's anything inconsistant here.

    and that people who find out won't let their kds play with his because they don't like his business, and this bothers him

    He's protecting his kids from the intolerant people of the world. Wouldn't it bother anyone if neighbors went so far as to punish your kids because they didn't approve of you? That seems like more of a problem with the neighbors. They don't have to like him, or what he does, but banning their kids from associating with his kids is just bigotry.
  • Re:Slashdot (Score:1, Insightful)

    by l0g1c (955441) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:37PM (#15123166)
    Steve Jones is very blatantly a fake name, it even states that in TFA. However, it also stated that his Wikipedia entry revealed his true name - which, upon inspection, is no longer there. Two changes were made to his entry today, but whether or not those changes removed his name is unknown. I don't think the WSJ has done anything wrong in writing this article, and I'm sure "Mr. Jones" has at least taking some precautions to hiding his true identity. Saying that the WSJ has "ruined his credibility and his life" is more than a little extreme.
  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oliderid (710055) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @03:18PM (#15123618) Journal
    He has a nice business, a dozen of employees get a living thanks to it. Models are paid. Customers get what they were looking for. He doesn't promote anykind of violence. There is strictly nothing to be ashamed about. He should be proud of his achievment.

    This is quite strange the fascination/repulsion the society has for this "traditionnal" business. It exists for centuries (first were drawings, then black and white pictures, magazines and now web sites) and so many people are still so unconfortable with it.

    I don't want to sound like a hippy :-) but...Sincerily what is the worst? Producing a movie glorifying the war; singing how great the drug dealer life can be or making a video clip about a beautiful nude girl?

    I prefer the last one.

    Olivier

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