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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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  • Slashdot (Score:3, Funny)

    by Metabolife (961249) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:43AM (#15121489)
    '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.' I hear slashdot is a great place for a porn king to be noticed.
    • Re:Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zone-MR (631588) * <slashdot@@@zone-mr...net> 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.
      • Re:Slashdot (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TheLongshot (919014)
        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, Funny)

        by re-Verse (121709)
        I dunno.. last name Jones. Isn't that about as close to John Doe as you can get? In fact, Jones often means "the person next door", keeping up with the Jonses, etc. I'm guessing its not his real last name.

        I guess in this case, "keeping up with the jonses" would have a whole new meaning eh?
      • The article doesn't say so, but "Jones" could easily be a pseudonym. Not to mention finding a "Steve Jones" is probably going to turn up hundreds, if not thousands, of hits.
      • Uh, no? (Score:3, Informative)

        by thepotoo (829391)
        google for "steve jones" [google.com]

        Guess his secret is safe enough, even if that is his real name. I bet they DID obfuscate it, anyway.

      • There are a lot of people named "Steve Jones".

        This particular one doesn't even show up in the first several pages of Google [google.com]
      • Re:Slashdot (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "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."

        I can't belive how hypocritical people can be. What do you want to bet that the same dad that didn't let his children play with Mr. Jone's kids could be found surfing his sites after the kids were in bed?

        I am one of those "neocon" republicans that everyone here hates

        • Re:Slashdot (Score:2, Insightful)

          by dsgitl (922908)
          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.
      • "A few years ago, Mr. Jones relocated his family after some neighbors learned of his profession, and forbade their children from playing with his. "

        Yep, he should have gave his neighbors the free month pass like they wanted - this could have all been avoided.
      • Re:Slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Caiwyn (120510)
        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?
      • Except shortly everyone Googling for his name will know who he is and what industry he works in.

        Do you really think that googling "Steve Jones" is going to result in a plethora of focused information?

      • Re:Slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AoT (107216)
        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 xtal (49134) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:45AM (#15121505) Homepage
    ..nobody seems to know anything about

  • by geeber (520231) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:46AM (#15121513)
    Cool. The Wall Street Journal is submitting their own articles to Slashdot now. Nothing like a little free advertising.
    • Yea what is up with that? It is almost as bad as that guy who would post his own blog which linked off to the actual stories just so he could get ad revenue.
      • Yea what is up with that? It is almost as bad as that guy who would post his own blog which linked off to the actual stories just so he could get ad revenue.

        Of course they could just think that, for some reason, the Slashdot community would be interested in pr0n.
    • Cool. The Wall Street Journal is submitting their own articles to Slashdot now. Nothing like a little free advertising.

      Look at this page. http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tip/17134.html [novell.com]

      Hey, they make it easy for you to submit it to digg and slashdot. And those links seem to be part of their page template. Could be a wave of the future. Provide links from your material so people can easily submit it to other websites as "news".

      Now, if there was some way to submit slashdot stories to Novell ...

    • by thepotoo (829391) <thepotoospamNO@SPAMyahoo.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 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
      • The story was interesting. In fact, many WSJ stories are interesting. And they want exposure ( as many readers as possible). What is wrong with that?
      • Bottom line: The occasional submission; OK, regular submissions; they're using us.

        Using you? Using you how?

        I work for a technology magazine that covers news, reviews, and feature articles related to application development, Linux and open source, databases, security and identity management, yadda yadda. If I submit my magazine's articles to Slashdot, am I using you? Maybe I should just wait around for someone else to submit them -- would you feel less "used" then? Suppose I submit stuff for friends who

    • The little guy needs to get noticed somehow. Once the Washington Post starts getting their stories on here, that's when to get worried though.
  • ...which it'd be hard to assume it isn't, then sir, I owe you a drink.
  • P0rn News (Score:4, Funny)

    by run4ever79 (949047) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:47AM (#15121524) Homepage
    now there's some news for nerds.
  • by October_30th (531777) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:47AM (#15121528) Homepage Journal
    "Lightspeed fits today's active life style, whether you're on the job or having fun. Lightspeed Briefs - style and comfort for the discriminating crotch."
  • What it is like for the kids when asked to tell the class what Daddy does for a living:

    "Uhh, he brings much joy to Slashdotters around the world."

  • 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.
    • by eln (21727) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:59AM (#15121657) Homepage
      Yah, I don't want my family to know I work with computers either. In order to avoid the embarrasment, I tell them I'm a piano player at a brothel.
    • I read the article and had the same "meh" reaction as well. There's really nothing about porn as a business - I assume there is some actual reason for entertaining lavishly at one of these conventions. The article makes a brief mention of business connections, but doesn't really go into how they work.

      Porn jokes aside, I'm kind of interested in how that business actually works. Does Jones generate all of his own content? Does he license content from other providers? How does he handle distribution of phy
    • What about his wife? The article doesn't say much other than she runs the company books.

      I don't know about most others, but it would not be a happy conversation for me if I told the MRS. that I was 'an avid viewer of porn', and wanted to start photo-shooting models and making a career out of it.

      • I'm sure you love your wife and all and perhaps get along with her fine, but why would you marry someone without sharing something so vital with her, in that you are into porn? Don't you think thats something she deserves to know and likewise don't you deserve a spouse who wouldn't judge you negatively on that?
        • What's surprising is that his wife (and his mother for that matter) support running such a business that is so stimatizing. The fact that they are okay with it is surprising to me. That's all.

          And, you're making uninformed assumptions about my relationship with the Mrs.

    • I am unsure as to why this is a comment. User X remarks about Slashdot story Y, an blog not looked upon with great respect by a majority of the public. Because of this X does not want his family to know he remarks about Y blog and generally associates with people from the Y blog so as to avoid embarassment due to his profession.
    • I know exactly zero people. (But then again, maybe I know a lot of people and just don't know it). This story is interesting because there's just not a lot of coverage of people that work in pornography outside of the scandalous stories about models destroying their lives with drug addictions. I don't have any problem with porn, but I'd be equally interested in a story about a spammer (which I do have a problem with) and what he tells his family and friends what he does.

      Face it. People that work in indu
  • 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?
    • Re:Click here (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:58PM (#15122262)
      You know, I love how, following your link, Google tells me
      Results 1-20 of about 299 for tawnee stone (0.15 seconds)
      Then, I see this little blue link at the top. "Moderate Safe Search is on". So I switch it off. Ergo:
      Results 1-20 of about 32,500 for tawnee stone (0.06 seconds)
      Maybe I should try that trick with my own name once in a while...
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:50AM (#15121563)
    "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."

    Have no worries, your secrets are safe with us.
    • Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We're bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We're coming in from the north, below their radar.
      Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?
      Ted Striker: I can't tell you that. It's classified.
    • I don't think it's us he has to worry about...

      "The Steve Lightspeed character is a little bigger than life," said Mr. Jones, who often sports a baseball jersey emblazoned with "Lightspeed" in capital letters. "I heard people say we once raced helicopters down the Las Vegas strip."

      Way to keep it on the down-low, dude.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:50AM (#15121565)
    ... but he said some relatives don't know about his work ...

    They do now.
  • 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?

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by freeweed (309734) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @02:18PM (#15122986)
      Having an successful Internet business doesn't make an interesting in and of itself.

      No, but having a successful Internet business in an industry that is used by millions of people daily, perfectly legal, and yet the guy still has to hide what he does IS interesting.

      Hence, "YRO".

      I think it's a very interesting comment on our society (at least, American society). Even with no government censorship, the societal sanctions we impose on others have a great deal of influence. Parents won't let their kids play with his kids? What do they think Mr. Lightspeed does - porn films displayed 7x24 in his home? I guess they also figure someone who works for a gun manufacturer uses his kids as target practice...
  • Lightspeed (Score:4, Funny)

    by CheeseTroll (696413) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:51AM (#15121572)
    ...the name "lightspeed" came from an alias Mr. Jones adopted in computer chat rooms in the early 1990s.

    Excellent! I'm all set to follow in his footsteps!

    • ...the name "lightspeed" came from an alias Mr. Jones adopted in computer chat rooms in the early 1990s.

      Interesting to think that FidoNet may have been the cradle of the king of cyber-porn.

    • Actually, "lightspeed" is the name his wife gave him... and also the reason she forced him into the porn business in order to meet real men.
  • hahaha (Score:2, Funny)

    by YourM0m (968051)
    "Mr. Jones's mother works for Lightspeed Media, handling customer service duties..." I'm sorry but that just makes me LOL!
  • by Funkcikle (630170) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @11:54AM (#15121595)
    "My kids have no clue what we do."

    Yeah right. And Steve Ballmer's children have never touched an iPod or used Google.

    They'll have an idea something is not quite right. Moving house because the neighbours won't let you play with their kids? Not at all suspicious.

    Keep up the good work though, Superdad! Shame you can't get that bumper sticker "Your AP kid gets DP'd by my kids".

  • 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."
    • 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.
    • No differnt than people that look at porn. Would you like it if it was you daughter, mother, sister, wife, or girlfriend in that picture or movie?
      If the answer to any of those is no then join club Lightspeed.
    • by hackstraw (262471) * on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:29PM (#15121981)
      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."

      These statements are in no way contradictory or hypocritical. Steve is behind the scenes, and is recommending the same to his children.

      There may be more to Steve Lightspeed than I know, but I've seen some of his work and it was primarily very young and young looking girls doing naked dances and/or heavy petting with another similar girl. Jordan Capri was/is his star model, and she is extremely cute. AFAIK, there is no guy/girl stuff or hardcore, just cuties being cute.

      In my eye, its not even porn. But there is no clear definition of porn at this time.

      • In my eye, its not even porn. But there is no clear definition of porn at this time.

        Yeah, if you don't start with a horse, a midget, a tub of lard and a big blue tarp it hardly qualifies.
      • IMHO, once chicks start getting spread-eagled, they've crossed the line from erotica to porn.

        "Cuties being cute" would be more along the lines of non-nude or teasing-but-still-barely-non-nude. Lightspeed stuff qualifies as solo porn.
      • 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.

      • >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."
      • What I want to know aside from getting a tech job in the industry is how do you actually start a porn company? Can anybody post a good guide? I know plenty of cute girls who don't mind being a little risque or topless for cash, and from all appearances, those softcore tease sites make a LOT of money.

        Also, any info on where he found Jordan? She is certainly cute and seems to have a nice personality.

  • One thing I wanna know about the industry is the background of the personnel, and how they came up with all those catchy movie names. Explicit yet subtle: "Mission to Uranus" or "Bottom Feeders"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Steve Lightspeed [stevelightspeed.com] - He seems to enjoy his job.
  • I don't see anything morally wrong with it, as long as it is done by consenting adults. It's entertainment.
  • by cliveholloway (132299) on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:14PM (#15121835) Homepage Journal

    ...when they become teenagers.

    Joe Ordinary: "I found my dad's secret porn stash - four copies of Hustler!".

    Lightspeed Jr: "*cough*, well..."

    I have a feeling they'll be very popular at High School :)

  • 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.

    • If this guy knew what he was doing, he'd have his cable modem/DSL connected to a proxy server that only routes http (e.g. Squid) in a locked closet and tell the kid they can surf whatever they want, but he'll know all about it. That child protection software will do no good once the kid figures out how to download and burn a copy of any live Linux distro...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @12:45PM (#15122141)
    I wonder if you work for Lightspeed Media Corp, do you get in trouble if porn is NOT found on your PC?
    • I had a friend who worked for Danni's Hard Drive. Getting caught surfing Yahoo and other mainstream sites could eventually get you written up. Porn was always okay.

      kashani
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 13, 2006 @01:03PM (#15122306)
    Then there's San Francisco. I stop in at a bondage shop to see a friend who works there and find the manager, a striking blonde who's been in several pornos and is unashamed about it, working the cash register. She usually has her clerks doing that, and I ask her where everyone is. "Oh, they're at dildo training".
  • It seems to me that for someone to be concerned about shielding his children, etc. 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, perhaps he should find another line of work.

    • 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
  • 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 h

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