The Modern Peep Show

The first movies available to the public were essentially peep shows, where you looked down into a device that was either a Kinetoscope showing a short film strip or a Mutoscope flipping through a series of cards. Some of the very earliest content was scandalous, and sexy shows became so prevalent on the Mutoscope that it became know as a “What the Butler Saw” machine, named for a sexy vignette. You can view Mutoscope content at the main exhibit in the RTF Department of the Erotic University virtual campus.

Peep Shows later became a part of adult video parlors, usually the seedier ones. You would sit in a booth and be able to flip through dozens of channels, all showing porn. Afraid that anyone might have an orgasm while watching porn, authorities would typically have the doors removed to make sure that adults had no privacy.

The notion of being able to watch just segments and move on when your attention flagged, plus getting to see a lot of variety, made these booths popular. Now, though, anyone with a reasonably zippy Internet connection can get a far better experience with privacy and the ability to go quickly through each movie to see just the segment they want to.

Just as in the old days when you had to keep feeding the slot money, the modern Internet peep shows require that you buy a set number of minutes, and warn you when you get low that it is time to feed the kitty. Some offer the opportunity to purchase a set period of time that you can watch a specific movie. Some may also offer expiring downloads, typically from 7 to 30 days.

Since many people don’t like to buy things online and they have privacy concerns, a number of companies are selling access cards through adult retailers. You buy a card, scratch off the pin number, and view in complete anonymity.

This month we take a look at two of the leading streaming services, and how they compare to each other.

They have over 80 categories with 80,000 adult videos to choose from, free 10 second preview clips for each video. There are 12 of these clips per movie, which allows you to get a quick preview what parts of a movie you want to watch without using up your minutes. Besides the categories, you can also view film listings by pornstar, studio, and top movies.

The basic model is pay per minute. You can get 30 minutes free to try the service. The basic plan is $14.95 for one month, which includes 2,500 minutes. There are also use anytime plans not limited to a single month. You can get 220 anytime minutes for $127.95, 70 minutes for $8.96, and 25 minutes for $4.28.

The time tracking for minutes used was fairly accurate, although constant jumping around may wind up costing you a little. In one test it shaved off about a minute using our stopwatch test, but in the following test the time credited was less than our actual clock, so it probably works out in the end.

The search engine was a bit of a mess. For example, typing “Asian” pops up a short list of Asian titles below the search window. If you click on one of them, it takes you to a dead page. Hitting return will bring up a list of movies with Asian performers. However, try the same thing with a number of other search criteria, such as “Swinger,” and hit return, you get a random list have nothing to do with swinging.

More recently shot titles in HD looked excellent in full screen mode. Older titles in standard definition were acceptable in full screen, but offered a much softer less sharply focused picture. That is to be expected with standard definition video. Fortunately, there are plenty of HD titles for those who are very picky about picture quality.

The big dogs in the VOD game, they offer more than 200,000 titles. Hot Movies was one of the pioneers in providing pre-paid and branded cards. Unlike some services, they also allow the use of gift cards, which means you don’t have to worry about recurring or false charges on your credit card.

You can get 13 free minutes without a credit card. They have a free trial of 20 minutes and a free scene, but that does require a credit card . They also have an offer of 60 free minutes with the purchase of 300 minutes, which would set you back $29.95. Minutes do not expire. For $86.95 you get 1000 minutes, and at the low end you can get 69 minutes for $9.95, with several plans in between. It should be noted that some videos and scenes are premium titles, which mean they cost more in minutes to view. This is primarily for new releases within the first two weeks. All plans offer a free scene.

They are offer a number of other options. You can purchase a favorite scene outright, which varies slightly in price based on the scene length. For example, a 25 minute scene would cost $4.26 to purchase. You can also purchase lifetime streaming on a title for $9.95, lifetime streaming plus download for $14.95, and 7 day streaming for $4.95.

They do a much better job in breaking down the categories. For example, The Language category offers 14 sub-options. I did not even know that they made porn in Polish. Group Sex gives you sub-options of threesomes, swingers, orgies and gangbangs broken down into the four obvious variations. There were way too many categories for me to even count them all. . It is not perfect, though. For example, there was no category for swingers. I would have also liked to have the option to view just HD format videos.

Their much more sophisticated search engine seems to work very well, finding listings for every key word I tried. I also really liked the listing of the movies stars with pictures below the title description. Click on the picture for a bio of that performer and a listing of scenes and movies they are in.

There are free 10 second scene previews per title, but fewer than Adult Rental (it varies by movie), and they take much longer to start playing. The video quality is also very good.



Photo Credits: Feature peepshow image “Man looking through penny peep show, state fair, Donaldsonville, Louisiana, 1938” courtesy of Library of Congress. Photographed by Russel Lee. Image processing and compositing to make peep show title cards clearer by Jeff Booth.