The Future Of Adult By Darren Roberts
The place where sex and technology blend together perfectly.

Category: people

When Steve Orenstein set out to create an adult film company in the early ‘90s, he wanted to do something a little different: produce movies that were intended for couples and female viewers, movies with storylines that people could enjoy with or without the pornographic content.  With the help of his family, friends, and some very talented creative designers, Orenstein was able to take his young film studio, Wicked Pictures, and turn it into one of the most successful, well-regarded adult production companies in the world.

One of Orenstein’s keydecisions was the creation and branding of the “Wicked Girl.”  Following in the footsteps of Vivid Entertainment, Orenstein began planning to hire exclusive contract girls, working with Chasey Lain extensively before selecting Jenna Jameson as the first Wicked Girl, a deal that secured both Wicked Pictures’ and Jameson’s futures in the adult industry.  For her work with Wicked in 1995, Jameson received AVN’s Best New Starlet, AVN’s Best Actress (Video), AVN’s Best Couples Sex Scene (Film), and XRCO’s Starlet of the Year awards, an unprecedented and never duplicated achievement.

With Jameson’s success, Wicked Pictures continued to expand, adding stars like jessica drake, Stormy Daniels, and Julia Ann to the Wicked Girls line-up and bringing “porn king” Brad Armstrong on board as a producer.  This stellar team has seen Wicked Pictures’ fortunes soar ever higher, their movies garnering more attention—and awards.  In 2012, Wicked received a total of 101 AVN Awards nominations and continues, almost 20 years after its founding, to produce high-quality, award-winning movies.

You can read more about Steve Orenstein, Wicked Pictures, and jessica drake in the book The Unsexpected Story.

Unlike many entering the world of porn, Steve Hirsch was not a stranger to the industry.  The son of Fred Hirsch, an adult industry veteran, Hirsch worked as a salesman for his father, duplicating and mailing out 8mm adult films before joining Cal Vista, a studio that was a major player in the ‘80s.  This is also where Hirsch met his first business partner, David James.

Working with James, Hirsch founded Vivid Entertainment in 1984.  At the young age of 23, Hirsch knew he needed to find a way to set Vivid apart from other adult video production companies.  He wanted higher-budget movies with talent who could act and storylines that would hook an audience.  Hirsch felt that, in order to be successful, he needed to totally reinvent the way adult videos were produced and marketed.

Taking his cue from the old-school Hollywood studio system, Hirsch decided to focus not on a single movie, but on a girl.  With this in mind, he hired Ginger Lynn, who starred in the December 1985 release of Ginger.  The video­, and Lynn, were an overnight sensation, and the concept of the “Vivid Girl” was born.

Yet even as Lynn’s popularity grew, Hirsch realized that his star wouldn’t be in front of the camera forever.  He began to recruit more Vivid Girls, snapping up talent like Jamie Summers, Barbara Dare, and Christy Canyon, and focused on raising the value of his films.  For the release of the third Ginger Lynn movie, Ginger’s Private Party, Hirsch retained an art director talented enough to build a solid brand for the rapidly-growing company.

Through the years, Hirsch’s passion for excellence and desire for mainstream production values have fueled his company’s success.  He continues to recruit and develop new talent, expanding his company in ways that, to this day, make Vivid a benchmark for innovation and class in the adult entertainment industry.

You can read more about Steve Hirsch and Vivid Entertainment in The Unsexpected Story.

Joanna Angel






Joanna Angel, the five foot tall tattooed queen of alternative porn didn’t always have her eye on conquering the world of adult.  Born on Christmas Day, this New Jersey native pierced her belly-button in ninth grade, got her first tattoo at a very acceptable 18 years of age, and attended Rutgers University where she received her Bachelors in English Literature in 2003.

But the degree was not what would launch her into the world she inhabits today.  While at Rutgers, Angel roomed with Psychology student, Mitch Fontaine.  Sick of the breast implants and the seemingly constant blonde porn stars, Angel and Fontaine collaborated to create a new look for porn, one that would involve funky colored hair, piercings, and tattoos—girls that they would want to see in their adult movies.

Thus BurningAngel was launched in April, 2002 featuring not only erotic pictures of Angel and her friends, but adult stories, blogs, and music reviews of indie and punk bands.  As the site quickly grew, Angel moved to Brooklyn to work as a stripper before finally realizing that BurningAngel was going to require her full time focus.

Soon, she was ready for her film debut.  Shot in the summer of 2004, The Movie was shot on a Brooklyn rooftop with an audience of fifty people.  The movie was interspersed with interviews of indie bands, Dillinger Escape Plan and My Chemical Romance while the soundtrack featured music by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Turing Machine, bringing an entirely new angle to porn—one that wasn’t just about sex, but an entire alternative culture.

Over the years, Joanna Angel’s network of websites grew to include the award winning,,,, as well as several others.  She also continued to expand her film library, breaking into mainstream adult with alt-porn classics like Joanna’s Angels, Cum On My Tattoo, and Re-Penetrator.

As she continues to recruit other like-minded inked beauties and bring life to new ideas, Joanna Angel remains successful in an industry dominated by men and the stereotypical porn star, tattoos and all. You can read more about Joanna Angel and her business in the book The Unsexpected Story.

Ethan Imboden

After a chance meeting with a professor of industrial design while in Europe, Imboden set a new goal: to work in the world of design.  He returned to America and began searching for local companies, eventually landing an interview with Portland-based firm, Ziba.  While he did not get the job, he did receive—and follow— the interviewer’s advice to go back to school and earn a degree in design.  Pratt Institute in New York quickly became his alma mater and he graduated with his Masters in Industrial Design, which opened the doors previously closed to him.

After landing jobs with top design firms like Arnell Group, Ecco Design, FrogDesign, and Alchemy Labs and consulting with Ford, Motorola, Nike, and others, Imboden decided to create his own design firm: Plink.  Plink enabled him to gather together the best designers he had worked with and take on projects previously denied to him, but while creating his firm, he came to realize that one set of products had not received the attention it needed from the world of design: sex toys.

In 2004, Jimmyjane was brought to life: a company of innovators bringing safe, elegant, and effective sex toys to the adult market.  From the tiny Little Something—the world’s first vibrator to have a replaceable motor— to the popular waterproof and rechargeable FORM 6, Jimmyjane’s products are not only stunning, but quickly flooding the mainstream market, appearing in luxury retailers such as Maxfield, Fred Segal, Selfridges, and others around the globe, bringing the world of sex toys into an entirely new, and respectable, light. Ethan’s story is also featured in The Unsexpected Story.

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