LOS ANGELES—A 24/7 porn channel called Dusk has over the past four years become the destination for Dutch women looking for porn made for them, according to Fast Company. In fact, the channel is so popular that the word it coined for porn for women—"porna"—has "found its way into the local lexicon."
According to Dusk co-founder Martijn Broersma, "If you call it porn, [women] say that's disgusting. We invented the word 'porna' to give it a more feminine touch."
Broersma and a male colleague founded Dusk four years ago after being approached by a cable network interested in starting a channel featuring erotic content for women. "When it comes to thematic [cable] packages, they noticed it's always the guy making a decision because of sports and porn," explained Broersma. "They were searching for female-oriented channels to involve the female in the household in the decision-making process."
Ariel Schwartz, writing for Fast Company, notes that the channel has been designed to give its users the last say. "Dusk is unique in more ways than one," she writes. "All programming is decided by an open panel of women, dubbed the Dusk Panel (link, again, NSFW). Women in the Netherlands can join the online panel for free, but since it's closed to international users, I was unable to participate. Broersma says that women who subscribe are presented with scenes and asked to explain whether they like them or not and why. The audience decides what porna is--not the channel's executives."
With two thousand active panel members, not everyone agrees on what should be on the schedule, but Schwartz points out that "there are some common threads: Women want to see attractive 'normal' people (like porn star James Deen, for example) who look like they're actually enjoying themselves. They look for extensive foreplay, nice scenery, good lighting and camera work, and sex that is explicit without being overly rough."
Dusk does not shoot its own content, but acquires it "from 45 suppliers around the world." The majority of content is heterosexual, says Broersma, who explains, "There is a group of women that would like to see lesbian scenes, so we do air some of it. The majority would like to see straight, heterosexual sex."
Currently, four Dutch cable providers carry the channel, and the company says it is working to add more so that it will be "available for everyone in the Netherlands as soon as possible."
There are now even Porna Awards, the first of which was held this year in early September. "Women from all over the Netherlands came to Amsterdam to party, dance and flirt. Young and old, accompanied or alone, from every corner of the land… it was a highly diverse crowd," reported Dusk. British director Petra Joy took home the evening's top prize for making the best porna.
"Joy came straight from the airport to the stage to receive her award," added Dusk. "Not only that, she also used the moment to put Candida Royalle into the spotlight, because without Candida, there would be no porna. It was a very special and unique moment, with all those wonderfully spirited women on the stage."
There already is an English version of the Dusk website, but pretty soon there should also be Dusk TV available to U.S. cable subscribers. According to Schwartz, "Dusk is planning to launch here in 2014, perhaps as early as the first quarter."
Image: Petra Joy exulting in her 2013 Porna Award.