Good review. I agree with most of your points. I was a long-time subscriber to ATK N&H - over ten years consecutive. In fact, I gave them an outstanding review only a year or two ago.
I quit in 2010, probably for good. They really made a lot of changes to the way they operate, and almost all of them degraded the site.
1) Too many repeats of the same models
2) A reduction of their stable of photographers. They have only about two left that are any good.
3) Hardcore porn videos. SLick, over-produced sets and format.
4) Using pro porn stars. They are fake in every way except no silicone.
5) Not really trying to find real amateurs and natural GND gals and not willing to pay to get them.
There is more, but do you really care? They basically drove me away - I guess in favor of some other type of customer. I bet they will be out of business in a year or two.
Advent was true to her word and made some accommodation for me to return as a member and some bonus stuff. Very, very fair.
That being said, I let my membership lapse this summer as ATK was no longer doing to for me.
Too many repetitive set of the same model. There have been fewer and fewer girl-next-door types. Tobe Garret, a long time photographer seems to have quit the biz. The cute new gals were becoming fewer, the porn-star wanna be's were becoming frequent and the style of the site has changed. The adult boy-girl section was a complete turn off for me, but that is where they have been putting their resources and money.
I may return one day to see if things have gotten better, but I kind've doubt they would make the changes needed in the last couple of months.
Good points. My guess? It looks as though he lets the girls do their own makeup (I have used that approach with my models). Some gals wear tons of tacky makeup and others very little. Maybe some guys like that cheap hooker look, but I do not. Gaudy eyeliner, porn-blowjob lips, etc.. I would love it if all the photographers would make their models wash all that shit off before they started. Then again, I am guessing that some of you guys like that stuff.
The "fuck-me-pumps"? That is sooooooo overdone. Again, I think some guys like to fantasize that they are surrounded by naked, women in cheap shoes. I for one have never slept with a girl while she is wear stilettos, but again, I guess it pops some people's monkey.
Other costumes and such. Well the biggest complaint they get is that each set looks the same as the last. They try to make up for it by varying the costumes. My tastes are for the ordinary, and I love a girl in jeans.
Ideally each set should start out clothed and lead to nudity. I am ok with a 25% : 75% clothed to nude ratio, but I agree that at least some pictures should be clothed. In my opinion, slutty, overdone make-up and glam-style shots are a waste of my time.
Also, poses are important and different angles. Lighting and background too. That is why I have my favorite photographers - Sean R.; Riley Williams, Toby Mayes, and some of Wanton (BMB) stuff. The rest is usually poorly done. Most of the poor stuff I see is due to poor poses and the inability of photographers to shoot the goodies. I'd estimate that of the 7 or so daily updates, three are from overexposed models, two are from crappy photographers and maybe two are top-notch sets.
I don't need to see a whole set of some chick's feet covered with fruit. I also don't need to see a bunch of male ACTORS painting fake cum on the models. There is plenty of cheap porn like that on the web. ATK used to have higher standards, though they are slipping.
The high recycle rate of models and standard porn shoots are definitely signs that they are letting their tight standards go in favor of some quick cash and expansion into mainstream porn.
Just an update. Advent followed up with me and was true to her word. I appreciate her honesty and her efforts. We are lucky to have a responsive person representing a site, that actively replies to customers. Most sites do nothing. I am giving ATK another chance. Still a lot of good stuff there!
I don't believe the argument that there is a difficulty getting amateur models - in fact it is now easier than ever to put out ads and get real girl next door gals to pose. I think the ATK site used to solicit material from a wide variety of sources - many amateurs (both models and photographers). They have moved to using a much smaller stable of pro-photographers and these guys in turn are getting references from model ad agencies - aka the Pro/Am pron scene. There is much less girl-next-door and much more wanna-be porn stars. This is fed, in part, by the need to have the models do boy-girl (and girl-girl) sex scenes than frankly many amateur models don't want to do. The fact that they are flying models like Sativa overseas to work with Sean S. and back to the US to work with a number of US-based studios supports the conclusion that they would rather rehash their contract models than find new talent (for which they might only for 10 sets of material).
The site is moving away from its roots of natural, hairy beauties and becoming much more of a routine porn site. That is one reason I do not care for the boy/girl sex shoot. It is virtually all staged stuff with fake semen (aka Ivory liquid soap).
They are also coming back to the same models over and over again so they can say they have many frequent updates. What they don't understand is that more of the same does not equal more of diversity - which is what most of us want.
Well you sent me an email to my real email address saying what you say here. I replied to the return address of your not email@example.com many times with no reply. If is it not a real address, it is the return address you have me through your own note.
11/24: I sent you a reply via pornuser internal mail thanking you for your attention
11/25: You replied to my note directly to my real email with your return address as firstname.lastname@example.org.
I replied directly to the return address of your note to the email@example.com - several times - 11/25, 11/30, and finally on 12/20. None of these notes came back undelieverable. None were answered at all.
I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but it sure seems like you had blown me off. Can you see my point after about two months of no replies?
Advent: Why did you never respond to my notes? You made it sound like ATK cared about customer loyalty, then never even had the courtesy to rely to me. I am very disappointed in ATK. Makes me regret having made such a high scoring review for your site.
I never did hear back from Advent after she promised that ATK would do something to acknowledge my years of loyal subscription. I emailed her several times after she told me to and she replied once hinting that she was going to do something for me. Then I never heard from her again despite repeated tries.
So when you read the above stream of comments from Advent at ATK that make it sound like they care about customers, realize that they never tried to follow through. They did nothing at all.
I guess a whole lotta nothing says a lot of something....
Yeah, Max Hardcore was an interesting case. He pushed the limit, maybe he is the Larry Flint of the 21st Century? The stuff he got busted for was the "European-ized" versions of his ultra-sicko stuff (vomit, peeing in mouths) ultra-hard porn by anyone's definition. He claimed (flasely) that it was only intended for sale in Europe and had no idea it was being marketed and sold in the US. I personally have some that I acquired in the US, so even I could not defend him. I agree with him that it is a freedom of choice issue and the government has no place being the sex police. But in the end, porno is not a protected form of free speech by the constitution. Again it comes down to morally narrow interpretation of the purposely vague law. Max pissed off many other porn producers since he put the spotlight on everyone. I can say that not every porn producer in the world was sorry to see Max get shut down and sent to the big house.
That leads to the biggest problem in the U.S., the so-called Miller test. Anyone can get busted if the material they are distributing and selling fails the Miller test. The 1973 Miller v. California case left it up to individual jurisdictions and judges to look at a material and determine if it is obscene. This leaves everyone open to suspicion, becasue there is no universal definition of obscene. So far, it has been polled by the "I know it when I see it" test.
Today, the US postal service regularly seizes shipments of porn and bust people that distribute people that send porn to locals that have their own obscenity standards. Max is maybe the biggest case lately, but hardly the only one.
I don't know if anyone can say how many people - if anyone - gets jailed for pornography in closed countries. They don't exactly publicize their statistics. It is common knowledge from people that live in former Soviet countries, China, and the Muslim countries that you mention that getting porn is really no more of a problem then getting any of the other "Western" products that are banned. It would support the theory that the industry there is part of organized crime and has its own protections by the usual bribes and corruption that is rampant in such societies.
Axel 2001: Well... I agree that California has taken the reigns in terms of growing porn into a mutlibillion dollar industry, however I am not in agreement to some of your points:
1) I don't know why you think porn is illegal around the world. The fact is that various forms of porn are more than legal in the majority of the populated countries in the world. Europe, especially Eastern Europe churns out a huge amount of porn. I've seen porn freely available in almost every country I have visited and I've been to 6 of the 7 continents. I also should note that the porn available outside the US would make most people blush. It is much more graphic and extreme than stuff sold here. Porn is mostly publicly outlawed in Muslim nations, although it is still available there in a flourishing black market.
2) We Americans may have built the San Fernando Valley into the modern porn capital of the world, but the industry as it is known today started in Scandinavia in the 50's and 60's, not the US. Back then, Hugh Hefner's Playboy was photographing big boobed models and showing a little pubic hair (and risking obscenity charges). Hef got busted for "publishing and distributing an obscene magazine" on June 4th, 1963. The Playboy in question featured nude and near-nude shots of Jayne Mansfield.
Meanwhile, in the 50's and 60' the Danes and Swedes were churning out what we now call hardcore. Maybe you are too young to remember 8mm reels. It wasn't until people like the Mitchell Brothers trying to mainstream it as avant garde Art in the 70's that the American porn business and market started. All the commercial XXX movies started in Europe. Don't forget that.
3) America still routinely arrests and imprisons people for making and distributing porn. Even some of the biggest names in the industry are constantly fending off indecency charges. So just because America is home to a huge industry, don't assume the U.S. is friendly or supportive of the industry. Other countries are much looser about porn. In fact, while there are arrests outside of the U.S., most of the arrests and prosecutions for porn outside the US are well deserved becasue it commonly involves Child Porn.
4) I don't know if many people would flat out say they watch porn because it is counter to social feelings, but I am sure that many conservatives are hypocrites that watch porn and engage in immoral acts and flat out deny it and at the same time publicly rally against porn. Hey, but I can turn on my TV at 9:00 pm on any night and watch network TV shows showing pools of blood, rape, murder, torture on 20 different channels - that behavior seems tolerated - if not revered, but God forbid we see people having SEX!!!! Again, we (Americans) live in a strange place.
Axel 2001: I think for many people your comments are accurate, especially people that are simultaneously excited by, embarrassed of and secretive about pornography. I think Americans by-and-large are insecure about sexuality and nudity, but more than happy to publicize violence and slasher films. Strange.
So I agree that many people do not participate in forums because they are socialized to stay in the closet in terms of sex. But some of us actually like to have a place to make comments and hear other points of view. I think connoisseurs of the art are increasingly more vocal. Especially in hope that producers of materials see what we like (and dislike) and hopefully improve their offerings.
Daily download limit? WTF? That is lame. It sounds like their IT is still in year 2000. If they can't handle a higher bandwidth they should give it up and shut down. I mean come on, we are paying they our hard earned money for their porn, not to be spoon-fed.
I was ready to rejoin and try them for a month or two, but now not so sure. Maybe I'll give All Over 30 another shot....
I get ya and hear your pain (ok maybe not pain). I agree that many of the sets could spend a little more time on their dress and look. In fact, even though my favorite photographer is Sean R. and I really love his explicit shots, his biggest downfall is he rarely shoots full body shots, which I find to be quite the set up for the more graphic shots. He also is obviously not a breast man and rarely pays much attention to gals breasts, which sometimes is fine, but some of his models have absolutely wonderful breasts so it is a waste.
Dhara: OMG what a pig! She shows up every couple of years and I guess they like her since she has hair everywhere, even where she shouldn't (the mustache for one). I don't want to sound cruel, but she gets paid for this and is fair game for criticism. She is by far the ugliest woman I have seen on the site and probably one of the most unattractive women I have ever seen period. I mean really, I'd rather jerk off to a guy than her.
So I get and agree with your comments. I think they could do a better job with some of the sets. I also don't get why they have 60+ sets of some models. I'd rather have variety than one model over and over again (another reason I just let my 8 year membership lapse).
A forum would be a great addition. I just canceled my membership to ATK after being a continuous subscriber since 2001. If you guys had a separate comment and forum section for models and photographers, I would probably consider coming back.
If you institute such a system you will surely get negative comments, but you will also get positive feedback. Perhaps you will actually learn what people want and what people find less useful and save your company some money by focusing on making the site better.
I would also just enjoy having a place to share comments about particular models with others that enjoy the material.
I like but don't completely get your comment. I think the overall quality of the models is quite high and prefer their natural models - even if they are not Maxim quality. I hate the majority of solo female sites as they are all either (1) real porn stars, (2) wanna-be porn stars; (3) jaded strippers prostitutes and dancers; (4) Hollywood, bleach blond, shaved models or (5) drug addict skanks. So on a comparative basis, I'd say their models are still first rate. It could be a case of different strokes for different folks. Can you name some sites or types of models you like vs the one's you don't?
As to skills of photographers and repetitious posing. What can they do? They are working with a model for half a day and have to get 10 or more sets of them posed from dressed to naked. To a certain extent, there is only so much you can do. As a photographer that personally sometimes shoots nude models, I can say that the goal is to capture the gals faces, figures and sexual goodies in a way that is both tantalizing and at times graphic. You also want to make sure that the model looks fun and not bored. When you as a consumer look at 10 sets of one model in one sitting, you will of course see some repetition and if we a re doing our job right and you like the model, each set will be different enough and the model erotic enough to be entertaining. I have to wonder if your boredom is due to overexposure to the material. That being said, there are a lot of photographers, that in my opinion, are not so good at getting the most out of the models and have poor lighting and close-ups. So again, it would be instructive for you to list a site that does it more the way you want.
I also understand your desire for custom made downloadable zips. I guess if I was bandwidth limited, I would want the same. It is just as easy for me to hit one button and peruse later, but I get your point.
Nice to meet you. Glad ATK has some people "out in the field". Again, you guys are probably the best in the business. I am trying to figure out how to post the rest of my photographer reviews, but I think this site limits each user to 3 comments.
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