An adult adjacent industry firm

Ok, I’m leading with the meat of the story, the expression adult adjacent industry as a modifier of the noun firm ‘business company’ — an expression I believe was entirely new, and astonishing, to me (and so far seems to be attested only in the specific piece of e-mail, from what I’ll call the X Group, that brought the expression to me yesterday as a blogger and to at least one other blogger).

The expression is stunningly euphemistic, ultimately referring to a class of businesses that sell sex: adjacent is euphemistic for direct involvement in (it’s not merely near to, but digs right in with gusto), and the involvement in question is in the adult industry, a euphemism for the sex industry, in particular for the branch of it that supplies photographic and/or written pornography (hot stuff). (NOAD on the relevant sense of the adj. adult: … [d] sexually explicit or pornographic (used euphemistically to refer to a movie, book, or magazine).)

The point of the X Group’s mailing to me was to enlist my blog in a scheme of advertising and sales on behalf of the adult adjacent industry firm — call it Firm Q — with money to be made for me. The assumption of the mailing was that such transactions are the very purpose of blogging, and (to judge from the advice that the company now provides) WordPress seems to agree that blogging is all about making deals. In fact I get approached, on average, once a day — some days none, but some days three in a row — by a company that wants me to enter into some sort of advertising or sales deal with them. Nothing as spectacular as an adult adjacent industry firm (earlier today: advertise a site providing information on what to do in Wilmington NC in exchange for the site’s advertising my blog and so boosting my blog’s search engine score).

Note 1: I actually pay WordPress a fee to keep this blog free of advertising.

Note 2: I never respond to these overtures, even to say a polite no; my earliest experiences with these things was that if you replied at all, that merely encouraged the sender to think you might eventually be open to their invitation, so that they redoubled their efforts. Deletion and stony silence are the only way.

Not entirely irrelevant digression: I’m now taken with the phrase adult adjacent industry firm and have been chanting it as a tetrametrical mantra, aDULT aDJAcent INdustry FIRM (WS WSW | SWW S); repeat it three times for pleasure. It might also work to celebrate sturdy young men engaging in anal intercourse with one another on video — the sort of often-avowed interest of mine that presumably led the X Group to fix on my blog as one that might enter into an intimate relationship with the as-yet-unidentified Firm Q.

But, back to beginnings. Let me start with Margalit Fox.

Demented pitches. From my 2/24/17 posting “Demented p.r. pitches, absurd ad copy”:

Recently the admirable Margalit Fox has been posting on Facebook a series “Demented P.R. Pitch of the Day” (Margalit seems to read more of her nonsense mail than I do).

Margalit’s public face has been as a journalist (for the New York Times), notably as the crafter of extraordinary death notices), and as the writer of non-fiction books in several areas (including language). That status apparently suggested to some people that she would be just right for things like business investment opportunities too astounding to let pass or appearing in televised ad campaigns. Really very funny stuff, but she eventually had to give up posting about it to get on with writing her books.

In my case, I’ve blogged extensively on ads for premium men’s underwear aimed at gay men and ads for gay video porn — postings mostly analytical, some appreciative, some mocking, but all of course mentioning specific brands, so that I would appear to be just the person to trade XXX-rated advertising favors with. (Look, I post briefly on anemones, and somebody wants to trade favors over their guide to growing anemones. It’s the same, only more so, with raw gay sex.)

The pitch from the X Group. Yesterday, exactly the same text, mailed from three sources with different names, two of them unusual Indian (or at least South Asian) names. The header, from [NN], [Project P@gmail]:

Paid Post: A quick business opportunity

Hope you are doing well.

As an SEO agency, we normally don’t delve into this section, but COVID has made us pick up a site that we won’t build inorganic links to in a normal-world scenario. [My rough translation: We wouldn’t normally touch nasty hard-core sex stuff like this, but times are hard and we need the money.]

That being said, we are expecting that one of our clients would like to acquire backlinks from you in the near future. The client is an adult adjacent industry firm. We would like to know if you would be interested in allowing us to acquire a link from your website. We would be handling all the content side of things.

If yes, kindly let us know:

  1. Your price for a DoFollow backlink?
  2. The time for the link to get published if we can provide you with the content within a day after your confirmation?
  3. If you allow links to be edited into old articles, and if yes, what would be the price in that case?
  4. Whether you accept the amount through PayPal?

Hoping to hear from you soon as we would like to close this mutually beneficial opportunity as soon as possible, and create a long-term relationship, including publishing a link for them again in the next 1-2 months if the quoted price is reasonable.

Thanks & Regards, [NN], Consultant, [X Group]

I will skip over DoFollow backlinks, which sound like things I very much don’t want on my blog, and note that X Group appears to be legit. From their site:

[X Group], and our main offering, [Project P], provides state of the art white hat SEO services to our clients, which includes backlink acquisit[i]on, on-page SEO content and SEO consulting and strategy

(X Group is a company registered in Kanpur / Cawnpore, an industrial and financial center in Uttar Pradesh, in lowland northern India — on the Ganges, with world-class air pollution.)

Adult entertainment. Forget the adjacent; this is plain sex work, part of the sex trade — presumably, gay porn, though X Group is too scrupulous to be specific. From Wikipedia:

The sex industry (also called the sex trade) consists of businesses that either directly or indirectly provide sex-related products and services or adult entertainment. The industry includes activities involving direct provision of sex-related services, such as prostitution, strip clubs, host and hostess clubs and sex-related pastimes, such as pornography, sex-oriented men’s magazines, sex movies, sex toys and fetish or BDSM paraphernalia. Sex channels for television and pre-paid sex movies for video on demand, are part of the sex industry, as are adult movie theaters, sex shops, peep shows, and strip clubs.

Adding the modifier gay to adult entertainment gives us gay adult entertainment, which is a stock expression in the sex trade. Consider these two magazines from the heyday of gay porn in print (about gay video porn):


(#1) GAYVN: Gay Adult Entertainment Monthly for May 2007


(#2) unzipped: The magazine of gay adult entertainment for Nov. 25, 1997

If these covers seem quaintly suggestive rather than hard-core, that’s because the covers were meant to be viewable on sale in public, inside plastic; the images and text inside were user-satisfyingly XXX.

5 Responses to “An adult adjacent industry firm”

  1. Bill Stewart Says:

    Sometimes I wish the Internet would revert to being the domain of geeks, free, free-wheeling and fun.

  2. Robert Coren Says:

    I’m now taken with the phrase adult adjacent industry firm and have been chanting it as a tetrametrical mantra

    You’ve clearly been reading Zippy for too long.

  3. Stewart Kramer Says:

    With partner firms like those, who needs anemones?

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