Porn Goes Mobile
By Tim Bird, Thu Mar 22 00:00:00 GMT 2001

Wireless pornography is still in its infancy, but WAP and Palm-based erotica is available for those who want it.

Call it increased democracy, call it extended freedom of choice, call it exploitation. Call it what you like, but the most basic human interests are being expressed through mobile wireless phone sets. It remains to be seen if the end is nigh for those dubious glossy products that occupy the top shelf in magazine shops everywhere. But pornography has gone irreversibly mobile.

Pornography, even to its purveyors, can be a dirty word, and a web search for "Adult WAP" or "WAP Erotica" may be as successful as one for "Mobile Porn". But much of what is out there fits the dictionary definition of "pornography" as material "designed to cause sexual excitement by showing naked people, referring to sexual acts, etc."

So the man standing next to you at the bus stop is taking an inordinately long time scrolling through what you assumed to be a mundane text message? And his smile is one of oblivious absorption rather than the usual one of light amusement? It could be he has logged onto the Literotica wireless service and is spicing up his day with some fairly raunchy narrative. On the other hand, of course, he might be just reading his wife's shopping list.

Increasing numbers, however, are turning to portals such as Literotica, based in San Diego, California. Like most WAP ventures, has a Web parent, Tim Bird has lived in Finland since 1982, and has watched the phenomenal spread of mobile technology through Finnish society with a mixture of alarm and fascination.