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Editor's Note: Defending our porn coverage, again

Woman embarrassed
Matt Hind | OJO Images | Getty Images

It's time for my annual defense of our coverage of the business of pornography.

This is the time of year, you see, when the adult entertainment world holds its annual convention and awards show in Las Vegas. We cover the show and put together a package of stories detailing how the business has fared lately and what kind of changes it is facing.

We do similar exercises for the Consumer Electronic Show, cars, and even human resources. But none of this confab coverage gets the kind of reader response that the Adult Entertainment Expo draws.

Adult entertainment is a $14 billion industry. It also lies at the center of a lot of societal debate and technological innovation. That merits our coverage, despite the taboo nature of the subject matter. It's an argument I've made again and again.

Admittedly some industries are more taboo than others. But ignoring them doesn't make them any better or any worse. It just makes them less understood.

In addition, there are signs that adult entertainment is getting more mainstream. Witness "50 Shades of Grey," which had tremendous success as a book and will soon debut as a movie.

I'll admit, the coverage gets a lot of traffic. Those clicks, indeed, far outweigh the number of negative comments we receive. Makes sense when you think about it. Complaints on this type of thing come far more easily than compliments....Who writes in to say: "Great porn coverage!"?

And there are some terrific business stories in the sector. Unfortunately, some folks think that writing about how money gets made in the porn business is the same as showing porn. A big mistake. Anyone clicking on our stories looking for naughty pictures is going to be sorely disappointed. Heck, we go out of our way to make our Dirty Dozen slideshow tame.

Nevertheless the subject matter is offensive to some and we clearly don't want to deliberately offend. If you find this coverage objectionable, please don't click on it. If you are interested, here is the coverage.

-- This column, originally published Jan. 17, 2013, has been updated.