My Take on the Sex.com Auction. Is the Domain Really”Cursed”?

Good Evening Folks!!


This sale won't be a cake walk. It may not even unfold as many think.


According to Serge, the domain is cursed! Don't know Serge? Not my problem. But if he says it is cursed he may be right.


I would imagine that Sex.com will sell for less than Porn.com. I think this is a tough climate for this particular domain north of $5M or $6M. This may be the first 'Tainted' domain. The business model has failed more times than I can even count. Steve Cohen was the only one who really made $$$ with it but last I heard he was in jail and it ain't 1997 anymore.


I think it has more value as an ego stroke OUTSIDE the industry than a money maker inside the industry. Will be interesting to see how things unfold. The surprise could be a strong sale. That imo would say more about the overall condition of the domain industry as opposed to the value of the domain. This domain is worth less than it was 10 years ago. Now we will see if someone will pay more than it is probably worth.
Who will win the CURSE of sex.com? I have my short list. But I think they are all too smart to pay the $$$ that I have heard floated around. I think Wolfgang Puck would do better with Sex.com than with .food. I can think of several companies that could make a play for Sex.com to BREAK OUT! I just don't think it is a 'Domainer' domain anymore. And if it is, that may not be a good thing. But what the hell do I know?


Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz




24 thoughts on “My Take on the Sex.com Auction. Is the Domain Really”Cursed”?

  1. Bill

    “Free” porn and”tube” sites have really hit adult websites profits.
    Its been said many times before: a great domain is no alternative for a great business plan.

    Reply
  2. Kevin

    I seriously doubt any mainstream domainer or adult domainer I know of would pay beyond $5 Mil for it with the current conditions in the adult marketplace.
    As I posted on El’s Blog, I think the simplest, and least costly way to make sex.com work would be to just put a forum on there with no other crap and let the huge traffic base go to town on it talking about their sex lives 24/7.
    With 5 Mil of UV’s a month you’d have an enormous database of reg’d users in a few months. And that’s where the mine is sitting to harvest some profits out of.
    KISS! (Keep It Simple Stupid!)
    Only way the price will go past $5 Mil and into 8 figs would be if some major company outside of domaining is bidding.

    Reply
  3. Dean

    Sex is sex or as Hustler says”It’s Just Sex!”.
    I could see a big pharmaceutical company picking it up and creating a news/educational platform type site. I think it just has too much of a”tainted” history to succeed as a Porn site. Should be interesting to see who ends up with it.

    Reply
  4. Anunt

    Penthouse.com along with Various Inc., adultfriendfinder.com, cams.com and several other sites that they own and operate will win this domain name sex.com … they have plenty of money!

    Reply
  5. Stephen Douglas

    I was going to say exactly what Michael said… but he said it first so I can only agree.
    This domain isn’t”cursed”, unless that’s the game to play in order to get the price down for a certain”someone” in our industry who wants it”cheap”.
    This domain is in the top five best domains in the world, and can command any price it wants to the”smart” buyer.
    How about a grudge match – Viagra vs Cialis — MMA style. The winner of the domain, even at $15 million, wins over everyone. Period.

    Reply
  6. Kevin

    Breaking News On Sex.com!
    Breaking Domain News!
    Involuntary Chapter 11 Petition Filed Against Escom, LLC – Owner of the Sex.com Domain Name
    Woodland Hills, California – Creditors of Escom, LLC (“Escom”) today filed an involuntary
    Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition against Escom in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
    Central District of California (San Fernando Valley Division).
    Petitioners took this action to protect their interests and to maximize value for all
    other creditors and equity holders. The filing will stay the public auction foreclosure
    proceedings previously scheduled for March 18, 2010, which petitioners believe
    would have diminished the value of Escom’s assets.
    For more informa…tion, please contact:
    Lawrence Morrison, Esq.
    Meister Seelig & Fein LLP
    (212) 655-3582
    lfm@msf

    Reply
  7. ScottM

    I recall reading the great and detailed article Ron Jackson wrote in DN Journal March 2008. The good news is that Gary Kremen was finally able to get the domain back, got a pound of flesh and sued the crap out of Network Solutions and got reportedly $15 million settlement and got Cohen thrown in jail and some of his assets handed over to Kremen. Cursed maybe for Escom … but to me its good karma (“beshert”) and turned out to be a fairly happy ending for Gary Kremen after years of being taken advantage of by everyone including the domain”powers that be” at the time who rode roughshot over registrants.

    Reply
  8. Rick Schwartz

    I had no”Inside information” when I stated above”It may not even unfold as many think.” But this epic domain’s path has never gone smooth. If Serge says it is cursed, then the evidence is only mounting.
    The bottom line is when/if sex.com does eventually come to market, it will say more about the industry and the net than anything I can say. If it ends up in the hands of a domainer, that will be a bad thing. If it ends up in the hands of anyone outside of the domain or adult industries, mark it up as a huge victory for progress and the future.
    This TAINTED and CURSED domain is going to become a bell weather for all of us. Millions have already been spent on litigation over the years and we may not be done.
    It is no longer about the domain. It is now about who, where and how much. Like I said in the original post, I can think of several companies that should make a play for this domain. It has had international attention, marketing and publicity. If not now, maybe never. This really is going to be important.
    I hope everyone here prays it ends up in the hands of a company spending a lot of money on advertising and far removed from the domain or adult business. When and IF there is an auction.

    Reply
  9. ScottM

    If Sex.com were to end up in the hands of a Dr. Ruth or Dr. Drew that would be ideal. Tiger Woods … uh not so much … although his current wife may be able to afford it in the near future!
    We’ve pitched and tried to sell (and auction) Erection.com (and Erection.me) for several years to the major ED pharmaceutical and condom companies with no takers yet. Those industries too also don’t get it as Rick says, their cloistered mentality only lets them think of their own brands and not in generic terms, and I believe they would also look at Sex.com with the same blinders on.

    Reply
  10. Charles Carreon

    Couldn’t agree more with Rick and Scott. Back when Gary Kremen and I were partners, it was our understanding that we would deploy the domain in a health and woman-friendly fashion, and WebMD.com was my model, with Dr. Ruth as a backup. Didn’t happen, the history’s in the book at http://sex.comchronicles.com

    Reply
  11. ScottM

    Hi Charles,
    Just ordered your e-book and downloaded it, will look forward to reading it in the next few days. I have a slight personal interest in this too as my brother knew Gary while at Northwestern, and a close mutual friend (and early domainer) of Rick and myself from Chicago (who unfortunately has since passed away), also knew of Gary way back then in the early domain days.
    I will probably get the hard-copy of your book too, would love to have you sign it too if that is a possibility when ordering it from Amazon.
    All the best with this book, and many thanks especially to Rick, for bringing this intriguing story of Sex.com back to the forefront via his blog.

    Reply
  12. ScottM

    Hi Rick,
    As a domain industry leader, I hope you will consider a new posting on the ongoing domain industry debacle and outrage by ICANN and Verizon that has affected myself and I’m sure other domain holders. There may be a large class action case here as well.
    Essentially, in it’s zeal to stop cybersquatting of approximately 228 Verizon-related domains, Verizon’s in-house counsel Sarah Deutsch and it’s outside law firm Christie Parker Hale were able to gain control of an entire registrar, Lead Networks, in India which at one time supposedly had 70,000 – 80,000 domains, including at least 75 of mine still — and many other innocent registrants domains.
    ICANN and its associate counsel Stacy Burnette apparently did not think it was significant enough for ICANN to intervene early on in the case in a California Federal Court to protect us innocent registrants (and non-parties) to the Verizon cybersquatting case, which instead enabled Verizon to obtain this judgement of the entire registrar as well as $22.8 million in damages, based on $100,000 per domain.
    I guess my damages too are now $7.5 million based on $100,000 per each of my 75 domains that have been locked and I have been unable to modify DNS, sell, or transfer out since early December. While I applaud the judge for finally appointing a well-qualified receiver and domain attorney, Bret Fausett, to manage the migration of the innocent domains eventually to a new registrar where they will be unlocked, it should have never been allowed to get to this point by ICANN.
    Because of Verizon, its counsel and ICANN’s actions (or non-actions) in this case many of us have suffered damages not having the full-control over our domains for the last 4+ months.
    In July 2009, Stacy Burnette at ICANN put out a press release at the time of Lead Network’s non-renewal of their ICANN accrediting that the domains would be bulk-transferred to a new registrar. While there was an appeal by Lead Networks, ICANN could have and should have made sure that all”innocent” domains not a party to the Verizon case be moved or assigned to a new registrar or temporary trustee-registrar at that time pending the outcome of an appeal. Instead it sure looks like ICANN did nothing, instead backed off of Lead Networks and knowing full well the possible consequences thus allowed Verizon and its outside counsel to in effect gain control of many domains that were the property of innocent parties.
    Prominent domain attorney Steve Lieberman made mention of it at:
    http://www.dnjournal.com/cover/2010/january-page3.htm

    Reply
  13. Rick Schwartz

    Scott,
    That is horrible and ICANN is just as horrible. The only thing these guys understand is Federal Lawsuit. Until you sue, you are toe jam. Sue the bastards!

    Reply
  14. Tube Search

    Nice Article, i personally think that sex.com is a story for itself. it has been slipped through so many hands and every owner want to capitalize it at its fullest. what does that mean after all? its capitalism ;-)

    Reply
  15. aashin

    Nice Article, i personally think that sex.com is a story for itself. it has been slipped through so many hands and every owner want to capitalize it at its fullest. what does that mean after all? its capitalis aashin

    Reply
  16. zhaohui

    wadonxrum981
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it

    Reply

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