CYBERSPACE – Colin and Angie Rowntree had no idea what to expect when they launched their fledgling website, Wasteland.com, in 1994. The internet was a veritable question mark at the time – but 17 years later, their lonely corner of the virtual universe has become a leading light in the online adult pantheon of perversion.
Like so many successful projects, this one might easily have never happened. The Rowntrees have faithfully nurtured the fetish destination and a plethora of other enticingly niche-out websites, was producing a mail-order catalogue that featured kinky clothing when he started the site quite by accident, more as a lark than anything else.
“I threw some naughty photos up to see if they would stick. Little did I know that I was building one of the first internet adult paysites on the web, much less one devoted to the kinkier arts,” mused the veteran webmaster. “I mean, I had a feeling we were starting something new and special, but to see how much we’ve been able to accomplish comes as a little bit of a shock to me, to tell you the truth. It’s all sped by so quickly.”
Besides its longevity, there are other equally compelling reasons why international media and entertainment outlets like the BBC, Wired and HBO have sung the praises of Wasteland over the years. The outfit not only offers a truly authentic experience for members of the BDSM community — a community that has existed for centuries in diverse societies around the world — but it also has managed to maintain that authenticity while embracing a myriad of technological innovations. It’s the old cliché about porn being a tech leader — with a decidedly kinky flourish!
Today, the Wasteland universe is as expansive as the human imagination. Its network of niche properties focus on hardcore BDSM, erotica by and for women, Japanese underground bondage, alternative Hentai, vintage 90s teen content, FemDom reality and BBW-focused BDSM site. Other websites are AmishBondage.com and other viral sites, including InsideWasteland.com, which offers behind-the-scenes footage, trailers, bloopers and interviews from Wasteland-produced films;KinkForKindle.com, which gives away free 19th-century classic S&M eBooks branded with Wasteland original photography; wastelandmobile.com, the first BDSM premium site for smart phones and mobile devices; and Wasteland’s EroticVision Channel on Roku IPTV.
Wasteland clearly spans the ages, with one foot in an ancient world of primitive urges and the other in an exciting universe of anything-goes electronics. Comfortable in either setting, Rowntree insists that the bleeding-edge technologies he loves to play around with have only invigorated the works of Wasteland and further engaged the senses of his loyal members.
“It turns out that people who buy Kindles and Nook and who read sado-masochistic novels also collect gadgets and can be pretty easily convinced that they need to buy a Roku IPTV box to watch Wasteland S&M movies in high definition on their living room television for a mere $34.95 a month! Who knew? The end result is edifying. I get to edit the works of de Sade and some of the great 19th-century British S&M novels, sprinkle them full of Wasteland erotic photography, put them on our domain KinkForKindle.com … and make them available for free!”
In fact, Wasteland has been such a consistent innovator over the years that it has taken home numerous accolades for its work, including Best Fetish Site two years in a row from AVN, the XBIZ 2010 Excellence in Alternative Erotica award and Best Specialty Site of the Year and Cybernet Expo’s Peoples Choice Award. Rowntree also is an AVN Hall of Fame inductee, Founders Division, and received the Free Speech Coalition Leadership Award in 2011.
“Watching the library of movies I have directed for Wasteland over the years suddenly light up in high def on my living room TV over Roku IPTV and then, at the other end of the size scale, watch them light up on IPhone, iPads and Androids, I find myself eagerly anticipating the same pleasurable reaction when we go on The Cloud next month, making our movies stream faster and more ‘dominant’ all over the world,” said Rowntree, adding, “After so many years, the perverse pleasure remains. Forget about porn addiction. I am addicted to the freedom to quickly come up with new ideas, put them into action to see if they work; and if they do, being able to deliver sacks of new BDSM and fetish goodies to consumers around the world, and bags of money to our affiliates. When it all clicks, I can literally feel the pleasure centers in my brain explode.”
It is a sensation that can be shared at Wasteland.com and its associated properties.