Gay porn pioneer BadPuppy struggles to stay relevant

In these days of infinite internet porn, it’s easy to forget the early pioneers who brought smut to the masses back in earlier days of the web. BadPuppy was among the first to create a sexy portal for jerking off, all the way back in the mid-’90s, and it’s a testament to its longevity that it’s still around. But as online erotica has grown more sophisticated, have the old-timers kept up? And is a BadPuppy membership worth the price? We broke it all down.

BadPuppy membership cost

TRY BAD PUPPY

BadPuppy’s rates are roughly equivalent to other gay porn sites, and like most other sites, it wants you to buy in bulk. A single non-recurring subscription costs $49.95, which is way too much for what you get. But if you get a recurring membership, that drops to $29.95. 

Get a three-month membership, and you’ll pay just $23.32 per month for a one-time fee of $69.96. And if you plan to be a longtime user, you can get a one-year subscription for $119.30, which works out to $9.95 per month. That’s not terrible; in fact, it’s less than most other gay porn sites. And there’s something to be said for a once-a-year payment, so you never have to ask yourself which porn you’re going to go chasing from one month to the next.

Cancellation requires calling a phone number or sending an email that includes your full name, which is alarming from a security perspective. What’s more, the FAQ advises you to cancel by emailing one address, but the welcome email advises emailing a different address. It doesn’t inspire confidence.

We’d advise using a prepaid card and keeping the balance low, just to guard against recurring unwanted charges. Cryptocurrency is not accepted, but for some reason, Diner’s Club is. Bon appetit.

READ MORE:

BadPuppy membership benefits

For your subscription, you get exactly what you’d expect—nothing more, nothing less. There’s “unlimited streaming,” which is kind of a bare minimum that a gay porn site should offer these days. The site works on mobile and desktop, and also through Roku devices via BadPuppy.tv. The site also boasts access to live cams from BoardwalkBar.com, but visiting that site returns a “party’s over” error message.

According to the front page, the staff adds two productions every week. (The signup page says it adds three.) Sources for the videos range from studios like Falcon to Cocksure men, Raging Stallion, and more.

Pleasantly, you also get unlimited downloads, which is great for those who want to build up a local collection. The site claims 1,743 original videos and over 1,000 studio videos, which doesn’t seem untrue, but there’s no easy way to verify the count.

Here’s the weird part: BadPuppy claims that you’ll get access to four sites, which is a little confusing. What are those four sites? It seems as though they’re BadPuppy, BadPuppy.tv (which appears to be a more limited version of the BadPuppy site), ClubAmateurUSA, and GayToday.

This is, to put it mildly, super weird. ClubAmateurUSA is fine to have in the mix—it’s exactly what it sounds like, inexperienced young men showing off their naked bodies—but the two different versions of BadPuppy are hard to figure out. How do those count as two separate sites?

And GayToday is a blog that has nothing whatsoever to do with porn, other than that it’s owned by the same company. On top of that, it’s not a paid site; it’s just a blog. This is like if Netflix tried to entice you to sign up by boasting, “Netflix users can also access any article on ThinkProgress!” Yes, that’s true, but why?

And then there’s the “stories” section. Who knows why BadPuppy decided to try to compete with Nifty.org, but it seems to have abandoned the project halfway through. There are a couple of dozen alphabetically-sorted short stories written by randos and full of buggy punctuation, but the titles only run from A through K. “As of May 14, 2016, the K category is online. We hope you enjoy this new addition,” reads a note on the front of the site. Well, hope away.

The BadPuppy feel

To its credit, BadPuppy’s website design has a very consistent feel, but that feeling is old. It looks very much like a site that was designed in the mid-’90s and left more or less as it was. And maybe that’s fine! If you want to get off, you don’t need lots of bells and whistles and modern features. Humans have been scrawling dirty pictures on rocks for tens of thousands of years; who cares what version of HTML is driving things behind the scenes? The site is stable and fast, which is probably good enough for most users.

But it’s also lacking in some features that make competitors a little more fun to use. For example, there’s really only one way to browse the videos, and that’s in the order they were added. You can’t browse by tags like “feet” or “oral,” and you can’t sort by models you like.

The “most recent” and “most popular” sections appear to identical, which might be a bug, or maybe it’s because the most recent videos are also the most popular. There’s no way to tell.

You can also browse the videos alphabetically, which is possibly the most bonkers way you could sort videos. Who on Earth is like, “please show me all videos starting with Aaron, Abel, and Abraham”?

The content itself is pretty generic. One or two or three men take off their clothes, rub around for a little while, and then somebody gets off. It’s a pornographic genre you could describe as “men have sex.” Some are twinks, some are bears, most are white and muscular and hairless. Photos are mixed in with videos. If that’s what you’re looking for—congrats, that’s what you’ll get.

Adding to the confusion, there’s a section of the site for “bonus videos.” It’s unclear what makes them a bonus. It might be that they appear to all come from other studios. Clicking any of them opens a new window on a separate content marketplace called Webmaster Central, where you can browse a seemingly random assortment of decades-old videos. If we had to guess, there’s probably some kind of affiliate-based, re-re-re-marketing thing going on here. It’s probably a fine arrangement for BadPuppy, but it’s not a smooth experience if you’ve got your dick in your hand.

There’s one more strange touch: According to the terms of service, employees of the federal government are not allowed to access the site. 

Is a BadPuppy membership worth it?

There was a time when this level of disorganization was normal—cutting-edge, in fact—for a gay porn site. But these days, we expect features like browsing by model or tag; we expect a user-friendly interface; and we expect to know, at any given time, what service we’re using without being sent through a maze of affiliates.

At its cheapest monthly rate, BadPuppy gives you plenty of porn per dollar. If you’re satisfied just to see any naked man, you’ll be just fine. But if there’s a particular look or kink that you’re seeking, you’ll probably spend more time searching for content that you like than actually jerking off.

TRY BAD PUPPY

Correction: An early version of this article claimed the author’s card was charged $30.95 for one month of service. In fact, the author was charged $29.95 and a $1 debit processing fee.