The history of the .xxx top-level domain is rather long and convoluted. What started out as an effort led by the adult industry more than 10 years ago quickly became a major political issue in the standards bodies that assign top-level domains. Indeed, even the adult industry isn’t in favor of .xxx anymore today. Last month, however, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) finally gave .xxx its blessing and starting today, the first of these domains resolve to actual websites.

Nothing to See Here – Yet

For the time being, the registrar is actually still working on getting everything set up for the new domains, but the top-level domain has started propagating now and chances are that you can reach .xxx domains at this point. As of now, sites like porn.xxx and xxx.xxx are still safe for work and don’t feature any adult content yet, but chances are that will change soon.

Those in favor of .xxx argue that it would make it easier for parents to block adult content from reaching their children. Given that those who sell this content on the web are not forced to use .xxx for their domains, this seems like a rather odd claim. While some have argued that adult content providers don’t have much of a reason to pay for a domain name that can be blocked this easily, the ICM Registry in charge of the .xxx domains has already sold over 300,000 domain names.

It’s worth noting that you can’t register a .xxx domain unless you actually have adult content to sell. This means other (non-porn) companies won’t have to go out and register their trademarks with .xxx domains just to protect their brands (remember whitehouse.com?). For the adult industry, however, the .xxx could means additional costs as those brands will likely have no choice but to also register for additional domain names.

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