This story first appeared in the February 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Everything you ever wanted to know about sex . . . and business? In the scholarly tome Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Pornography in the Cyber Age (Routledge, $27.50), Frederick S. Lane III examines the XXX-rated successes of the Internet, and recounts how technological advances of the past 150-odd years have returned sex as commodity to its previous heyday of bawdy Greek and Roman times. Lane likens the Internet to the California Gold Rush, and though not every porn forty-niner is hitting gold, those who are prove to be shrewd businesspeople. Their ingenious and controversial methods in this $1 billion industry make for a fascinating read.