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— Jean Winslow, a retired elementary schoolteacher in San Diego, doesn't seem like the sort of person who would be even remotely involved with Internet pornography.

Her greatest passion is music. Winslow spends time with her two granddaughters the same way her own grandmother spent time with her years ago -- seated at the piano, occupied with lessons, practicing scales. An accomplished pianist and singer, Winslow, 67, has worked as a volunteer for the Opera Guild, the San Diego Symphony, and the Chamber Society. Within her circle of neighbors and friends, who are mostly older than she, Winslow organizes outings to concerts and other musical events, and she does the driving. For relaxation, Winslow simply listens to music.

How the mild-mannered grandmother and model volunteer became internationally known as an Internet pornographer last month is the result of naïveté and chance. "It's a story of how to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," says Winslow's business partner, Mike Price, a former lawyer who lives in San Diego. On hearing those words, Winslow rolls her eyes and shakes her head in agreement.

A mutual interest in computers and the Internet prompted Price and Winslow to attend the Consumer Electronics Show and the Adult Internet 2000 Show -- better known as "the ia2000" -- in Las Vegas shortly after New Year's.

Angie Wagner, a news reporter for the Associated Press, thought the two looked a bit out of place at the adult Internet gathering, which features X-rated photographs, videos, and websites. For starters, Winslow and Price were fully clothed in business suits -- amid the 5000 outlandishly dressed and partially dressed participants. "I thought they might be curious about the show," Wagner said. With her conservative attire, glasses, and beauty-parlor bouffant hair, Winslow "definitely stuck out. She looked like a sweet, older lady," Wagner said. "When she said her family and friends didn't know, I thought, uh-oh, they might know by tomorrow."

Sure enough, Wagner's short but pithy news story about a 67-year-old retired schoolteacher in the Internet sex business was transmitted around the world. It was published by The Province newspaper in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Winslow's daughter lives. Her daughter read the article, entitled "Online Sex Deals Made in Las Vegas," and immediately called her mother in San Diego. Suddenly, Winslow had a lot of explaining to do. So her two other children wouldn't be caught off guard, Winslow called to alert them that she had made headlines and, more importantly, to explain why. "My son chuckled at first, but then he wanted to know more about it."

Winslow reluctantly admitted she became involved in Internet pornography via a passive investment several months ago as a way to supplement her retirement income. She described herself as "a silent partner" in Price's adult website, meaning she invested money in the business but does not operate or manage it. She wouldn't specify how much she invested other than to say "just a little bit." Winslow and Price, 53, each said the site, which uses the domain name of "sexy reds," is really Price's pet project. "Sexyreds" sells such X-rated videos as Let's Get Kinky and Creme de la Face, but Price said the real purpose of owning the site is to study Internet traffic patterns. "I'm more interested in search-engine placement ranking," Price said, referring to the strategy of luring more viewers to a website and parlaying that popularity into revenue.

Besides music, Winslow enjoys gardening, reading, genealogical research, and learning about computers. She often attends classes about software programs and computer use that are offered for free by San Diego Community College. Unlike Price, Winslow has not taken the Learning Annex's $59 course on How to Make Money in the Adult-Entertainment Business on the Internet. "I'm on the Internet all the time," Winslow said, stressing that she does not peruse adult websites. In fact, Winslow said, the only adult website she has ever seen is Price's.

Apparently Winslow didn't spend much time or attention looking at Sexyreds online. Otherwise, her 19 years of correcting papers at Cadman, Grant, and Whittier elementary schools might have prompted her to notice that "blonds" was misspelled. "Blonds" is among several categories of X-rated videos Price sells. Other categories are labeled blacks, Latinas, Asian, discounts, and new releases.

Price, who describes himself as a "broken-down trial lawyer," said he wants to capitalize on the burgeoning online-adult-entertainment business. SexTracker, an Internet-services company in Seattle that specializes in that industry, estimates there are as many as 120,000 pornographic websites generating as much as $1.8 billion a year in revenue. The bulk of that revenue comes from membership fees and advertising, as opposed to the sale of sex toys and other products, according to SexTracker.

Catherine Miller, vice president of SunUp Media Group Inc. in Temecula, which owns, designs, and hosts adult websites, said the industry is attracting people of all ages and from all walks of life. But "the vast majority of people getting involved in this business are professionals looking to make money. That ranges from accountants to doctors to lawyers. I've had one client who works for a title company."

The traditional purveyors of adult entertainment, such as strip joints and topless clubs, have been slow to milk the Internet as an income source, Miller said. Computer experts in their 20s led the way, she said, and now everyone else is catching up. Hearing about former lawyers and schoolteachers starting pornographic websites is not at all surprising, Miller said. "Just the other day I spoke to a retiree in Florida who's in the business."

Michael Twombly co-owns Zipwell Online "Anything Internet" LLC in San Diego, which designed the Sexyreds website. X-rated subject matter represents about 15 percent of Zipwell's business, he estimated. Twombly said many of his customers for pornographic sites are lawyers, real estate agents, and certified public accountants. "I don't get smut kings. Almost everyone who has come to us has made money in other ways, and they're looking at this as an investment," he said. "One guy made a bunch of money selling palm trees, and he wants to reinvest it in a porno site."

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