Practice Safe Search With This Site for Discovering Adult Content

BoodiGo keeps lust private

Adult film actresses Aspen Rae (L) and Riley Reid co-host the 2017 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Adult stars Aspen Rae (L) and Riley Reid are super happy web users have a way to find sexy stuff quietly. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We know folks are out there on the web sometimes looking for some pretty weird stuff. We’re not judging. Everyone’s had a bad Saturday night.

And all that nocturnal research has dawned a new era in sex online. Porn publishers have started to watch what we look for very closely in order to find weird new fetishes. It hadn’t occurred to anyone to pay porn stars to pretend to be in the same family until they started seeing “stepsister” show up in search bars (probably with a verb and maybe a pronoun attached).

Data collected by sites about visitors has given porn makers ideas for films we were afraid to ask for, which is nice in its own way. Some of us would prefer to err more on the side of the fear than the desire.

There’s a tiny, four-year-old adult content search engine designed from end-to-end around protecting privacy. BoodiGo doesn’t track users, log IP addresses and it requires encrypted connections to run.

“A lot of web surfers, including some who probably hadn’t given their online privacy much thought in years past, are starting to look at the issue more closely, and they’re increasingly flocking to platforms they know they can trust to secure and maintain their privacy,” the site’s co-founder, Colin Rowntree, said in a press release. The site hit one million unique visitors this month.

It’s not large, but it has a few features that make it worth highlighting, including an encrypted search function that protects users against prying eyes at home.

BoodiGo’s front page and its search results are safe for work. It focuses on text results. Rowntree told the Observer in a phone call that he wanted to “make it a nice, clean source of information.” He runs a number of adult sites. He keeps customers coming back because “they know they aren’t going to get bombarded with pop up windows.”

The feature that got our attention is toggled on and off beneath the BoodiGo search bar, where there’s a switch a visitor can toggle on the “Encrypt Search Beta.”

From BoodiGo’s front page. Wasteland, Inc

The search encryption function creates a new URL for search results that protects them from spies scrolling another person’s search history.

So, for example, if I searched for “nice people” on Google, it would generate a search URL that looks like this:

The words “nice people” show up right there. Super privacy friendly DuckDuckGo does the same. The same search yields the following:

BoodiGo does as well, if the search encryption feature isn’t on. Without it, the search yields:

The fifth result on that search revealed a fetish to me that I can’t now unknow. That’s why it might be useful to turn on the encrypted search feature, which resulted in this URL when I ran it:

By the time anyone clicks on that link, it will just resolve to the main BoodiGo page. The site gets rid of the search key after a short amount of time. So, a spy scanning a browser’s history might find a bunch of BoodiGo searches, but the links wouldn’t reveal anything about how someone feels about nice people or anything else.

BoodiGo declined to explain if the string in the URL is an encryption of the search or if it’s simply a key that corresponds to a self-erasing database (or something else). In short, though, it’s a self-destructing URL.

Of course, anyone who clicks on any of the links without scrubbing their history has another privacy threat, but BoodiGo can’t do anything about that. The web surfer is in someone else’s hands after they click a BoodiGo search result.

The only other search engine we found that offered similar protection was StartPage.

It’s also worth highlighting the site’s privacy policy itself. It runs just 450 words, and it has been written in plain language. For example, under “information sharing” it states: “As Boodigo does not collect information, we have no information to share. We are here to protect your right to privacy.”

Colin Rowntree at the AVN Awards with sociologist Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals. Angie Rowntree

Privacy policies are typically documents so daunting few people even try to digest them (though a few do). This one could be a model for bullshit-free explanation of what it does and doesn’t do.

One caveat for the extremely security conscious: BoodiGo may not collect data about visits, but it is currently using Google Analytics to track its stats. Google Analytics is a free and ubiquitous stats serve that lets Google see where its users go after leaving its search results. Many privacy aficionadoes use tracker blockers in part so that Mountain View can watch them browse non-Google websites. We flagged this for Rowntree and he said that he’s open to exploring alternatives.

In May, Cornell University Libraries explained why it shifted from Google Analytics to another stats service called Piwik. Piwik has a self-hosted option which allows site owners to collect easily readable stats without sharing the data to a third party cloud.

Ironically, the main way people discover BoodiGo is through Google search. “It’s got a very strong ranking for ‘adult seach engine’ and ‘private search engine,'” Rowntree said. “We get a lot of traffic coming off of Reddit,” he added.

There has been solid progress in privacy and porn lately, with all the major tube sites moving to encrypted connections with users, but BoodiGo has been a small, quietly running privacy protecting option for several years now. “We saw a big ramp up in traffic happen right after the election, and right after Trump was inaugurated,” Rowntree said.

BoodiGo is a product of Wasteland, Inc., which now runs a few different paid porn sites, including Sssh.com, founded by his wife, Angela Rowntree, a pioneering paid-porn site for women.

If nothing changes, it’s just a matter time till our unique kinks become an open book, so it’s nice to have a way to find something lustfully compelling without letting the world know what’s on one’s mind (or on whatever).

Practice Safe Search With This Site for Discovering Adult Content