Australia's leading pornographer spent his adolescence living on a goat farm in remote Victoria. There was only one thing that he loathed more than where he lived - and that was his name.
His mum, Jo, was the goat farmer. She breeds Rhodesian ridgebacks now. Six live inside the house at a place called Childers in Gippsland's Strzelecki Ranges, where there is no town or pub or church, just farms and lime-green ferny hills full of wombats.
The name thing was her fault, she says. When he was born, she gave him the girl's spelling of Ainslie - Ainsley - by mistake and he was teased at the schools he rode more than an hour in a bus to get to in tough towns such as Morwell and Mirboo North. He hated the isolation in the hills and he hated that the real world seemed to be somewhere else.
Naked ambition ... Abbywinters.com CEO Garion Hall. Photo: Andrew Babarczy
A smart, lonely kid, he spent hours tinkering on his computer. It was the '90s, after all, and something called the internet was happening. He wrote a wish list for his 15th birthday that included a subscription to Penthouse - which his grandmother duly bought for him. "I suspect she didn't actually know what it was," says Jo.
The magazines started arriving monthly in the mountain farm's mailbox. He wallpapered his bedroom with cut-out pictures and centrefolds. "A teenage boy who likes looking at naked women is hardly unique," he says. "Part of my motivation was to annoy my mother, though. I remember that quite clearly."
"I suppose you could say," Jo says today, "that he showed an early interest in his future career."
Soon enough he would change his name, choosing a new one from The Belgariad, a fantasy novel by David Eddings about the journey towards self-discovery of an orphaned farm boy called Garion.
Garion Hall, 37, is CEO of Abbywinters.com, which was founded 12 years ago in Melbourne. According to website-information company Alexa Traffic, it is number 97 in the top 100 porn sites in the world.
The site comprises photographs and videos of regular young women - many of them uni students in their 20s - engaged in various activities, from undressing and having an "intimate moment" alone to indulging in explicit sex with other girls. It has a sense of humour: one recent Olympic-themed clip showed a dozen fresh-faced girls doing shot put in their undies.
Hall is a pioneer of a phenomenon called "reality porn" or "female-friendly ethical erotica".
The paid models who pose for him, and who are typically recruited by way of ads placed in street press and on lamp-pole posters, are photographed or filmed - by a mostly female crew - in high definition using natural light, without retouching, in an equally "regular" setting, such as a bedroom with clothes strewn on the floor and posters on the walls. They're paid between $500 and $1400 a time.
Hall says his blueprint for business is a reaction against the fakeness of stereotypical porn. "We want wholesomeness, physical naturalness," he says. "No piercings, no shaved pubes, no tramp stamps [lower-back tattoos]. I don't consider these things wholesome." He cites the "fetish value" offered by redheads, for example, and very small and very big breasts.
Abbywinters.com has about 35,000 subscribers paying an average of $35 per month; in 2007, when it was at its most successful, the site was making a profit of $8 million a year. The site is tiered; some previews are free.
Many of Hall's models like to use gender theory in their arguments - they talk about seizing back the power that traditional "misogynist" porn has taken away. "Most porn is fluoro-lit and animalistic," says a 20-year-old Melbourne arts student, who appeared in "closed-leg" shoots twice for Abbywinters when she was 18. "There's no comparison. I was impressed by how beautiful everyone looked. I almost didn't consider it porn."