Just who is ‘Torbe,’ Spain’s so-called porn king?

Sex industry entrepreneur in jail on charges of corrupting minors and people trafficking

Pablo Cantó
Ignacio Allende, alias ‘Torbe.’
Ignacio Allende, alias ‘Torbe.’

Ignacio Allende, better known as Torbe, the founder of one of Spain’s oldest and most popular pornography websites, Putalocura, was arrested on Monday accused of corrupting minors, distributing child pornography and people trafficking. On Friday, a Madrid judge ordered him to be held in prison. No stranger to controversy, Torbe has made the headlines on numerous occasions over the last decade.

- Porn: “I do it for sex.” Interviewed by journalist Samanta Villar for a television documentary called 21 días en la industria del porno (or, 21 days in the porn industry), Torbe was asked whether he was in the porn business for sex. “Basically, yes,” he replied.

- “The antithesis of a porn actor.” “I have a big belly because I like the good life. I’m very hairy,” Torbe told Villar. His less than statuesque physique, coupled with the humor in most of the scenes on his site, have led some to dub him the king of “freaky porn.”

A still from the documentary ‘21 days in the porn industry.’
A still from the documentary ‘21 days in the porn industry.’

- Online porn pioneer. Torbe was one of the first people in Spain to bypass traditional distribution channels and record short sex scenes only for the internet, a decision that made him very unpopular with the people who had controlled the industry until then.

- The Torbe empire. Aside from Putalocura (which translates literally as “whoremadness”), Torbe also runs webcam site Chicasdetorbe. In 2012 he launched Locuragay, a short-lived initiative aimed at the gay sex market. He has also sponsored a Madrid taxi.

- Dealing with AIDS. Torbe has long railed against calls for the use of condoms in the sex industry, but does require the men and women participating in his productions to have a clean bill of health and to have taken a recent AIDS test.

- Sexist tweets. “The feminist movement is pathetic,” Torbe tweeted recently. “It’s full of butch lesbians, hipsters, chicks who hate men and crazies who get their tits out,” he wrote in his blog.

- Turnover: “millions, in plural,” he said in a 2014 press interview.

- Nicknames. Torbe’s offices in central Madrid, where many of the scenes shown on his site are filmed and where a number of webcams are located, has been dubbed Villacerda (Sowhouse). He likes to call his apartment on the capital’s central Gran Vía the Torbemansion.

- Hoodwinked in the Torbemansión. Two people passing themselves off as police officers turned up at the Torbemansion in 2013 saying he was under arrest. They then searched the premises. “They got away with around €15,000 worth of stuff,” Torbe wrote in his blog.

- A career in television. Before going into the porn business more than a decade ago, Torbe tried to get into television, appearing on a number of programs at national level, as well as in his native Basque Country.

- Torbe vs Torrelavega. In 2006, he was briefly detained by the police after he published an article on his website saying that the women of the small town of Torrelavega, near Santander, were the ugliest in Spain.

‘Torbe’ in a scene from ‘Torrente 2’

- Telephone scam. In 2012, he was convicted of fraud for a scam involving a premium rate telephone line.

- Torbe vs Wismichu. Spanish YouTuber Wismichu accused Torbe of corrupting minors in 2015. After taking legal action, Torbe claimed that Wismichu’s website on YouTube had been closed down. Wismichu fans later hacked into Putalocura. The two eventually made their peace, recording a video together.

- Actor (non-porn). Torbe has created his own non-porn webseries, Remigio, as well as appearing in cameo roles in the highly successful Torrente series of movies, directed by his friend Santiago Segura. He has also played himself in a recent Spanish feature film Hermosa Juventud (or, Beautiful Youth).

- Torbe vs Romania. Torbe has a YouTube channel called Torbecanta, featuring videoclips of his songs. The Federation of Romanian Associations in Europe requested Torbe remove one of the clips, featuring a song called Soy un rumano en Madrid (or, I’m a Romanian in Madrid), which it said suggested that all Romanians in Spain were “either prostitutes, thieves, or pickpockets.” The song can still be found on YouTube.

- The non-sale of Putalocura. In 2011, Torbe claimed to have received a generous offer from a US company for Putalocura. But he returned from a trip to New York to close the deal empty handed. “There was a problem, they wanted the web, but with me as well, and for 10 years,” he explained. "Let’s be honest, if I sell my web it’s so I can disappear and spend the rest of my life doing absolutely nothing,” he added.

 English version by Nick Lyne.

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