AEE 2019: Bree Mills, Part One

by Rich Moreland, April 2019

Bree Mills is a rising power in adult film. By that I mean writer, director, producer, and businesswoman. Her bold creativity and ability to play on the edges of legitimate (i.e. mainstream) production is reshaping the future of the adult industry.

We sat down in the press room for an engaging discussion during this year’s adult trade show in Las Vegas.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers. Pure Taboo supplied the logo.

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The Process

The focus of our interview is Pure Taboo, the studio and its productions.

Bree give us the basics. “I actually oversee quite a few different studios. When it comes to Pure Taboo, I have two intentions. The first is to challenge the psychological side of sexual desire and sexuality and take popular porn tropes and tell them with a different tone.”

That means taking a typical porn scenario and “treating it like a drama” or “tragedy” rather than “a lighthearted comedy.”

She explains. “I want to make people think about the content [they’re] watching, to confront it . . . to question [what they see].”

The native Bostonian believes viewers will either love or hate what she produces, but they will certainly never forget it.

After looking at a handful of Pure Taboo films, it’s hard to disagree with her.

Bree’s second intention involves her casts. “How can we work with these very underrated actors [and] provide a vehicle for adult actors to show their range?”

Part of the answer involves dialogue. “What’s interesting to note, which you may not have realized, is that those are all improvised acting performances. There are no scripts,” she says.

Bree describes the process.

“We work off a scene treatment that I write, or a member of my team writes, and the directors bring those characters to life. We rehearse and choreograph it.”

In effect, the scenes turn into “long single takes.” In the end, it’s challenging because improvisation is the key. “That is the most powerful aspect of this,” she adds.

Gangbang in a Prom Dress

Bree uses words like “raw emotion, realism, grittiness” to encapsulate what she wants from her performers. To realize this outcome, she works with them “from their own experiences or their own emotions. This means supporting the “method acting approach” to getting what she wants.

“I call it porn script theater,” she says, and that means spending “the day like a theater workshop.” It works because Bree sees her role as “the storyteller.”

After that, she lets “the actors flush it out and then we rehearse it” which means tweaking things a bit here and there.

Because she likes to focus on “realistic situations and bringing them to life,” that became the genesis of Prom Night starring Whitney Wright.

The film is “one of a kind,” Bree declares. “I had the idea to do a gangbang in a prom dress.” There are many stories of women who “end of losing their virginity on the prom nights in ways that were not what they had expected and it’s very complicated,” she states. So, why not delve into what for many girls is a bizarre and painful rite of passage.

She and Whitney talked through “how we wanted this character to feel” and “how we wanted to keep the realism of it,” Bree says.

“Whitney is one of our go-tos. She’s a great actress. She’s versatile and a great sex performer,” the director says of the twenty-seven-year-old.

There’s more when it comes to this charmer. Whitney’s “just a really great person,” Bree continues. “She’s funny, she’s weird, shows up on set with a smile on her face. She’s very generous and very willing to go the extra mile. The perfect type of person to bring on your set as cast.”

In the end, Bree approached the plot as “this fantasy that so many people have.” Create a group scene involving a prom dress that becomes a nightmare and a film is born.

Don’t Talk to Strangers

The other film I bring up is Don’t Talk to Strangers. It’s about a young girl kidnapped and imprisoned by a married couple. Bree says it was “inspired by several famous true crime stories that occurred in the early nineties in Canada.”

Having lived there for a while, Bree says, the scenario was “this nightmare I grew up with.”

The narrative explores the “Stockholm Syndrome” and the film became “one of the grittier scenes that we’ve put out,” Bree comments. “It was interesting to work with all three of those actors who we’ve shot multiple times in multiple different roles.”

One of them is Casey Calvert.

“That was the first time that her and I have worked together,” Bree exclaims. “I was very impressed. She’s exactly how I would have imagined that character. Really beautiful, but very cold.”

Bree gets some of her ideas from others, including her fans. But what is of particular interest to her are the stories she hears from performers.

“I’ll work with them to bring that story to life and for some people it’s therapeutic . . .  a way for them to combat either something that happened to them personally or an issue that affected them otherwise,” she explains.

It’s an outlet, Bree believes, and she’s been able “to provide a platform for performers” to explore the deeper psychological aspects of their personality or their past.

“Sex is a complicated thing, you know. When making sex films, there’s a fair amount of emotion and anxiety and energy and vulnerability brought together. To be able to provide an outlet for people is therapeutic to me as a director. It’s one of the main reasons I’m in this business.”

Well said and we hope Bree Mills stays in the adult industry for a long time.

*          *          *

You can visit Pure Taboo on twitter at https://twitter.com/puretaboocom

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AEE 2019: Sofie Marie

by Rich Moreland, March 2019

The Adult Entertainment Expo gave me the opportunity to reunite with Sofie Marie. Having previously written about her in April of last year (those posts can be found here, here, and here), I looked forward to speaking with her again.

For readers who don’t know Sofie, she is a statuesque MILF with a body to die for.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

*          *          *

Because Sofie Marie is familiar with studio shooting and camming, she is equipped to talk about the cam girl versus the porn girl issue in today’s industry. But first, she gives us an update on what’s happening with her.

“This is my second AVN. I’m nominated again this year for hottest MILF,” she begins.

That’s understandable, I’m thinking. Thirty-something women don’t come sexier than Sofie!

“About four or five months ago I switched my website YummySophie over to an Elevated X platform. So now it’s SofieMariexxx.com you can still go to YummySophie for items like a hat or t-shirt, or whatever. But I definitely like the new look better, more professional,” she says.

Overall, the trade show has been a busy few days, Sofie explains, with “content shoots and signing” for fans.

A note before we move on. I had the pleasure of meeting Spike Irons, Sofie’s producer. He accompanied her to the show walked the red carpet with her.

One Big Party

Referencing an idea I’d heard from another cammer, I ask Sofie if she divides her fans into two categories: active and passive. The first are those who interact with her directly and the second are those who are only interested in her vids.

She does have passive fans, Sofie admits.

“If someone sees a video on ManyVids or my website or Clips4Sale and say, ‘Oh, Sophie. I saw you and you look great.’ I say ‘thank you’ and that’s it. They kind of disappear or [maybe] come back later.”

Other than that, “it’s all one big party. They like my videos [and] I love chatting with fans. It’s just kind of a mixture and I love it,” the native Californian says.

As every cam girls’ business model tells us, make the fan feel special and recognized. What separates Sofie from the pack is her love for doing just that.

Hand-in-Hand

When I suggest that cammers are moving in the direction of mainstream porn, Sofie implies they may already be there. She uses herself as an example.

“I started with my website three years ago–actually started bikini modeling four years ago–and had all this content with my producer.”

Her fans were asking for scenes and everything “kind of went from there,” Sofie says. Because she loves to chat with people, camming was the next logical step “to meet people to maybe get my name out there a little more.”

As a result, camming is now part of Sofie’s business platform.

We talk about Dan O’Connell and his interest in hiring her for a GirlFriends Films episode. Can we conclude that Sofie is shooting scenes for production companies and camming at the same time?

“In the last year, Dan included, I worked for other studios,” Sofie responds. “So, I cammed and worked for other studios hand in hand, same time frame.”

Reluctance

As an established porn girl and cammer, does Sofie believe that camming is a portal into porn?

“It depends on the girl,” she says, and mentions she’s “met a few cam girls this week” who are interested in branching out into mainstream porn.

But, that’s not for everyone, Sofie implies.

“Cam girls are all about the one-on-one [experience]. Porn girls are there getting paid, having sex on film with a crew [in the room] with one guy, or multiple guys or girls. It’s just different in that way. But I have found that a lot of cam girls are interested in getting into porn, a little bit at a time.”

Given a moment to think about camming and porn, Sofie concedes it may not be that clear cut between the two. In fact, she comments there may be only a slight difference and that seems to be the on-site director and crew.

The cam girl can be “having sex, not particularly on film [as shot by companies], but people are watching. And she’s getting paid.”

I’ve noticed that some cammers are reluctant to admit to shooting porn. Perhaps, they draw a line between the two and believe that “I’m a cam girl, not a porn star,” Sofie says.

On the other hand, I suggest that the cam girl is shooting “amateur porn,” Sofie agrees and retreats again to the shooters on the set as a marker for the porn definition.

“There’s not a professional photographer around [when they are camming],” she comments. “They’re on their own in their house wherever, doing their thing, whether it’s with another couple with another guy or girl or solo.”

That’s amateur stuff, but it’s still porn, Sofie concludes.

It’s All Still Similar

According to what she has learned, production companies and agents are interested in how many fans a cam girl has before they hire her.

“I’ve heard studios [ask] how many followers do you have on Twitter?” Sofie says.

If the cam girl has a lot of fans, she brings those eyeballs to her studio work. So, followers can make a difference when it comes to breaking into mainstream porn.

Taking a look at the reverse situation, is it difficult for an established a porn star to become a cam girl and build a fan base in that world?

“I wouldn’t think so,” Sofie  replies.

“She’s established, she has worked for all these studios, has her name out there and been in the business for a while. If she went over to camming I would think she would have that following.

“She can make a decent living depending on the hours [she’s willing to put in].”

Does Sofie believe that cam girls and porn girls are separate businesses because studio shooting is not the same as camming.

Not really, she indicates.

“It’s all still similar. You can be with a guy or girl and cam and you’re having sex, but there aren’t any lights. I can see the differences but I think it’s great to intertwine the two.”

As we wrap up, I can’t help but notice once again that Sofie Marie brings maturity and glamour into adult entertainment. Each time I talk with her, I appreciate her more. She is sweet, charming, and has an elegant presence rarely found in the business today.

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AEE 2019: Cory Chase

By Rich Moreland

Cory Chase is porn veteran whose cam work began last year. In her thirties, this New Jersey girl who now lives in Fort Lauderdale, did her first “homegrown” porn shoot in 2003 and her initial adult film in 2006.

We made ourselves comfortable in the press room for our talk.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

*          *          *

Recounting her professional past, Cory mentions that her adult career began with “just pictures” for a site called MyHottestGirlfriend. She won contests on the site and popularity came her way, but the next step needed a little push.

“What really got me into porn was my husband now, boyfriend back then. He liked to videotape us having sex. So, we had this [private] library of our own content,” she says.

Cory mentions that the website she started, SouthernCharms, still contains that original work.

Now that her career is on solid ground, Cory’s goal is to expand her custom videos.

“The fans enjoy knowing that they’ve produced, in a sense, their own porn that other fans are enjoying as well,” she says.

Just Step Away

I bring up the idea that the new cam girl is really the new amateur porn model. Does Cory agree?

“Yes, especially if they’re going nude and inserting objects,” she replies.

In the midst of our discussion, Cory suggests that girls wanting to cam should take their time.

“Work slow. Don’t expose yourself completely if you don’t have to,” she begins.

“You don’t have to show off everything and do everything from day one. If you can talk and express yourself without having to undress, then go for it.”

The heart of camming is “being able to express yourself and tell a story,” she asserts. “So, don’t expose yourself completely unless you want to.” In other words, a girl needs to find her comfort level.

Cory offers the best advice I’ve heard about any girl who wants to begin camming.

“Remember that no matter how much you might feel like you’re being bombarded with commands or requests, they [the fans] are not actually in the room with you in person. You can just turn off your computer. You can just step away from it and that is it.

“So, understand that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just step away.”

Market Trends

For cam girl success, Cory insists, fetishes are important because they keep the customers coming back. Whatever the fans want creates the marketing trends that dominate cam work.

“Going with those market trends are great for business. But you have to be creative on your own and come up with something that you are passionate about. So, yes, you have to want to expand and grow the things that you do. But yet you still want to go with the flow because if what you’re doing isn’t quite working, you have a fallback and you can do something that is in trend.”

She uses a personal example to explain what she means.

“I started out with footjobs, but the trend depleted. I stopped doing footjobs for videos.”

Cory clarifies that what goes viral establishes market trends and returns to footjobs for a moment to illustrate her point.

For “a couple of celebrities,” she remembers, “footjobs were big twelve, thirteen years ago. It was because celebrities were posting pictures of their feet on social media accounts. Footjobs just went through the roof that year and I jumped on that bandwagon.”

She reminds us, however, that what is hot today, may fade and then return.

“I find [that] trends kind of cycle through. Bondage is coming back in style. With Fifty Shades of Grey, [BDSM] kind of peaked a little bit, but it’s really coming back around [now],” she says.

Cory comments that she personally likes BDSM shoots, but the business world is not always receptive.

“Bondage sex has a tendency to be faux pas, credit card processors don’t really allow when a female is bound completely and not able to give consent [or] walk away. I wish things like that could be changed.”

A veteran of bondage play, Cory still dabbles in it with her husband though “most larger companies, other than Kink, don’t really play with it too much because of the credit card risk.”

Without an Agent

For the most part, cam girls don’t have agents in the traditional porn sense. Is that a good idea?

“It really depends on the mentality [and] the work ethic of the model. Production companies usually don’t talk to a girl if she doesn’t have an agent because there’s no fallback. If she doesn’t show up, they can go back on [the agent] and get funds or get another girl to fill in for the girl that cancelled or no-showed,” Cory says.

Having said that, if a cam girl wants to shoot scenes, an agent is probably a good idea.

However, Cory indicates that camming and porn tend to move in different environments within the porn world. There is a divide.

“A cam girl doesn’t have to be a porn girl. A porn girl doesn’t have to be a cam girl, but you can do both,” she affirms.

Considering that response, does Cory believe established porn stars ought to pick up camming?

“Yes and no,” she says.

“I’m more of an established porn girl who got into camming. I dabbled in a little bit of it when I first started [doing porn, but] it wasn’t for me. It didn’t feel right so I didn’t cam for seven years. I only started camming [again] back in July of last year. So, I really haven’t been camming that long.”

But Cory hits on a serious issue in the adult business that separates cammers from porn girls, but maybe not for long.

“Because of porn and how it’s all over the internet—a lot of times for free,” she says.

In other words, porn girls have a problem: piracy. Cory mentions that some cam fans will be talking with their favorite porn star/cammer “in the public chat while watching them somewhere else.”

The warning? “Established porn girls, you have to go back to making it personalized for that fan that is talking to you,” Cory insists.

That’s the cam girl’s chief advantage, I comment.

“Yeah, and they don’t have the content out there for free,” she quips. Or at least, that is what they think.

Cory offers up a reality check.

“It’s out there. Somebody is recording it, either with a camera, on their computer screen, or they’re capturing it directly from their computer screen. It’s being recorded and posted somewhere.”

That Fourth Leg

Cory has an interesting response to the three-legged stool question of making money. She sees camming as a “virtual strip club that allows a lot more visual display than the typical strip club.’

So yes, camming is the fourth leg, but like a girl’s other options, it’s a personal decision, Cory indicates.

“What makes you happy as a model? Producing content or providing a service. Is it escorting? Is it dancing? Is it camming? Because pretty much everyone can produce porn now.”

In the end, where is the adult business today when it comes to mainstream porn and camming? Cory makes an important observation that deals with the past.

“In the old days when porn started all the way up to the nineties when the internet first came out, fans were dedicated to the girl.

“Nowadays I’m finding fans are more dedicated to a website or a network, or a genre like camming or porn. They’re more dedicated to a style as opposed to the girls themselves.”

Her solution?

“I provide content and I have to post it throughout different websites. I’m getting more eyeballs, different fans, but they’re watching the same thing,” Cory Chase says.

Though technology and innovative platforms are pressuring industry girls to work harder, that’s a positive because eyeballs turn into dollars.

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AEE 2019: Taylor Stevens

By Rich Moreland, March 2019

At this year’s Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of interviewing performers who prefer camming to shooting scenes.

Taylor Stevens is one and makes some important points porn fans ought to keep in mind.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

*          *          *

Comfortable Right Where She Is

Before interviewing Taylor Stevens, I did a little research. I found out she’s a cammer who has lost weight for health reasons.

Naturally, I want to know if the change in her body has affected her fan base.

“I started my career in about 2004, 2005,” Taylor explains. “I was about three hundred pounds back then and I got into camming by chance. I was told in the beginning, you’re a big girl, you’re never going to make it on cam.”

Taylor never let that deter her.

“If you tell me I can’t do something, I will absolutely do it.”

She stayed persistent and found her audience receptive.

“Score magazine and XL Girls asked me to pose for their magazine at the time and do a scene for them.” It was a solo presentation, she says.

But we all know that excessive weight can have health consequences and Taylor learned of her own.

“I was pre-diabetic and I was told I have to lose the weight,” she says. How was this going to affect her on-screen appeal?

“I was very worried about that. However, I have the best fans in the world. When I transitioned, a few left but most of them stayed. I gained a whole new fan base.”

As of now, she’s sticking with camming. No boy/girl shoots on her agenda. In short, she is comfortable right where she is.

Show Me This

Characterizing herself as a “tomboy in a girl’s body,” Taylor talks football and other sports with her fans. And those fans are loyal.

“My fans love to talk, they love to interact,” the blonde cammer says, “They want pictures of me, videos of me. They want to spend their money on supporting me whether it’s photos, videos or on-cam interaction.”

I bring up my question about the cam girl becoming the new porn girl. Taylor’s answer was different from what I anticipated.

“I think what’s happened is the opposite. You see a lot of the porn industry transitioning to camming. As opposed to the cam girl being defined as a porn girl.”

She explains the problem hardcore porn models face.

“It’s difficult for porn girls to be successful on cam nowadays because men have already seen them do every single possible thing through their videos. To transition and have a conversation on camera, [is] generally not that simple when it comes to ‘show me this or show me that.’”

In other words, the cammers have constructed parameters that are exploratory from a sexual standpoint. They can seduce a fan with a little bit here and there. Porn girls don’t have that option, they’ve already shown it all.

Incidentally, Taylor is not bothered by the lack of professional studio quality in her shoots.

“As a cam girl, you have actually more advantage because a lot of guys don’t like to know that everything is in a studio. Guys want to connect with a girl with a webcam. It’s just a girl being a girl. Not, you’re on set with fifty people and this is what’s happening.

“Guys want to connect to you without all the noise. They just want to feel that you are just a girl in the world doing her thing.”

The Marketing Burden

I ask Taylor if the cam girl is a new version of amateur porn.

“Absolutely, one billion percent,” she proclaims.

The cam girl is creating a new kind of porn, then, at least in the amateur sense.

“Yeah. Cam is the new porn.”

Could it be that today’s porn fan desires a personal one-on-one touch that he doesn’t get with an online shoot or a DVD?

Taylor has an interesting observation on that.

“When watching porn, guys have about a five-minute attention span. But when you’re talking to a girl on camera, you have more time, you get to know somebody. There’s more interaction than a five-minute clip out of a movie.”

Next, I bring up marketing. Is that a hassle for cammers?

It is a burden. You can’t just do one thing, I can’t just post one picture without posting it to Twitter, to OnlyFans, to Snapchat. That is integral to making money and keeping your name out there and hashtagging and so forth. I’ve got it down pat, but it’s very much a nuisance.”

I ask Taylor about her toys, bearing in mind that working out of the house can be problematic when children might find things. She laughs. No children running around, but she does have an issue in her household.

“I hide them from my dogs. One time I found my dog chewing something he wasn’t supposed to be chewing!”

We discuss the three-legged stool and Taylor agrees that camming is the fourth leg. She also has another observation worth mentioning.

When the possibility arises of a cammer turning to shooting scenes for studios, not all cam fans are on board with that.

“My fans don’t want to see me do hardcore porn. They don’t want to lose the thought that they might be able to have me one day.”

Interesting.

Preparation

Finally, I ask Taylor what advice she’d give to a girl who wants to go into camming.

Preparation is the best policy, she indicates, but remember, a girl is not going to be “instantly busy.”

For the most part, that’s a small issue compared with attacks on a girl’s self-esteem.

“Be prepared to be judged, to hear a lot of negative things about you,” Taylor says. It’s a “cattiness” that comes from other cam girls.

She brings up one more concern. “Be prepared for your life to change [especially] if you have a husband or if you have other people in your life. Once you’re out on the internet, you cannot take it back.”

Simply put, “if you don’t love it, don’t do it. I won’t do anything that I don’t love.”

Finally, Taylor emphasizes the importance of a consistent schedule for being online “so your fans know where to find you.” And, one more thing, always give your best.

Taylor Stevens concludes with a warning, “It’s a competition to get the members. It’s a very harsh cam world out there. More so than people would think.”

That’s especially true, I think, when it comes to every girl’s motivation–the money fans will pay to see the show.

*          *          *

On behalf of our team, my thanks to Taylor Stevens for a terrific interview.

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AEE 2019: Sofia Rose

by Rich Moreland, March 2019

This interview with cam star Sofia Rose offers fascinating insights into camming and porn.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

 *          *          *

Too Ethnic

Born of mixed ancestries, Sofia Rose is a Southern California native who gave modeling a go in her teens.

She did have some problems, though. She couldn’t make it in the mainstream business.

“They told me I was too short and too ethnic. I probably weighed ninety-five pounds on a good day! I was very, very small. But yeah, I was too ethnic at the time.”

To build a career, Sofia moved to the Northeast and worked in corporate America.

In November 2006 the thirty-something decided to resurrect her modeling career, setting her sights on the BBW market.

Sofia sums up where her career is today.

“I am a hardcore performer. I have my own website, I shoot for everybody. I’m independent and I cam.” To secure what she calls “residual money,” Sofia says, “I sell my clips, my Snapchat. So, I have my hands in all the pots.”

Changes

Describing where she is right now, Sofia says, “My main focus is performing and I do hardcore boy/girl [and] fetish.”

But changes are on the horizon.

The BBW star is moving back to her fetish work at the expense of boy/girl shoots.

It’s a return to “glamour modeling that I used to do,” she explains, and she loves the idea, particularly its practicality. “I’m getting older [and] I want to spend more time at home.”

Best of all, glamour has an appeal for her. It’s “erotic,” she insists, and is built on “artistic” photos. “Still, my clothes will be off,” she laughs. “I’m just comfortable that way. It’s actually harder to wear clothes because I’m actually trying to contain things and my boobs want to be free. So…”

Get Comfortable

Turning to my questions on camming, I want to know if a cam girl starts out as an amateur performer?

Sofia believes all cam girls begin as amateurs because they have “to get comfortable with the camera. Learn your angles and what’s the most flattering depending on what you’re trying to sell.”

But in the end, she believes, the word “amateur” is elusive in its meaning and application.

“I think the amateur term can be very subjective. I do my own content and it’s definitely not studio produced. I’m a professional performer, however it would be considered amateur shot because it looks like a home movie. Does that make it less professional [because] we made it home-style?”

I remark that for cammers, amateur means a style of shooting.

“I feel like it’s a style, yeah,” Sofia agrees. “It’s not cut perfectly and it’s very bumpy,” but that seems to be its appeal.

Trends

I ask Sofia if cam girls establish their own trends or merely follow existing ones when it comes to their content.

“Both, really,” she replies. Cammers can be trend-setters by “taking something that’s already been established and modifying it to what is unique to you.”

In Sofia’s case, it’s the plus-size community. Certain trends are important to them. She mentions Mukbangs as an example and explains what it is about.

“It’s a feeding video about eating foods that makes certain sounds. I don’t get it, but it hits my fetish audience who likes to see me overstuff myself to make me larger.

“We’re going to play into the fetish [and] make those videos that are customizable. I’ve been doing these feeding videos forever [and] it’s now like this popular trend. People pay me to eat this food!”

Porn Portal

Is camming a portal into shooting scenes?

“Absolutely,” Sofia says, but mentions that camming and shooting scenes are different.

“I think that there’s definitely some conflict between the communities, which I hate,” she responds.

“It’s a whole hierarchy of who’s better than who[m]. I feel like camming is similar to the studio-produced performing, but they aren’t the same. A cam girl walks in and is used to controlling her camera and her angle and getting her best shots. But you go into a studio and you’re relinquishing that control. And now you’re doing what you’re told within your limits and you don’t have control over all those things,” she explains.

When asked to describe a cam girl, Sofia has an insightful assessment.

“People think that camming is more innocent because there’s not contact with another person, male or female. But it isn’t necessarily.”

There’s more, she says. “Because they feel like it’s a more controlled environment, maybe it’s more innocent. It’s really not to me, it’s not any different whether I’m bringing talent to get on cam with or I’m in a studio shooting with that same talent. We’re still doing the same things, the same content, the same fluid exchanges. Everything’s happening the same way, it’s just that the camera is controlled differently.”

The Optional Fourth Leg

As for the three-legged school question, Sofia says the fourth leg is optional. In other words, combinations can change from girl to girl. They choose what works for them.

For her, choices are obvious. “I shoot, I cam, and I escort, but you’ll never find me dancing. We’re just changing which three we’re using.”

In her opinion, “it’s almost normal to escort on top of everything else. Why wouldn’t you?”

Considering that, is camming a boon for her escorting?

“Absolutely” she beams. Clients want to meet and get to know her. Once that happens, their comfort level improves and this is a benefit for her.

“It helps me,” Sofia says. “We feel good with each other. It’s way less intimidating and the nerves are way down.”

Sofia points out for a cam girl to meet one of her fans in person is an option. But keep in mind that “everybody has their limits and what makes them comfortable. Even as escorts we all do things very differently. People think I just meet random strangers and it’s not quite like that.” Background checks are part of doing business, she says with a chuckle.

Just for the curious, Sofia Rose is married and monogamous. Nevertheless, her camming and escorting is a job “and I do treat it so.”

She quickly modifies her statement to minimize the impression it’s all about business.

“The experience itself won’t feel like it’s a job. Whether I’m shooting, performing, or meeting someone privately, they never feel like it’s a job. I don’t make it feel transactional.”

In summing up her point, Sofia Rose mentions that she’s “a pretty warm person” and admits, “I think I just got fortunate with that personality [trait].”

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AEE 2019: Ela Darling

by Rich Moreland, March 2019

Ela Darling is the final installment of our series on the Star Factory clients we interviewed at the 2019 Adult Entertainment Expo.

Formerly educated and politically active, Ela is not typical of adult stars.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

*          *          *

Ela Darling and I go back a few years. It’s a delight to interview her again.

We begin our discussion with VR. Apropos, I might add, because this statuesque model is an able promoter of VR in the adult business.

She is the chief marketing officer for PVR Fun, an adult headset company.

“It’s incredibly good, very lightweight, really good tech,” Ela says of the product. “I would say it even outperforms some of the more mainstream standalone headsets.”

This University of Texas grad has been involved with VR for five years. “As you know, I created the first ever live broadcasting platform in virtual reality and I’m the world’s first VR cam girl,” she says.

Personally, Ela is branching out in the VR world. She’s learning code and building robots for her new company, Gonzo VR (nothing to do with porn, by the way), that she named after her dog.

“VR is basically my life. I’m held hostage to my house by VR robots and I escape the world through my PVR Iris,” she says with amusement.

A Librarian First

Ela Darling received her masters in library science from the University of Illinois, the gold standard for that profession.

“I was a librarian before I made the obvious transition to pornography,” she says matter-of-factly.

If that isn’t an interesting combination of talents, try this: Ela is political and acts on her beliefs. She took her  APAC (Adult Performer Advocacy Committee) resume — she was on the board of directors and served a term as president — and reached into California politics.

The Texas native ran for the position of Democratic Assembly District Delegate in her home area.

“I was second runner up, which for someone who does porn, I think is pretty cool,” she says. “It was great running with some awesome progressives and getting to know some of the people in my community without [being] laughed right out of the house.”

Chalk one up for porn star activism.

Knowing how outspoken Ela is on political issues, I ask her to reflect on the #MeToo movement and the adult industry.

She begins,

“Adult film performers are feeling more emboldened to speak up about their experiences on set with people who are abusive and act in ways that are unacceptable.”

That is no mean feat, she implies.

“We still see people who come out and share their experiences being ignored. Some of that has to do with the fact that they are adult film performers. We’re a very marginalized group and people still have this idea that if we fuck on camera, what were you expecting?

“But there are boundaries in any sexual experience and establishing and respecting those boundaries is paramount, especially in a professional workplace.”

Ela continues. The public doesn’t understand that if a porn model claims she been abused on set, it isn’t easy to go to the police.

“The first thing they do is question your personal decisions. They start to look for any reason not to believe you and that goes twice as much if you’re a sex worker.”

Not only that, but pressure to stay silent comes from within the industry.

“We have this fear that if we speak up, we’re gonna be blacklisted. No one’s going to hire us again.”

Despite the barriers present, Ela is encouraged.

“People are sharing their experiences more, [but] I don’t know that they’re being granted the credence they deserve. It’s a very complicated discussion to have.”

From her end, Ela is there for victims who come forward. “I support anyone who is experiencing something like that and I will always be here to hear them and listen.”

Tolerance

We change the subject to camming. Does she?

Sort of, Ela says, but it is more like “live broadcasts” that are not always involved with adult entertainment. What’s more, she’s busy with it throughout the day.

“I’ve got a twenty-four-hour livestream from my living room. I’m talking to people who are driving around in my little VR car.”

Does she think the cam girl is becoming the new porn girl?

“It’s really insightful to say that cam girls are the new amateur porn because that’s basically what it is,” she says. Live broadcasting is their trademark, but only a portion of their business.

“Most of them also make clips. That is amateur porn. And, with the diminishing taboo with camming, we’re seeing a lot more people enter that space than we ever have seen before.”

To put things in perspective, Ela offers a short back story.

“Maybe fifteen years ago, most of the cam performers primarily were porn performers. Because if you’re already in porn, it’s not that big of a jump.”

On the other hand, it was challenging if sex work was not your thing back then.

Today is different. The public sees camming as “a light, exotic thing to do and more people are doing it all over the country. That’s awesome because that drives acceptance and tolerance,” she says.

Ela sees an increased fairness in the industry today because cammers and porn models are more alike than different.

“Both porn and cam performers have a lot more control and ownership over their careers and their brands and for what they do. So, they’re becoming a lot more similar than people imagine it to be,” she concludes.

Only One Part of the Picture

However, we can’t lose sight of market forces when it comes to porn models turning to camming, though one influence is not necessarily more  important than the others. It’s cumulative.

“I wouldn’t say that the growth of camming is driving porn performers to cam,” Ela contends. There are other factors, she believes, like “decreasing sales in porn, fewer work opportunities, rates either stagnating or decreasing.”

Of course, she adds, other money-making opportunities like “producing clips” and “feature dancing” are part of the total picture.

“The porn star of today is not just someone who goes to set, fucks, collects a check and goes home — the way that it was in the golden days. The porn star today does pretty much a little bit of everything. They go to set and shoot, they also shoot their own stuff. They cam because it makes sense. It does increase your brand, your reach [and] your fan base. It drives more people to buy your clips and your scenes and whatever wears you might be selling.

“I would say that camming has become one part of the very diverse job that is being an adult film performer.”

Legs Everywhere

We next talk about the modern porn girl. Some circumstances are updated, others not so much.

“These days, you have the ability to work a lot more. Your work and your financial opportunities aren’t at the whim of someone hiring you. You have more control so you can decide ‘I’m not shooting for a studio today, I’m gonna use this time to create something that I can make money off of forever.’”

On the other hand, “When you’re a sex worker, the rest of the world always sees you as a sex worker. You always have the same weight of discrimination and marginalization,” Ela says.

I bring up the three-legged stool analogy and Ela suggests the modern performer is like a centipede with legs everywhere.

Beyond shooting scenes, feature dancing, and escorting, all choices available to any porn girl, Ela asserts, they have other responsibilities.

“They do porn, they do clips, they do camming, they do production for their friends, they do production for themselves, they do editing, they do every aspect of the business, every job that there is.

“They learn to do it themselves so that they can create their own content and own it and maximize their profits off of it.”

Often performers do all of this without agents, perhaps the most telling change in the profession today.

Of course, stigmas remain, she insists, and brings up escorting as the longstanding example. But a girl in the business today builds her own choices, especially in producing their own content. They “own it and maximize their profits off of it.”

So, the cammer is the new porn girl?

“The new cam girl and porn girl are growing to be one and the same,” Ela Darling concludes.

And don’t forget, she’s an entrepreneur.

That’s the new porn industry that is growing around us everyday.

 

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AEE 2019: Kelley Cabbana

by Rich Moreland, March 2019

This is the fifth installment in a series on Star Factory clients I interviewed at the AVN trade show in Las Vegas this year.

Photos are by Kevin Sayers.

*          *          *

Everyone is Welcome

Kelley Cabbana is an established cammer who is breaking into shooting scenes.

Her content is exclusive to her website Kelleycabbana.com and will include more “girl-girl stuff” this coming year.

I ask about the changes Kelley has seen in camming since her start several years ago.

“What I find really awesome about the webcamming industry is [the] many different fetishes and different girls [available to fans]. It’s a variety. It’s like going to a buffet, you can have so much.”

Kelley continues. “More and more girls are coming on board because they feel confident” because their body type, shape or size doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome because there are so many needs that are met with that variety. It’s awesome.”

The Florida native has also witnessed changes in the fans.

“They feel more comfortable coming forward saying ‘Hey, I like this and I like that.’”

Taboos are stepping aside because fetishes are “more accepted,” Kelley says.

What has caused this change?

According to Kelley, it’s all about technology.

“Social media has allowed us to open up a whole new avenue of communication,” she states, “and we have become more comfortable with [it].”

From what Kelley says, I suggest that camming may be one of the blessings of social media.

She brightens. “It absolutely is. I agree with that!”

Camera On?

With a new way of looking at social media under our belts, I offer up a few points about camming Kelley has made in the past: be comfortable in front of the camera, be consistent with your schedule, and talk creatively.

Though she feels at home with those things, that can’t be said of every cam girl, the former glamour model asserts. The disconnect some girls feel because they can’t physically see the fans is an issue.

“Unless they [fans] turn that camera on [from their end], you’re reading a script of what they’re asking you. That can be a barrier,” Kelley says.

She loves “cam-to-cam” because she “gets to know [the fans] on a more personal level.”

In other words, “you’re my client, turn the cam on so you and I can have a one-on-one experience,” Kelley explains.

The downside is evident. If fans don’t let you into their environment, she says, “you still have to be able to perform for them. So that’s the hardest [thing to do].”

Very Personal

I mention cam girls using their online popularity as a portal to enter the studio-driven porn business. Does Kelley agree? And can it work in the reverse with established porn girls setting up their camming sites?

She’s okay with both propositions.

“The industry is changing,” Kelley says, but “there will always be this awesome video production” because there are people who “enjoy the fantasy of the film.”

“But there is something to be said for being able to sign in online and sit and talk either with a performer that you’re connected with or a porn star [who] also gets on cam for her fans.

“Gone are the days that you couldn’t reach the industry on a very personal level.”

Again, Kelley emphasizes that interacting with a model one-on-one “surpasses” anything traditional porn can offer because “it’s very personal.”

No Amateurs Here

How would Kelley define today’s porn girl?

There are “two different types of performers,” Kelley replies. The cam girl “is due her respect for getting on cam and sitting there possibly for hours, delivering her services to her fans. The porn model is still due her respect. She gets on the set, she performs. She is a professional in her field. But is it fair to say that one is more professional than the other? Absolutely not. Each one deserves fairness in their field.”

Can we conclude that the cam girl is not an amateur when it comes to performing?

“She is not an amateur. She learns quite quickly how she needs to change her clothes,” Kelley says. (That’s camspeak for altering her presentation on a moment’s notice.)

In other words, “to make her money” a cam girl learns to switch scenes quickly according to the wishes of her customers, Kelley explains.

What’s more, Kelley believes cammers establish their own market because “they’re fulfilling the needs of the clients and the clients are realizing that whatever fetishes they can put out there, you’re gonna find that girl to fulfill your fantasy on a very personal level.”

That brings me to the quality of cam shoots versus studio productions. Is that important in today’s market?

Not really, Kelley says, and reassures us that there will always be a market for Greg Lansky’s stuff and Jules Jordan’s videos. “It’s great to watch porn videos for fantasy and they’re beautiful productions.”

Though cam girls will never reach that level of filmmaking, she adds, the porn fan still gets “the best of both worlds” because cammers “deliver to their fans what they want to see.”

Kelley emphasizes what is important about camming as opposed to traditional porn. It’s personal.

“You get to interact with a real girl who’s loving sex and enjoying what she’s doing online.”

In other words, Kelley proclaims, “I think there’s a market for both.”

Self-Made

However, I point out that cammers have to do it all themselves. Be producer, editor, and performer.

Kelly agrees. “Cam girls work hard for what they do. You have to promote yourself.”

And, that is no easy task.

“I feel like I’m self-made,” she interjects. “I haven’t worked for any large company. But yet I’ve had numerous nominations. I’m so grateful because in an industry flooded with girls, to be nominated for a category is very humbling and I’m very grateful.”

When I bring up my three-legged stool question, Kelley responds with a huge positive because in her view, camming is that fourth leg.

“Even though you’re a porn star, your fans would love the idea that they could spend one hour to see you on cam. If you can invest that small amount of time, fans would highly appreciate it.”

She continues,

“In this industry you have to do so many elements to make your money now. I’ve talked to girls who were in the porn industry years ago. [They] said all you had to do was shoot and dance and you were good to go. It seems like now you have many channels that you have to work.

“I’m sure the [porn] girls feel the pressure and I’ll see where they spend an hour or two on cam. I think that’s awesome because it allows their fans to connect with them.”

Is that the future of porn? Perhaps, but for now . . .

“It’s really cool to see how this industry is changing,” Kelley Cabbana says with a smile.

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