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Director Billy Watson Finishes the Job

by Rich Moreland, September 2019

All photos are courtesy of FinishesTheJob.com

In order, the performers are: Emma Hix, Allie Addison, Casey Calvert, Riley Reid, and Madelyn Monroe.

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Gun for Hire

Any fan attending the AVN trade show will tell you that today’s adult industry is a collection of innovative delivery platforms. From cam girls to sex toys, the internet drives porn these days.

Billy Watson, famed director for the online IR powerhouse DogFart (DF), is now making his individual mark in adult’s competitive cyberspace market. To be sure, he has the credentials, receiving a Best Director for Web Channel/Site nomination at this past year’s AVN awards.

After a seventeen-year partnership, Billy is now venturing out on his own, but not without gratitude for the relationship he’s had with DF. The company “allowed me to create my affiliate program, FabulousCash, as well as my website, FinishesTheJob.com,” Billy tells me in a recent interview.

“I loved working for DF. The producer is a great guy and still a great friend. It was just time to move on…for both of us. And we did so in a friendly, seamless transition. And I am proud of all the attention I got there as their director,” he adds.

Nevertheless, to grow professionally Billy had to face reality.

“I was a gun for hire; I didn’t own any of that content. And I just couldn’t do both–shoot for DF and run FabCash–so I made a big decision…the long money over the short.”

“About three years ago, my producer asked that I shoot on different locations. That effectively killed the time I had to focus on FabCash,” he says.

That meant a change in direction.

Our Niche

Before delving into his current product, Billy gives us some background on how he evolved professionally.

“I started with ManoJob in 2006. We immediately added TheDickSuckers and MrPOV, because that was the trend/business model then,” he says. But as we know, trends are unforeseeable and ten years in adult is a lifetime technology-wise. “If I could start over,” he remarks, “I would have created one site and updated it three times as much.”

I want to know if MrPOV, DickSuckers, and Mano are under the Fab Cash umbrella?

“They are, indeed,” he responds. “And we’ve created a fourth site–FinishesTheJob.com–that houses those three sites to make things easier for the end user.

“We call it that because that’s our niche. One of the most frequent e-mails I get from my members goes something like this: ‘Dear Billy, Are all the guys in Porn Valley gay? Why do they have to masturbate to finish? If I was with Madelyn Monroe, I sure wouldn’t need to jack off to cum!’

“And you know something?” Billy continues, “ninety-nine percent of the adult content produced in Porn Valley is just that–a guy finishing the job, so to speak. Not at my sites.”

A One-Man Operation

By the way, Billy Watson is hardly the outdated stereotype of the Porn Valley pornographer.

A Chicago native, he worked for a time in Arizona. A relocation to Texas “for a stockbroker gig” followed before moving to Northern California to attend graduate school. Next there was a brief return to Arizona “for more civilian work before getting into the Smut Biz in 2002,” he explains.

I visited with Billy a few years ago on a DogFart set. Considering he had an editor and make-up artist at the time, I’m wondering how have things changed since then.

“I am pretty much, at this point, a one-man operation,” Billy explains. “I have a coder/techie who’s part-time, and a business partner I answer to. I’m in the deep-end of the pool, so to speak, paddling…with full confidence that I’ll make it pay off.”

Billy’s business model is strictly online. He’s not into the DVD market and doesn’t see that in the cards he holds. “I’m planning to offer my product on the streaming services like AEBN and HotMovies. They’ll be packaged there to appear like DVD’s.”

Likewise, he is not into features. At least for now.

“Never say never, but I’m a run-and-gun gonzo guy. If I want to watch feature films, I’ll watch anything besides pornography. No disrespect to the fine folks who create features, but that ain’t my gig,” Billy declares with a smile.

Referencing a scene with Madelyn Monroe on that DF I visited, I want to know what makes the FinishesTheJob product unique?

“The experience I want my member to have,” he begins, is a personal one-on-one encounter that is everything short of sending the model to my member’s home to engage in one of the three sex acts [depicted on the sites].” Billy wants his audience to think of it this way. “Madelyn Monroe is jacking you off; Madelyn Monroe is giving you head; you’re lucky enough to bang Madelyn Monroe.

“That pretty much sums up my content. Now, whether or not I actually achieve that is purely subjective; however, one thing’s certain: our models finish what they’ve started…and objectively, that sets my sites apart from almost every single one [in the industry today].”

That basic spin on the traditional porn model is what makes Billy Watson’s FinishesTheJob.com  a go-to website.

*          *          *

We’ll let Riley Reid leave us with pure satisfaction . . .

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AEE 2019: Porn Stars on Camming. Kenna James

by Rich Moreland, April 2019

This is the third installment in our porn stars and camming series from the 2019 AVN trade show in Las Vegas.

Four of the top porn performers will discuss their views on camming. Then we will talk to a pair of cam couples who have sex online for their fans.

Here we begin with Kenna James, a popular industry performer known for her friendliness, on-camera warmth and acting ability.

Photos are credited to Kevin Sayers.

 

*          *          *

Though she’s cammed in the past, Kenna James no longer devotes a lot of time to her online endeavors, but that may soon change.

The vivacious blonde explains that when she began her adult career, she “moved from a stripper into the webcam world five days a week, three or four hours a night.”

“I loved it,” Kenna says. “It was great. I got to stay home, I made money in my bed in whatever I wanted to wear. No more heels, I could sit there in nothing and that’s fine.

“But when I started taking off in the industry, my camming schedule got a little less regular. I moved out of a duplex into a forty-foot camper. I didn’t have reliable options for internet which is why I no longer regularly cam.”

Looks like that may change soon. Kenna’s learned she can now get high-speed internet, so she’ll be back online eventually.

Depends on What You Show

Is the cam girl a porn girl?

Kenna responds with an immediate “no,” then backtracks a little. She says it depends on what a girl does on film versus her online broadcasts.

“If you don’t show anything below topless. I wouldn’t consider you part of porn.

“If you full on masturbate, I would consider you do a little bit of porn.”

Will the cam girl ever become the new porn girl?

“I don’t know,’ the Missouri native replies. “I don’t know what the future of camming holds. Who knows? This is an ever-changing industry and we’re all learning to adapt with it.”

Running on My Own

Don’t cam girls have to wear several hats — performer, director, editor, and marketer?

“It depends on the individual because a lot of porn girls are their own distributor,” Kenna says, and mentions that some cam girls use paid service to tweet for them.

“They are their own bosses, I mean, we all are. For instance, I don’t have an agent. I haven’t had one for two and a half years. I’ve been running on my own. So, my stuff is all done with me.

Camming is hard work, right?

“It can be. I moved into it from the stripping world and I consider camming much harder than stripping. Stripping’s easy because you don’t have to talk, you don’t have to be smart, you don’t have to be entertaining. All you gotta do is give a good dance, giggle, and be naked. That’s all they care about.

“Whereas camming, you gotta have a personality. You have to have something about you that draws other people to you and makes them want to stay. That can be a lot more challenging. Thankfully, I’ve always been a talker, I’ve always been fun, I’ve always tried to keep things light. But it was a whole new level for me,” Kenna laughs.

She points out that a cam girl has to “own” who she is.

“I’ve been on my cams not at my best. One hundred percent truth. I’m a complete mess sometimes and my fans will tell me. But I own it. What it comes down to is how comfortable are you with you, in your skin, in your surroundings. And how much of you are you willing to let out there.

“Think of it as the most candid, ad-libbed thing you’ve ever done. It’s reality that can’t be edited,” the Las Vegas resident concludes.

Always be You

If a girl wants to cam as an intro into porn, Kenna has a warning.

“My advice is always be you,” she says. Avoid trying to be what you’re not. You don’t have to pretend or act unnaturally and remember not everyone’s going to love you.

“Don’t get caught up in all the negativity, ‘cause there’s a lot of it,” she cautions.

“There’s negativity everywhere and this industry especially. People [will] come down hard on you. So, it can be a really difficult.”

Within the industry?

Both within and without, she says, but offers an encouraging thought.

“The industry as a whole is getting better. It’s not so competitive. We’re banning together a little bit better. It makes us stronger, so just don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Empowerment

Are porn girls more empowered than they were twenty years ago?

“Oh yeah. I definitely think so. I’ve met a lot of girls that have come from camming into the industry,” Kenna says, and praises their self-awareness.

“I like the girls who have found their personality. They’re like, ‘This is me. Let’s do it. This is who I am.’ This is a new thing and it brings on a whole new feel to everything as well.”

Finally, I ask Kenna about the traditional three-legged stool of porn — shooting scenes, dancing, and escorting. Is camming now the fourth leg?

“I think so. We can definitely call camming the fourth leg.”

With her ever-present smile, Kenna James adds with a gleam in her eye, “I’m a three-legger. I don’t escort. But I dance, shoot scenes and cam.”

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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.

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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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