What's the difference?
October 26, 2010 8:02 PM   Subscribe

NSFW - Adult Industry Related - How do I point out to my customers/potential customers a big difference between me and almost other female in my field, without coming off as bitchy or snobby?

Anonymous so this cant be perceived as shilling.

I'm a female that has been in the adult business for over a decade. What started as posting some scanned polaroids of me to the newsgroups in the mid- 90s evolved into my own paysite in the late 90s that has been growing and going strong ever since. I have done, and do extremely wellwith it. I have no complaints whatsoever.

I cater to a niche of a niche in the fetish world. I like a certain activity. No, I LOVE this certain activity. It's a huge part of my life. It would be even if I didnt have the enterprise catering to it. Despite many opportunities to do so, I have never hired myself out as a fetish "model" . That's for two reasons.

One, it's not part of the long-term plan I set in place all those years ago, and two, I really love what I'm into. I'm not being paid to pretend I'm into it, or being paid to pretend I'm into anything. I never wanted to be a model. My customers know that they can see everything I have ever done at my site, and they don't have to join a hundred different sites to get my content (me). They like the value. Also, one of the common compliments I get from members is that they can sense that I do really have a passion for what I do. And they are right.

I'm not an attention whore (ie. posting anonymously), and don't think I have the "too cool for the room" porno-star attitude that some in my field give off. I genuinely like to be helpful to others in this biz and because of how I do my thing, I don't consider anyone "competition". I'm not competing with other girls for modeling/performing gigs, so I am not competition for them. And since no other producer has videos/photos of me, I'm not competition for them, either. Also, even though there are other female performers on my site, the main thrust of my site is me, so I don't feel I compete with the other producers in my field who need a constant flow of different girls.

I have been very helpful and generous to many other adult sites and producers over the years.

I have built a large link structure and fan base being true to what I like. That's not going to change.

However, it seems as of late, let's say the last 2 years or so, the fetish community in the adult industry has gotten rather competition-oriented. It seems most models and producers need to suck all the oxygen out of a room. They need to be the most EXTREME. They are all over new female members of the fetish community to get them in front of a camera. And with the economy being what it is, a lot of girls are doing a lot of things they normally wouldn't do to make a quick dollar. I'm not judging them. People have to do what they have to do to get by.

What I'm trying to figure out is how to, in a marketing/identity/slogan sense, differentiate myself from the scores of females in the adult industry out there that aren't actually into what they are doing and at the same time, not come off as bitchy or snobby? I'm not into everything. You cant pay me to do something I wouldn't do otherwise. That's a proven fact.

"I really like -ACTIVITY-, not like all those other fakers. " Doesn't quite have the effect I'm looking for.

posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Frame it as ethical porn.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:07 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

You know how James Mogul is an expert? Like, no one competes with James Mogul. He has no competition. It's because he's experienced and an expert and appears to be a nice guy.

You need that. You need to be an expert, an ethicist, and a little bit self-promotional, maybe. Write a book about your specific activity, or teach some classes.

Write a mission statement or a manifesto.

"I have been a fetish professional for more than two hundred years and have saved the lives of many thousands of children, animals and even plants. Over the years, when I have not been out performing my duties as a superhero, I have learned as much as I could about my craft and have loved every minute of it. I hope you enjoy it, too."
posted by KinkySockPuppet at 8:18 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Here's what I see as the long version of what you're after:

"I do this because I love it. More than 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to discover that other people like to see me do it. Since then, I've had the wonderful experience of sharing what I love with people who appreciate it enough to pay for that opportunity. I will continue to do this for the rest of my life, whether or not anyone wants to pay to see it. It's important to understand that I'm not in this for the money -- I don't and won't sell myself."

The tough part is coming up with a more concise version that would be effective. Perhaps something along these lines:

"I am -ACTIVITY-, online and offline. Nothing more, nothing less."
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 8:35 PM on October 26, 2010

I worked behind the scenes in the online adult industry in Amsterdam for a while.

I'm not really sure to what degree the attitude you're noticing is anything new. I'm pretty sure that there have been a large number authentic enthusiastic people as well as a large number of high-strung all-about-the-business people in the adult industry for a very long time. It might be a change in your perception or just a change in the types of people you happen to be running into.

Anyway, here's the bad news: If you find a good slogan, someone else will just copy it. That's the problem with slogans. Anyone can use a slogan that claims they're authentic. There's no slogan-approval vetting committee, sadly.

Now, the good news: People LOVE to feel like they know the stars of their porn. The site I worked for used to film these casual interviews with the models. Really casual, over lunch, everyone dressed in sensible clothing, not that horribly grating fake casual. These videos often topped our view count at the end of the month. So, if you're not doing it already, I'd seriously consider keeping a video diary, or even a text blog. You can talk about sex in it sometimes, mention $fetishActivity sometimes, but mostly just talk earnestly about your day to day life. And respond to comments people post. People will eat it up.

Bad news again: The sad thing is that fetish porn (even moreso than regular porn) isn't much of a word-of-mouth business. Your happy clients aren't likely to recommend your product to their coworkers. All the same, they ARE likely to frequent $fetishActivity forums and newsgroups and word will spread.

Hope that helps a little. And good luck.
posted by 256 at 8:55 PM on October 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

"ACTIVITYING like it's my job"

"ACTIVITYING your balls off since 1995" (wouldn't an aggressive bitchy/snobby stance be a hot thing for lots of people?)

"ACTIVITYING champion of the universe"

"ACTIVITY: I haz it."

"The finest ACTIVITY the world has ever known" (the Godiva model)

If the activity is something like stomping on hamsters, you may need to play with the wording a bit.
posted by Askr at 9:35 PM on October 26, 2010

Play up that you're doing actual reality and not acting. Also underline that your site is the only place to find your stuff. It makes the website seem more valuable when this is brought to the attention of your customers.

"Doing what comes naturally"
"Actual. Reality."
"No Acting. No Bullshit"

Hope your site keeps on.
posted by inturnaround at 9:45 PM on October 26, 2010

The "real" _______. Put the word "real" in stark letters. You love it. Don't believe us, check out sample X.

I'd toot your horn. Its sex, sell it!

"You're only going to see the real thing--not the newest made up fetish that some man producer tells her to do. "I do it because I love it."

Hell look right into the camera and say "I do it because I love it" at the end of each vid.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:50 PM on October 26, 2010

> I like a certain activity. No, I LOVE this certain activity... It would be even if I didnt have the enterprise catering to it.

"The [INSERT NAME] Difference: I [X], Because I LIKE It."

256 mentions doing video interviews; that's a good idea. Specifically, do videos about how much you like X, what X means to you, and how when a model does X for money instead of love, the X aficionado knows and feels the difference, and comes away with a different feeling.

Also, you might want to write up little mini-essays on X as an art form, and give them out as free content for other sites.

Via these essays and videos, brand yourself as The Girl Who REALLY Thinks About X,The One Girl Who Truly Understands and Craves X, The Girl for Whom X is Art and God and Truth and Love.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:59 PM on October 26, 2010

Easy! Just steal the slogan David Lee Roth used to use when he was in Van Halen.

"I'm not this way because I'm in a band, I'm in a band 'cause I'm this way."


"I'm not this way because I do XYZ porn. I do XYZ porn because I'm this way."

(I know next to nothing of the ways of porn, but I'd guess there's probably a lot of truth in that as well, so that's a bonus)
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:22 PM on October 26, 2010

"However, it seems as of late, let's say the last 2 years or so, the fetish community in the adult industry has gotten rather competition-oriented."

Given that the economy has been in the toilet for the past two years, I think that a lot of people in a wide variety of industries are hustling a lot harder than they used to.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:24 PM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

a lot of great suggestions in this thread - i just wanted to mention that the love of the activity, whatever that activity is, comes through when a performer really likes what they're doing. this isn't just porn, but it's certainly true there.

there's a gal out there that started off just doing her own sites and then contracted out to other sites but always still did her own thing. she's into some fetishes i'm into and there's something about her spark that i really like. thing is - she's also into a few things i'm not into - but she speaks so lovingly of the activity on her blog - she goes on and on about how she loves it, how she does it off camera. she takes adorable homemaker type pictures of some of the evidence/props of the activity. because of that, i'm more interested in her.

i've found this in other performers as well. i find it a lot in lesbian porn - there are women who are with other women on film because it's easy, it's profitable, and it raises your profile. then there are women who freaking love women and you can tell. this isn't good acting, this is a sort of realness that comes through. it's as much how they talk about it not in the middle of sex as how they perform during the scene.

feel free to email or memail me if you want me to give you actual examples of the porn stars i'm talking about.
posted by nadawi at 10:41 PM on October 26, 2010

"No thanks." You owe no one anywhere a defense or explanation of your activities. Not what you do for fun, nor for money nor what is your favorite grocery store. 'No thanks' is plenty. They'll get huffy or they won't but the will move on to ask somebody else and leave you be.

"'Community' is everyone but you." I wish I could remember where I first read that. When it is good for somebody else, it's good for the community. When it's good for you, you're being selfish. And if you like that certain thing or were born that certain way you're part of that community, so let's see your papers and time to pay dues again.

Do your thing, have fun, save some money for a rainy day and you're good.
posted by eccnineten at 2:46 AM on October 27, 2010

Please memail me.
posted by alternateuniverse at 4:20 AM on October 27, 2010

nthing the idea of interviews about yourself, your life, ACTIVITY, why you like it, how you discovered it, where ACTIVITY seems to be going, how you feel about that, what are you into outside of sex, do you ever combine that with ACTIVITY, what do you think about X (online dating, trying to find ACTIVITY partners in various cities, trying to talk to spouse about ACTIVITY, ACTIVITY for beginners, ACTIVITY for people who have done ACTIVITY for centuries, what is the history of ACTIVITY, what are other good intimacy things to try in addition to ACTIVITY, what about before ACTIVITY to warm up, you must be attractive - what do you eat, how do you care for yourself, how do you groom, how do you relax other than ACTIVITY, how do you control stress in your life, how does ACTIVITY help you stay mentally balanced, what does ACTIVITY do for you.... I could go on and on.

I say this as someone (a woman) who doesn't really watch porn, but cannot, absolutely cannot, turn away from the TV when something like Pornucopia or Real Sex (both on HBO I think) reruns are on. I also enjoy things like coverage of adult conventions and documentaries about the industry. For some reason it's just interesting to see and hear about what other people do, even if you aren't particularly interested in seeing that person's work exclusively. I guess for me (and some others) the personality is as interesting or more interesting than the work it creates. For people already into your work, well then more personality portions may just make total fanboys out of them.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:45 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

For the love of FETISH, and nothing but THE FETISH, so help me FETISH/FETISH REFERENCE.

Example: For the love of Muppet Sex, and nothing but Muppet Sex, so help me Kermit.

(Clearly I'm a marketing writer not a fetisher? Fetish person?)
posted by Gucky at 9:02 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Trash-talking the competition actually isn't effective advertising, in addition to making you look like a jerk. So the thing is to celebrate yourself and sing yourself. I like Gucky's formula a lot, and also the idea of connecting with your potential clientele by doing video blogs/interviews.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:27 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

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