So You Wanna be a Porn Star

You have surfed the web, perused the porn sites and played with your digital camera or you web cam and captured saucy pictures of you naked and doing naughty things. You felt the exhilaration of exhibitionism and wondered, “Why can’t I get paid to get off on camera?”

Why not? Let us pause for a moment here and let you think about why not. The adult entertainment industry is a multi-billion dollar business. For the successful few who choose to be the actors and actresses, this is a business like any other. Success comes from knowing what you can do and marketing that, hard work, hustle, good business sense and a vision or plan.

They understand that their image and name are their brand, which is something to be developed and protected throughout their career. Their reputation and performance are what gets them roles, but it is business savvy, which makes the money and turns every effort into dollars. The more they can control that brand and build on it, the more they can make. Already, it is starting to sound more and more like work. It is and it can be tough both mentally and emotionally, but it does have it’s benefits.

Before you decide that porn, the adult entertainment industry is going to be your career vocation, there are some personal considerations like:

  • Anything online, in print or video is permanent and impossible to remove completely once released.
  • Family and friends will consider you differently and you will find many not accepting or supportive when they find out.
  • Your image is public and your sense of privacy and your lifestyle will change permanently.
  • For every on sincere compliment, you will hear lots more put-downs and criticisms.
  • Main-stream people will not take you seriously.
  • How will you transition out of your current life, you cannot protect family and friends from your choice.
  • What will you do when you want to or have to get out of the business?
  • What will you do if you do not make it in the business after giving all this up?

It does take a pretty thick skin, grounding and focus on what you want to achieve to keep you from becoming a “victim” in the business. In the end, you are part of an industry that sells image, illusion, fantasy and it all fades away after the money shot. Ok, despite the dark cloud, there are many successful adult stars whose success is not just on the screen, but in magazine, online clips, web chat, sex models and licensing their image and brand on adult products.

Where do you start? Many performers got their start on amateur strip shows out on the stage bumpin’ and grinding and being invited to parties and introduced to the right people. Many went to small studios and worked their way to notoriety performing in scenes and short sex clips. Some got into magazines then branched into adult films. Others, simply went to studios or answered casting calls. Each of these approaches have one thing in common. They got paid a single performance fee and missed out on the residual incomes from the licensing and re-licensing and repeat publishing in different media that performance or photo shoot.

What I am trying to say here is simple – what ever you do, you need to retain as much control over your image as possible as well where and how it is used to allow you to earn potential residual income from that work.

Today, you have the greatest marketing and mass media tool, the Internet! Never before has there been away for an individual to build their brand and maintain maximum control over their images. This DIY approach gives you a chance to earn while you learn and lets you develop your brand in a way that you can control and minimize the personal impact of jumping in with both feet and your eyes closed.

Start simple, start as a web chat hostess. It is easy, you choose your hours, you do not have to perform with people you do not want to, you do not have to perform any sex act you do not want to and you get to miss the creepers and wanna be people. Online, you can always say no and block the offensive caller. As a bonus, some sites even let you choose which countries can access your video stream.

Sounds good? This still requires, consistent effort, hustle, learning new things, lots of self- promotion a laptop (or desktop) and a decent web camera. So now what do you do? First is to visit some web cam sites and watch. Watch how the girls keep the keep the conversation and direct that conversation to the “all important” private shows or to their galleries for paid access to pre-recorded show and picture galleries. Watch how, on some sites, they hustle for the tips, keeping the audience interested and engaged. Then practice with your web cam recording your practice sessions and critiquing your recorded clips.

As you surf the various cam sites, click on the “how to become a model links” and download their hostess agreements, look closely at their payout structure and how to get maximum payouts. Always check out their top performers, their profiles and get an idea of how you will plan out your profile. You will find that many of the models have their own websites that are cross link to their model profile to maximize their exposure. Some even have downloadable pay for access content on their sites.

You do not need your own site yet, focus on research, practice and watch others. As you do, you are in the audience and you can see how others see the video stream. Notice how some are grainy and, look horrible despite the hostess’ best efforts. The key here is lighting and space. You do not need professional lighting but two or three clip lights strategically placed will make all the difference. Also, consider your space – is it cluttered or messy? This is your stage and should add to the image you are trying to present. It may not seem much, but as you watch the other cams, you will find there some hostesses with very messy or distracting spaces which actual detracts from their performance presentation.

Now it is time to sign up on a chat site. Your decision should be based on your review of the modeling agreements, how the site is promoted, site for reviews and features to help you the hostess. We work with Streamray Studios, to see their site click on Vice Live Chat Cams! to check out their site. Before you launch your cam, take the time to recoded 5-10, ten minute clips featuring you in different lingerie or outfits doing simple scenes, strip teases with you having a happy ending for their viewing pleasure. Also take about a dozen or two pictures of yourself to create an image gallery with some free pictures and some pay for access.

Each of your clips should be edited to include titles at the beginning and the end to give them a more complete and professional look. You do not need any fancy editing software to do this as Microsoft gives you a free video editor – Microsoft Movie Maker, (see: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-essentials-movie-maker-get-started).

You are now ready to build your profile page. All of these sites have very simple drop and drag templates for you to build your profile and add your pictures and video clips in. Many also have simple page editors to allow you to customize you profile page, changing colors and adding backgrounds. Take your time here and do as best a job you can. Feel free to experiment with the page editors. You won’t break anything and you can always edit it as you learn more. Having your profile complete with pay access galleries and downloads is the way of generating additional income with out working.

Another place you can post pictures and video clips, is on clip sites. These are YOUTUBE like sites with one big difference, people pay to see your video clips One example is www.clips4sale.com . Before launching your studio, make sure you have at least 8-10 clips as well pictures to create your profile. Like your web cam profile, it is important to add new content on a regular basis.

Let us start tying this all together. This is very important. You want to promote to viewers of your web cam performances, that they can visit your profile or your clip site for downloads of you. Also on your video clips, you want to put your web cam profile web address and your clip site address so you can cross promote with each clip download. The same is true with your pictures; make sure you add either your clip site or web cam site URL on every picture.

Now you have your own business, you are a porn star and more or less on your terms. Your job now is to create content, do your online performances, develop your look, develop your brand and promote yourself.  It does not stop there, you are also the business manager and accountant. When setting up your web cam and clip site account, you need to provide a bank account for you to get paid. I highly recommend you set up a separate chequing account so you can easily track your income from your online enterprise and keep all your receipts for things you purchased specifically for this business. This is important because this income is taxable and like any business, there are things you can write-off against the business income. You will need to consult a qualified accountant for more information on this and your local tax and accounting requirements.

The money does not come rolling in right away. You need time to start building your fan base and this is a slow process, requiring patience and consistent effort. Fans are won, one at a time, especially paying fans. The easiest way to lose them is by not having good new content consistently available. Also remember, the more content you have, the greater your potential earnings because you create more buying opportunities. You will see that as your fan base build, so does your income.

There is still lot for you to learn but hopefully this overview will give you enough information to make the right choice for yourself and give you enough insight to get started. Always remember, the more control you have over your image, the more money you get for the effort. Have fun and I hope to see you online sometime!

Some online resources:

www.webcamsmakemoney.com/
www.camgirlbizguide.blogspot.ca/

You Can’t Test Drive a Dildo

Adult stores, either retail or online are filled with dildos of all sizes, shapes, colors and protrusions. With vibe, without vibe, remote control, wireless controls as well with varied surfaces and textured covers designed to enhance the sensation. Some are even complete systems with accessories and lubes, to enhance and stimulate.

A dildo is a sex toy in a phallic shape and intended as a masturbation tool for penetration either vaginally or anally. Though a quick look at the dildo wall at your local sex store, it is easy to wonder how or why one would insert some of these instruments of pleasure. Some look harmless and straight-forward, others look like something from an alien planet whose intended use may make you wonder.

So you are in store, you want to have a toy but what is good and what is not? Many of these toys are presented in clear packaging, allowing you to see it in all its glory. When looking at the hard plastic toys, look for seams and if it is a battery operated toy make sure the battery compartment access is as far down the base as possible. Seams or rough edges are dangerous and can injure you if used internally. Also consider the size. You are the best person to know what is a good fit for you.

If the product features a silicone or textured surface, read the packaging! Make sure if you can that the surface is condom safe, lube safe and if possible made of a medical grade silicone. Always consider using a condom to sheath any sex toy used in penetration for safety and hygiene reasons. Recently entering the market are the glass dildos. If considering one of these for more than ornate value, again look for seams or rough edges and make sure they are solid! Glass dildos are heavy and have a very hard feel but are easy to clean and maintain.

Before we continue, I want to quickly talk about toy maintenance. When using dildo for penetration, always consider using a condom. This will help protect you from any surface imperfections and if a battery operated device, this will help protect from fluids getting into the battery compartment. Always wash your toy in warm water and use a mild soap or better – a product called Safe Suds (see Stock Room to purchase in the right sidebar) to ensure your toy is clean and bacteria free. Dry thoroughly and store in a cloth bag. Many ladies have told me the best storage cover is a sock – because it is soft and air permeable.

You have a big budget and are considering a dildo with a vibe, what is good and what is not? Much has been written about the “jackrabbit” vibe. A mechanical dildo that vibrates as well twists and moves. This is accomplished by having a slightly curved shape and a second motor slowly turning in its base. In addition, this instrument of pleasure has beads in its shaft, which also turn and vibe. The idea is to create as many sensations as possible. In addition it features variable vibe speeds and a remote control. Cool! The problem is that good things are always copied and you will find many of the same toys simply repackaged and branded under different names. The key in deciding if the version you have is of good quality, look at the covering sheath, it should be a single thick uniform cover of medical grade silicone and safe for use with latex condoms, and oil and silicone based lubes.

The biggest problem with all these toys is that they look cool and have all these features and are promoted by porn stars, even labeled under porn star brands and come with testimonials, which can entice you to buy. In the end, it seems most women agree that despite all the variations, the only thing they notice is the girth, the strength of the vibe, the type of vibration and if the shaft twists and moves. So now what? Most of the “look” is designed to impress you.

When you find a dildo that you like, bring it to the counter and ask to see it. You will find that most quality adult store will have a product sample or will open the packaging to let you to see and inspect it. If the dildo, meets your requirements and if it does have a vibe, ask the sales person to put batteries in the unit to ensure the vibes work properly – exchanges and returns are difficult and most vibes carry no warranty.

Buying sex toys, for the most part, is an exercise in “buyer beware”. All the look, features and accessories may be cool but you may find they make little difference. Test piloting is expensive because of the no return policies, but it can be fun. If you have test piloted a sex toy – share your experience with us so we can share your review.

Online Dating – Some Tips to Consider

Online dating sites have become the easiest way to meet “like minded” partners for more intimate indulgences. Sites are unique and cater to specific interests. From sites that cater to Christians or other religious, ethnic or social interest, to sites that are gay and lesbian specific sites and even fetish or kink specific.

These sites offer a wide variety and usually a large number of potential connections in a safe discreet way that is very non-threatening emotionally for most to initiate contact with someone. This is where potential danger lies. Profiles are often slightly “embellished” to help make profiles more interesting to increase the potential number of interested people. Without the normal social cues people rely on in non-cyber first contact, there are no clues to the actual person, simply the profile that you read. This makes it easy to make contact and create an initial connection. There is no perfect system to protect you from the undesirable stalking creeper, but there are some strategies to help protect you, and minimize the effects of a bad connection.

If you are planning to go online to find “like minded” people to share in your indulgences you should consider the following things. First, create a disposable email mail account using one of the many free services online – never give your personal email out to online connections especially when simply chatting or flirting. Second, consider getting a prepaid or disposable phone. Today many people love to text message and often when you meet your first online fling, it is fun to connect and get to know them using text messaging. To protect your identity, save you from embarrassing calls and the headache of changing your number then, updating friends and family, use a prepaid cell phone and not your personal number. Finally, consider using a prepaid credit card and not your actual credit card.

Now you are ready to start your online adventure. There is no perfect online dating site, there are well established sites, special interest sites and sites that can be a credit card subscription headache. Before you take out that credit card and sign up on that first site, consider what you are looking for then check out that site.  First, simply review the site, look it over and most important, look over the subscription details, which payment processor is used and their privacy agreement. These three things will give you an indication of both legitimacy and reputability of the site. Finally do a Google review on the site. Google for reviews, comments and complaints, then make your decision.

Ok, so you’ve decided on a particular site and sign up. Use your prepaid credit card and sign up for the trial or one month term and try the site out. If you like it after the month, perfect, if not move on. Now, creating your profile. Yes, pictures of you on your profile will get more attention. Consider though, friends, colleagues and family may also be using that site, so all you would be exhibitionists, be aware. Also consider, any posted image can easily take a life on their own online, with people copying the image and re-posting it on other sites.

I recommend when creating a profile picture, use what you feel is appropriate for the site and the people you hope to attract, but blur out your face and have tasteful private pictures that you can share with new connections. When writing your profile, be honest in what you are looking for and your likes and dislikes. The rest is up to you. Remember though, if you intend to meet people, the worst thing you could do is to describe yourself unrealistically so that meetings may be awkward or embarrassing.

Now you have made your first connection. Take time to get to know the person using email, online chat, text messaging or even a call (using your disposable cell). Remember, you control the connection, never feel pressured into meeting someone. That is the number one warning signal. After some time, when you feel comfortable and wanting, go ahead and meet that person. Consider the following advice though.

The first meeting should always be done in a neutral public place. I strongly recommend the food court in a mall you do not usually go to. This could help minimize accidental contact if the person does not work out for you. Before you go, let someone you know and trust, know where you are going. I recommend a buddy system where that person calls you after an hour to check up on you. That call can also be your exit cue to end an awkward date. After your first “date”, I would recommend at least one more and continued conversation in between, to help you get a read on the person. From this point, everything is up to you as you should have an idea of this person and if you are compatible with them. Take your time and let them earn your trust. A relationship is built over time and if they are a genuine person they will understand – even if the intention is a simple hook-up. Remember, play safe, have fun and never let yourself be pressured into anything you do not want!

Lube – A Slippery Subject

So you are at the pharmacy or the local adult toy store and you want to buy some lube and you before you are shelves upon shelves of sex cream, lubes, sex oils etc. and you are wonder what should you buy?

Well first let us be gin with telling you the types of lube carried by most shops. These include, water based, natural or organic, silicone based and petroleum based; each of which have both pros and cons and are best used in certain instances.

Water based lubes are made up of glycerol or cellulose that are dissolved in water to create a lubricating gel. Glycerol is an organic by product from animal fats or vegetable oils. Added to this mix can be colorizing ingredients, scent as well flavorings and other chemicals that will cause a warming sensation or enhance blood flow to the skin surface to help heighten stimulation. The one thing to consider when using water based lubes is that water content is absorbed by the skin leaving a sticky film and will require additional lube for prolonged activities. For the most part, these lubes are latex safe and can be used with condoms and sex toys. Always check the label for latex compatibility.

Natural or organic lubes are typically plant oil based products. These too are usually latex and condom safe. Again these products can include coloring, flavoring as well ingredients for scent and enhancing stimulation. These too can be absorbed by the skin and would require additional applications.

Oil based lubes are usually petroleum based or in combination with organic lubes. This type of lube will damage latex surfaces and are not recommended for use with condoms. These types of lubes are usually very thick and have a gel or paste consistency.

Silicone based lubes are made from pharmaceutical grade silicone and are not absorbed by the skin. They are usually free of additional ingredients and have a very different silky feel. These are best recommended for those who have allergies to paraben, glycerin, DEA or animal-based ingredients. Care must be taken when using this type of lube with condoms, latex or silicone surfaced toys. Always check the label for compatibility.

So now that you know about the basic types of lubes, what should you consider? First, always look at the ingredients to ensure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Any lubes with flavoring may include sugary substances and preservatives. Ingredients that create color and scent as well those that are marketed to enhance pleasure or warming sensations all have additional chemical ingredients which may cause skin irritations or allergic reactions. Common ingredients which people have allergies to include paraben, glycerin, DEA or animal-based ingredients, as well various artificial coloring agents and xanthum gums. For the most part, silicone based lube are the best for people with allergies.

Second, consider what activities you are planning and if condoms, latex items or silicone surfaced toys are going to be used and where. Finally, what are your preferences? Do you like scented, unscented, flavored or is enhanced sensation something of interest. There is no best lube on the market. There are lubes that are best for you based on health and hygiene considerations, the rest is a matter of preference. Once you find what is safe for you – go out and try – believe me test driving lubes with my playmates is always fun!

Pain can be Pleasurable

Sexuality, our sexual experience is a complex dynamic of physical, emotional and psychological experiences which is context driven. Simply, we define these three things in ways that fit the situation. If we are experiencing these in an undesirable way – the experience could be defined as negative or even traumatic. If the situation is experienced in a desirable way it could be defined are pleasurable or erotic.

Let us quickly define these three aspects of sexuality. First consider the physical experience. There is much that drives this in terms of physiology, but for this discussion, let us simply understand and focus on the fact that physical stimulation creates sensations which, for the most part is the foundation of sex. Simply, a certain amount of stimulation, over a period of time in part causes arousal and then finally orgasm.

The emotional part of this trinity is what gives us “spark” to the moment. Mental stimulation creates desire, helping to kick start the physical arousal, and enhances the physical stimulation, heightening physical arousal which can ultimately bring about orgasm. Think of it as the nitro-boost to the physical sex.

The psychological aspect is what gives us the over all context of our sexual experiences. This combines the physical and emotional aspects, and adds the memories of past experiences both sexual and non-sexual, imagery, the things we learn and the things we want to experience into what we associate with sexual pleasure. For example, things like imagery and fetish create the context for the physical sensations and emotional feelings helping us to define what is or was an erotic sexual situation.

Pain and pleasure are really two ends of a spectrum of sensation. Consider, a light patting on the bottom has a pleasant sensation, increase the intensity and that patting becomes a spanking, increase it more and it becomes a beating. A funny thing happens here. Where do you draw the line where one thing becomes another? Also, as we become more aroused, our own experience changes, first because our bodies respond with wonderful chemicals such as endorphins and adrenaline. If you then consider the emotions occurring at the time and put in a psychological context, the discomfort or pain caused by the spanking becomes defined as something sensual and erotic in that moment for that person.

From my own experience, many things some people would consider as being not sensual, others under specific situations find although physically discomforting, being very sensual. In fact triggering a higher sense of emotional and psychological arousal while being experienced. Have you ever wondered why people like crazy spicy hot foods? It is not for the taste but more for the release of endorphins.

This brings me to the point – sensual is a conditioned response. As we gain more sexual experience, we start to enjoy more intense stimulation. Sensations from things, like spankings, floggings and restraint to name a few, through association and experience, become part of our sexual repertoire and part of the pleasures we enjoy sexually – we begin to through learned response find that pain can be pleasurable. In future articles in the Fetish category, I will discuss in more detail specific fetishes and sensual torments, as well include excerpts from people interviewed who enjoy them and try to relate their thoughts on these experiences and sensations.