WIA Profile: Leslie Sharp
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
What is your role and responsibility at your company?
Double Click Marketing Inc. has blossomed from a niche marketing and advertising company into a full-service management company for adult production studios. DCM is responsible for the building of content management systems, affiliate programs, tours and member sections. I also manage and market the finished products for webmasters. As president of the company, I am responsible for finding, minding and grinding the core business. I oversee all operations, review all deals and mind all marketing. Wicked Pictures is the latest company added to the client roster. I also am handling my peeps at Digital Playground and AEBN.
Give us a typical Monday at your desk?
All week is extremely busy because I am in the process of opening a new office. I’m buying furniture, computers, server farms, hiring employees and managing my current projects. I promised Sleazy Dream that I would “submit” myself to being Ambush Interview #88, and juggling that in addition to other things made this past week extra challenging. I am looking forward to having everything in place within the next few weeks and being able to steal some sleep. A typical Monday shouldn’t be as busy as I’ve seen lately.
What do you think is your greatest challenge or asset being a woman in the adult industry?
The general challenge of navigating within a male-dominated industry undervalues the capabilities of women. I enjoy and am very proud of being a woman as well as coming as close as humanly possible to being “one of the boys.” However, as women, we have to “earn” that bond and position in the boys club, which is automatically given to men just for being men. I affectionately refer to this conspiracy as “Y-gate,” after the chromosome that defines the male sex. As a woman, I can’t say whether my sex has served as an asset or a liability. I can only say that I continue to surpass my goals and gain new perspective in an industry that has accepted me as someone who gets things done right the first time. Luck? Nah, but I’m among the hardest-working people that I know. I’m tireless. I am not a “feminist.” Men need to think they live in a “man’s world.” It’s just that sometimes they get punished for their ignorance in thinking that a woman isn’t as capable as them. In my world, it usually consists of me walking away with a much better deal. I think it’s funny that men often can’t control from which head their thoughts actually emerge.
What advice would you give other women who want to enter your field?
Don’t get lost in the party. Get your business done first because there will be plenty of time to have fun later. If you want to be respected by your peers in this industry, you not only have to know what you are talking about, but you also need to conduct yourself with decorum and self respect. If you behave like a sex object, expect to be treated like one and blame nobody but yourself. Being in the forgiving adult industry and seeing other folks taking liberties does not mean that you too should act like a carousing baboon. At the end of the day, the folks in this industry will do business with the people they respect and have fun with.