Success Through Softness

Danni Ashe
Editor's note: A recent question submitted to Danni Ashe's "ask danni" column in XBiz World Magazine asked "Why do you choose not to publish hardcore content online?" Given the trend of many adult entertainment companies pushing ever harder material in an effort to gain market share, I felt that this look at "success through softness" would illustrate that there's more than one way to turn a profit in adult entertainment...

Like most things at danni's hard drive, policies and standards developed out of my personal comfort level. As a feature dancer, hardcore was never a factor for me, so when I moved to the Internet, it was only natural to maintain the same standards I had already established for myself. I saw the web as an extension of distribution channels so there was no need to change the essence of the content.

Then as I started to invite more and more models from the industry to work for us, I applied the same rule to them: Do only what you enjoy and are truly comfortable with.

This simple concept evolved into one of our key brand elements, and it resonated with both models and customers — and employees — alike. Danni's was not only the destination but the programming where girls felt safe, comfortable and relaxed, and this positive energy translated well through the camera lens.

Consumers of our products are compelled by the fact that Danni Girls are happy, accessible and real. The idea of seduction, spontaneity and, to a degree, the idea of "less is more," became critical to our content creation.

And while I believe that promoting the healthy and safe sides of feminine sexuality and the female form was always in the back of my mind, those ideas eventually moved to the forefront, and that helped me and our team enumerate the brand attributes that I wanted Danni's to represent — and hardcore has just never been one of them.

As all managers do, as we matured as a business, we periodically examine those brand values to ensure their relevance. And yes, even today, we want to be fun, intimate, sexy and original. We are not striving to be hardcore, and while that has become a key competitive advantage, it also brings interesting challenges.

We have a saying at Danni's, "As hardcore gets harder, softcore gets smarter." This means that instead of focusing our concepts on more fetishistic, explicit imagery and videos, we challenge ourselves to create content that is more compelling, humorous, textured and dramatic, as it presents the authentic personality of our models. The models we work with are truly talented and creative, and we want to illustrate the depth and diversity of their talents and prevent these attributes from being eclipsed by any specific set of sex acts.

There are certain companies that do hardcore better than others, and I admire and respect those that run strong, ethical businesses. There also are others that are actively degrading to women or use situations and context that I steer clear from as a producer and as a model. But the thing that is common in both is that the bar is always on the rise as to what consumers expect and are willing to pay for. And while I fully support a public debate on the testing of sexual taboos and boundaries, I do not believe that we would be as effective if our customers were always wondering how the next thing they see at Danni's is going to be more outrageous than the last.

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