When I first came to work in the adult industry, right around 16 years ago, the first company I worked for was owned and operated by what you might call a ‘traditional’ porn company owner – meaning that he kept his shirt partially unbuttoned, called his female receptionist “toots” and believed that any man who didn’t find women with watermelon-size fake tits sexually alluring was clearly and inarguably a homosexual.
The atmosphere in the building was somewhat different than that of the software company where I had spent several years just prior to taking the plunge into the adult industry. Among other things, at the software company nobody ever commandeered my office and covered the floor with black plastic garbage bags so that two excessively oiled-up porn queens could grope and grapple for the camera therein without soiling the carpet (a prophylactic measure that did not work, by the way).
Make no mistake, it’s not all wine and roses around here; there is the occasional tension between the UMS-Powered-Dude contingent and the Executive Ladies Club.
All in all, I enjoyed my time at that company, apart from once being sent to Houston to film a breast reduction surgery performed by a surgeon who is probably best described as “clinically insane.” It was a welcome change from the mundane, predictable and dry corruption that characterized the software industry to immerse myself in the dynamic, emerging, quite-wet corruption of the Internet porn sector.
For my first several years in the industry, I worked in male-dominated offices. The humor was crass, the testosterone palpable and the office parties … um … well, those are probably best left un-described.
In early 2002, I came to work for TopBucks, which was a very different kind of adult company than my first employer. While also owned by a man, TopBucks was at that point already largely run by its current President, Allison Vivas, who then served as the company’s marketing director.
Several things immediately struck me about the TopBucks office and how differently it operated from my prior place of porn-employment. First off, nobody wore partially unbuttoned dress shirts, or called anybody “toots.” (We did have one graphic artist everybody called “The Pod,” but that’s a story for another time.) The water cooler talk was less tits and more stats, and I got the distinct feeling that my office would never be converted into an impromptu lesbian oil-wrestling venue.
As time moved on and TopBucks expanded, Allison took on a larger role in the company, and more women came on board in executive positions, including chief financial officer, director of sales, customer service manager, in-house counsel and marketing director (Allison had moved up to vice president by this point). We launched a new brand, Pink Visual, and began to slowly transform the company’s exterior such that it better matched its interior. In other words, the public persona of the company began to exhibit more of a “chick vibe,” for lack of a better term.
Part of me (possibly a really, really sexist part) worried that as the company’s executive demographic lost its Y chromosomes, it might also lose touch with some things that are essential to a porn company – including that crucial element known as Unabashed Male Sleaziness (UMS).
Fortunately for the company, Allison and the other Executive Females of Pink Visual recognized that while having a set of male perverts on-staff to ensure sufficient corporate UMS can make for some uncomfortable drunken moments at the annual company Christmas party, such people also have the occasional insight into what makes male porn consumers tick – namely, their malfunctioning pacemakers, which should never be expected to withstand the stress of their users watching Alexis Texas getting boned doggystyle.
Possessors of UMS are also good to have around for meetings, because they remind the Pink Visual executive team that at the end of the day, for all the bells, whistles and clouds that we provide via our technological know-how, our customers are largely swinging by our sites for the not-so-sophisticated purpose of tugging repeatedly on their penises until said penises emit something that needs to be cleaned up, right away, or it’s going to leave an ugly stain on that couch.
Make no mistake, it’s not all wine and roses around here; there is the occasional tension between the UMS-Powered-Dude contingent and the Executive Ladies Club. These tensions sometimes arise during brainstorming sessions, particularly when it comes to naming new video lines. For example, while the company ended up going with the name Erotic Mind for one of its recently released couplesfriendly video lines, Team UMS had suggested A Touch of Romance Featuring the Filthy Cum Drunk Uber Sluts from Hell. (It was close though; we were only voted down by a count of literally everybody else to three.)
Sometimes, the fact that ours is a female-heavy employee roster also leads to some awkward moments for new male hires; it often takes them a week or two before they become comfortable asking questions like “Hey Jennie, are you done editing that anal gangbang scene?” or “Kristin, what draws more clicks, a facial cumshot image or a gaped asshole?” or “Allison ... why does it hurt when I pee?”
All in all, however, the curious form of fem-dom that is Pink Visual’s managerial structure works extremely well. It gives our company a different perspective on the market (one that is several inches shorter on average and smells much nicer than our competition, among other things) and serves as a great hook for the mainstream media. For some reason, mainstream media outlets seem to view the idea of the female porn executive as something akin to a unicorn from Atlantis – a legendary beast from a forgotten, possibly even fictional, land. In truth, female porn execs are no rarer than heterosexual men from Pittsburgh who would rather go to the mall than watch the Steelers play in the Super Bowl; there must be hundreds dozens at least eight of them, right?
Many times over the years, I’ve been asked, “what’s it like to work for a porn company run by women?” All joking aside, the truth is that it’s no different from working for a porn company run by men except for all that potpourri in the bathrooms.
Q Boyer leads communications for Pink Visual, TopBucks and DMCA Force.