A Woman's World

Gretchen Gallen
Recently, XBIZ World Magazine caught up with some of the industry's leading ladies and asked, "What is the greatest challenge you've faced being a woman in adult?" Here's what they had to say:

"I would say that the public perception of a woman involved in the adult industry has been the hardest challenge to overcome. People generally have a negative view of women involved in adult, whether they are on the talent side or business side. Some seem to think that we are either exploiting ourselves or exploiting other women. It is frustrating at times, especially when you have to hide what you do for a living in order not to be viewed in a negative light. Men deal with some of the stigma the adult industry has as well, but I think it's to a lesser degree, since it's still considered more acceptable for a man to work in the adult arena than a woman."

— Aimee Sweet, Marketing Coordinator, All Adult Cash

"I am a woman in an industry that many people assume is a man's business, where women work in front of the camera and the men make the deals. I've been asked more times then I can remember, 'Do you star in the films?' or 'What is it exactly you do in the business, if you're not in the films?' It's almost as though people don't believe that a woman can market and sell porn. On the business side, I've found it most challenging to do business with the men, who make up the majority of the companies. You almost have to prove yourself — that you are serious and about business. It took me almost two years to be able to walk up to someone to discuss business who either knew me or had heard of me through other contacts. In other words, I had made it into the networking circle in a respectable way and was not known as the gal who loves to party."

— Harley Girl, Project Manager/Sales, Marketing, Smashbucks

"Considering this is an industry ruled by testosterone and that we all know that men have a strong, natural bond with each other, my first challenge was to make my own place as a woman in this already crowded world. I first thought it would be very difficult to be taken seriously. Surprisingly, this has not been as difficult as I thought it would be. Maybe that's because this is a very open-minded industry, but most probably because when people realize that you're professional and know what you're talking about, they understand that you're here for the right reasons: to meet people, do great business and have a good time while you're at it. If you succeed in accomplishing these things, then you face the same challenges as men in the industry do, and being a girl can actually give you an edge, since there are a lot fewer of us than men. From there, you can easily find a comfortable place in this exciting business."

— Magalie Rheault, Affiliate Manager, Fame Dollars

"As a woman in adult, I'm not finding many additional challenges within the industry, but I do find it challenging revealing the adult industry to the outside world. This industry is filled with good, friendly, professional people, and working with mostly men means there is less conflict than working with women. It works out great for me, and it's an advantage at my office because I get to work with and learn from good businessmen such as Adam, Ed, Raja, Joe and Damian. So how can that be a challenge? The real challenge comes when talking to those outside the adult industry trying to explain what I do for a living. Once I mention the sex-related business, people make assumptions about the kind of job I have. It's hard to explain to them the marketing and advertising side of the industry. However, once they get over the shock, it works out well. Some people, men of course, ask me for passwords and introductions to Aria Giovanni."

— Marina, Affiliate Manager, Sex Search

"I haven't really had any great challenges as a woman in the adult industry. I often find that women have an advantage in our industry and especially those with business savvy. I think women are inclined to develop good relations with people, and we can use that to our advantage."

— Allison Vivas, VP of Operations,

"Strangely enough, the biggest challenges I've faced as a woman in the adult industry haven't come from inside the industry as much as from attitudes outside of the industry. On occasion, encountering the prejudices, fears, superstitions and assumptions of folks outside the industry can be a little frustrating. Fortunately, this has never taken away from the feelings of joy, adventure, rebelliousness and fighting the good fight that I have had since starting at in 1997 when it was run out of owner/founder Joel Tucker's Los Feliz apartment. Overall, my experience in the adult industry has always been by far more empowering than challenging. Within the industry, there are always the occasional drunk and disorderly men at trade shows and conferences that may temporarily violate my personal boundaries; however, being a retired undefeated professional boxer probably makes me a bit more confident of my own ability to defend myself from unwelcome advances than some other women in the biz."

— Juli Crockett, JT's