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.
Cyndi Dirty Hen flocks to cocks and breasts and thighs and skin like a bucket o’ finger-lickin’ fornication. And as the ruler of her Dirty Hen Productions roost, which traffics in all manner of ultra-niche, affiliate-enriching sites — such as the prosthetic-laden Futanaria.com and Mastasia.com — she has laid a veritable XXX nest bursting with golden eggs-a-crackin’.
One of the things that I’ve learned, working with affiliates, is that my content converts at better ratios the more niche it is. The more generic, or ‘mainstream’ the content, the more competition for viewership exists.
From the “Freshly Made Fucking” of CumKitchen.com, to the “fuck. everyone.” of Pansexia.com, Hen knows how to brand her wildly whimsical creations with memorable taglines, colorful graphics, slick user interfaces and profit-boosting potential.
See, whenever she lays a new brood, they aren’t served up scrambled, with nary a long-term gameplan in place. Neither are they over easy, like flash-in-the-pan, one-skillet wonders. Instead, Hen is methodical enough to serve ‘em sunny-side up, even if the juices flow most where the sun don’t shine.
And with a commitment to in-house productions that keep her firmly in the thicket thick of things, Hen has her talons on the pulse of adult entertainment’s latest and greatest stars — not to mention, those freshly hatched up-and-comers.
Boasting 15 years of experience in the biz, with a hands-on approach to talent management, PR, marketing and promotional services, Hen is essentially a one-stop, cage-free sex shop. Pull aside the chicken wire to enter her “filth hatchery,” and a total of nine sites will cluck their way to the birdseed on tap, flapping weirdly sensual plumage that attracts audiences with high conversion ratios.
For those affiliates and would-be members slavering for more Dirty Hen debauchery, ready to pluck away vigorously, step inside the XBIZ barnyard for this exclusive interview, with one of the baddest purveyors of pornographic poultry.
XBIZ: Tell us about your professional background prior to the adult industry. What led you to get into the biz?
HEN: Before getting into this industry, I was a software developer — got my degree in Computer Science/Holocaust History and worked in various startup technology companies in the late 90s.
My partner at the time was the one who had the idea of getting into the adult business. We basically wanted to make content that we found interesting and erotic with the goal of being our own bosses.
With that mission statement in mind, we launched Mastasia.com as a membership paysite that featured CGI comic strips of girls with giant boobs. And then, it transitioned into a live action site with girls wearing absurdly large prosthetic breasts that lactated. The rest is history.
XBIZ: Describe your earliest triple-X efforts and what lessons you learned from those first few years, that upped your game.
HEN: Mastasia.com is the first site I launched in the business and it involves girls with extremely large prosthetic boobs, which my partner and I made out of my garage without any knowledge of what we were doing. We just knew we wanted to make this type of porn but needed to figure out how to do it. So in the effort to make big boob porn, we ended up becoming prosthetic artisans.
I realized very early on that I was more interested in developing niche, fetish content because it was what interested me. What I ended up learning was that consumers of fetish content are very loyal and willing to pay for things but they are also very discerning. They know when you don’t know what you’re doing. So, as a rule of thumb, I only develop content that I’m genuinely interested in and I cross my fingers and hope the fans come along for the ride.
XBIZ: How has your approach to video production evolved, to thrive in this leaner and meaner marketplace?
HEN: As far as production goes, I try to do things more efficiently to keep costs down. Since I run multiple sites covering varying genres, I try to book talent for more than one scene or feature, I do a lot of trade work and try to do everything in-house. This includes manufacturing of prosthetics used on some of the sites, production, post-production, marketing, etc.
XBIZ: Given your specialty in producing niche content, what are the benefits for affiliates in promoting your sites vs. more “mainstream” porn fare? How did you develop expertise in such unique genres?
HEN: One of the things that I’ve learned, working with affiliates, is that my content converts at better ratios the more niche it is. The more generic, or ‘mainstream’ the content, the more competition for viewership exists. The volume is larger in mainstream, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into conversions.
My best affiliates are those who know who their target audiences are and I spend a lot of time working personally with affiliates to develop promotional material. I feel that a lot of my successes come from the fact that I’m a smaller, boutique company that can change and adapt quickly.
I wouldn’t necessarily say I have an expertise in the field of unique genres … rather, if there is an expertise, it is a result of just creating content that I personally enjoy. I didn’t start off knowing what I was doing. I just wanted to make cool porn.
XBIZ: Which of your sites have proven to be most successful, and to what do you attribute that positive track record?
HEN: My most successful site is, by far, Futanaria.com. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that there is hardly any competition in my market and there is a large demand for it. Transsexual porn has, and always will be, huge, and I think that with Futanaria.com, I was able to tap into something that had never been done before.
The intention was to bring an already established fetish to market in a way that captures the fantasy in live action. With Futanaria.com and for all my brands, my approach has always been to create something that I personally enjoy first and foremost, and then make sure that I’m able to do it in a way that is fresh and with a new perspective.
XBIZ: What is your overall marketing strategy, as far as attracting both consumers and affiliates to your sites?
HEN: Marketing porn in today’s landscape is so difficult. I feel that there is so much out there for people to consume and my content is not meant for mainstream. However, that being said, I find that I end up getting a lot of mainstream press from it, just on account of it being really unique and having viral shock value.
People like to be surprised and they want to see something new … regardless of whether they find it sexual or not. A lot of times, someone will stumble upon my content and come to the realization that it’s something that they are into.
Alternatively, because my content is so unique, if you are into the fetish, you will find my content because there are few studios, if any, that are exploiting these fetishes. The same theory holds true for affiliates as well. Affiliates choose what they want to promote and will promote things that make them money.
There’s a saying that goes “the riches are in the niches.” It’s basic economics in terms of supply, demand and specialization. I create value in supplying a very niche, specialized product to those who demand it. I know I can’t compete with the larger studios for market share, but at the same time, I’m not trying to. My focus is on delivering content that is unique and feels exclusive.
XBIZ: Recently, you teamed up with Grooby to launch Futa.xxx. How did that partnership come about, and what’s next for the venture?
HEN: Steven, the owner of Grooby, and I have crossed paths for years. I have always been a massive fan and have tons of respect for the Grooby brand in general. As a matter of fact, one of the first affiliate programs I signed up for to promote was GroobyBucks.com and that was close to 20 years ago.
We had always talked about doing some sort of collaboration because we both recognized the crossover potential and finally sat down to hash out the details. This alliance was years in the making and long overdue.
As far as future ventures go, we talked about DVD distribution and the possibility of other projects together. Without giving away too much, it’s all very recent and I’m excited to see where this partnership goes.
XBIZ: Talk about RadRiches and what opportunities you offer to affiliates.
HEN: As an affiliate program, I think that RadRiches offers a lot of unique content for people who understand the fetish market and want to promote it. Our ratios continue to convert better than industry standards.
We’re lean and dynamic enough where we can develop campaigns specific to the affiliates’ needs, and agile enough to change things up when strategies become stale. Because we keep all of our production in-house, I’m one of the few people left in the business that has intimate knowledge of what is happening at the front lines of the industry in terms of talent and fans. Having this exposure keeps me close to the pulse of the industry and has helped tremendously in the way I approach converting sales. In today’s business landscape, I feel that for me, these intangibles make the difference between feast and famine.
XBIZ: Give us a preview of your ambitions for 2018 and beyond.
HEN: I’m really excited about 2018. I am currently working on two new lines under Dirty Hen Productions. It’s too soon to drop details, but I’m hoping to launch mid-year with both.
One project is my first endeavor into the strictly gay market (for which I have a huge affinity) and the other is me going back to my porn roots: girl/girl hyper fetish.
I am also happy to say that have been tapped to direct for Playgirl and have been working with them on content and rebranding the label. Playgirl is an amazing legacy brand that I’m so proud to be a part of.
I’m in love with the idea of porn that is made for female consumption by females. I sometimes become a little fearful that I will be forever known as the girl that makes farting, fake penis, glitter porn, so Playgirl is my way of saying that maybe I’m not a one trick pony in this business.