Wesley Woods, the 2019 XBIZ Awards winner for Male Clip Artist of the Year, apologizes for having rescheduled an interview to discuss his awards coronation. He’d been visiting his family in Texas and his young nephews were both ill. “I got back here (to Los Angeles) and was out of commission,” he explains. “That’s why I stayed at home. I just wanted to sleep it off. All I did was complain for a week.”
He was in the early stages of his flu when he attended January’s XBIZ Awards ceremony in downtown Los Angeles ("I need to stop visiting my nephews," he jokes) but ended up having to leave early before the winner in his category was revealed. Woods woke up the next morning and was gobsmacked to realize he'd won.
So many of those iWantClips girls — they’re just so smart and they know what to do. So I really just mimicked them for a little bit and tried to see what they were doing and just put my own twist and point of view on it.
The same week, Woods earned similar honors from the 2019 Cybersocket Web Awards. “I’m extremely honored to (have been) nominated in that category. I’m speechless. I had a crazy January, winning four major awards at multiple awards shows and to be able to break into the clips side — it’s where the performers are taking the industry — and to win that (award)? Holy shit, I’m shocked! There are so many people that I’m inspired by, men and women, who make such amazing content.”
Woods is quick to praise iWantClips for giving him early — and ongoing — support and for walking him through the process and ushering him into their community. “I opened my store with iWantClips — they helped me. So many of those girls there, they’re just so smart and they know what to do. So I really just mimicked them for a little bit and tried to see what they were doing and just put my own twist and point of view on it. I had help with a videographer that I had worked with at one of the gay studios who would come over to my house, or we’d go out in public. We just had fun with it.”
Woods is naturally ebullient and upbeat and a standup comedian — he and his best friend, fellow performer Silvia Saige, who is also a comic, met and bonded during an open-mic night at a comedy club — and he believes his decision to allow his own personality to shine, rather than to expend effort creating an onscreen character or persona, is what contributed to the rapid growth of his clips store.
He explains that his supporters — he prefers not to call them “customers” or even “fans” — grew to trust his authenticity, an evolution he does not take lightly, and which he believes contributed to an explosion in another aspect of his clips work: custom clips.
“I have had so many requests for customs. I do so many customs every single week,” he notes with astonishment. “That’s what occupies my time now. That’s been crazy! I didn’t even know that was an option. And you can charge more for that! And they get to play director? Easy-peasy! Tell me what you want, baby! I love it.”
The business has grown so quickly that Woods now employs an assistant to manage his workflow. “All my social media (channels) have my contact email and that goes direct to my assistant. Sometimes I’ll read them, but everything goes directly there. It’s flooded from requests for meet-and-greets to doing clips for (everything from) peeing to wearing sheer socks. My assistant funnels it based on what’s needed that week.”
He quickly learned that flexibility is essential in managing his requests. “My schedule is constantly changing, so what I try to do is guarantee a certain amount of clips a month. I have my customs planned out for this month, and for next, and a few already two months from now — and a few out in the summer.”
Woods is unashamedly frank about his fees for custom work. “I charge a lot. My best friend is a female porn star and so I shadow what a female porn star would charge for certain things,” he observes. “I think certain (male) clip artists would be surprised by what I charge. But I have seen that people will show up and pay for it. And it allows me to control the amount of content I’m putting out there, so I’m not exhausting myself. I don’t want that to happen, either.”
The exploration that creating customs allows has proven itself to be a deep well of inspiration and motivation for a restless creative spirit like Woods. The scenarios he is hired to enact “completely varies” from one request to the next, he says. “Sometimes, I get really creative. For example, a lot of the sock and footplay stuff that I do is a really big seller. And I will not only do a custom clip for someone, but also sell them that item in the clip,” with the price varying based on the length of the clip and the types of clothing items employed.
He is energized by the specificity of the requests for customs. “Sheer socks! They want me to come in from my day and change, and as I’m changing, show off the socks — and this is where having a videographer comes in handy; they are able to get certain angles and make it nice and erotic — so I show off the sock and the sheerness of it, rubbing my hands over it, slowly taking it off. Even the simplest thing like stretching the fabric and showing off the sheerness of something — that’s a big turn-on for people.”
He goes off the record to describe what he calls a “three-part series” for a custom client that includes a script and specific characters and scenarios. “It’s like a mini-porn! They send me the script and it includes the progression of a scenario. It’s so exciting!”
Woods is thrilled about this new turn in his career and the opportunities now available to guide his own career and to really get to know his supporters on a personal level. “I’m one of those people – I really like to dive in and see what it is that makes someone go. That what makes me excited about what I do. That’s why customs can do so well for you. It’s similar to a cam experience. You’re getting to know someone on an intimate level, and allowing them to play director, over time, you can really build a connection through clips.”