You don't need me to tell you that times are financially tough right now for a lot of people. You might be curious, though, whether or not recessions and looming depressions have an effect on our porn site sales. The answer? Yes, sales have been a little harder for us to make but overall I feel much more secure than I would in almost any other industry. The main sign we've seen that people's wallets are thin is that we get more denied credit cards.
My main financial concerns right now are not about falling sales, they're just about having finally reached our limit, unfortunately right at the time when banks and everyone else have reached theirs. I try not to feel a sense of shame or failure about my debt load regardless of how our country tells us that we little people are to blame for overextending ourselves or for being given loans and lines of credit we somehow didn't deserve. Our only mistake was being born poor while extremely unscrupulous banking bigwigs are bailed out for fucking people anally with insanely high interest rates. Example: it cracks me up that Citibank not only gets away with raising my interest rate and leveling late charges against me for sending a payment in on time that I accidentally wrote for fifty-seven cents less than the minimum payment that month (YES I have written them letters to no avail), but taxpayers get to foot the bill to save their fucking asses.
I'm getting off track.
Point is, after filing our taxes in October (yes, totally late) and maxing ourselves out like crazy we simply need to make more sales. Really, there is no excuse for us not to be making much more money at this point except that we tend to focus more on keeping our members happy than on actually, you know, FINDING MORE MEMBERS. It would be nice if we could do it all, but at this point we need to cut back on some things and rearrange others, at least until we meet some financial goals. So here are a couple of changes we/I are making:*REALISTIC NUMBER OF WEBCAM SHOWS EVERY OTHER WEEK.
Delia and I have been doing an insane number of shows for too many years: around twenty a month between the two of us. Most girls or couples with sites like ours who actually do live webcam shows do one or two a week, so maybe three to eight shows a month. Frankly it was sucking way too much sexual energy out of our relationship, leaving us very little free time to be spontaneous or go on shooting sprees or, you know, take a day or two off here and there.
We're now scheduling a couple days of webcam shows a couple times a month/every other week. It still averages out to at least two shows a week this way, but that's still less than what we have been doing and will give us more breathing room in-between to shoot videos and have recreational sex with each other.
Doing fewer camshows will also open up time to promote our sites in other ways; the truth is that the cam networks stopped being good places to get new members a long time ago. Even the girls who put on great shows and bend over backwards to be great orgasmic little entertainers do not make great sales because of those webcam shows. I will save explaining why for a different blog entry, but suffice to say right now there are more efficient ways of bringing in new sales; at a time like now we simply need to be more efficient.*FEWER HOURS IN CHAT
I really really love getting to know our members and think an active chatroom with a readily-available hostess is a really awesome feature to have on a porn/spycam site. I've had many awesome conversations in chat and gotten to know people I consider friends. Unfortunately, I probably spent way too much time in spycam chat over the years when I should have been focusing more on marketing my site. Now it's at the point where I really don't have a choice and need to spend those hours promoting our sites (especially Delia's because it outsells mine three to one).
I hate to say it, but I just don't have enough members to justify scheduling so many hours in chat. I've tried to find ways to make it work, and I feel like the same small handful of people are coming in just so I don't feel bad sitting in there alone. Combined with being burned out from all the camshows and being under pressure in other ways, I'm also just not as energetic an entertainer as I once was, anyway, so it's probably not a very enticing feature anymore. I am, however, continuing to pay for our members-only chatroom (the plugin is only $12.50 a month, but still) and am popping in there every so often and scheduling chats here and there. I've also added a separate twitter feed on the spycam, chat and shows pages to notify people of upcoming chats and shows and spycam stuff.
I've made a goal for myself that once Delia has 750 members and I have 500 members, I will add 15+ hours of chat per month
back into the schedule as long as we can maintain those numbers and people seem to enjoy the chats. I know that 1250 members sounds like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it's inexcusable that we don't have that many and more members right now. When I see the way other porn sites have tons of members and offer so much less than we do, it really makes me mad at myself because there's no reason we cannot be comfortable, debt-free and have the resources we need to make our sites better.
I just can't justify doing as much as we've been doing and staying so deeply in debt. I'm getting too old for it and it's taking too much of a toll on me. I need to buckle down and sell the fuck out of our sites, especially Delia's because she has much less competition.*LOOSEY-GOOSEY UPDATES
For about five years I was very rigid about my update schedule for members, posting something new every week, and for many years on the exact same DAY each week. I still feel like that's the ideal way to do things (scheduled updates one or more times a week, depending on whether or not the site has anything else going for it).
Once we made our sites all-access (join one you get them all) I tried to relax a little on that and am finally feeling less anal about it. Now I am focused on our network of sites added ten or more new things each month, which isn't two hard considering that we have DeliaCD
(which is paralyzed right now, but I digress). Still, I have been asking too much of myself and not really giving myself the opportunities to excel at what I do best and WANT to do most at any given time. When I see other sites that I think are great (and so do their members) and they don't get all crazy freaking out on themselves for not updating like clockwork, I have to think I'm just sabotaging myself with self-criticism and essentially also disrespecting the work my colleagues do; if it's good enough for them, why isn't it good enough for me?
This was especially apparent to me when AmberLily joined our network; it was a sudden thing, so we didn't plan on it by having a bunch of our own content queued up ready to go while we did the things we needed to do to help get her site up on our server and attached to us. It wasn't that anything I did was particularly HARD, but it did take a lot of hours making phone calls, designing a tour, negotiating stuff, etc. Lots of little things that made me happy to do, but meant I didn't have time to do other things. I *should* have said, "hey members! This month I won't be posting new updates but AmberLily's joining us and you will have her entire site to explore to make up for it!" But I didn't do that.
From now on, I NEED to do that; realize I can't do it all, and be proud of what I *do* do, and satisfied that it is enough instead of thinking all will be lost unless I run myself into the ground. The opposite is proving to be true (duh): all will be lost if I continue to run myself ragged. I'm totally out of gas, which is sad especially when there are a number of women who would like to join our network of sites and I simply don't have time and energy to invest in working with them right now.
There are tons of things I've neglected to do that I need to get taken care of, like redesigning the free areas and blogs for pretty much all of our paysites. How many years have I had the same confusing design on this blog and my site that is now totally outdated with pages of broken things, old pictures, etc.? It's just unacceptable. And no, I am not listening to anybody who gives me shit about all my other little "projects" and how if I didn't waste time with them I could finish all these neglected necessaries. Bullshit. If I didn't allow myself to go off on tangents, then half of the reward of working for myself would be totally fucking DELETED. Whatever makes me want to do those things is the same thing that makes me good at the things people PAY for.
Oh, and speaking of what people pay for, I still really miss doing phone sex, private shows and the potential to do other one-on-one stuff; another set of things I'd like to mix back into my life soon or when we meet some of those money goals.
Basically I am *considering* posting fewer updates to the TastyTrixie members area for a few months or until I feel/look healthier. Lately I've been doubling up on them/posting "late", mostly because I haven't been happy with a lot of my content and sit on updates until I have something "better" to go with them. In fact, that's what I've been doing with a set of pictures that I edited this week and really kind of hate.
Mostly I guess I need to stop making promises and just focus on making content. And even more than that, SALES. Note: it's not that our content isn't good enough to make sales or that we don't have enough of it or that our members-only areas are lacking; that isn't the problem at all. It's simply that the webmasters promoting most porn sites don't know how to promote us, or have never heard of us because we have no advertising budget, or it's just not worth it to them to promote us because we can't pay them as much as these big sites do (yet another subject for another blog entry) or we don't give them enough free content in the format they like with a lot of bells and whistles and things to make it super-easy (I totally understand why this puts us at a disadvantage).
I know this is a really long post and maybe a total bore to most people, but I feel like I needed to communicate this stuff in writing and by posting it, make a commitment to it myself. Long story short, we need to focus on meeting some attainable, yet very immediately necessary sales goals. I have to close two of my credit card accounts before they raise the interest rates to some even-more god-awful amount; this shit is getting down to the wire and we simply have to stop living on the edge.
One of my favorite books about "unschooling" tells readers that when you allow a young person to escape the lock-step of traditional schools, the person usually needs three months or more to get it out of their system and have their natural curiosity well up enough to be motivated to take advantage of other learning opportunities. Note: there are many things I love about traditional schools AND alternative approaches to education; I'm not knocking schools, just using this as an example.
As I've alluded to in recent posts
, making great life-changing decisions doesn't always yield immediate relief and results and instant accomplishments; I've been pretty exhausted and overwhelmed on a bunch of different levels so I really don't expect everything to magically be PERFECT and I hope my members are patient and understand that too, though I totally understand if people feel like canceling
and perhaps coming back later when I have more to offer.
I'm really looking forward to getting back to making our spycams more entertaining, focusing on Delia's and my relationship to each other, and feeling better about my body. Today's the seventh day in a row I've exercised and I know by the time the new year rolls around I'm going to feel a million percent better (if the holidays don't kill me ;).
Labels: announcements, body image, boundaries, chat, fears, goals, health, money, PORNOGRAPHY, priorities, spycams, webcam shows, webwhore insights, work
A couple of samples from the gallery I just posted for members:
I don't think I'd feel like I need to lose fifteen pounds if we could afford for me to specialize in long line girdles and corsets.
Speaking of what we can/can't afford, I know that I need to cut some obligations out in order to have time to really tweak and market our sites appropriately. For some reason I'm having a really difficult time deciding which things I need to stop doing, at least temporarily. I've been freaking out a lot and feeling anxious/overwhelmed. I don't think my priorities are set in a way that's effective and it's hard for me to rearrange them and then accept that the things at the bottom will have to be trimmed off. I am trying to do it all (and have been for too many years) and it's just not working. I'm sucking at everything and not really focusing my best efforts on the things I'm actually GOOD at and the things that make the most money.
It's hard for me to let go.
One of the things I realized this month (besides that we NEED to take days off) is that we will have to 1) limit the number of miles we drive/trips we take each month and/or in rapid succession and 2) make sure visiting family doesn't get sidelined in that equation in favor of work or friends. It's not because of fuel costs, it's because we live so far away from everyone that the HOURS spent in the car NOT working (except to fuck up my back/body) cost too much, plus it breaks my heart going for such long stretches without seeing my nephew. I also had a major meltdown awhile back with extreme guilt over neglecting to visit my grandma in over a year. Long story short, I'm stressed out and tossing ideas around in my head to reduce that stress.
Eventually I am going to have to learn how to forgive myself for not being able to do everything, and allow myself to succeed working from a shorter/different to-do list.
Labels: boobs, boundaries, family, fetishes, goals, mundane, natural boobs, PHOTOS, priorities, travel, values, work
SHORT ARMS MAKE FOR GOOD PEDICURES
I got a girly foot job today. Because there was a special half-off deal going on. And because we rented a nice room to shoot in tomorrow and really, what's the point in blowing money on a fancy room to shoot swank nudey pics if your toes look nasty?
My "nail technician" was a cute heavy-set blonde with her hair done up in Bjorkesque knots. She was not much taller than I am so her arms were pretty short in comparison to her boobs which stuck out a lot. As a result, my toes patted and prodded her fluffy pillows of breastage. During the massage portion, my feet (one at a time) were even engulfed in her cleavage.
I know you all think I'm a total fucking pervert who couldn't help but get off on this sexually, but honestly I kept my thoughts pure in spite of the pleasant feeling of my feet touching a cute-looking woman's breasts. I *do* love touching people with my feet on both a sensual and sexual level, but I got the feeling that this girl was fairly new to her craft; she seemed very preoccupied, as though she were trying to follow a script she learned at beauty school or was handed by the salon owner.
I'm guessing it's probably difficult to have her body invaded like that when she's trying to work and that she has to do some mental and emotional work-arounds to deal with having strangers' feet jabbing and patting and smushing against her tits. My feet are really small so I can only imagine that people with normal or large feet REALLY press up against her. Given her inexperience and her personality I just felt sort of awkward on her behalf. Awkward in a way that would be hot if it were fiction, but that any decent woman could resist eroticizing (at the time, anyway). My nail technician seemed to hold her cards close to her chest when I tried to get her to talk trash about our respective towns; she avoided say anything very personal or in a familiar tone.
She was pleasant, but clearly had her guard up. I chalk it up to the boobs and being new to her trade, but it might also have been because her boss could hear us. Regardless, I felt it was NOT the time to be getting all horny over the feet-on-boobs action. Even when I saw my little toeprints-made-of-lotion dotting the front of her black shirt. Even when she said, "you're still wet so I'm going to keep you here a little longer." Even then, I did not allow myself to indulge in x-rated fantasies."But Trixie, it's not like she could read your mind! Why censor your thoughts?"
BECAUSE. Sometimes dirty thoughts leak out like bad gas and fill a room with discomfort. I believe they do, anyway. Some people can intuitively pick up on someone else's hard-on, even if it's purely mental and poses no physical threat. I have no desire to victimize a professional nail technician even if the victimization is only happening in my head. It's just disrespectful . . . sometimes you have to rise above your baser instincts. Without acting rigid and readably uncomfortable, you have to detach yourself, particularly when you see that the other person is sending signals that detachment is what she needs.
People who touch other people for a living without actually doing sex work -- therapeutic massage, nails, hair, facials (haha), etc. -- still provide very intimate services that are supposed to make customers feel good, physically and emotionally. I think they go home feeling similarly emotionally exhausted by the shifty boundaries they've dealt with all day, touching people's sweatiest places, hearing their stories, trying to be receptive to chat while not annoying clients by talking TOO much themselves (or entertaining clients who like that sort of thing). I think they deserve a lot of respect (and good tips) for that and deserve to preserve some boundaries; I would just feel wrong about violating that, even in my head. Especially when my feet are already on her boobs.
Labels: arousal, boundaries, customer relations, ethics, fantasies, luxury, privacy, TURN ONS, work