The Name Game! (And a Bit About Condoms)

Lyle of Many a Site...and Names
Lyle of Many a Site...and Names

I thought I would start of the year with some BTS perspective of a small part of running an adult site that seems to be getting a lot more attention now that blogs follow model’s movements through the meandering porn industry. A subject matter that has many a blog reader confused, irritated, mystified, or just plain lost.

I am of course speaking of the naming of models, and how they change from site to site.

Back in the day, there were only DVD companies, they would either give a performer their name, or the model would come up with one on their own. That performer usually stuck with that company and their name that kind of became their trademark, They took it with them wherever they would perform- even if they ended up working for another production company.  Most of us over 30 remember those days with Jeff Stryker or Rex Chandler.  Many DVD’s companies now have corresponding internet sites as the DVD market dwindles and “instant gratification” is the norm. But they still keep the first and last name convention going.

Now for those of us starting out as “Amateur” sites a decade ago, we really were working with amateur talent. The thrill of the new market circa 2001 was not a polished nor a perfect “persona” but Real people sharing intimate moments.  Most of us early sites only gave the models a first name, somewhat distinguishing ourselves as an Adult Industry, rather than the Porn Industry.

A subtle difference that many can argue over, and the two certainly overlap, but for the most part, I don’t partake in the Porn Industry dynamic. My guys do Adult work, but aren’t exposed to all the glitz, glamor, and trappings that can happen when feeding an ego machine. They come in, do their gig, and go home to their everyday lives, pockets hopefully a bit heavier, and able to pay rent, invest, fix things, or even buy holiday presents.

Sure some seek that out, and some jump over to the Porn industry and find good careers, while others find the less intimate nature of the way they film to be hard to work in, especially if they identify as straight.

So many of us “Amateur” sites just stuck with a first name and we tried to keep the names unique on our site so that the Search function would easily find a particular model.

Worked pretty good for the first 3-4 years. Scouts submitted models to one site, and they would stay long enough under that that name that they become synonymous with their stage name. Now scouts keep submitting them to the various sites, and even models can look up the blog sites to see the most popular and seek work for them first hand. A new name must be given.

I remember seeing Damien Crosse in a very early jerk-off video. Nervous as fuck and I am not even sure, but I think his name was just Damien. I would love to find that scene.  It would be interesting to watch as he moved from someone with very narrow limits to drinking piss and spitting back and forth in his scene partner’s mouth.

I believe in helping my models as much as I can. They can’t work for me forever, and I encourage them to take their name with them. Build a Brand around their name, and stop confusing the audience who now has access to a what amounts to a Wiki of their performances.

But other studios feel that if they give a model a name, they own a copyright on calling that person by that name. Kind of like a music group might be owned by the producer, and when a rock band breaks away, they find they don’t actually own their own name.  Given some of the snobbery that other sites have, they feel even more strongly that their model with the name they gave them, shouldn’t be associated in any way with my condom-free content…or content on any other sites they feel diminishes the “Brand” they created…even if the model only did a solo for them or me.

They will threaten to sue the other production company if they use that name, though my lawyers say it will not likely hold up in court, but a court battle of calling someone by a nickname will likely result in no one winning that battle…just money wasted.  So studios will routinely change a models name in case a previous studio covets that name and might get all litigious.

Some models do in fact name themselves and show up with their own name and that makes me and fans happy because they can find a favorite model’s work more  easily.

The competitive nature of new sites popping up all the time, along with a weak economy, has many major sites that swore they would never do bareback video, now airing it. I remember one  Scout making a very bold statement on his site that none of his models would ever work for a condom free site. I wonder now that the lead studios are dipping their model’s un-covered cocks in ass, if that attitude is still present? I no longer hold my little niche market I have been developing over the last 3-4 years. Their point is still very valid. WEAR A CONDOM at all times, most especially if your partner’s status is unknown and not tested with the latest PCR/DNA tests.

Many fans might not have read my official statement on Testing, and many studios are wising up that testing is much more accurate, with a more narrow window to show exposure. While not 100 percent, it is certainly a heck of lot better than the Old School Antibody tests that everyone seems to still be taking. If you have noticed the link at the bottom of every page, you should spend some time reading it. You may learn a thing or two about getting yourself properly tested, and to wear a condom at all times in a non-tested scenario! Trials for an inoculation are also moving forward.

Ok, back to the names.  We have learned that some studios will sue another company if you use a model’s stage name that was given to them. Model’s will also often fudge about previous work,, saying they have haven’t worked previously, even signing a contract stating they haven’t and are under no contractual obligations. He might even tell us the name they used before. So we do get tricked.

I think a model should be able to use their stage names. It really looks strange to see the same performer with three to four different names and if you become enamored of the model, damn hard to track down. I feel this harms the audience more than the company claiming said name. And as I said, studios may be unaware a model has done previous work under a stage name and find a very irate producer threatening litigation if they don’t go back and remaster all the videos the model appears in with a new name. Ironically, the other studio that the model has made previous appearances on is often mentioned and linked in a blog entry, and it really acts like an advert for both sites. Why complain?

The Naming issue isn’t just a litigious studios fault.  I myself am at fault when working with a model with previous work under his belt.  If the stage name he  has and is allowed to use it, I may not be able to use it, because I try to keep a model’s name unique on the site.  So take “Vance” on my site. He was Gage elsewhere, but I already had a Gage. Since I didn’t build my site to include last names, I had to swap it out with something unique.  I have been recycling names of late, in hopes that I can reprogram the site to include last names, but it is apparently much more in-depth programming than I had thought it would be.

In summary, please don’t be mad at the model’s themselves for adopting new names every time they “site jump” Usually studios worry about more aggressive and the money they could easily toss at an infringement case. A sum of money that they might not even make them flinch.  But also, I try to keep names unique to my own site, but also encourage the models to build their own brand around that name, add a last name, and keep their fan base happy.

And seriously, isn’t that  really what it should be about? Keeping fans happy?