Every year or so, I update this reality check for trans female models/performers in the adult arena. Given that we’re getting back to normal somewhat, there are a lot of models looking for work, which may not be available so it was time to get a new version out. While I don’t expect everyone to agree, this is taken from my 25 years of experience working in the industry although it should be taken as only my point of view. For the purpose of this, I’m mainly going to be discussing N.America.
First the good news …
… there is no good news (maybe a bit at the end). Trans production companies in 2020 were already at an all-time low before Covid, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve anytime fast, if at all. Self-production does seem the way to go, but that’s a pie that needs to be shared by a lot of performers and there is a finite amount of money that will be spent on it. Many fans find it hard to justify buying content by the clip when a website can offer much more content, for only a little more. Models with larger catalogues and bigger brand-names are at an advantage over the newer models.
There are only a small handful of larger production companies regularly producing – Evil Angel, GenderX, Transsensual all of who feature many of the established stars, in hardcore, high-end productions. Their business model is great scenes with high production value, but they only produce a limited amount of scenes a month. Then there are a few smaller, self-contained producers, doing their own thing; Christian, Trans Mafia, TransGlamour, etc. The rest of the industry are models producing trade or specific content for their Clip and Fan sites.
Grooby 2020 Production Numbers
This isn’t an effort to sell Grooby to you. If you’re here, then you know who we are. Our business model is based on showing a wide amount of models, from different types of backgrounds or scene types. Lower production costs and lot’s of content. We try to give as many shoots as we can but the sheer number of applicants, as well as returning models means that many are disappointed at not being able to shoot at all, or not being able to return for future shoots. I hate to say ‘No’ but we are running a company, and we have to make the best decision on which models to work with – and ultimately that lies with myself, and I always take responsibility for that.
One thing which should be sobering for you – as far as I am aware, we are the only company producing solo content now – and I also believe we’re the only one producing regular black trans content.
This article aims to demystify the process, to make people aware of how decisions are made, as well as hopefully manage your expectations. I often point models to previous iterations of this post, instead of having to repeat myself.
Grooby Shoots in N.American 2020 (project and no including the Covid slow down)
Grooby Girls 130 solo shoots 52 hardcore
BlackTgirls 130 solo shoots 52 hardcore
Tgirls.xxx 78 solo shoots 52 hardcore
BobsTgirls 78 solo shoots 52 hardcore
Femout 78 solo shoots 52 hardcore
GroobyVR/TSPOV 44 hardcore
Network (BBW/T40/Postop etc) 70 solo shoots 12 hardcore
Total : 564 solo shoots 316 hardcore
That sounds like a lot right? It is. It’s a huge amount of shoots (for those interested, for the rest of the world (Europe/UK, Brazil, Russia, Thailand etc.) we shoot about another 340 scenes annually.
When we start to break this down, that’s 47 solo shoots and 26 hardcore scenes needed a month over all the sites.
Let’s look at our biggest site, and the most famous, GroobyGirls.com as an example. Each week it updates with 5 exclusive scenes (and a bunch of bonuses). Each week those 5 scenes include 1x hardcore, 1x orgasm special (always returning model) and 1x new ‘first-timer’ model. That leaves two slots for other new models, or returning models. In 2020 to date, we’ve featured 90 unique models on this site. Each of those models would love to shoot multiple times but with only limited slots, and having to give new models a go – and then specifically bring back models who were requested by members, the majority of girls will be missed out.
BlackTgirls functions much the same as GroobyGirls, while Tgirls.xxx and BobsTgirls rarely debut a model unless we know they’re going to be a big hit, and focus more on tested and requested ‘star’ type models. Femout.xxx features only girls early in their transition, while the Network has BBW models, Post Op Models and our over 40 models amongst others. So while some models may feature across multiple sites, most are only eligible to work on a few.
We receive on average 8 applications a day. 2-3 would seem to be a fit on one of our sites, the other 5 are rejected for various reasons. Every applicant gets a brief reply (often telling them to reapply when further down the road). That means over 1700 applicants a year get immediate rejection, while we try to work with the other 700 or so. This usually works down to about 150 new models a year, who all get a test shoot on one of the sites or the other.
So when a model asks for more work, and I have to say we don’t have anything available you can see the sort of numbers you are competing against, and why it’s so difficult to get girls back as often as we’d like.
“… but I see lots of other girls getting lots of reshoots?”
We are a business, and as good as we try to be and to be as accommodating as we can, ultimately we have to please existing members and attract new ones. That comes from re-shooting models who we know sell well, have rated well and have been requested. There is no one set metric for re-shoots, it’s based on a number of factors including;
- how well a model performed on rating and feedback on the sites.
- if she is new and fresh, and not been seen in many other places.
- models who are more exclusive to us (and we know work well).
- those who we see ‘chatter’ about on social media, forums, etc. with requests.
- models who perform well on social media and help promote our brand.
- models who are easy to work with & professional.
- those who have a unique look or talent.
- models easily available to a producer close to them.
Although some of the above are personal, and anything which takes physical characteristics into a decision making process, can only be personal – models need to understand, that it’s not really about you but how well we can sell your brand on the sites, and if it’s going to return the budget, or if there is another model whom we are more confident in being able to do that.
If we were to assign a value that needed returning to each model to repay what it cost in getting them on the sites (model and producer fees, photo/video editing, webmasters, servers, anti-piracy and the rest), a model on GroobyGirls who have a value of around $1600 per solo 2 set shoot. See how hard it is to make that on a clip store! Many models don’t return that $1600 so would represent as a loss, but the models we ask back often return it multi-fold and therefore they help support our business model of working with and trying, lots of new models. This is how our business model works.
To reiterate, I hate to say ‘No’. Telling a model who enjoyed shooting with us and appearing on the sites, that’s it’s going to be difficult getting them in for more work either soon, or ever, just never feels good. It may only be porn, but these are people’s hopes and inspirations and I do empathise with that. So please understand where we are coming from.
And to finish on the good news …
It’s never been so easy for you to produce your own content and monetise it. The entry barrier to producing for clip sites is a decent telephone camera and access to upload it. Yes, there are 1000’s of models doing it, but the costs are so low (you don’t have to pay for a camera person, editor and you are the model) that even though it’s a pie that has to be shared by many, you can test what works for you.
I wish everyone the best of luck in doing what they want to do, and I hope this has explained if not how the industry works, how we work – and why we have to decline models who want to do further work.
My email is always open at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can get me at @groobysteven