Adult Site Broker Talk Episode 128 with Kristel Penn of Grooby

Adult Site Broker Talk Episode 128 with Kristel Penn of Grooby

Bruce, the adult site broker, host of Adult Site Broker Talk and CEO of Adult Site Broker, the leading adult website broker, who is known as the company to sell adult sites, is pleased to welcome Kristel Penn of Grooby to Adult Site Broker Talk.

Kristel Penn of Grooby is this week’s guest on Adult Site Broker Talk.

As the Creative and Editorial Director at Grooby, Penn uses her unique reach to foster community among performers.

With over 12 years of experience in the adult industry, she has worked diligently to promote visibility and empowerment through sex positivity.

She also serves as the Executive Producer of the Trans Erotica Awards – also known as the TEAs, an event that exclusively honors the accomplishments of the trans adult industry.

Penn won the 2021 XBIZ Industry Exec ‘Community Figure of the Year’ Award and 2017 XBIZ Industry Exec ‘Brand Ambassador of the Year’ Award.

You can visit or follow her on Twitter at @thekristelpenn.

Bruce, host of the show and CEO of Adult Site Broker said: “Kristel and I had a great conversation. She’s obviously well versed in the trans space, being with Grooby almost since its inception. She has experience in many areas.”

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Listen to Kristel Penn of Grooby on Adult Site Broker Talk, starting today at

Bruce F., host of the show and CEO of Adult Site Broker said:

Kristel and I had a great conversation. She’s obviously well versed in the trans space, being with Grooby almost since its inception. She has experience in many areas.


Speaker 1 (0s): This is Bruce Friedman of Adult Site Broker and welcome to Adult Site Broker Talk, where every week we interview one of the movers and shakers of the adult industry, and we discuss what's going on in our business. Plus we give you a tip on buying and selling websites this week. This week we'll be speaking with Kristel Penn of Grooby

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Check out ASB-Cash-dot-com for more details and to sign up. Now let's feature our property the week that's for sale at Adult Site Broker. We're proud to offer for sale a Growing Sex Doll site started in 2016. It's grown to over 2 million in annual revenue. The owner is focused and invested heavily into SEO for the site, making sure it consistently ranks at the top in the search engines for the main industry keywords.

As a result, most of the traffic and sales are organic coming from people who have searched for Sex Dolls on Google. Other strong sales channels are the 25,000 plus person email list and an affiliate program. The owner has developed relationships with the best manufacturers. The products are drop shipped directly from the manufacturer to the customer. The store has hundreds of five star reviews on the website and on third party sites. The store currently has no employees.

Aside from the owner who works 10 to 15 hours a week on the business, SEO is handled by an agency. This is a business that can be grown by a company with experience in the novelties field. Only 2.72 million. Now time for this week's interview. My guest today on Adult Site Broker talk is Crystal Penn of Groovy Crystal, thanks for being with us today on Adult Side Broker Talk.

Speaker 2 (2m 45s): Thank you for having me, even though it took me very long to get back to you. So thank you for being so gracious.

Speaker 1 (2m 50s): Hey, if, if I'm anything, I'm persistent. Crystal received her bachelor of arts degree from George Washington University and holds a marketing certificate from Santa Monica College. She's currently enrolled at California Southern University in their Masters in Psychology program and is a marriage and family therapist trainee at the T plus Center in Orange County. As the creative and editorial director at Grubby Penn uses her unique reach to foster community among performers.

With over 12 years of experience in the adult industry, she's worked diligently to promote visibility and empowerment through sex positivity. She also serves as the executive producer of the Trans Erotica Awards, also known as the teas, An event that exclusively honors the accomplishments of the trans adult industry. Penn won the 2021 xbi Industry exec Community Figure of the Year award and the 2017 xbi Industry Exec Brand Ambassador of the Year award.

She's presented numerous educational workshops and panels in both the adult and non-adult industries. For more information, you can visit crystal, that's K R I S T E L P E, or follow her on Twitter at the Crystal Penn. Spelled the same way. How was that for your commercial?

Speaker 2 (4m 13s): That made me sound way cooler than I am, so thank you. I'm gonna definitely use that later somewhere

Speaker 1 (4m 19s): You may, May. Now, Grubby is the leading producer of trans erotica since 1996, founded by Steven Grubby. This powerhouse production company manages numerous membership sites and produces at least four DVDs a month. The company also hosts the annual teas, which started as a humble online competition and has since expanded into a successful two day event in Hollywood. Welcoming guests from all around the world, visit and the for more information.

Crystal, what do you have planned for the 2020 threes?

Speaker 2 (4m 56s): So 2023 is cool because one, it is the second year we, we will be doing it in person since the pandemic. Nice. And two, it's actually our 15 year anniversary. Oh, very good. Yeah, so we wanna do it up as big as possible. As you mentioned, we started out as a very, very humble online competition. And then we used to play, we used to have the event at like shitty little nightclub in Los Angeles. And so in our current form at the Avalon, it's, it's definitely the biggest venue that we've, that we've been, that been at, and we wanna keep growing there.

And so I'm working on some special entertainment for the evening for guests who who do attend.

Speaker 1 (5m 33s): Sounds good. Any announcements you wanna make?

Speaker 2 (5m 37s): None that, Well, I guess it depends on when this episode comes out. Maybe the safest thing that I can say is that we are going to make the official announcement for pre nominations on November 1st, and that pre nomination period is gonna run from then till November 13th.

Speaker 1 (5m 52s): Sounds good. Well, this is gonna certainly run after November 1st, but you and I are, are gonna get together on when the best time is to run it. Perfect. So, so for those who don't know about the event, can you tell us more about the event and its history?

Speaker 2 (6m 7s): Yeah, so like I mentioned, it started as an online competition and mostly it was because we were frustrated, particularly Steven, with the lack of trans-specific categories at the major award shows. And so we thought, well, fuck it, we will just make our own, you know, And I think at the time it was this well-intentioned competition, but we didn't really think that far ahead. We didn't really anticipate the type of traction that we were going to receive from it. And I think the positive feedback, and obviously the, the show has changed multiple times since its first incarnation back 10, 15, 10, 15 years ago, essentially.

I'm very proud of the way that it's sort of grown and taken its own shape. I think it's been a very organic growth.

Speaker 1 (6m 53s): How has it changed over the years?

Speaker 2 (6m 55s): Well, the one thing that people will always say is that the name has changed. And so, like I said, when the, the competition was made, the name was different and it was using language that was not super affirming. And, you know, 15 years ago the landscape, at least in terms of of of language in pornography was a little bit different. Sure. And, you know, since then, I mean, that's been the biggest thing that we've changed and something that we're very proud to have changed. And I think in addition to that, the fact that we've moved to an in-person event and not just an in-person event at like a small club, but to, to really host it at somewhere as historic as the Avalon.

And then to have it be, you know, a two day event in which you, because like for for trans performers, this is the only event that honors them specifically. Yeah. And you know, I think other awards shows have made great strides to be more inclusive and I think that's wonderful. They have different and larger platforms than us, but you know, this is the one time of the year where the trans adult industry is right at the forefront in terms of celebrating, which I think is absolutely important. So I think to see the event be in this form where it's taken such a great, I think grand stage, I, I, I think is wonderful.

Speaker 1 (8m 5s): Talk a little bit about trans porn and how it's evolved since that show had its first incarnation.

Speaker 2 (8m 15s): I definitely see more performers. I definitely have seen more diversity. And I think part of it is because, you know, the stuff that we talk about in porn that the issues that come up in porn, it doesn't exist in a vacuum. So there's often a parallel right, between the things that we're discussing in porn in our industry and what's happening kind of like in mainstream society. And a large part of it has to do with sort of l lgbtq inclusivity, you know? And especially like, I think awareness about trans identity and like trans community.

And so we've seen a shift in the last 15 years where I think, you know, trans porn was a very small niche. Yeah. And, you know, something that I remember encountering like in the industry was like, there was a lot of, there was a lot of stigma, you know, And I think that that has started to shift in terms of conversation, whether it's sort of like business to business or, you know, within performer community, I, I definitely see much more openness and acceptance.

Speaker 1 (9m 13s): Yeah. I, I mean, to me, trans porn used to be kind of in this little corner and there was Steven at shows and I've always had a ton of respect for the man. And I mean, I remember talking to him when he had pretty much first gotten started and just had a few sites. And now to see where it's come today, it's just mind blowing.

Speaker 2 (9m 39s): Yeah. It's come, it's come such a long way. Like I definitely remember, and obviously I haven't been in the industry as long as Steven, you know, but even when he and I used to do the shows like kind of in the beginning of my career, I remember, I remember how people viewed us, you know, I remember our place in the industry. I remember what doors were open for us and what doors were not, you know, And I think he had to really endure kind of being in this corner of the industry that was not super like, I think well respected and not

Speaker 1 (10m 8s): Prestigious at all. Yeah,

Speaker 2 (10m 10s): No. You know what I mean? And I think Steven has always been kind of the mindset to like, do it anyway. Yep. You know, and not be, and I think to his credit, not be super bothered by the lack of, I think, you know, acceptance in that way. And I think that's really helped to pave the way to make the genre like what it is.

Speaker 1 (10m 27s): No, he doesn't, he's not bothered by much and quite frankly

Speaker 2 (10m 30s): Not.

Speaker 1 (10m 31s): I, I love his ad, I love his attitude. It's like, it's no nonsense. It's no bullshit. He gets right to the point and he gets things done. And I can't respect that more. I, I just can't. So I, I'm, I'm a big fan of his, huge fan of his, What's it like to attend? And maybe one of these days he'll actually come on my podcast. What's it like to attend the teas? How does it compare to other industry events?

Speaker 2 (11m 1s): So I've been told, and this is no disrespect to the other events, but I've been told by folks that it's the, the most fun of the award shows. I like to liken it to like, we're like the goth table of the industry where everybody is invited, everybody is considered a misfit. Like it is, it is purposely a very inclusive space. Sure. And I mean, I think part of the reason why is because our event is smaller so we're able to cultivate that type of community. But it, to me, it feels like an event where you're invited, like, and not just invited, but like, we're excited that you're here and that you're participating, that you're celebrating.

And I think because of that, it, it feels like a very, very joyous occasion.

Speaker 1 (11m 42s): I mean, just gimme an idea from start to finish, how the teas go down kind of put us in the room.

Speaker 2 (11m 50s): So we used to do it, we mixed it. So sometimes we used to do it as a pre-party, sometimes we did it as an after party. We've played around with the scheduling because we were trying to figure out when people were getting the most drunk when, when they were getting the most drunk and figuring out which events they were gonna come to depending on how drunk they were. So that's the formula that we've been, that's classic. That's cause you have to do math, right? Cause it's like if people get too slosh on one night, you know, what is the likelihood that they're gonna miss the other thing? And so the formula that we use now is we do a pre-party on Friday and then Saturday nothing.

So people can be hungover, it's fine. And then Sunday we do the awards and then no after party. And we, we find that doing it that way allows people to get excited to see people that they like and then basically sleep all day Saturday and then I guess part of Sunday.

Speaker 1 (12m 40s): I love it. So that's pretty drunk. So how long have you been working for Grubby and how did you get into the adult industry?

Speaker 2 (12m 49s): So, very random story. I, I got into the adult industry about 12 years ago and I, I was having an existential crisis in Hawaii where I was like, I'm gonna write the Great American novel, but also I don't wanna do anything. And I was taking nightlife photos in Hawaii for a bit and our accountant was somebody that I knew socially. And so we had a meeting cuz she knew I was looking for work. And she's like, Oh, you know, can you, can you use Photoshop? And I was like, Yeah, I can do Photoshop. She's like, Okay, well it's porn.

And I was like, Okay, whatever. She's like, Well it's trans porn. I was like, okay, whatever. And so I interviewed with Steven and he hired me. And so originally I got hired to be a photo retouch and I was, I was terrible at it. And I think that I only got hired because I knew the accountant and I knew someone else that that worked for us. And it took me on my first day of work, eight hours to Photoshop out toilet paper from a butt hole. I was like, I was so terrible. Like, I don't even know if we used those, those sets, but they were awful. And, and the next day I remember Stephen was training me on something and he realized that I could write that that was actually where my forte was.

And so he's like, Oh fuck, I'm not gonna have you do photos, I'm gonna have you write. And so I started to do blogging for grubby and I used to do some webmaster stuff and I kind of just worked my way up, worked my way up the chain to create the position that I have now.

Speaker 1 (14m 10s): So what all does the position you have now entail? What are your job duties?

Speaker 2 (14m 17s): So, no, no, but whole Photoshopping thing. So I've, I've gladly moved out of that sphere indeed. Yeah. And so, you know, we're, we're still, we are still a small company and so we all in some ways wear multiple hats officially. Where my job, what my job entails is kind of like in focusing on how our brand is perceived by the public and then the aspect of it in terms of like community outreach. And so what can we do for our performers, how can we do right by them?

And then a large part of my job now is being the executive producer of the tees. You know, even though it started out as a small event, now that it's the size that it's at, it requires we're months of planning. So that's a like where the bulk of my year goes to now.

Speaker 1 (15m 3s): Yeah. It sounds like quite an undertaking. People don't realize what it takes to plan an event like that. Do they?

Speaker 2 (15m 11s): Yeah, I think they don't realize how long it takes. And I think how expensive it is, everything costs money, you know what I mean? Even just the cost to rent the venue alone, like for an evening is like well over $10,000. You know. And so I think the mis assumption people have sometimes is that like, we're making money hand over fist running the event. But the truth is that like we price our sponsorships specifically like at a low rate compared to other award shows because we're not trying to make money.

And also we want to encourage folks to buy into community if they want to. And so, you know, then a model can sponsor versus it only being, you know, limited to big corporations sponsoring events. So we wanna see more diversity in who supports it essentially.

Speaker 1 (15m 56s): Yeah, that's great. I would, I would imagine that the inflation rate in America has really hit events like the teas.

Speaker 2 (16m 7s): It's been rough. Like we've, even though things have cost more, we, we are trying to be mindful of the fact that it also means that people's money is not going as far. And so we actually very seldomly raise our prices. So like this year and last year, our prices are identical. And last year we had a clause where if we, if we had to cancel due to Covid because we also were unsure of whether we would be able to go through it, that that we, we would basically refund everybody and just take the loss.

Speaker 1 (16m 36s): Wow, that's phenomenal. So what are the most rewarding things about your job?

Speaker 2 (16m 41s): I'm sure my answer might have been different 10 years ago, but now I'm old and seasoned and stuff. Well

Speaker 1 (16m 47s): That's because you're not getting toilet paper outta but holes. Right.

Speaker 2 (16m 51s): I definitely worked my way up and like, I think when I was younger, like what felt really rewarding was like being able to like go out and socialize and meet folks. And that part still is very important to me now to a certain extent, but like Steve, I've worked for Steven for so long and he knows that I just wanna, I wanna do certain things using my privilege and using like the platform that we have. And so he has in some ways given me free reign to do so. And like, and I tell him this and he will tell you this as well, that like my focus is not on making money and maybe that makes me a bad business person, but he, I don't think he has hired me for my sole purpose of like being a great business person who wants to make money.

It, I, I wanna make money, don't get me wrong. But I think I've always been interested in the community aspect of it. So like how can we support the folks that we are making money from? I think that there's a way that like it can be a very symbiotic relationship where like we can help them and, and they can help us and that there's enough to go around for all of us to be successful. So like, you know, for example, Steven or, or Grubby basically is sponsoring a therapy support group that I'm gonna get to run through the center. And so folks, trans sex workers will be able to join for free because grubby is sponsoring the cost.

So stuff like that, like I really appreciate the platform Steven has given me to pursue things that are like non-traditional.

Speaker 1 (18m 13s): Right, right. No, I mean there's, there's no doubt the commitment that you guys have to the trans porn community, I mean it's, it's very easy to see.

Speaker 2 (18m 25s): That means a lot to me. Cause I think our industry is small in comparison to like mainstream and also I don't think we are a company that doesn't get flack. I mean we get flack all the time for things and I think sometimes it feels discouraging that like, you know, we can have good intentions and it falls flat or you know, things get misunderstood. And so I, it makes me happy to hear that the way that we are perceived is a positive thing.

Speaker 1 (18m 52s): Oh, I think so. I think so. Well the old saying you can't please all the people all the time. Very,

Speaker 2 (18m 58s): Very

Speaker 1 (18m 58s): True. And in this day and age, sometimes you're gonna alienate somebody with anything you say.

Speaker 2 (19m 6s): Right.

Speaker 1 (19m 7s): So that's the unfortunate part of today's world with social media and PC and this and that. It's just, it's impossible not to offend somebody.

Speaker 2 (19m 18s): Yeah, it is a, it is a very tricky thing and I think like for Steven and I, we have a lot of internal conversations about that because his meter for stuff and my meter for stuff right, are different. And so we get into it a lot and like it's helpful because I think it helps us to see like how many different points of view around something can be.

Speaker 1 (19m 38s): Sure. Yeah. I mean it's, it's important to discuss things because if it's just one person making the decisions, like in my company, sometimes those decisions are not going to be all that positive. I think I do okay with that. But it's good, It's good to have more than one person to have as a sounding board.

Speaker 2 (20m 0s): Yeah, I think so I think it's helped us to like mitigate what could be mistakes and also to like, I think unders like really I think to understand kind of like there can be multiple answers to the same problem, like multiple solutions

Speaker 1 (20m 14s): Of course. So what is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?

Speaker 2 (20m 19s): I think that there are no, there are not enough hours in the day. And because we all wear multiple hats, our, our time gets divided up in weird ways sometimes I think it's gotten better. I think we've streamlined, but I think what's challenging is like, I mean the reality of it is we're still a small company and we only have enough, like certain number of hours in the day and we only have a certain number of staff. And so to me there are sometimes like really great ideas that we have that we just can't execute cuz we don't have the time to do so.

Right. And so to like, to I think release attachment to those, you know, those kinds of dreams I think is the most challenging thing for me. Cause there's so many things I wanna do.

Speaker 1 (21m 0s): Of course. So what are some new projects in the works for Groovy?

Speaker 2 (21m 6s): Let's see. So we are, we, we have a magazine that we've been publishing Ruby Girls Magazine, which is free and for community, we stopped that at a certain point during the pandemic and also, like I said, short of short staff. And so we're gonna bring that back. The other thing that we've been working on, which will be announced soonish will be a hall of fame that we're working on, which is separate but related to thet show. But we would like to honor folks in our communities for the work that they've been doing.

Speaker 1 (21m 38s): Very cool.

Speaker 2 (21m 39s): That sounds

Speaker 1 (21m 39s): Excited. Yeah, that sounds like, that sounds like something that would be very, very well received.

Speaker 2 (21m 45s): Yeah, we have these other projects that I can't quite name yet, but they do have this. Oh. Kinda like it's not gonna come out until next year, I think that's why. So, but we have these things where the initiative is kind of focused on how we can honor and celebrate like the performers that work with us. And so we've definitely have been putting intentional time and energy to see how we can help elevate those folks.

Speaker 1 (22m 8s): Okay. So what's something unique you learned as a result of being in the adult industry?

Speaker 2 (22m 14s): Before working in the adult industry, I had this preconceived notion of how I thought I had to do business to be successful in any field, you know, and some of that, it just is not super congruent to who I am as a person. I'm very like, I'm very passive. I wanna do the right thing. Like I'm very, I'm not, I'm not super shrewed as a business person, but I think I had this very young preconceived notion that in order to be successful I needed to, to operate in the industry this way.

And especially because I, I don't look like the other folks in the business sector of the adult industry. I'm Asian, I'm very, very short. I look how I look and so I know that I don't come to the table in the same way as other folks, but what I have learned is that like I haven't deviated from that. I haven't, I haven't acted in any way that has been untrue to who I am. Like I am nice. I believe in the sharing of resources, I be believe in community and I've been very fortunate that I've been rewarded for those things.

Yeah. And I don't think that that's spec, I don't think that that would've necessarily have happened for me in any other industry. But for whatever reason it has all come together in a way that it is, it's, it's validated my identity to say that I don't have to be anybody else other than myself to succeed. Which is I think a wonderful, and I think, I dunno a very lucky lesson.

Speaker 1 (23m 37s): Well I think it says a lot for the adult industry because you can be who you are. Let's face it, we're all outcasts. Okay? Yes. The industry, the people outside, a lot of people outside the industry think of us as outlaws, not just Outkast. Yeah. And if you, if you look at all the negatives being thrown at the industry now, not to mention the negatives being thrown at the transgender community, we won't even go there. We're people who are very accepting of everything you have to be, if you're in the adult industry, nothing should phase you.

Nothing should make you go, Oh God, that's terrible. Right? Because something, everything we do turns somebody on. And that's a beautiful thing.

Speaker 2 (24m 25s): I think like what's also been interesting when we talk about like social capital that like for me and my identity, how I, how I have to walk through the, like the real world, like the non-industry world, like, you know, I've been bullied, I've been ostracized, all of these things. But like in the adult industry, right? Because like you said, we're all, we're all misfits to certain things. We're all, we're all sort of like outcasts that like it's honored differently, right? Difference of identity is honored differently than I think it is in the real world.

Speaker 1 (24m 53s): Yeah, I I would agree. So I hear you're also currently in grad school. We were talking about that before we went on for psychology. Now what would you like to do with your soon to be degree?

Speaker 2 (25m 5s): So I would like to create a certification program for therapists who wanna work with sex workers. A complaint that I hear and, and, and a big reason actually why I decided to go into therapy as sort of a secondary career is because so many people, not just like in our specific part of the industry, but in the industry overall talk about wanting to seek mental health services but not receiving competent care. Right. You know, and this is obviously a community that deserves to have competent care and deserves to access it. And so needs it absolutely needs it.

Absolutely needs it. And so how can I use my privilege and my experience to bridge that gap, you know? And so I wanna create a certification program. I've been doing these educational workshops for sex workers to teach them how to find a competent affirming therapist. And right. I'm starting a, I think I mentioned earlier, like a trans sex worker support group, which will branch out and there are other support groups that I wanna offer, but like, how can I create like safe mental health spaces specifically for sex worker community? And so those are the things that I, that I would like to be working on or are working on in the next I guess few months.

Speaker 1 (26m 9s): That's awesome. Are you doing anything with the pineapple support?

Speaker 2 (26m 13s): I don't. They do some wonderful work. The focus that I have because I work at the LGBTQ center is to funnel source funnel resources. That way when it makes sense for folks who are in California and like the purpose of me doing the workshop is that for folks who end up not using pineapple support, either because they transition out of the industry or do use pineapple support, but want extra tools to figure out who's gonna be a good fit. Like the ideas that the tools I give them can be used for anybody, whether they go through an organization or not.

Speaker 1 (26m 43s): Sure. What do you like to do? This is gonna kind of sound like a, a little bit of a pun, but what do you like to do in your free time?

Speaker 2 (26m 53s): Oh yeah, there's no free time, but every once in a while I'll play music or I make, I make content like mental health content on TikTok. And that's been actually a, a nice like space for my brain to take a break. So I'll play, I'll play a little cheesy, you know, Whitney Houston cover songs on TikTok or I'll talk about sort of mental health, you know, topics and, but yeah, that's, that's few. I will say it's been few and far between. I should probably, I should probably do it more often now that you mentioned it.


Speaker 1 (27m 23s): What's your, yeah, what's your instrument of choice?

Speaker 2 (27m 27s): Guitar if only because piano is not super convenient and I'll play, I usually shoot it in my car as little like short, you know, one minute clips. But yeah, I think

Speaker 1 (27m 37s): Guitar, I can't get a piano in there.

Speaker 2 (27m 39s): No, I, I mean I wanna get those little tiny like eighties casios and so maybe that's

Speaker 1 (27m 44s): Next. Yeah. Very cool. So you also own, and this is the reason you have no spare time cuz you do so many things. You also own your own marketing and PR firm, and I hope I get this right, e key guy marketing. Yes. Did I do okay with that? Perfect. So when did you start that? I'd ask you for phonetics, When did you start that and what does it do?

Speaker 2 (28m 6s): So Ikigai and Japanese essentially means reason for being, and it, it's become a concept that's been fairly popular in the last few years and it looks like a Venn diagram where it's like what we're good at, what the world needs cetera. And in like, the middle overlapping piece is supposed to be our reason for being. And, and in 2000, I think 16, in 2016 when I was at Avian, I remember this distinctly, Aubrey, Kate and Foxy came up to me and they were like, You should do pr. And I was like, well I do marketing for grubby, you know, like I already have, I already do something.

And they're like, No, you should do, you should do PR to represent to us because there's nobody who understands our community in the same way. And I was like, Oh, maybe, I don't know, I have to think about it. And you know, I kind of brushed it off. I thought they were being very kind, but I was like, well I'm not qualified to do this, you know, And I, I thought about it and I talked to Steven to make sure it was okay. And then I, I started off really small, you know, I took on only a few clients at the time and the idea behind Eki guy is that like, I don't believe that there's one, And, and Ruby has been very helpful in, in me creating a blueprint for this.

But like there's no, there's no one blueprint for success. And also because I was working exclusively at the time with adult performers that like, I didn't wanna give them marketing advice that felt incongruent to who they are. I didn't wanna give them that. I didn't wanna be like, Hey, it'd be really great if you did anal and did this. And it was like, you know, on their no list. And so, you know, I made them fill out this very lengthy kind of life coach questionnaire. And part of it is like my therapy background is like, how can we help performers identify what is their eki?

Because I believe that if we can identify that, then the likelihood that success will be the most sustainable for them will be higher. Because like when someone tells you to do something and you don't wanna do it, the likelihood that you'll do it and follow through over long period of time is very low in my opinion. Very true. Right? And so how can we help, how can I help performers identify what actually makes them the happiest or what feels the most congruent to them, you know, and as a brand and how can I center my marketing around that? So it started with the two of them and has since branched out.

And I work with not just adult performers, but I've worked with sex educators, I worked with Penthouse briefly, I work with therapists. Yeah. I worked with restaurants. And so it's really run the gamut at this point.

Speaker 1 (30m 28s): So you actually found a way to merge counseling and pr.

Speaker 2 (30m 34s): Yeah. You know, and I think I, I have to think groupy for this part as well, is that like, I mean, Groupy has been in business for 25 years. 25 years. Yeah. I think it's 25 years. And how do you convince somebody right to pay for their porn at this? Like in this day and age it is near right. It's, it's, it's a very big hurdle for us. And I think what we identified as a company is that like, it really is in the emotional connection that our company makes with whether it's the content or the company itself makes with buyers that tells them to choose our company over piloting our stuff or choosing another company.

And I think that that piece is the part that I use for Eki guy because I think it, it translates over very well, even though it seems, I think random on the outside.

Speaker 1 (31m 16s): Yeah. The tubes are certainly a challenge because a lot of content goes on there without the company's authorization and other providers are on there. And I know, I know Steven's very, very good at, at removing content. We've had this conversation before. So I mean, how do you fight that battle?

Speaker 2 (31m 40s): I mean, in some ways it's a, it's a losing battle because I think totally stuff goes up, right? Like quicker than we can take it down. It doesn't mean, I mean, it doesn't mean that we don't do our due diligence and still do it though, you know what I mean? Like, so even though we know it's in some ways a losing battle, like we work really hard to get stuff removed, You know, we work really hard, I think to put up content that we consent to putting up, we put up clips so that we were still getting the traffic and we're still getting the brand awareness, but we're controlling like what is putting, what is being put out. And I mean, the other thing which I mean, I don't know if Steve, Well I think Steven would say this is that like we go after people who steal our content and then, you know, we, we, we tell them, if you don't do this or don't do that, if you don't take it down, you know, we're gonna proceed legally.

Which I think, you know, titillates Steven to a certain extent because it's like putting power back in our hands.

Speaker 1 (32m 31s): What amazes me is that some people put entire movies, entire clips onto tube sites. It just, I mean, how is that gonna help you sell anything?

Speaker 2 (32m 44s): It's like, it is so shortsighted on their part. And I think there's also this kind of, this other culture that's happening that's like the pi like pirate culture, you know, where there's like no loyalty to anybody. It's really just to steal content and then to just put it up. And so that's like what we're competing against, essentially.

Speaker 1 (33m 2s): Well, yeah. And that's not, that's not just in porn. That's in mainstream movies. Yes, that's in music, that's in everything's, it's, and it's something I hate. I still buy CDs, you know, I, I don't, I don't even, I don't like the quality of, of the online downloads, the, the mp3. So I just, I still buy CDs because I, I believe in supporting the artists, many of whom are my friends. We've got a lot of friends who are jazz artists and I'm not gonna rip them off. It's not gonna happen. Now some of them have sent me their albums in, in rather audio file form and that's great, you know, but my, my preference is to buy it is to make sure they get credit.

Who are some of your clients with Iki Guy?

Speaker 2 (33m 46s): So on the adult industry end, I have Foxy, I have Jamie Kelly, I have Mme. Morgan, who else? I have Domino Presley. I also signed Lindsey Banks, who is a, a cam performer who just actually celebrated her 10 year adult industry anniversary this month. That was pretty cool. Yeah. Great. I think that's all I have right now in the adult sphere. And then the other folks I work with are all in like therapy practices

Speaker 1 (34m 12s): And they need marketing too.

Speaker 2 (34m 13s): I'm hoping I'm not forgetting anybody. Maybe we put in addendum if I,

Speaker 1 (34m 17s): It's okay.

Speaker 2 (34m 18s): I don't get in trouble.

Speaker 1 (34m 21s): So what is the sad but Rad Club? Nice name. I see it's a project you've been working on as well.

Speaker 2 (34m 28s): Yeah, I don't, like I said, I, I don't sleep. I probably should, but I, I started Saba Rad Club during the pandemic, which probably makes the most sense. And it was like, yes, at least here in the States, there was a part of the pandemic where it really felt like we were in lockdown. And maybe actually they even called it that where you weren't, they really like, encouraged you not to leave the house. Yes. And it wasn't great, you know, and honestly, like, I'm too old to use TikTok, so I was trying to figure it out. I don't know how to fucking dance. And so I couldn't figure that out. I couldn't figure out the, you know, the buttons on there.

And I actually, my account was gonna be a groovy account, so it was called, you know, it was like Crystal, it was like my name, It was like Crystal Pan. And I, I started to make kind of weird, weird like pandemic isolation content that I thought was creative but like, was really pandemic brain. And I noticed that like the stuff that I did that was mental health related got really good traffic, like way, way more than like other stuff. And so after a while I thought, you know what, I'm gonna pivot what this account is and do something else.

And I thought, oh, sad A rad club. You know, it encapsulates kind of what I believe that like we can hold all of these identities and it doesn't make us any less of who we are. And, and I've used this platform to help destigmatize what it means to be mentally ill in the stigma around it. And I think I've also used this platform as a funnel, I mean, basically to talk about destigmatizing sex work, which, you know, it, that's not the focus of the platform, that's not the focus of the account. But like, I use my messaging and I use even just me as being like a pseudo public figure to talk about sort of normalizing what consensual sex work is.

Speaker 1 (36m 10s): So where do you find your inspiration for videos? For the Sad but Rad Club?

Speaker 2 (36m 15s): It's really from, I mean, we were in pandemic lockdown for quite some time, so some of it came from that. It came from like really just being stuck in the house and having it, all of that stress of not knowing what was going on. And like, my content has since shifted, so like it parallels what's going on in my, in my real life. And so I talk about being in grad school and I talk about, you know, being a therapist trainee, but early on when I was in the pandemic, a lot of it was actually grief focused.

So by the time I made sad, but RA Club as a TikTok account, like our, my coworker and my friend had passed away from cancer. Like, oh jeez. Yeah, it was, I don't even remember. It was a few months before. And so a lot of the content in the beginning was really just working through my grief and having, you know, I think having a platform to do it and not really expecting or hoping other people to consume it. It was really just, I think for my own process. And, and since then it's shifted, like I said. But I think in the beginning I had less foresight into like, specifically what my content was gonna be because I didn't know.

I didn't, I didn't, I don't, I didn't, I didn't set out to create it. And also like we were in a pandemic and it felt like the world was on fire.

Speaker 1 (37m 29s): Yeah. Felt like the world was ending.

Speaker 2 (37m 31s): Yeah, it was, it was scary. Like I, I just listened to this podcast called Serial and they had a three-part episode that talked, it talked about this woman who lost her dad and her brother during Covid, like the height of the pandemic. And it talked about like, she was going through their text messages and seeing all of the, the, the paranoia about Covid. And I think at the time, you know, like the information that they're passing along, like, oh, the vaccinated people are actually the dangerous ones cause they're shedding the virus. I think about, you know, what, what the pandemic looked like then and it's, it's, I know it's not that long ago, but it feels, it's kinda wild to think about our conceptualization of like the pandemic now versus then and how much, Right.

Like I think how scary it was for folks and still is,

Speaker 1 (38m 17s): Well it's still, it's still not completely over A lot of people want, People want, a lot of people wanna say when there was a pandemic, there's still people getting covid and there's still some people dying. Yes. Now I'm not sure the exact meaning of the word, the exact definition of the word pandemic. We may, it may not fit that anymore, but still people are getting covid and still people are dying. Friend of mine, I was down at the Catalina Jazz Festival at the end of our trip and I had lunch on Monday, a week ago Monday with the friend and she got Covid.

Speaker 2 (38m 52s): Oh, fortunately,

Speaker 1 (38m 53s): Fortunately I didn't.

Speaker 2 (38m 54s): Right.

Speaker 1 (38m 55s): She poured, she poured her, she poured her, she thought she'd be funny and she poured her martini into my drink, into my, into my Bloody Mary. Fortunately it was alcohol. So, you know, I didn't get anything but it

Speaker 2 (39m 7s): Was spared.

Speaker 1 (39m 8s): Yeah, no kidding. If it was anything but a martini, I'm sure I would've gotten Covid. Right. So if you weren't working in the adult industry, where would you be and what would you be doing?

Speaker 2 (39m 19s): I think angsty 20 something year old me, which was me before I started working for grubby would say that I would be a writer. And I think that's probably, I think I would be writing or creating something in some capacity and maybe I would be very poor because who knows if I would be good at it or not. So there would be that, like I do think that mental health in some capacity would've also come up at some point. Like I think I would've, I think me being a therapist was just a very natural fit. So I think, I think I would've in some ways taken the same path even if I wasn't in the adult industry.

Speaker 1 (39m 51s): Yeah. I've, I've got all the respect in the world for the mental health industry. It's, it's something that I utilize as a very small child. When my mom and dad were breaking up and I was like, I don't know, six years old, eight years old. So look, it's something I've always believed in. It's something that I've always said as very important. Shouldn't have a stigma. And I'm a very proud bipolar as well. So there you go. So

Speaker 2 (40m 20s): I love that you like, name it like that. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (40m 23s): Hey, 30% of the population, we're not even, we're not the majority. I think it's, I think it's something to be proud of, so I love that. Anybody wants to know it. That's fine. They can know it, so it doesn't bother me. Well ate, I'd like to, I'd really like to thank you for being our guest today on Adult Site Broker talk and I hope we'll get a chance to do this again real soon.

Speaker 2 (40m 45s): Yeah, thank you so much for having me. And like I said, for making space for this conversation, it, it really means a lot to me,

Speaker 1 (40m 51s): Means a lot to me as well. Thank you. My broker tip today is part four of How to Buy a website. Last week we discussed making an offer and deciding the best price for the site you're buying. Once you've made your offer, the work begins. If you're working with a broker, I don't know, let's say adult site broker for instance, we handle the negotiation for you. Let's say the seller doesn't accept your offer, they may make a counteroffer. If you decide that you're willing to pay more, you can either accept their counter offer or counter back to them.

A good rule of thumb is to always leave room to negotiate. So don't make an offer. That's the absolute most you're willing to pay. If you do that, then you have nowhere to go. If the owner counters your offer, once the owner and you have come to a deal, then it's time to do some due diligence beyond what it is you've already done. During the initial process of looking at the site. You should have asked some questions like in the case of a pay site, how many joins and rebuilds there are per day, and any other pertinent questions you may have during due diligence.

You need to make sure everything is where you need it to be technically, to integrate it with what you're already doing. You may even get your developer involved. If you're not tech savvy, you and or your developer should ask those pertinent questions. Once those are answered to your satisfaction, you should either have the seller or yourself draw up a sales agreement. I always tell my clients to do the agreement themselves. Why? Because that way you can dictate the terms. So whether you're the buyer or the seller, you can make the rules.

However, just be ready to have the seller's attorney change some of those rules. Nothing's final until everything is signed off on. Another thing we do for our clients is a letter of intent prior to the sales agreement being done. This gives your attorney a roadmap for the agreement, the letter of intent, and more so the agreement will have all the terms involved, including who pays for everything, who pays for escrow, for instance. This can be paid by the buyer, the seller, or split between both parties.

We'll talk about the subject more next week and next week we'll be speaking with adult performer Lily Craven. And that's it for this week's Adult Site Broker Talk. I'd once again like to thank my guest Kristel Penn of Grooby. Talk to you again next week on Adult Site Broker Talk. I'm Bruce Friedman.

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