August 06, 2003 12:00am
From the Trenches with Dave Cummings
by: Dave Cummings
My DaveCummings.com site, which has always has zero pop-ups and zero advertising, is just one of 300+ adult domains I own, of which 60 are active and feeding traffic to my personal site; I'm also performing in videos for other companies, as well as my own. Being 63 years old, I should be thinking about applying for Social Security and taking life a little easier. But, I'm an oversexed old fart, and I'm having too much fun being porn star "Dave Cummings"!
The downside is that I don't have a lot of free time for non-adult matters; but I am so alive with energy and a zest for continuing Adult-Industry fun things that a near-term retirement is not even remotely in my plans. Personal and professionalism time management has, however, become a very important aspect of my life!
I teach a 3-hour course for the Learning Annex in Los Angeles and San Diego concerning the making of adult videos. It's something that I enjoy, though I am candid in opining that the wannabe producers/directors might have missed the boat that left the dock 5-6 years ago, and that the present availability of digital camcorders has spawned a glut of guys buying them in hopes of getting laid by "becoming" producers; and, yes, I also alert them to the over-supply of footage that's already plaguing the market, and that their quest will worsen the glut and could possibly be a money-losing ordeal for them.
Each week, I usually shoot a couple of sex scenes for my sex Fun, Sugardaddy, and Knee Pad Nymphos series; but, because of the aforementioned, I no longer release a new video every month. The costs versus return on investment just isn't what it was six years ago when I started directing/producing - consequently, I space the releases out now to one every 6-8 weeks and just hope that long term revenues from Video-on-Demand and streaming video feeds for adult websites will eventually let me break even or possibly even profit a little, while continuing to have fun!
In addition to the above, my personal website eats up a considerable amount of my available time. Yes, I make a little money, but fun is the main reason why I continue it. Let's face it, the Adult Industry is all about the girls, not us porn guys! For the most part we guys are merely necessary "props". The girls are the focus for most fans. Speaking of the fans, these viewers are what it's really and basically all about. Without them, we are spinning our wheels. Though I sense that the female and couples market is growing significantly, the present situation mandates that most video and website output should continue to supply masturbatory visuals for the male fans/viewers.
I get a lot of feedback from visitors to my DaveCummings.com, and I spend a lot of time personally and individually answering their emails and letters. Yes, like most other businesses and professions, some "customers" are pains in the butt; however, most are well meaning everyday folks who are considerate and sincere when they communicate their questions, opinions, and ideas. The remainder of this monthly column will address some of their main questions and comments.
Surfers and members often comment how clean my site is, and how impressed they are with all the varied and hot free stuff in the Guest's area, including hardcore video clips; and, the inexpensive member's area which has over 5 Gig's of content in it. It grosses $3,500-4,500 a month, which isn't too shabby for a guy's site but pales in comparison to the revenue realized by established porn girls. Once again, it's a female's "world", one where male surfers much prefer to identify with a specific favorite starlet instead of the many different porn girls encompassed within my site.
Most folks emailing me want to know how they can launch their own porn stud career; and, (much too many) request that I personally recommend them and provide them with contacts and easy entry into the Industry so that they can be performing next week with their favorite big-name girls. Most of these guys erroneously think that they are the only guy in the whole wide world wanting to be the next big-name porn stud. I wish them good luck and urge them to read the link to "How to be a Porn Star" at my site; then, I suggest that they re-read it again! Usually, they then see the situation and don't pursue it any further.
But, there's always the few who (God Bless their confidence!) are absolutely certain that they could indeed be the next super stud, and that I must stop everything and help them regardless of what they read in my article/link. Then, there are those who want to be producers, directors, scriptwriters, crew members, and visitors to sets (to observe intellectually, of course; certainly not to fall for any "porn plots" that might have them mistakenly think that all the adult actresses they see on set will surely want to give them blowjobs and fall for their charms-believe it or not, some guys actually think that seeing a porn girl in aisle 3 of the supermarket means that the girl will surely want to "do" them in aisle 4 or in the parking lot!). At the bottom of my "How to be a Porn Star" link is another link to "Other Avenues into Porn" where wannabe producers, scriptwriters, crew members, etc can get a summary of the real scoop.
A major time consumer are the folks who want to be my pen pals, mistakenly thinking that we porn stars get no letters or emails except from them. I try to be polite, but some of these people inundate me with many subsequent and cumbersome emails everyday, often containing complicated and involved questions as if I had many 30-minute periods available throughout my day to devote only to them. Often, some of these folks are ones who want (indeed, they almost demand) that I alter my plans/schedule/deadlines and give them a private and detailed extensive course on how they can become a producer. Some days, I get many people pushing me to immediately help them from soup to nuts, including helping them cast adult actresses. Regrettably, I'm now forced to decline All such requests, lest I would never be able to timely answer other emails or letters.
Another popular question concerns our HIV/STD testing regiments. I usually refer them to AIM-Med.org, which addresses the question; candidly, I'm always also hoping that the person will read other info on the Aim site, and perhaps become better informed about disease testing, prevention, and treatment for their own personal life. In a "Community Service" vein, I also hope that they will refer others to AIM's site, thus allowing us in the Adult Industry to steer folks towards a safer and more enjoyable sex life.
Another question I often get is from Bisexual or Gay men asking me if I'll ever appear in a future gay film --- some even blatantly ask me if I would let them meet me and give me a blowjob; I respond by telling them that I am heterosexual both on camera and in my own private sexual life, but that I support the right of consenting adults to enjoy whatever sexual preferences they desire.
I'm often asked if the girls actually climax, or whether it's faked. I tell them that I sense that 25-30% do indeed cum, though sometimes it might be off camera while on a break or when the cameraman hasn't been alerted in a timely manner to an upcoming female orgasm. I also mention to the inquirers that we are "working" when we are "performing" in front of the camera, and the pressures and location sometimes divert from the spontaneity of the coupling. We are having sex in front of the camera, unlike those who get to "make love" to their significant other. Here it is again, that old contention that the girls have it easier than the guy performers who can't fake sexual excitement or a climax like the actresses can---the guy must have an erection, and he must actually cum; as the link to "How to be a Porn Star" says, it's all about functionality, not a guy's penis size, load, muscles, looks, charm, etc.
Having a website invites lots of interesting and specific questions from surfers and viewers, as well as many of the same questions over and over again. Every email deserves an answer, and no porn star should ever delete emails without at least providing an answer, or a short "Sorry, but..." response.
Time management is an important aspect of corporate, business, and family/personal life and functioning; some people in the Adult Industry are faced with the same challenges and demands upon their available time!
Please become an informed voter, focus on the positives of life, be nice to others just for the sake of being considerate, and enjoy sex as a normal, natural, and healthy aspect of living!