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Dan Hogue on his career, and the evolutions of trans porn and camming

Updated: Apr 25

Blog Post Written By: Nicholas Journeyman

 

With decades of experience in adult industries, few people have observed the business of porn evolve as closely as Dan Hogue. As the Director of Operations for both PornStarPlatinum and TransErotica, Hogue has a front row seat to watch as trans, amateur, and camming have changed. He is also able to offer quality advice from years of experience that few others can offer.


You can learn more about his companies by following PornStarPlatinum and TransErotica on Twitter. And you can follow Hogue directly on Twitter at @CamWorldDan.

Nicholas Journeyman: Prior to creating porn, what was your exposure to it? Do you remember your first Playboy or similar mag?


Dan Hogue: I remember finding a stack of Playboys in my mother’s Bosses office when I was a pre-teen lol. Actually, my first was Playboy #1 with Marilyn. The funny thing about that was that I had hit the lock button but what I did not realize was there was no way to unlock it and get out. He was a Mob guy in Chicago. So, we had to break a window to get me out of his office. But since I was so young, my older brother and Mom broke the window from the outside in, so he knew it was me but never said anything. Later, I was helping my brother with maintenance at an apartment complex and the guys collected them out of the trash. So, I snagged a few of the Playboys.


Journeyman: When did you decide to pursue a career in porn? Was it something you fell into?

Hogue: My then-wife and I were trying to find people to play with (Swingers). And we kept trying to get friends to play with. The final straw was when a couple we had known for a long time finally decided to go all the way with it and we all started to play. His wife had me in her hands and said “fuck me” I look over at her husband who was there fucking my wife and he shook his head no. lol. So, after that, we decided to seek swinger clubs and met a gal, Abby, and after some socializing, they took us back to their room and asked if we minded if we took pictures for her website. I was like, “hell, YES,” and we were focused on having fun and taking pics. This was 1998. That night a lightbulb went off and I thought it was a great ice breaker and immediately contacted her “webmaster” to build us the first swinging couples’ site on the internet. After our first month, I knew we were on to something big!


Journeyman: PornStarPlatinumCams.com has a history going back to 2003. Though it is difficult to remember what the internet was like in the early 2000s, what was it like running a business back then?

Hogue: My actual background is in cam. While my then-wife and I were running our amateur site as well as others we were all a part of a cam network that shared live shows (back then it was basically a JPEG push format of streaming.) We did not like how it was so one-sided with the people who ran it getting all the traffic and money. We came up with a better way of doing things and took over the amateur cam show market with AmateurCamZ.com and, later, turned it into PrivateCams.com and CamZ.com; winning XBiz for Best in Live Cam Site as well as earning am XBiz Industry Pioneer Award for my innovations in Live cam.


It is very difficult to run your own platform or to start from scratch a live cam program now. It would take many millions to even have a shot. It is hard enough running White Labels of other cam sites but we make it work and are working on a new project to market our WL’s better.


Journeyman: The number of people in the U.S. who identify as trans and/or support trans rights has increased in recent years. How do you think this has impacted your business? Specifically, was there a spike in sales that correlates with growing trans acceptance?

Hogue: It certainly has. I still need to remind people of the “Old School” descriptions are no longer acceptable outside of marketing purposes. But not only has it become more and more commonplace, but the advances in hormones and surgeries have enabled more and more of the gals to feel less and less of the gender dysphoria that so many face in life.


We have seen an increase in attention and on the social side of things and even within traditional tube sites we are seeing more and more inclusion into the market. Hell, even Brazzers is shooting Trans Scenes now.


It is great to see however the traffic development in many areas however, it is still in the infant stages ironically. There are not a lot of places relatively speaking to gain or drive traffic from.


Also, there are so many smoking hot gals out there!! Wow!


Journeyman: You have seen the rise of OnlyFans and similar platforms. How do you think this has impacted your area of adult work?


Hogue: Massive growth and for me, personally, this has had a significant impact in a couple of areas. First, within PornStarPlatinum.com and TransErotica.com we are a trade company. This means that we pay for all of the content dev I/E Location, Shooters, Editing, and so on and they get a copy of professionally shot content to use on their OF and other platforms as well as for either their official site with us or for the network being co-authors of the content. So, it has helped us as many of the gals are looking for quality content to mix in with their, mostly, amateur shot content

As a secondary thing, I along with my partner, Bambi Bliss, have developed a Model Management Company to assist in growing, marketing, and managing platforms to maximize their exposure and demographics as well as revenue from all channels. Giving the performers the time to create new content and relate to the fans.




Journeyman: Computers are getting faster, graphics are getting better, and VR/AR is getting more popular. Which technologies are you most excited about? Hogue: The challenge is not what is available, it is the impact that Crypto mining has had on the cost and availability of the graphics cards necessary for these techs to evolve. IMO.


I do like VR if it is done right. Meaning, not just some POV shot but has some action going on around the main focal point for when or if people want to capture the true value in VR which is the ability to enhance the story and/or excitement by turning of ahead to someone watching or someone else fucking next to them.


AR is for sure there. But not something I really spent much time on


Journeyman: Pornography and sex work seem to exist under the threat of new laws being passed. Which legal issues are you currently worried about? Hogue: There is a continuing erosion of freedoms in the US and abroad. The EU taking and threatening to block. The US is creating many restrictions regarding content and regulations regardless of the Constitution. The things that I fear the most are the credit card companies pulling the chains. If you remember back in the early 2000’s we were forced to go to a 5% then 2% eventually a 1-1.5% chargeback ratio and this was from a select few who were abusing the system trading data and having contests to see who could have the highest chargeback ratio by jamming cards at a time when we were all converting so well it ruined it for many.

We are facing something similar, in that there have been several companies (High Profile and Powerful Companies) that simply ignored the rules and responsibilities of policing themselves and were so focused on the short-term growth that they ignored the long-term implications of their actions. Similar to the card bangers of decades prior.


We in the industry are our own worst enemy, and as long as we do not police ourselves it opens the door for others who are under a lot of pressure from governments and activist groups to stop doing business with us, we are going to continue to make it harder to overcome the challenges.


My biggest fear is they remove our ability to collect money.


Journeyman: Very boring question, what accounting software do you use? Me personally?

Hogue: My bookkeeper and accountant use QuickBooks. For the Companies I run NATS is our affiliate programs engine however, we all have bookkeepers and accountants

Journeyman: Reflecting on your career, what are some of the biggest business lessons you’ve learned?

Hogue: Wow. Went from a boring question to a very difficult one to face.


First and foremost, I learned early on that integrity and character is everything. It is what has sustained me for all these 40 years in business and 23+ years in Adult.


There is a quote I love, “Your Reputation is what you’re perceived to be, your character is what you really are.” I never really worry about what perception people have of me as long as I can look myself in the mirror and know that I have done it right and have done right by all I could with my integrity and compassion intact.


On a business level, I learned to make myself and others around me accountable. If you are the boss, be the boss, make sure the ones you pay are doing their work and you be the leader they need you to be.


I have failed in those areas in the past and it cost me dearly.


Journeyman: When people tell you they want to enter the industry, what are the key pieces of advice you offer?

Hogue: For talent – If you are afraid of your mother, aunt, neighbor, children’s friend's parents, pastor, anyone finding out. then don’t do it, because they will find out.


After that, I tell them to start shooting, reach out to others to collaborate to get some things to show others, and look and seek reputable people to assist them. I think the industry has done a pretty good job cleaning house of abuse of performers in recent years and let's face it the performers have more power than any time since the late 1900s and early 2000s


For people wanting to get into the adult business side, I would tell them to find something they are passionate about because they will need that to carry them through. After that, I would tell them to hire me to assist and guide them. ☺


Journeyman: What are you most proud of from your career in adult. Hogue: My belief in “A rising tide raises all sails” is that this is not a zero-sum game. You do not have to fail for me to succeed. I do not have to fail for you to succeed. I am most proud of all of the people I have affected in a positive way. From the start when we were just amateurs we would help and work with others to make them better. To the cam site that helps so many change their lives and the many single mothers helped through my systems. Even today being able to affect the people’s lives around me in a positive way is my goal, has it cost me at times? Yes, people have taken advantage of my willingness to help but I have maintained the faith and continued on because there are much more positives than negatives in my life because of this attitude and approach. I may make less money because of it but life is not all about money. I love this industry and I was fortunate enough to be able to live a good life while helping others and enhancing others lives

Journeyman: Finally, what are some projects you are working on that people should look forward to?

Well, we are working on a few things to update the Pay Site model and make it more relevant. Updating our WL Cam Approach.

Massively growing the channels management area. With so many options for talent to expand their revenue areas, our approach is not just one thing it is all-encompassing.

I also have one of the most diverse shoot houses in Las Vegas which is always fun improving and changing it up. We have everything a house could ask for, a dungeon, many looks for living rooms, (modern to the traditional), fuckable office set, massage room, a pool, hot tub, and an outside area.




Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blog post above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SexWorkCEO or MelRose Michaels. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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