Some of my first regular sex industry clients came about after the Tart Cards were banned in London’s phone boxes in 2001. The escorts and professional mistresses who relied on these for their clientele became my first clients who really needed a strong internet presence. SEO brought them valuable traffic and therefore new clients various search engines of the time – AltaVista and Ask Jeeves come to mind; Google did not even exist. So my SEO experience, in the adult industry, spans a good 15 years.
Tart Cards (a book was published in 2003) were, in my opinion, so badly designed that they were in fact actually kind of cool; an artistic genre in their own right. I kept a few for fun, not realising they might be worth something one day. (When I uncover their hiding spot I will add them to this post.)
It was very rare for the girls being advertised to actually appear on the card. So copyright was an issue, but how were the models ever going to find out!??! It wasn’t the internet, there was no Tin Eye, nor DRM or digital watermarks.
Anyway, once the ban took place my clients who progressed from Tart Cards to the internet were used to this kind of design, and really didn’t want to show their faces on their websites. I was always asked to blur faces AND add black bars over their eyes. It looked so bad! I suggested they disguise their faces somehow with masks or by holding up a fan, or with light and shadows… but they never really caught on.
Eventually as the times progressed, the girls opting to stay anonymous weren’t really getting many new clients through the door. New girls on the scene were becoming more and more liberated about their sex work careers – less shame, more glamour – and their web design styles were becoming slick and shiny, no sleaze at all.
These days I’m mostly working with pro-dommes who – for the most part – are so much more cooler with their status: Out and proud celebrating their Femdom lifestyles. Many of whom use Twitter as a platform where they also share their personal day-to-day details, and of course their ‘selfies’!!
Over the last year I’ve been getting back into my photography and I’ve had the pleasure to photograph some super intelligent, beautiful and classy ladies who were visiting Paris. Mistress Magnum is just one of those, and these are some photos of her where we worked to make sure her representation on the internet remains discreet but without resorting to ugly black bars! PHOTOS REMOVED AT THE REQUEST OF SAID MISTRESS
Sending Big Love to Jane, who owned a flat in Earl’s Court – I still appreciate your guidance and what we learned together about the WWW. I hope you are living well and I wish you health, happiness, love and prosperity.