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Caliente Nudist Vacations!

Club Jessica Jaymes - Official Website

January 24, 2000 08:59am
AINews Exclusive: An InnerView of Danni Ashe
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Company Press Release

While at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas I was talking with Bill Margold at the Free Speech Coalition booth. I happened to mention I was off to do an interview and Bill said, "Why don't you interview Danni Ashe? She INVENTED the Internet and she's right next door!"

Danni was signing in the next booth with Anna Malle and Christi Lake. I spoke with her briefly and arranged to meet back in L.A. when the convention was over.

Monday January 24, 2000:
I found myself in a beautiful lobby on the second floor of a building in Culver City, CA. The elegant décor and the professional atmosphere were impressive. I was greeted by Danni's assistant Janice who said Danni was in a meeting and would be right with me.

In a few minutes Danni came out and gave me a tour of her facility. In spite of her being dressed casually and wearing no makeup, she was petite, voluptuous and strikingly beautiful! I also found her to be articulate with obvious business savvy.

She took me through the office area, the studios where the live feeds are shot, told me about the [then] upcoming Boob Bowl [related story linked here] and other ventures, ending the tour in a conference room with pictures, articles and framed memorabilia on the walls. When Danni went out to get us something to drink I had a chance to look around and found there were articles about her from the Wall Street Journal, magazine covers, and artwork around the room.


AINews: That is cool. [Pointing to a framed manual.] You have an HTML manual autographed and framed.

Danni: Yes! I mentioned it in a couple of interviews and the author of the book apparently started getting calls from people saying Danni's talking about you're book, so he wrote to me and said how excited he was to hear [I was using it] and sent me an autographed copy.

AINews: That's fantastic!

Danni: Yes, he was very nice about it.

AINews: How did you get the idea for "Danni's Hard Drive"?

Danni: It sort of came about when I got onto the Internet in early 1995. I had several bad experiences as a feature dancer and it was time to make a change. I was planning on taking a computer programming class at the Computer Learning Center, and fortunately for me I had some time to kill. I kept hearing about the about the Internet and I didn't understand what it was. I had some time to kill it so I went out and bought software and some books, and got online with Netcom Net Cruiser. I had also been hearing my pictures were all over the newsgroups, so I wanted to check that out as well.

When I got online I straight away went to the newsgroups because at the time in early '95 the newsgroups were a dynamic place to be. It just made sense. I really got sucked in talking to people and interacting with people on alt.sex.breast and alt.sex.movies. And I remember the first time clicked on that little icon to go to the Web the link didn't go anywhere. My modem was just too slow so it really didn't work. So to me the Internet really was Usenet. The Web really didn't compute at that time.

It wasn't until I had been on Usenet for a few months that people started saying, "Gee Danni, you should have a Web Site! It would be really cool if you had a website" and I'm going "Nah", You know? "The Web doesn't work and I don't like it." Then one day my husband came home and installed a faster modem and loaded up his company's new website and said, "Come over here, you've got to look at this." All of a sudden I saw how worked, what hypertext really meant, and the proverbial light bulb goes off and I said, "Oh my God! I've gotta have one of these!" It was instant! I could see the structure in my mind. I knew exactly what my website was gonna be and what it would mean and didn't know how I was gonna do it but I knew what I wanted.

AINews: Wow! You saw that all at once?

Danni: Yes, it was, "Wow!" All of a sudden it all really made sense and I thought I know what I can do with this! So I hired the programmers that had built my husband's company's website. I remember telling them, "Listen, if you do the programming I'll put together all the content and everything, and we will do a 50-50 [split]" and they looked at me and they went, "You know we'd rather be paid." (Laughs!) I know they're kicking themselves for that now! But they charged me $900 to build the website. So I paid the $900 and after a few weeks I realized I really wasn't getting what I wanted.

AINews: What year was that?

Danni: This was still early '95, the spring of 95. I had such a clear vision in my head of how it was supposed to flow and how it was supposed to work. Where the links should be and the structure was just 3-D floating around my head! I knew what it had to be and I couldn't communicate it to these programmers. So I fired them and I hired another guy. He was a little bit better, but it still just wasn't getting where I wanted to go. In the meantime I'm still on the Usenet just talking to people like crazy building this huge network of friends online and they're saying, "Danni you can do it! It's easy!"

So I was about to go on vacation in the Bahamas and I thought, "Well, I'll just do this myself, I'm fed up!" So I bought the "HTML Manual of Style" to learn form and function, and I bought [Nicholas] Negroponte's "Being Digital" for inspiration. I went to the Bahamas and read the books and when I got back I finished the site in a couple of weeks and that's when it was launched. Actually I did all the programming myself for the first year. I didn't hire a Webmaster until July of '96.

AINews: Is that when it got too busy for you?

Danni: Yes, in the beginning I literally did everything. I did the Web design and graphics. They were terrible but I did them. I built all my own accounting systems, I built my own databases, and I literally had my fingers on everything. And as the business started to grow and I just couldn't keep a handle on all that, I just had to start learning how to delegate, which was the hardest thing that I ever had to do because I'm a real control freak. I like to know where all the pieces are and to give up something and trust in someone to do it right was really, really hard.

AINews: What did you write your databases in?

Danni: Q&A. It's a really easy database program.

AINews: I read somewhere that you were arrested while you were on the road [touring].

Danni: I was arrested in Jacksonville FL. That was the real catalyst. That's when I knew that road dancing was not my future. I had a lot of bad experience on the road in my brief time out, but Jacksonville was the worst. When I took the booking I was on the phone with the owner and he said, "Here's what I want you to do. I want you to wear bikinis under your costumes and I want you to fall out of your bikini but you've got to keep the bikini on, but we want you to fall out of it."

I'm thinking, "Okay, I got all these elaborate costumes. How am I gonna do this?" So I spend days to try and find bikinis that will work underneath all of these elaborate costumes. Couldn't find anything. So I got to the club and I said to the manager, "Look, you guys have a choice. I can either wear my costumes like I normally do and strip down to a G-string and top, and fall out of those, or I can go out in a bikini, what do you want?" and he said, "What?" Then he said "Just go nude, don't worry about it. Just go do your show like you always do them."

AINews: This was not a nude club, though.

Danni: No. I was naive and trusting in what these guys were telling me. He said just go nude! So on one hand I had been told I need to wear a bikini but I can fall out of it, and the other guy was saying that it was okay to go nude. So in retrospect large bells should have been going off in my head and I should have been concerned, but I wasn't. And another thing, I brought this softcore striptease video of myself and I said, "Can I sell these?" And he said, "Oh, yeah! Our guys LOVE videos! You'll sell all of them!" And he was right; I sold all of them. All my videos were gone within two days.

I was doing really well selling a lot of Polaroid's and having a great week. A lot of fans were coming in from Georgia and other places, and on the last night I'm on my third show or something. All of a sudden this guy jumps up and takes a picture of me. I had just taken my top off. Actually I wasn't going nude, I was going topless, I remember, because I was a little nervous about what they were doing, you know? I wasn't sure. So I was only going topless.

I took my top off, this guy takes a picture of me, and I'm all, "Gosh, why didn't he wait until after my show? Why did he do that?" All of a sudden all the lights go on, and the same guy stands up and with his camera and it's like, "Click! Click! Click! Click! Click!" He takes all these pictures! And I'm standing there with my top off on-stage and there's 13 police officers from three different jurisdictions and they all have cameras in their hats and had been staking out the place for days. And the first thing the arresting officer said was, "Are you aware of the fact that your videos are illegal in this county?" And I thought, "Oh my God!"

So I got arrested for selling "bad" videos. And these were striptease tapes, they were really softcore stuff, and for baring my breasts in public, and my ass - you're supposed to wear full bottoms - supposed to have your entire ass covered, nobody told me that.

AINews: So the club owner lied to you?

Danni: Yes, the club owner lied to me. So I went to jail and I spent the night in jail. No one ever made any attempt to bail me out. Not the club owner, not my agent, my husband was in L. A. and desperately trying to get to Jacksonville so that he could bail me out. And it was just this horrible, horrible situation! And they actually took my clothes and made me put this little prison jumper on and I had to fight really hard to keep my bra! They wanted to take my bra because it had an under wire and I could use it as a weapon. I said, "I'm not a violent person and I need my bra! I'll be so uncomfortable without my bra!" They did have mercy and let me keep my bra.

So I spent the night in jail, and in jail the world changes. In jail all of a sudden you're not a person anymore, you have no rights, they keep moving you deeper and deeper in, and you start thinking, "I'm never gonna get out!" and you think, "Why am I here?" So by the time they put me in front of the judge I was ready to plead guilty to anything just to get out. So I plead guilty to prohibited conduct, time served and a $50 fine, and I was released. So at five o'clock the next day I'm waiting for my property to get my clothes back and someone had stolen my clothes.

AINews: Someone STOLE your CLOTHES??

Danni: All the guards were asking me to sign magazines, they all knew who I was, so one of them stole my clothes. And so I had to leave the jail in borrowed clothes. Ratty stuff that they had lying around that hadn't been claimed and then that's when I lost it! I had a complete breakdown! I had been through the most humiliating experience of my life and I was in BORROWED CLOTHES. No one from the club came to pick me when I was released from jail and I had to find my way back to get my car, and get back to the hotel, to pack up my stuff.

Then I go back to the club and asked to see the owner so I could get paid to get out of town. They made me wait there for an hour and the club owner finally came in and he looked at me and said, "Well, we both lost money last night! So I'm not going to be able to pay you for the shows that you missed while you were in jail." And I remember just being so disoriented after being up all night, and being through this whole experience, so I said, Well, will you please call my agent because I just don't know how to deal with this." So he calls up the agent and the agent says, "Oh, okay that's fine." I remember asking her a couple months later, "Why did you DO that to me? Why didn't anyone ever stand up for me during this whole thing?" And she said, "Oh, honey we just wanted to get you out of there."

It was after that I realized I care too much for myself to be treated that way. I'm not about the keep throwing myself out into these situations. I'm not going to be a road dancer. I talk to so many girls who've been dancing on the road for years they'd say, Oh yeah; you just gotta get tougher! They'll fuck with you wherever they can." "You just have to get tougher", and I thought I don't WANT to be tougher! I'm not a tough girl! That's not what I'm about...

AINews: Did your husband make it in time?

Danni: Actually I was able to get out of jail before he was able to get there.

AINews: What was the most difficult thing about building this business?

Danni: Learning how to be an employer. I've been a dancer and a men's magazine model my whole adult life and been self-employed my whole life. I had never been an employee, let alone an employer. I had nothing to draw on about how you motivate your employees, how to keep them happy, how you get the most out of an employee, so I think I made a lot of mistakes with some of the early people that I hired. That's always been the toughest part. Also because I have a powerful vision about what it is that I want. It's not easy to instill that vision into someone else in a positive productive way. I'm getting better at it, but that was the hardest thing.

AINews: How do girls go about featuring on your site for photo shoots and the live cam stuff?

Danni: A number of different ways. In the beginning it was all just my friends. Girls I knew in the business. I said, "I'll put you up on my Web Site and you'll get a lot more guys coming to your shows, you'll get a lot more people writings to your fan club, and it was TRUE! I had girls calling me up who were saying, "You wouldn't believe it! I had some guys fly in 800 miles to see my show tonight because they saw me on your Web Site! So it was a real positive experience for them, and was good for me to add more depth to the Web Site. So I kept adding girls that I knew. And then as I started buying more content and getting more photographs, if I found a set of photographs I really, really liked but I didn't have a model page on the model I tried to contact the model and try to build a page for her. And then in more recent years a lot of then come to us. We have people come to us all the time who want to be on the Site.

AINews: Do they call you or e-mail...

Danni: Yes, they contact us and we generally direct them to our talent coordinator. [johnathan@danni.com - Johnathan Austin, DHD Talent Coordinator, handles all talent.] And really I'm pretty willing to have any model on the Site as long as she can lead us in the right direction with the content. Either she can provide us with photos or buy photos somewhere or if she's willing to come in and do some work for us.

AINews: Are you still doing magazine work?

Danni: I haven't shot any magazine layouts since September of 98.

AINews: I remember when that October 92 Juggs came out. [Pointing to a framed magazine cover on the wall.]

Danni: The Juggs? Oh, my God! You remember that? Holy cow! Is that the ugliest picture you've ever seen in your life?

AINews: (Pause) No... (Laughs)

Danni: I keep that there just because... I don't know. I liked it the back then. It's just such a hideous picture.

AINews: And that other magazine up there is that "Shift"? [Pointing at a magazine where she has long straight hair on the cover] Your hair there, that is dynamite!

Danni: Thank you.

AINews: But yeah, I remember that Juggs.

Danni: That was a very bad wig.

AINews: It was a WIG?! I just thought it was a hairstyle.

Danni: No, I just had really short hair and nobody liked it.

AINews: Well, I remember, in '94 you started growing your hair longer.

Danni: Yeah, in '93 or '94, I can't remember. But I wasn't getting any work and the work that I WAS getting was getting pigeonholed as either a big bust model or an older woman and I was 24 at the time. It was just the hair that made everyone think that I was old! So to save my ego I started to grow my hair out.

AINews: Do you have other ventures that you're working on?

Danni: I think this business has grown in such a way that it affords a lot of opportunity, and so there are a lot of different directions that I can go in. We're always trying to figure out which is the best way to go, and were very, very focused on video production and getting ready for convergence. I see that as the future of the Internet. The day that your television and the Internet become the same thing. There will really be only one source of entertainment. The Internet will become video and television will become interactive.

So we're really focused on video production, which is why we built that studio over there. And there's also a great deal of technology that we've developed just to serve this business. It's now clear that the technology is so good that we can sell the technology as a service, like our credit card processing and video technology...

AINews: So these are packages that you've developed?

Danni: Well, again my control freak tendency is to always want to control something and build it the way I want rather than accept someone else's technology, someone else's limitations. So whenever I have the opportunity I will always develop it myself. The credit card technology is definitely one where we talk to company after company after company, and we all have to control our data. And there was some question as to whether we GET our data if we stop doing business with them, and that was unacceptable to me. I didn't want a stranger having my customer's credit card numbers. So that was one thing that I just couldn't give to anyone else.

AINews: Do you get a lot of charge backs?

Danni: No, our charge back ratio is very, very low. We have developed some really very high-tech and low-tech solutions that have helped us keep fraud under control. We have a 24-hour support staff here and a lot of very elaborate systems to screen things for fraud. And then we have people that manually look through the data every half-hour and they'll void anything that looks suspect. So right now when a lot of people are losing their merchant accounts, and don't know where to go we're in great shape.

AINews: And do you sell this service like a package?

Danni: Well we're looking into selling it as a package. There are few people we do offer the service to. Friends of ours. But we haven't actually come out and offered it as a service.

AINews: Are you politically active?

Danni: I'm not politically active, I like to consider myself socially active. I think that I try very hard to encourage the women who come through here to control their names and build their own businesses, to use the industry as a stepping stone. It's a great industry that you can learn a lot from, but getting stuck anywhere is not a good thing. Just getting the girls to learn that, "This is where I am now," and, "I'm going to use this experience to grow and move up and advance myself" is a message I think a lot of the girls need to hear.

AINews: Didn't you help put on something for charity a few years ago?

Danni: Yes, we did a benefit for "Children of the Night". I'm a big believer in Lois Lee's organization. I think she's doing really cool work and I want to support it, and fortunately she's open minded enough to not be afraid to take charity from an adult company.

AINews: Yes, a lot of people are afraid of that, I was surprised to find out.

Danni: She took a lot of flack for it.

AINews: What advice do you have for new talent as far as a career direction?

Danni: I think it's always important to stay true to your own vision and stay within your own comfort levels. We all have our own boundaries of places where we feel comfortable, and when we perform within those boundaries we feel sexy and we're having a good time. The minute someone starts pushing you a little further than you want to go it all of a sudden is not fun and sexy anymore. And with me that line is hard-core penetration. With other girls it might be anal or whatever. We all have different boundaries. I think respecting your own boundaries whatever they may be. Don't let someone talk you into something you're uncomfortable with.

AINews: You shouldn't have to do something you don't want to do.

Danni: Yeah! Because if you're not going to have fun, then what's the point? There's just no point in it. And that's the only way you can maintain respect for yourself, and have a positive growing experience. If you start to do things you don't respect yourself for then you're going to get stuck!

AINews: What do you enjoy most about what you're doing now?

Danni: Probably the fact that I have so much freedom to build and to create and do things that I wanted to do. And that in some ways I can be a role model for other women in the industry and hopefully be a positive influence on women.

AINews: There are quite a few more women entrepreneurs now.

Danni: Yeah! Hey, when I started my Web Site I was the first one and now every model out there has her own Web Site, and there are many, many of them that are making a really healthy living. Which means if they don't like dancing on the road they don't have to do it anymore.

AINews: That's great! And how has this business change you?

Danni: I think it's definitely made me a lot more patient. I have learned to be patient and a lot more structured. I get up at the same time every day, I have a certain time that I come into the office, I have a much more structured life.

AINews: Do you enjoy that?

Danni: Yes, I think it keeps me more level, more on an even keel, sure.

AINews: That's the meaning of life, to be happy, right?

Danni: YEAH! (Laughs!) What else is there?!

AINews: (Laughs!) Not much else! Not much else that's important, anyway.

AINews: This has been great! Thank you so much for your time and the interview Danni, and thank you for showing me around.

Danni: You're welcome.

Are you TOUGH ENOUGH for Joanna Angel?


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