In a world where brand matters, the right contract girl can be an adult novelty manufacturer's best friend.
"A contract girl is a beautiful adult actress or erotica personality who enters into a contractual arrangement with a novelty company to help sell toys using her name and images," says Kathryn Hartman, sales manager for Nasstoys.
"This is an individual whose image and background can elevate your product and attract a broader customer base," adds Phallix Glass President Rick Plank. "In our case, that was Playboy Playmate Christi Shake."
"Besides attaching a known porn persona to an adult novelty company's products, typically, a private line of toys," says Alexandra Cage, sales and marketing manager for Forbidden Fruit Products. "Contract girls are the perfect public representatives at trade shows, media announcements and mainstream events."
"Any time that the public is present or will be watching is the time to have your contract girl present," Plank says. "She is the face of your product line. ... Our association with Christi Shake has helped solidify Phallix's place in the market as a marquee-type item. We have had many mainstream actors, models, musicians seek us out, thanks to having a more mainstream association with a Playmate."
"It makes sense to use a contract girl when promoting things like toys, movies, photo shoots," echoes Aaron Verity, the owner and sole artist of PyreXions. "I find having ladies promoting my work helps to get into certain publications and networking possibilities."
What qualities make for an ideal contract girl?
"A contract girl should be gorgeous, articulate, friendly, and approachable," Hartman says. "She should photograph well and know how to pose like a top model. She should have good product and web presence and know how to market herself. She should be a together lady who adheres to an itinerary in a professional manner. She should be a lady when necessary and be one of the boys when it is appropriate. She should have the social skills of a geisha and the business skills of a CEO."
One adult star who meets Hartman's tough criteria is Taylor Wane, who is featured on 12 Nasstoys products, including the Taylor Wane Vibrating Ass & Pussy, the Taylor Wane Dual Vibe Eggs and the Taylor the French Maid Love Doll. When Nasstoys is on public display, Wane is there to promote her brand and personally deliver the erotic mystique and personality the items are built upon.
"I bring experience, knowledge and a maturity of knowing that I have to sell myself," Wane says. "I am my product. People like to meet the stars, but [they] can be disappointed if the contract star is not as friendly and sweet as she is beautiful. It takes more than a pretty face to close the deal. I've spent 18 years cultivating myself. You can't buy that or learn it in a week; it takes experience and time."
So what does Taylor Wane think it takes to be a successful contract girl?
"Being available to the company you are working for, being friendly, courteous, on time, professional and keeping in tiptop shape," she says. "It really is a lot of fun to spend time with your company and their associates. You get to meet people and chat, and it is always fun to hear people's thoughts about the products and how their customers enjoy the products."
This brings up the next logical question: Where can an adult novelty company find the right contract girl?
"Mostly, I let them come to me," Verity says. "That way, they have seen my work and are eager to work together. For me, it's all about communication, honesty and a win-win situation for both parties."
"I have been connected to the video side of the adult industry for the last 10 years," Cage says. "I know who has long-term sustainability in the business, and I gauge who we put under contract accordingly."
One effective way to find the right contract girl is to look for one connected to the market, context, and style you want your products to be associated with.
"While attending a function at the Playboy mansion, Kristie Hefner mentioned that she was impressed that the Phallix company presented sexuality with class and artistry, which was very much like Playboy's approach," Plank says. "At that moment, it was clear that I wanted a Playmate to represent us."
But do contract girls really help sell products by raising brand awareness? Verity says they do.
"Contract girls have helped PyreXions in promoting my company name," he says. "Demi Delia, [a] Wicked contract girl, has designed a toy that PyreXions has manufactured. Briana Banks and Brittney Skye posed in Hustler with one of PyreXions' lifelike pistols in the December 2006 issue."
"People like Shy Love and Katja Kassin are constantly pushing the products," Cage says. "They use them in films, public appearances and radio talk shows. [This] constant exposure helps us further our products to markets we may not have exposure to, as well as furthers our exposure in areas we do heavy business in."
But contract girls sometimes don't work out. When they don't, the adult novelty company's brand suffers.
"The problems that can occur are many," Verity says. These problems include "people not living up their word and taking advantage of a situation."
"Everything must be on the table and decided up front, in regards to financial commitments," Plank adds. "Good fences make good neighbors. Both sides need to understand what they are doing for what specific amounts. Then, everybody wins."
"We have standards for our girls to uphold," Cage says. "Those standards are class, sophistication, and intelligence. When a contract performer does not uphold our requirements, their contract is voided and their lines canceled. By having constant contact with the girls and/or agents (such as Shy Love), we are able to keep on top of any problems and correct them prior to contract rejection."
"I am sure that some companies have had problems with poor choices, as they would with [any] poor employee choices," Hartman says. "But if you choose a model who meets your criteria and make a good choice, there should be no problems."
One thing is certain: These people agree that the right contract girl can be good for business. So if you don't have a contract girl (or guy), give the option some hard thought. After all, the only way for most fans to have physical contact with their favorite porn stars is through star-branded products made and sold by adult novelty companies. By tapping into the erotic power of contract girls, you are making their allure work for you.