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Mark Rushford




I offer the following as a cautionary tale of ignorance mixed with an irrational propensity to jump in to a pool with both feet before one has taken swim instruction. We all know these types of people. They get good ideas and before even thinking them out fully, or planning the crucial details they lunge forward anyway and end up irrevocably dashing the chances at success they'd once dreamed would be so fruitful.

So it is a tail of two popular former wrestling valets who banded together to strip themselves nude on the Web for money. It should have been the talk of the wrestling Web circles. It should have been a homerun. Tammy Sytch, Missy Hyatt. Naked. Like so many fanboys have dreamed. Who among you looked at the WWF pictures of "Sunny" and wondered "what if...?" Who among you secretly pined for more while looking at those PWI centerfolds of Missy Hyatt in the 80s? should have had people aflutter and buzzing over its sensual heat and sultry flair. It should have rivaled a potent geyser in the steaminess. Unfortunately, this geyser has proven bone dry. No heat, no flair and, to look at the site is to wonder if anyone involved even knows the words "sultry" or "sensual" exist!

Yes, I'm a member of the site. I was curious. Sadly, since my first look I've been pretty deflated by the whole thing. I was stunned as I entered the members area with my newly bought membership screen name and password at the lazy, slung together look of the content. My hopes quickly evaporated.

Having worked for a short time on some adult Internet sites before I'd even graduated college, I was astounded at how many of the cardinal, easy, set-in-stone criterion to a successful adult site were ignored completely by the ViXXXens site. Make no mistake about it. If you're selling skin on the internet you're in the sex trade, and the number one rule of thumb in the sex trade is titillation. People don't buy into these things just to see nipples and fuzz. The real magic is in the *way* you show it.

Now, I'm not talking about explicit pictures, or the fact that Tammy has shown only her left breast in 90 per cent of her pictures. No. That's not the biggest problem on this site. By far. I'm talking about an utter ignorance of the business. I'm talking about there being an easy to follow formula that works so well it's made the adult entertainment industry the #1 e-business on the web, and these people not showing even an ounce of ability to follow it.

Basically the site charges professional, industry standard membership rates for what amounts to worse-than-amateur content.

This site sports multiple pictures of the same pose, like they snap six pictures in quick succession and throw them all up on the site; women, sans make-up, looking dazed and closed-eyed; women caught blinking or staring blankly or stupidly (frankly) at someone off camera. Poses that, even on the worst pay site, would have been buried on the cutting room floor. All this is topped off by lighting that would make polaroids taken in a cave look like Pulitzer Prize-winning photography.

It's a collection of content so bad you really have to see it to believe someone actually put it out for public consumption. All of this makes for a great rip-off sensation.

Then the kicker came last night, when Missy Hyatt and Tammy Sunny Sytch held a chat in the members section of the adult site.

I had e-mailed Missy a few times about my concerns, and to offer my services in an advisory role to give the site a boost. I'd never gotten a reply.

For two weeks I'd chatted with other members about the site. ALL of them complained vehemently that the site "sucked" and that they were planning to cancel. The site had potential, I insisted, because of the outside the adult world draw of Missy and Tammy. I offered a few things the site could do better, and said I hoped they'd move in these directions.

I pondered how Missy and Co. could stumble and bumble their way into the site like they had -- after all, you don't HAVE to go live with a site until you've got things run-in. I offered Adult Site 101 strategy, that I picked up from Hi-Rise Entertainment through the Fall, Winter and Spring of 1998/99. Hi-Rise of the New Bourbon Street girls, and the Qstart girls. Hi-Rise, the dominant force in adult internet-based entertainment, basically.

In offering these to my fellow chatters, all brothers in this increasingly crooked-looking venture, I was heralded in ways I can only imagine would have been similar to the way the man who invented the wheel was looked at by his contemporaries.

Now, keep in mind, I'd offered up only some of the very basic strategies in adult web content. Only the most logical, first-step solutions to making a site like this work. On top of that, I threw in some basic glamour photography principles, like "choreograph the poses BEFORE you shoot the content so the pictures don't look like they were improvised on a whim."

Hoping naively to make a difference in the direction of the site, hoping to have a beneficial impact on something so clearly run amok I sent requests for Missy to contact me. I e-mailed Lee, her nephew, and I e-mailed her; Lee once, and Missy twice to request a chit-chat with her. I e-mailed her once more after talking with Tammy and getting the impression that when I said "content" it was automatically assumed I was talking, like 90 per cent of the other 6,000 members, about Tammy not showing her... more private areas, shall we say. So my final e-mail to Missy on the subject was sent to dash those thoughts. I meant overall layout; NOT who was showing what.

When I didn't hear back for three weeks I thought, what the hell, I'll give it a whirl here. At the member's chat.

The questions were flying fast and furious from all over the chatroom. "Missy, what's your favorite [sexual] position?", "Missy who did you screw in WCW?" "Ever have sex with Abdullah the Butcher?" "What cup size are you?"

Clearly some valid issues were being raised.

I began cautiously, confirming that Missy did, indeed, own the ViXXXens site. "It's my site. I own ViXXXens" came her reply.

In between fervent questions of whether we'd see Gorgeous George or Major Gunns on the site, I asked another. "Who is running the site? Who do you have helping you make content, take pictures, etc.?"

The answer? Her nephew, Lee designed the site, and performed Webmaster duties. "I have my own photographers," answered the other part.

Did she ever sleep with Dave Meltzer? Did she like getting him flustered when she was on Observer Live talking about her sexual prowess? Indeed, did she REALLY like "it" from behind as much as she claimed? -- clearly I was out of my league. With hard hitting, info-hungry queries such as these, what hope did I have that my fluff questions would be answered?

(oh yeah, Missy "loooooves Dave Meltzer").

Don't we all?

I asked another. Did her photographers ever work on adult sites before? (I could clearly tell they hadn't, but it's always good to confirm assumptions before proceeding as if they were truths). No reply to this one. Missy was busy thanking people for their countless "Nice tits" or "I'm in love with you" praise.

I decided on a more general approach. I asked if she'd ever consider discussing the site with me, or bringing in an advisor who'd worked on sites before. Again, no reply. I thought for a moment that my post had just gotten caught up in the heated "Why is Major Gunns a skank" discussion, so I asked again.

This time there was a response.

"Planch [my member name] quit bothering me about the site."

What? "...quit bothering me about the site."

Missy owns the site. Missy is in a chat for members who are paying top dollar for a shoddy site, but questions concerning how things could have been launched so inanely, so botched and ignorant of the business they were now sullying their Wrestling Valet images on, are bothersome?

The only thing more outrageous than Missy's statement last night is watching Bob Ryder plug his new premium-pay site after spending years taking pot-shots at Wade Keller and Dave Meltzer for using their sites to plug their newsletters.

In one short, blunt statement Missy neatly summed up the ignorance that has made her site a laughing stock. In one discourteous, snippy reply she reflected the hap hazard, half-assed attitude that could threaten to bring the house of cards tumbling down. Her attitude toward my questions, surrounded by some of the most perverted, disgusting, irrelevant questions I've ever read, embodies everything that is wrong with that site.

In case any of you were wondering how things were going at, I offer this to you as a check-up, or report card, on its success. And certain failure.

Mark W. Rushford
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