2018 was a year of massive change and growth for ManyVids, a premier adult video clip site with a fast-growing community focused on success through sex-positivity and fair treatment for adult performers.
From being named XBIZ’s 2018 “Clip Site of the Year,” to the addition of a wide range of new performers and producers, such as Rahyndee James and iconic French production company Marc Dorcel, and more, the new wave of talent, attracted by ManyVids’ features such as monthly specials paying models up to 80 percent on sales of all videos, tips and tributes, brought new life and fresh content to the site.
This diversity fueled ManyVids’ launch of its MV Live cam platform and its first magazine issue targeting trans performers and their fans, plus the celebration of Trans Awareness Week with its “Trans Bare All” campaign. The company also celebrated body positivity through its magazine and its social campaigns, and also launched MV Fetish, targeting the femdom, BDSM and kink communities.
The company tackled numerous topics of concern to performers, ranging from bullying to consent to mental health, on-set abuse and more, issuing public statements in support of performers including Honey Gold, Nikki Benz and all adult entertainers who speak out against harassment, hate speech, abusive conduct and more. In addition to protecting the interests of performers, ManyVids also takes the protection of children online seriously, becoming a Corporate Sponsor of the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), supporting the non-profit organization’s role in keeping children out of and away from adult entertainment.
ManyVids additionally saw a range of enhancements to its platform in 2018, intended to improve the overall user experience for content creators and members. Highlights included the release of the MV Crush 2.0 private messaging system and Manage Vids, a pinning system allowing content creators to manage their content. A Member History content purchasing and viewing system allow creators to keep track of their buyers and Liked Vids, poised as a new way for members to see the videos they’ve “hearted” and group their favorite clips in one place.
Another new feature, MV StarLight, an offshoot of flagship publication MV Mag, features photographs and interviews of MV Stars; while the new MV Daily section, which now includes the MV Blog, MV Mag and MV Store in one place, made things easier for fans. Fans and models also enjoyed MV Gear’s fresh “Express Yourself” collection combining streetwear comfort with a bold, urban look, bringing the online brand out into the real world — this latter offer providing a glimpse at the bigger story ahead.
Affiliates were not left out of the equation, as ManyVids launched the MV RevShare affiliate program for MV Partners, MV Members, agents and talent recruiters, offering a five percent lifetime payout for referrals of new MV Stars, providing passive income opportunities for all.
Additionally, new streaming technology was created to reduce online piracy, while a major update to its video uploading system provided dramatically improved upload speeds, with the ability to multi-select, or drag and drop multiple files, into the online uploader at once. File size limits were increased to 5GB with support for 4K video and automated GIF previews as a promotional tool.
All of these initiatives and more are a lot for any company to cope with, but ManyVids enjoyed a secret weapon in its fight for clip site supremacy — having Bella French at the helm, guiding the firm forward.
Meet Bella French
“Committed,” “driven,” “passionate” — these three simple words perfectly describe ManyVids’ multi-talented CEO Bella French, who … blessed with the one-two punch of brains and beauty … has set out on an ambitious quest to conquer and reshape an industry — and beyond it, society as a whole.
Early on, French became a symbol of the next generation of models that began taking their careers into their own hands by building on the legacy of past performers with new business plans and technologies — to onlookers, it was clear that French was bringing something fresh to the scene — while her fans, and the industry, took notice.
French has also earned recognition from her peers and the industry alike, with accolades including winning the inaugural Intimate.io award for Social Impact in honor of her “prevailing spirit of bravery, inclusivity and sex-positivity [that empowers] our community and drives our industry forward.”
As the perfect example of the dynamic new breed of adult industry leaders, French is empowering and inspiring the next generation of content creators, models and more, while giving back to the community in so many ways. XBIZ sought out the wisdom of this larger-than-life lusciousness to learn the secret of her success — including why her role at the top was kept secret for so long. Here’s what she revealed:
A Montreal native that, during those brief moments of free time she allows herself away from her work, enjoys reading, running and thinking of her place in the universe and why everything exists, French tells XBIZ that ever since she was very young, she was passionate about Haute Couture and fashion, which led to her studying fashion design for three years followed by the launching of her first clothing line.
“I opened my first retail store when I was 22 years old and quickly learned to deal with very long hours (80 to 100 hours per week) in a high-stress environment,” French tells XBIZ. “After enduring four very difficult and challenging years, I sold everything. With no real plan, I decided to go to business school.”
French received a government grant to attend the prestigious HEC Montreal business university, where she studied the management of operations and logistics, along with marketing, specializing in retail.
“While I was studying, I created a new clothing line and was selling merchandise to multiple stores in order to survive as a student. As soon as I graduated, I opened my second store with my new collection,” French reveals, telling XBIZ she invested very little in her first store and as a result, had not generated a lot of revenue. “With the opening of the second store, I decided to invest as much as I possibly could so I invested $250,000 in entrepreneur loans along with maxing-out my credit cards, and eight months later, I lost everything.”
It was right after her second store disastrously flooded, costing French more than $200k, that she first started camming.
“I was only insured for $50k, so I had to find a new source of income as quickly as possible as I was heavily in debt. My friend Sed, who is now my boyfriend and COO of MV, wanted to help at the time, and told me that the girlfriend of his childhood friend Gino, now CTO of MV, was making a lot of money as a cam girl,” French says, noting that at the time, she had no idea what a cam girl was. “I looked into it and was shocked and a bit insulted that my friend would even suggest I do such a thing, but two weeks after this initial phone conversation, and from pure desperation, I began camming.”
The experience completely changed her life and her outlook.
Camming Leads to Life Lessons Learned
“Becoming a cam girl is the most amazing thing that happened in my professional career,” French says. “I realized very quickly how wrong I was, and this was a huge life lesson.”
French worked as a cam girl for three years and during those years was shocked to discover how the industry was lacking in tools to help its performers.
“I’m not very techie, and because of that, it was challenging for me to find ways to send videos to my fans, who would often have to wait way too long to receive my vids,” French explains. “It was not ideal, to say the least. I could not understand why none of the larger and established companies were not doing anything about it. These companies needed the success of ManyVids.com to wake them up, as many are now copy and pasting our platform.”
Her work in the industry gave French a unique perspective and understanding of how it truly feels to be a cam girl; especially how difficult it can be emotionally, and what tools are needed in order to succeed.
“I understood how it feels to be a cam model and all the crazy, underestimated work it takes to be good at it. While I was camming, I was continually studying other cam models and learning from them,” French confides. “The cam and clip world gave me the knowledge that I needed to give back to the adult industry as a CEO.”
French says she’s learned a lot from the mistakes she made as a young entrepreneur, but also learned that through hard work, it was possible to actually transform her ideas into reality.
“I learned the hard way how to deal with high levels of stress and pain,” French reveals. “I operated my first store for almost four years in my early 20s and with no exaggeration, I probably took less than 10 days off the entire time. It was really brutal. Towards the end, I felt like I was slowly losing my mind.”
French says she took enormous risks during this period and almost went bankrupt, but she realized she could endure levels of pain that very few people could tolerate — and still get the job done.
“It was the perfect training I needed to be able to launch ManyVids,” French tells XBIZ. “While people in their early 20s are usually partying and having fun, I was so consumed with work that my friends used to tell me how boring I was, working all the time.”
A New Brand is Born
A whirlwind of creativity, it should come as no surprise that French personally came up with the idea, the business model and the name ManyVids.com.
“I shared my desire to create this website with Sed. He was very excited about it, but also realized the enormity of the challenge. He reached out to Gino, pitched the idea, and the three of us haven’t looked back since,” French says. “Sed, Gino and I worked together for about six months to come up with the initial designs, the code and the concepts of what ManyVids.com would become. We were all in, working nights and over the weekends, as we all had full-time occupations elsewhere.”
To kickstart the project, French fully funded MV, 100 percent on her own; demonstrating her complete commitment to the project — and further had to reinject her own personal finances twice early-on to ensure that the company would meet payouts — a perfect example of her “models over me” approach.
“I was used to putting everything I had into a business and that’s what I did,” French confides. “I did not grow up having very much, so having to live modestly once again was very familiar to me.”
French says that when she and her two co-founders created ManyVids, it really was to help performers like herself, but now that vision is much more important.
“We wish to create a safe haven where adult performers are respected as successful independent entrepreneurs,” French says. “I want to give the control of this industry back to the performers and I have a clear vision on how we will achieve this goal, and until we get there, we will never stop working.”
“Working is my life, so I am lost when I am not working,” French tells XBIZ. “If you want to be successful, you have to be completely obsessed with achieving your goals.”
The Power Revealed: French debuts as CEO
Obsession is a familiar concept to the self-confessed workaholic who says she worked behind-the-scenes for several years as ManyVids’ CEO before ultimately revealing her position at the helm because she was always very nervous — especially for the first two years during which every second was critical — that if a big player copied the site, it would be the end of MV.
“That’s why I gave all my attention to creating the platform. I also did not want to attract too much attention to myself, I wanted the MV Stars to get all the attention,” French explains. “When I felt we were out of that initial phase and that a part of me wanted to find ways to give more, my team and I decided that it was time to let the industry know about my involvement as the CEO of ManyVids.”
Accompanying the announcement was the release of a 40-minute documentary featuring French, titled, #WeAreMany, which detailed how her approach “defies the traditional, often negative dynamics of the adult entertainment industry by providing a positive environment where the performers are supported and in command, retaining full copyrights to their oeuvre.”
For her part, French describes entrepreneurship and being driven to build organizations as simultaneously both a passion and a curse.
“In an industry such as ours, leadership has been predominantly male with very few female leaders to network with. This year was a pivotal one in my career as I chose to reveal myself as the CEO and co-founder of ManyVids after avoiding the spotlight for the past four years,” French tells XBIZ. “Stepping into the public arena and presenting myself as CEO in our documentary #WeAreMAny was a watershed moment for me, letting everyone in the adult community know that as a former cam girl, I am also one of them. The momentum to revolutionize this business and empower adult workers is growing and I could not be prouder.”
#WeAreMany also serves as the foundation of a social media-driven awareness campaign created by ManyVids to make the sex industry a safer place. The campaign calls for an end to sexual violence, as well as harassment, victim blaming, online bullying and slut-shaming, while normalizing and empowering sex work and sex workers.
As for how her role has shifted since becoming more of a public figure, French says she simply works longer hours, telling XBIZ, “I did not think that was possible, but it definitely is.”
With basically the same heavy involvement in every aspect of the business as before her coming out, French’s role and responsibilities are always shifting, and leveraged by the luxury of being surrounded by amazing people.
“My goal is always to find smarter and more experienced people than myself to take away specific responsibilities from my plate,” French reveals. “I am still very involved in operations, but this is something I am slowly trying to get away from.”
She also spends more time on social media these days to help empower and encourage sex workers.
“I spend a lot of my time trying to answer MV Stars on Twitter,” French says. “I am constantly reminded that I should stop doing this because we have a fantastic customer support team, but I can’t help myself — I want to help.”
Now that she has navigated the complexities of the adult industry for a number of years, French seeks to continue shaping MV’s various outreach initiatives to help fulfill the community’s unique needs, telling XBIZ that unfortunately or fortunately, depending on where you stand, there is a lot of work to be done in the adult industry on so many levels…
“From a technological perspective, there still remain tremendous opportunities. We’ve only scratched the surface of what we can accomplish with ManyVids and that notion is very exciting,” French reveals. “We will continue to push out new features, and by doing so, our competitors will improve their products as well.”
French says this is a fantastic thing for adult performers and that it makes her very happy to see.
“More competition means that the standards of our industry will continue to rise,” French enthuses, adding, “I love competition, I think it’s one of my favorite aspects of operating a business.”
When it comes to respect and protection of adult performers, French says the work ahead is immense, but that she is in this industry for the long run — and whatever it takes, the job will get done.
“The day that society will recognize the importance of sex workers and they are respected as successful independent business entrepreneurs, I will retire,” French concludes. “I am hopeful that it will happen in my lifetime.”
Tackling the day-to-day decisions that she makes as the head of ManyVids, French says all decisions are important and that big or small, every one of them counts.
“I believe that every business is only three bad decisions away from bankruptcy. That’s why it can sometimes take more than 30 hours of discussions before making an official decision,” French explains. “At the same time, it can be essential to make swift decisions, and that can only be done properly with experience and being surrounded by the right people.
“There is no secret recipe. A company is like a living organism that is always in movement,” she adds. “You have to adapt, move with it and the industry in order to achieve the best results.”
Discussing the greatest challenge she faces as a CEO, French confides that it is the constant mental and physical pain stemming from the responsibility and workload of running a successful company.
“Being a CEO is all about sacrifices. It’s never about you or what you want to do, it’s always about what needs to be done, no matter what it takes,” French reveals. “As a CEO, you often end up doing the work that no one else wants to do.”
With more than 100 team members and 22,000 MV Stars depending on her to make the right decisions, French tells XBIZ there is no room for error.
“Inspiring others is one of the hardest challenges that I face daily as a CEO: getting everyone motivated to think of creative ways to push the boundaries while maintaining the day to day operations,” French explains. “What is unique in our organization is that the team’s key mandate is to care and make a positive change in our industry. Our ‘Big Audacious Goal’ is to normalize what is an outlier, to bring into the mainstream what is stigmatized and praise where there was shame. We see the results of our efforts in practice constantly. The response from the community is so overwhelming that it continues to feed our relentless drive to do more.”
French Strives for Her Personal Best
“I take my responsibilities as a CEO extremely seriously and I go to work every day and do my absolute best,” French confides. “I have learned over the years to deal with this high level of stress and I am always looking for more.”
One way that she does her best is by relying on the example of a wide range of “internet mentors.”
“I look up to Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx, Oprah Winfrey, Fred Kofman, COO of LinkedIn, Elon Musk of Space X, Tesla, The Boring Company and more, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon … the list goes on and on; Catherine Graham, Warren Buffett, Mozart, Jean-Sebastien Bach, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, etc.,” French confides. “My all-time favorite is Mr. Jack Ma. He recently retired as the CEO and co-founder of the website Alibaba.com. He came from nothing, had really hard times, and no one believed in him in the beginning — something that reminds me a lot of my own journey.”
French also idolized her grandmother, who was born in 1912, calling her “a true revolutionary,” and telling XBIZ, “She was such a strong woman, I have learned so much from her.”
“She worked all her life and she spent more than eight years working as a teacher in a women’s prison, here in Montreal, teaching prostitutes how to knit. I only learned this a couple of months ago,” French says. “My mom told me that my grandmother would say that prostitutes had a very important role in this world. I wish more people could see what she saw in those beautiful, strong women.”
Continually developing her professional skills, French reads books on business, studies them, watches documentaries about them and analyzes everything all the time, while trying to stay as positive and focused as she can, because as she says, “I have so much to learn.” This includes viewing “thousands of videos” about entrepreneurs and their stories, which she finds so very fascinating that she tells XBIZ she only reads books about these topics for an ongoing executive-level education from the best in their respective fields.
“I have just started my evolution as a businesswoman and CEO and I can’t wait to see what type of entrepreneur and human being I will be in 10 or 20 years from now,” French tells XBIZ. “I try to be as focused as possible and don’t spend time or resources on anything that will not help improve our product and benefit our MV Stars.”
Among the many significant professional experiences that shaped her career, French tells XBIZ that one of the biggest was the three years it took for her to pay back her debts.
“I worked extremely hard to pay back debts and I felt like such a failure. It felt as though I had gone straight to hell and spent a good two years there,” French says. “When I came back from this trip, I was not the same person anymore and I am very thankful for this life-changing experience. Now, I welcome positive and negative challenges into my life as I wish to continually improve as a loving human being.”
“This has been said so many times before: the hardest challenges are the ones that propel you to your better self,” French adds. “If that’s what it takes, I am up for the challenge.”
Mastering Management Challenges and More
One key management challenge is coping with staff acquisition, retention and turnover, which can be problematic for any organization. French says this is especially true for tech firms in Montreal, leading ManyVids to do its best to give team members the best working environment and conditions possible, while constantly working on improving corporate life.
“The MV Team is a big family. I truly care about the people and their happiness. We are basically friends working together to achieve a common goal and help sex workers as much as we can,” French explains. “People want to love what they do, to continue to grow and improve by facing challenges together with smart, respectful people. That’s what the MV Team is all about. It is an honor to lead this team of dedicated and brilliant minds.”
Beyond internal staff, MV relies upon its MV Stars and the fan bases they cultivate, so keeping MV Stars happy and helping them maximize their fan base is important — with French noting that ManyVids is a business-to-business platform that enjoys having MV Stars as its business partners.
“It’s our responsibility to constantly prove to them our positive involvement and impact on their businesses,” French says. “We also want to provide them with the freedom of being part of other platforms and to leave MV if they wish to do so.”
Citing it as a major competitive advantage while noting it is also “the right thing to do,” French says ManyVids is the only adult community that does not ban direct links to its competitors’ websites.
For self-promoting performers, this is an incredible plus.
“Once again, we are focused on giving our business partners all the tools they need to succeed, and direct links are very important. It is very sad that we seem to be the only company that understands this,” French tells XBIZ. “We always do what we think is best and if we end up losing MV Stars, we are okay with it, as it is not healthy to try to control human beings and their decisions.”
Thriving on Competition, Culture and Vision
Although ManyVids is still a relatively medium-sized company with just over 100 team members, it is keenly aware of its corporate culture and how as organizations continue to grow, the “institution” that develops can dampen the company’s initial “inspiration,” and so it works to keep this from happening.
“I think we are currently at 103, it’s hard to keep track as we are constantly hiring,” French tells XBIZ, noting that the organization is still small enough to have a startup mentality. “Once we become over 1,000 team members, it will be much more challenging, but we will do our best to keep the same corporate culture we have today.”
With an increasing number of players in the clips arena, combined with other adult verticals such as live cams and paysites, as well as mainstream options such as social media and streaming services all vying for consumer attention, ManyVids has its work cut out trying to grab its share of entertainment dollars.
“I love competition! Competition always makes us better,” French says. “I am a pure-bred entrepreneur, everything has to be difficult, everything has to be challenging, or else it becomes boring for me.”
French says the company is being bombarded from every angle this year, but calls the situation “great.”
“It makes us move faster and I hope it will never stop, French adds. “The desire to improve and be the best we can be is in our blood at MV, it’s what we do and who we are.”
French exudes tremendous respect for the competition because she understands how operating a business is challenging.
“The respect we have for them is what keeps us on our toes,” French reveals. “It does not matter what style of a company it is, or what they do, we are always on the lookout.”
One way that platforms compete is by offering a distinct culture and vision. In this regard, ManyVids is a very positive, respectful and uplifting platform, which French says is very important, noting, “we thrive on providing our MV Stars the best possible cutting-edge tools and more.”
“What really differentiates us is how much we care about our content creators,” French reveals. “Everything we do is to help them and give them as much as we can. We are not here to generate income, we are here to help improve people lives, to make a difference, that’s what we work on at MV day in, day out.”
This focus on putting people over profits speaks to what French believes is the essence of what a business should be.
“At its core, business should be focused on improvements rather than profits. Money is the byproduct of what a business should really be doing,” French explains. “At ManyVids, we are not selling vids. We are trying to change how the world views sex work and sex workers by empowering them.”
French says MV’s desire is to give sex workers all the respect, confidence and tools they deserve to reach their goals and more.
“Internet adult content creators are the next demographic of future millionaires and the MV Team will be at their side doing everything we can to make this happen,” French says. “Once sex workers will be empowered and successful, we will start seeing a real change in people’s perception of sex workers.”
Part of this empowerment involves making the knowledge, opportunities and tools for success available to those that need them.
Problems With Piracy: Technology’s Double-Edged Sword
French credits technology for helping drive MV forward and believes that emerging technologies will transform the clips market in the coming years, telling XBIZ ManyVids is first and foremost a tech firm.
“Technology is so important,” French explains. “If you don’t have the newest technology on the market, you won’t last.”
Although technology enables MV to exist, it can also be a thorn in the company’s side; as one persistent challenge caused by technology (and likewise combated by it) is content piracy.
The problem of piracy is a very personal one for French, who discovered that a fraudulent account on another adult platform had been posting and selling pirated copies of her explicit videos and photos, without her knowledge or consent since December of 2016 — an experience that served to further strengthen her resolve to help MV stars deal with this problem.
She was notified of the pirate offer by an alert fan and took action.
“[Pirated content] is so commonplace that it has bred complacency. There is a reluctance to demonstrate a sense of urgency or proactiveness in these situations to protect the content creators,” French explains, asking, “If it can happen to me, how many others have also experienced this type of frustration?”
As part of the company’s proactive stance against piracy, ManyVids partnered with DMCA Force and DigiRegs to offer improved protection to adult entertainers by digitally imprinting every active video with a unique fingerprint ID and automatically scanning the entire web for that fingerprint.
Despite these measures, continued concerns by content creators over potential security breaches and the fraudulent piracy and re-posting of their videos remain.
In hopes of providing a partial solution to the problem, ManyVids launched what it calls the first “ethical” porn tube site, MVTube.com, filled exclusively with content uploaded by the content creators themselves in a move striking at the heart of what many see as the most problematic part of profiting from porn today: pirated content offered free on so-called “tube sites.”
The launch was accompanied by the company’s latest social media campaign, the #JoinTheRebellion movement, which French says marks a sea change in the adult entertainment industry.
All MV Tube content is produced ethically with no exploitation and is uploaded exclusively by age-verified creators, with copyright and ownership rights respected and diversity and inclusivity celebrated while supporting performer’s efforts to be compensated for their work. The site also offers creators the opportunity to upload non-nude videos and to monetize this content, too, without the fear of having their accounts flagged or deleted — an increasingly complex problem that French is also focused on.
“This problem could go away in a couple of hours if tube sites would do the right thing,” French explains. “I believe in karma and that’s one of the reasons why I am so excited about the future of the adult industry because there is no way that businesses that have been and are currently profiting from stolen content will survive — life does not work that way.”
French tells XBIZ that just because things have been going a certain way for many years, that doesn’t mean they have to remain that way forever.
“I believe in change and I think that with a solid vision, time and proper tools such as MV Tube, we will reach our goal of making the adult industry almost piracy free,” French adds. “Focus on money and you will die.”
Elevating the MV Brand
When it comes to living, MV is building itself beyond a brand and into a lifestyle, with a growing, rich and vibrant community. Indeed, the diversity of ManyVids’ brand-building efforts is a prime reflection of French’s creative inspiration, highlighted by her pet project, fashion-forward line MV Gear, which as a trained fashion designer, she has a lot of fun managing. In addition, French tells XBIZ that building the MV brand has been very exciting and the company loves doing it through various initiatives.
From the annual MV Awards to the glamorous MV Loft in the heart of Montreal and the MV Takeovers, where one MV Star at a time delivers a three-hour live show, ManyVids tirelessly expands its offers, with highlights including 2018’s expansion of the MV Boy and MV Trans community — including the launch of the first MV Mag Trans edition and a boys week at the MV Loft.
ManyVids is known for being a creative and innovative brand, with French revealing that these traits are common to every single project the company envisions and works on.
“Creativity is at the heart of everything we do at ManyVids,” French explains. “As a fashion designer, I loved being creative and I could not live my life without creativity. If you are not creating, you are copying and there is no reason why you should work on something that already exists. You have to constantly create and innovate.”
One of ManyVids’ more creative initiatives involved taking the notion of “the mile-high club” to new heights in a plan to provide commercial space travel pioneer SpaceX with a unique plan “to alleviate the alienation and isolation of space travel,” by using the MV Live cam service for much-needed contact with family and loved ones back on Earth, with French calling the proposal “the first step in fostering tolerance and respect for sex workers as mankind seeks to populate Mars.”
“By making ManyVids an integral part of space travel,” French says, “We can instill appreciation and respect for sex workers among astral explorers, thus creating a sex-positive new world for all.”
It is a statement that shows that not even the sky is the limit for ManyVids — yet the company remains grounded in its roots, with French returning to her cam modeling roots this past autumn to further help end the stigma surrounding adult entertainment and to help normalize sex work in society.
Appearing live on cam, French supported her fellow cammers by donating all proceeds earned from her show to the platform’s content creators appearing on MV Live at the same time as she did; truly putting her money where her mouth is in support of performers and their profession — baring all for her beliefs.
“No matter what we do, what is very important for us is to always deliver a high-quality product that our MV Stars are proud of,” French adds. “All of our initiatives are put in place to help propel our MV Stars to the next level and show to the world how exceptional they all are.”
One aspect of ManyVids that is truly exceptional is its high level of community activism and leadership.
Reaching Out to Those in Need
MV’s community outreach goes far beyond its mission as an advocate for the sex worker community, supporting pro-SW organizations and opposing anti-SW legislation like FOSTA; to caring for all people, everywhere, providing further insight into French’s friendly world-view.
“At ManyVids, we are pro-humans. We believe everyone should have the same rights and opportunities regardless of where they come from, their religious or spiritual beliefs, culture, sexual orientation or age. The human body is just a vehicle and it’s really who you are that matters,” French explains. “What you do as a career should not define who you are. There are brilliant and kind sex workers and there are very evil and pretentious doctors. No human being [should] judge another, as we are all very far from perfect.
“What is imperative to change is that sex workers should have the same protection and rights as everyone else,” French adds. “We should want to protect other living beings at all times as we are all part of the big family of humans.”
Part of being a family means taking care of each other, and one way that MV stepped up in this regard was by addressing the recent rash of performer mental health issues and suicides. This is an important subject for French, who notes that “mental health issues are happening everywhere in the world.”
“I think it’s important to mention that it’s very common and that if you are experiencing mental health issues you are not alone,” French tells XBIZ. “To help support adult performers within the adult industry, not only MV Stars, we created the MV Hotline.”
Launched in support of World Suicide Prevention Day, ManyVids’ suicide prevention initiative targeting the adult entertainment industry offers a confidential counseling service at (888) 350-3051 that is free to all adult performers and is dedicated to the tragic loss of adult star August Ames who took her own life in 2017. A social media campaign was also launched in support of the initiative, which is helping to raise awareness of the issues and the hotline within the community.
It was a call to action that once again underscored French’s growing leadership role within the industry — a role that was recently on display in the adult industry’s backlash against Tumblr’s decision to ban all adult content from its platform beginning on Monday, Dec. 17 — a date coinciding with the annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
French issued an impassioned statement, reaffirming ManyVids’ position as a safe, sex-positive space where adult content is seen, heard and valued as a viable opportunity for self-expression, and noting that porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined each month.
“While the demand for adult entertainment consumption continues to grow, narrowing the platforms in which they can thrive is simply shameful and blatantly discriminatory,” French explained in her statement, revealing that the company’s top earners make between $20,000 and $40,000 every month. “Clearly sex workers are in control of their lives and on their way to become the largest demographic of the world’s future millionaires, and we will do whatever it takes to empower their financial growth.”
This focus on financial support extends beyond MV Stars to the fans of ManyVids as well, with French responding to efforts to ban pornography on Ivy League campuses with an offer of a free three-month membership for current Princeton and Harvard University students because “talk of censorship poses a major threat to personal freedom.”
It is just the latest example of a long list of attempts to remove barriers on erotic culture and introduce a new audience to ethically produced adult entertainment “where the content creators are empowered to be successful entrepreneurs in full command of their craft.”
French says although MV has invested a lot of time and effort into making sure that there is support available out there for sex workers in distress, a lot of work remains.
“Being a sex worker is difficult and with the stigma surrounding what they do, it makes it even harder to live in the shoes of a sex worker,” French reveals. “I hope that in the near future of MV, we can do a lot more to help support adult performers in need of help.”
French Looks Forward to the Future
Focusing on the future by looking ahead to the coming year and beyond, French tells XBIZ that MV has a solid plan and intends to achieve everything on that list, saying, “stay tuned.”
“I envision giving back as much as I can, giving the control of MV to our MV Stars and empowering them as sex workers and successful independent entrepreneurs,” French reveals. “Sex work will be drastically transformed in the next couple of years because of websites just like ManyVids.”
“As for myself, I hope I can grow with time and become a better person only filled with love and positivity,” French concludes. “This will take me many years, but that’s my ultimate goal in life.”
If you ask this observer, I believe she’ll succeed.