10 Questions with Zille Defeu of CyberDyke.net
"I started modeling because I couldn’t get anyone in my high school to do nudes, so I started having to do self-portraits..."
Zille is a founder of CyberDyke.net. She generously took some time out of her schedule to answer a few questions for Sex-Kitten.net.
Sex-Kitten: I was happy to see that many of the people in the photographs weren’t the stereotypical version of what a lesbian looks like (i.e. from the male perspective) which makes sense, being a site by women for women. Did you make an effort to have a variety of looks and body types or did it just work out that way?
Zille Defeu: Well, it does tend to “just work out that way,” because we actively try to have gals come on the site who have never modeled or made porn before. We do love having our model friends come and “let down their hair” doing the more laid-back, fun shoots we like to do. But what we really love is having gals come in the studio for their first-ever shoot, and have a wonderful time and learn something new about themselves. (And also see how hot they look under professional lighting … it really is true that it is all about the lighting!)
Sex-Kitten: As for the photographers, do you work with the same photographer for each shoot, or a variety of photographers? Do you develop tight relationships with the photographers that allow you to present more of “you” during the shoot?
Zille Defeu: We do both, actually. We have a main site photographer, and then there is me, as I do most of the shoots I am not actually in! When it comes to both of us, we are both extremely easy to work with and we are both people who respect models limits and do everything we can to put them at their ease. But we also like to have different looks, and to showcase other artists, so we invite guest photographers on fairly frequently. We have always had great results with that.
Sex-Kitten: How difficult is it to get in front of a camera for intimate shoots? Does it get easier and easier with time or was it never very difficult in the first place? I admire anyone who has enough courage to get in front of a camera, let alone naked.
Zille Defeu: Well, I was a photographer before I was a model … I started modeling because I couldn’t get anyone in my high school to do nudes, so I started having to do self-portraits to be able to work with the nude form! So, by the time I started modeling for other people, I was already pretty comfortable. (And, I am pretty shameless, anyway, which always helps!)
It absolutely gets better and easier with time, because as you become a more experienced model you know how to hold yourself and how to pose so that you look your best, so you no longer have the discomfort of “How will these pictures look???” going through your head.
Sex-Kitten: What are your favorite types of shoots to go on? What was the very best experience you have had thus far, related to the site? (shoot-wise, press-wise, etc)
Zille Defeu: One of my very favorite experiences combined both a great shoot and great press. Alexi and I did a shoot we had talked about for years … her starring as a personal trainer and me as the inept but sexy trainee. We worked with a photographer we really liked and trusted, and had fun turning gym equipment into implements of torture. We had also invited a gal from the SF Guardian to come see the shoot, and we had a great time joking around with her during shooting … and then she wrote this article.
But pretty much every shoot, as we are doing it and after I see the results when we are done, is my new “favorite” shoot. I get so excited about them!
Sex-Kitten: How is it that you find yourself running this great network of sites? If you were to trace the path to what brought you here, what might it look like?
Zille Defeu: It would first start with me learning photography in sophomore year of high school. That got me comfortable with modeling as well.
Then, a big turn in the “path” would be me coming down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome junior year of high school. I had it all the rest of high school, and college, and I knew I was too sick to get a regular job and support myself, so I turned to the sex industry because you could work less hours and make more money.
I did modeling for other people (magazines, websites, etc.) for several years (and worked in peep show and “lingerie showroom”!), but often when I saw the results my main response was, “God, that’s awful, I could do better myself!” When I met an excellent photographer who was willing to teach me HTML, we decided to go in on a business venture together, and that’s when history was made! The first site was darkplay.net in 2000, and then the whole CyberDyke Network started in 2001 and is still growing.
Sex-Kitten: I grew up in a very Catholic household where we never spoke about sex (though I had the unfortunate experience of hearing it a time or two), and my parents have NO idea that I write for Sex-Kitten.net. What do your parents and family think of all this? Is it a topic of discussion, something ignored, or something they have no idea about (or other…)?
Zille Defeu: Well, my little sister has seen darkplay.net! My parents know I make “erotic websites for women,” but that is the extent of it (do they really need to know about the fisting? No!) I tell them details about the technical stuff, like when we have a move to a new server and the sites go down for a day, or when we buy a new camera, but the “details” are a topic of discussion. So I think I’m pretty lucky!
Sex-Kitten: What is the demographic of subscribers to your sites? Are there a large number of men who are there as well as women? What about straight women?
Zille Defeu: We have about a 50/50 sign up ratio, although sometimes it slides up to 60% women. As far as I know, this is the highest ratio of women sign ups for any adult site anywhere! (Maybe some of the “sexy men” sites made for women do better, but I haven’t talked to any of their webmistresses about it.) It is very hard to get women to sign up for an adult website, and it is much easier to get men to do so. Some men do write in and ask if they are welcome to sign up, and I do appreciate them for being polite! We have had some women who identify as “straight” sign up – I always wonder if maybe they will leave our sites feeling a bit more “bi”!
Sex-Kitten: If you were stranded on some desert island, what three items would you bring with you?
Zille Defeu: Well, definitely my favorite vibrator! (Which is the Good Vibes “Bullet Vibe.”) If the island conveniently had plugs, I’d say my lap-top (because I am a workaholic who will sit ignoring paradise and do site updates!) and my cell phone (so I could be rescued from there when I felt like it – which might not be for a while!) or, if this was the old fashioned sort of island, I’d take the Lord of the Rings (bound in one book to count as only one item – haha!) and um, maybe a well-stocked camping kit?
Sorry – that was a way boring answer! I should have said “All I’d need is Angelina Jolie and a bottle of champagne,” shouldn’t I?!
Sex-Kitten: If you could spend 24 hours with any three people, who would they be, and why?
Zille Defeu: Okay, good, well I can use the Angelina Jolie answer here, then! Angelina, because she is hot, kinky, and I think we would have a great time talking. And, um, Sappho and Aspasia, because they were both strong, amazing women who changed the world. (They were also quite sexual, too, so maybe we all could have an orgy!)
Sex-Kitten: I’ve always had a vivid imagination when it comes to the lives of other people, especially people I don’t know. I imagine that the founder of a network of adult sites had some pretty exciting hobbies (like having sex on roller coasters of the world) and a frantic social life (with people like Ron Jeremy and Jeff Stryker). Is this at all true or will the answer disappoint my overactive imagination?
-- And before you possibly answer by saying you live a boring life with three cats and a girlfriend where you both watch reality television while clicking away on your respective laptops…back off, sister. We’re in a valley right now…it may sometimes be boring, but she’s a tiger in the sack.
Zille Defeu: Um, okay … I do not want to disappoint the fans, so I won’t mention the boring parts of my life (my livejournal does that just fine!) The shoots themselves are a great perk – one can barely call them “work!” – and I do tend to end up in fetish fashion shows, or going on double dates with the editor of On Our Backs to a strip-club, or having various infamous erotic artists and fetish / porn models show up for my birthday parties. But the thing is those only look so fabulous from the outside.
When you are living them – well, a fashion show is fun but it’s also stressful for everyone involved except the audience: from rehearsals that get in the way of your schedule, to forgetting something vital on the big night, to myriad other things. And well, after I worked in a peep show for a year, the “glitter” of strip clubs is pretty well tarnished for me. And the people who show up to my birthday parties are just friends and fun people whose company I enjoy. I don’t hang out with them for who they are, and I hope they don’t to that to me!
Life can be fun and sexy no matter what career you have, or who you hang out with. As you and your “tiger” can attest to!
© Gaëlle ~ Read Gaëlle's review of CyberDyke.net.