Catfight Question





Usually I am very decisive and opinionated, especially in matters pertaining to money. Over the course of the past year, however, I have been playing an odd game of mental ping pong in my head regarding one particular matter. I often shoot wrestling matches with STJ. Every time I go there STJ always offers the opportunity of doing an extra, unscripted, lower-paying match which takes 15 minutes. He shoots these for a company based in Europe. The reason I have agreed to do these matches in the past is because they take literally, exactly 15 minutes.  Standard matches pay more but take much longer to shoot (sometimes well over an hour, sometimes even two hours) because they have specific moves, holds, camera angles, etc.  I only do the lower-paying matches when I am already at STJ’s ring for a different shoot so I tend to think: “I’m already here. What’s 15 minutes out of my life for some extra money?”

Recently I have noticed a growing sentiment against the company which offers the lower-paying 15-minute matches. Obviously every model is entitled to decide for herself whether she feels like taking the opportunity or not. In the past year I would say that 50% agree to it and 50% do not. I’m inclined to believe that it doesn’t really matter either way but an increasing number of models feel that taking matches from the lower-paying company is harmful to the collective good of the catfight/wrestling industry. Since I have a number of highly intelligent, insightful readers here I would like to welcome your comments on this subject. I am eager to hear your opinions.

XO Tanya

P.S. Pics above are of Ariel X and me from an August 2013 shoot. Wow! I just clicked over to Ariel’s site and she looks like she has been doing a lot of training.



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8 thoughts on “Catfight Question”

  1. An interesting question, Tanya, and I’m not sure if my insights are worth much…however, I do think of you as a thoroughly reasonable woman, so my sympathies are with your position.

    From a personal context, I have my own steady gig but take on free-lance work often. I find it hard to turn down work myself for a host of reasons, though sometimes I wish I had. But my thinking is similar to yours: if my ‘overhead’, so to speak, is already covered, I will take less of a fee for a job. It only makes sense, it offers value to my clients, and I don’t think it has compromised my fees on other jobs, or fees for other designers.

    But one would think your position is equally sensible: you are already prepped for work, have traveled to the filming location and thus some of the ‘overhead’ with the job has already been absorbed. Additional work may be at a lower overall rate of compensation, but if you have already ‘spent’ the time / money getting there, then it may be a wash in terms of actually moolah earned despite seeming like a lower rate.

    You should have a better feeling for how or if it might affect fees paid to your wrestling colleagues at other producers, for instance. If the matches and videotaping are only piggybacked on existing shoots at STJ then I don’t know how it would affect other model / producer relationships. But I know nothing about how this works outside what I have gleaned from these kinds of discussions with you. (Which is an amazing thing in and of itself to be privy to….)

    Are you taking some heat from other actresses over your position on this?

    I’ll leave it at that for a bit. I have further thoughts on the topic (and the Euro producer I think you are referring to) but it is hard not to be distracted by you and Ariel. Your matches at STJ were eyeball melting, particularly the summer match from which those pictures are from. Knee-weakening. You and Ariel seem to have very quickly established an incredible physical dynamic as actresses and as video subjects. More on that later, as well.


    1. Hi Mingori,

      To me it makes perfect sense to do the extra, lower-paying matches. Yes, I have taken heat from other models over this. I think they think that other producers will feel tempted to lower their rates if they see that models are willing to shoot for less money. However, I find this to be very unlikely. For one thing, I produce wrestling videos and do not feel tempted to try and pay models less (I want them to be well-compensated and happy.) For another thing, most wrestling producers do not want to shoot videos that only take 15 minutes to shoot. They want to produce more elaborate videos that will sell better.

      Thanks so much for your response. I really appreciate it.

      XO Tanya

  2. I’ve often wondered about the extra matches (most all are nude) that STJ publicizes at the same time I’ve had a custom done at his place (I believe I know the company you speak of). I personally don’t see how it would be harmful to your industry. To me, if they’re not asking you to do anything you don’t want to do, then it would probably come down to two things:

    1) Do you have the time in your schedule to do it? Which seems most of the time you would if it literally takes no more than 15 minutes….. and

    2) Even though it is lower paying overall, what does it work out to as an hourly rate. For example, if you’re getting paid $100 for 15 minutes of work vs $250 for a 30 minute match that actually takes an hour to do, then to me it’s a no brainier. Do the extra match for a better return on your time invested.

    So, I don’t know how insightful I am, but now you know my humble opinion :-)! Have a nice evening Tanya,


    1. Hi Phil,

      Thanks so much for your response. I think exactly like you do. It seems like a no-brainer to me too. Everything comes down to my overall “take” from each shoot and the amount of time I spent there. Thanks again for your reply. Much appreciated.

      XO Tanya

      P.S. And, yes, the hourly rate from the “lower-paying” shoot amounts to more than the standard rate for the videos which take longer to shoot.

  3. I guess I’ll chime in as well, more opinions can’t hurt. I’m in agreement that it’s better, personally, for you to shoot these smaller segments while you’re already there. I don’t deny others may feel like it hurts the collective community, but I think it’s just more fear tactics and not really backed up with actual statistics.

    From your viewpoint, you are already there, you are already dressed and ready, you are amped and ready to do the work. It makes complete financial sense for you to get more out of your time there. Additionally, I don’t see why content producers would all of a sudden lower rates, they still need to maintain the quality desired by their fanbase.

    Ultimately you know better than any of us whether it’s worth your time to do this, whether the backstage politics are something you can endure, and whether the industry can support these types of things. I personally see nothing wrong it.

    1. Thanks for your input, Ned! Looks like we have a unanimous consensus, at least thus far. I used to dance at a topless bar called the Wild Goose (now closed.) When I first started around 1999 dancers were charging $7 per dance or 2 dances for $10. On many shifts you would dance nonstop. It is also worth mentioning that the customers didn’t expect much during the dance. You danced in front of them for a song or two and they sat and watched you. During a typical shift customers were constantly waving money at you and saying “Dance for my friend.” Money flowed, everything was good. I worked there sporadically, sometimes not reappearing for many months or a year. After a fairly lengthy absence I returned to discover that dancers were charging $20 per dance. Money was not flowing and customers were expecting way more for their money, trying to cop a feel and get dancers to grind around in their laps. All dancers there were independent contractors so we could charge whatever we wanted for dances. I was charging less primarily because I did not want customers trying to grab me, etc. Other dancers were incensed and confronted me repeatedly about the fact that I was charging “too little”. Finally I just caved in to the pressure and started charging $20 per song. At that point I was doing a lot of video shoots and only dancing occasionally. It just was not worth it to get into arguments when I was at the bar. Of all ironies, I don’t think that anyone was making more off the $20 dances (in terms of overall “take” at the end of a shift.) Granted, the economy had started to shift by then but I always felt that the higher dance prices had compromised the overall profits for the dancers at that club. It was as if the women were so fixated on getting a higher price per song that they did not notice that they were making less money overall.

      The strip club situation is totally different than the catfight conundrum involving lower-priced matches, but one thing remains the same: some of the women seem to be valuing the price of an individual event (either a dance or a match) over the cumulative profit for a day at work. That doesn’t make sense to me. That said, I toootally understand if someone turns down the lower-priced match because they just aren’t in the mood to do them. “No” is a perfectly acceptable answer when you don’t want to do something. I’ve had days when I’ve said: “Nah, that’s not worth $100 to me.” We’ve all been there for any number of reasons. Maybe you have another commitment that same day or you are just tired and want to go home. Or maybe $100 simply is not enough money. Fair enough.

      Anyways, I should stop rambling. In summation, I understand why many models turn down the lower-priced matches. I really do. What I fail to understand is why they care whether I choose to do one or not. In my humble opinion my decision to do so is not harming the industry in any way, shape, or form.

      XO Tanya

      P.S. At the Wild Goose some of the dancers who lobbied the hardest for $20 dances were frequently “caught” charging customers less than that. Always thought that was funny.

  4. People are hypocrites. It’s a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality. I remember reading in one interview you said a fellow dancer got in your face, was mouthing you off and you didn’t want any of it so you went backstage to confront her and she backed down because she didn’t expect you’d stand up for yourself.

    The strip club analogy is telling. I bet some of the same models telling you not to take the the shorter shoots would probably do them, themselves.

    I’m curious, if you’re able to share, what did you typically make from a night of feature dancing, on stage and private dances? Was it as lucrative as people think?

    1. Hi Ned,

      That strip club confrontation you mention also occurred at the Wild Goose. I almost never instigate confrontations because I have found that situations tend to resolve themselves. That dancer challenged me to meet her in the dressing room so we could “settle things”. She was a thief who had been stealing from coworkers and I had become quite vocal in my conviction that the management needed to get rid of her. As soon as we were face to face in the dressing room she started backpedaling and told me that she wanted to talk to me to tell me how much she liked my videos. I had the good grace just to go along with her foolishness and let her save face for the moment. She got canned by the management not long afterward. There are two types of strippers: the ones who trifle over bullsh*t and the ones who focus on making money. From the start I was determined to be one of the dancers who left the industry with money, assets, and hopefully a business of my own. The other broads could fight all day long over customers, locker space, music, and the DJ. Still feel that way about it.

      Feature dancing was good in the 90s. I was a “magazine girl” because I had not yet done any hardcore videos. Magazine girls earned less than pornstars. I made base pay of usually $100 per show. Back then clubs booked you for 6 days out of a week and you usually did about 18-24 shows during the week. So I was guaranteed about $2000 a week, airplane and hotel expenses were covered. Most clubs allowed features to do dances with customers, but some did not. I also made money off selling merchandise and taking Polaroid photos with customers. On average I was probably making $3500 in a week after I tipped club staff, paid for food, paid my pet sitter, repaired my costumes, paid for overweight luggage, and paid my huge phone bill (no cellphones back then.) Unfortunately all this was occurring during the pinnacle of my prescription drug use. I would have done much better shows if I had not been a zombie 🙁


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