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On the Care and Feeding of Tickle Models - Part II

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Welcome to the second in a series of stuff collectively titled "What you need to know in order to run a tickling studio." You can read Part One here, wherein I explain the hows and whys of scouting and approaching talent for your venture. I suggest you read it first.

Still here? Good. Now that you've sent out a billion first contacts, a potential model has actually responded to you! What do you do now?

Well, the first thing to note is that what you say in your initial correspondence can make all the difference, and what you say is generally going to be shaped by how she reacts when she responds.

Situation 1: She's a bitch

It's rare, but it happens. If she outright insults you or otherwise acts like she's too good to talk to you, drop her and move on. You don't need the hassle. It's not your job to "punish" her and no, even if you did manage to get her into your studio it'd be an absolute shitshow. Life's too short to deal with assholes.

Situation 2: She's greedy

Also rare, but sometimes models will toss out ridiculous sums that are way out of not only your budget, but the budgets of pretty much anyone outside of the "more money than sense" crowd. I mean, let's face it; they know that if you've basically just got an Instagram page and a Clips4Sale store you don't have the funds of, say, porn.com and you're not going to be able to meet their demands, so it's basically a slightly more plausibly-deniable way to say "get out of my face". I've had models tell me they won't work for less than $2.5K - but I could buy their feet pics for a trifling $1.5k; what a deal!

If a model hits you with a response like this, you have two options. You can either treat it like Situation One and just dip, or you can - and should, really - practice the mantra "Always leave them better than you found them." In this case, I like to simply respond "I'm sorry, but that's way outside of my budget. Thank you for your time." Believe it or not, sometimes that does the trick! Once they see that you're polite, genuine, and serious about hiring them even if you can't meet their existing demands, often they'll follow up and ask you what your budget actually is. You can either work to find a mutually-beneficial offer from there, or (more likely) she won't budge and you'll be forced to dip anyway. But at least you opened the negotiations. Believe it or not, high-priced models will occasionally "slum it" with us hobbyists either because hey, it's still beer money and they have nothing to do that afternoon, or they're curious about the shoot and think it might be fun. I recently landed an internationally-published model (Katya) this way, so it pays to be polite and honest.

Situation 3: She's intrigued, but hesitant

Everybody's heard of the foot fetish. Hell, "selling feet pics online" is practically a meme at this point. But a tickle fetish? Most people are still in the dark about that one. Odds are pretty good you're the first producer in this niche that's ever approached her and she has no idea what to expect. It is now your job to explain what you do and how she fits into it, and that's important enough to warrant its own section. But first...

Situation 4: She's totally on board

Congratulations, you've struck gold. Either this ain't her first rodeo (fetish models occasionally troll classified ads and such; that's how I met Summer from Tickle Abuse), she's a closet freak and getting paid is just a bonus, or whatever other reason you can think of. Bottom line is, she's all for getting the shit tickled out of her and the only way you can fuck this up is by being a creep.

So, let's talk about what I like to call The Info Dump.

You've got some 'splainin' to do...

Once you've gotten a nibble, it's now up to you to explain all of the details of your business and the shoot to the model so that she can decide if participating is worth her time. This is the part that can feel the most frustrating, because you can often perform the Info Dump only to have her either push back on some aspect of the whole ordeal or say "hmm, I'm going to need to up the price for that" or any number of a hundred other things, only to eventually turn you down or straight-up ghost you after you spend all that time explaining things.

It sucks to lose a model at this point, especially if it's because of outside circumstances. But this is just how it goes, so suck it up and try again.

Before I discuss what the Info Dump is, let me explain what it is not. The Info Dump is NOT an opportunity to flirt with, hit on, or otherwise creep out your potential prospect, so leave all that weird TMF questionaire shit at home where it belongs. You don't need to know on a scale one to ten how long would it take for her to get tickled until she pees or who she thinks would win in a tickle fight between Alyssa Milano and Britney Spears. She doesn't need to know you think she's hot, that her feet are pretty, or that you'd love to tickle her all day and all night, or anything else you think will make her love you forever. That's not what you're here to do. You are an employer, she is a job applicant. She's evaluating you to see if you'd be safe and fun to work with. Keep. It. Professional.

OK, so what is the Info Dump? The Info Dump is all of the information she will need to know in order to decide whether or not to accept the shoot. Generally speaking, the first part of the Dump should always include the following;

  1. Who you are (eg. "I am a producer of tickling fetish content that I sell on the Internet.")
  2. How long the shoot lasts. Most models will not come out for anything less than an hour's time.
  3. Whether she can have an escort on set, for her own safety. (Hint: the answer should ALWAYS BE YES.)
  4. What you need her to do (eg. "You will be tied up and tickled in a variety of positions and costumes.")
  5. Will there be bondage involved? (If you didn't specify it prior)
  6. Will she have a safe word? (...regardless of what Jeff says, the answer must always be yes.)
  7. Where the shoot will take place
  8. How she should dress
  9. How much compensation you're offering

A few of these deserve further elaboration.

Whether she can have an escort on set

Remember; you're a complete stranger. Unless she's seen your picture on your social media, you're a faceless stranger to boot, and a lot of times we're working on a shoestring and filming out of our apartments or the like. Even if you're blessed enough to have a personal studio, any model with a lick of sense is going to at least be wondering if your intents are less than wholesome. Every model has at least one horror story about a photographer who violated her boundaries in some form when no one was watching, so the more you can do to assure her that you're not That Guy, the more comfortable she'll be on set. The quickest way to do this is to tell her that she's allowed to bring an escort for security. Most models do not; I'm actually kind of shocked at how many of them simply show up at my apartment with absolutely zero screening, research, or even questions, but I've always presumed it's because they feel safe doing so because of our prior interactions. By letting a model know she can bring someone, paradoxically, it often makes her think that she doesn't need to, because your intentions are not nefarious.

This is where not being flirtatious or the like also works in your favor, because if the model doesn't feel like you're only doing this to get your rocks off and are treating it professionally, she'll be less likely to wonder if you're going to spring a trap as soon as she's tied up.

So, always allow a model to bring an escort. Yeah, it can be kinda awkward but very often the dude won't even be watching you guys. Most of the time they just sit in the corner, scrolling on their phones.

What you need her to do

This is the second most-important one. The model needs to know what she's walking into, quite literally. Tell her exactly what you need her to do and what you'll be doing to her. This is the part where it's ok to go into exacting detail, as long as you keep your language neutral. IE, don't tell her that you're going to spend hours "torturing her helpless soles". Again, leave the creepy fetish shit at home. "We'll be shooting video segments wherein you'll be tickled in a variety of positions with a number of different tools" is usually a good start, and is usually how I put it. You can elaborate from there if she has any questions.

On Safewords

Safewords can be a tad... controversial in this community. You often hear a lot of people say stuff like, "If you can read your partner then you don't need one". Regardless of how you may feel about that, you must ALWAYS provide a safeword to a first-time model, whether she's a first-timer entirely or simply with you. Why?

The first, and most obvious reason - which I will expand on more in a future blog post - is that you need to do everything you can possibly do to let a model whom you've never worked with before know that you have her comfort and safety as your primary concern. This is especially important if you are working with someone who has never done a tickling shoot before (that coveted "girl next door" demographic, for example) - it's quite common for them to feel a bit nervous about literally setting foot into the unknown. Anything you can do to ease those potential fears will score you many gold stars in the "Would I work with him again" category.

The second is to cover your own ass. As previously stated, you've never worked with this person before and it is quite probable that you will have no idea how to "read" them beyond the basics available to pretty much anyone with empathy. Case in point, I worked with a model recently who legit had a nerve condition that made tickling a literal torture for her. She deliberately witheld this information from me because she knew that it would produce more authentic tickle torture. The reason she felt safe enough to do this was because she had a safeword... although I still felt hella guilty after finding out in spite of her assurances. Anyway, the last thing you want is for them to decide after the fact that you violated some non-communicated boundary and tell anyone who'll listen that you're a shit producer, because models do talk about producers that they didn't enjoy working with. I know this for a fact because I'm usually the guy they tell.

And, much like the concept of the escort above, models who understand that there is a safety net in place for them to use if things get too intense for their comfort level will often relax more and, paradoxically again, refrain from using it, allowing you to get more and better footage.

With that said, here's an example of my own Info Dump. Feel free to use it as a template for yours, with the relevant parts changed to reflect your own business.

"I produce foot/tickling fetish content that I sell on the Internet through my online storefront at Clips4Sale.com. What we'll be doing is filming a variety of segments involving foot tickling with a few different tools (feathers, fingers, and the like). Bondage is optional at your discretion - and with a first-timer the bondage is always ankles only, never wrists. You'll have a safeword in place to stop the shoot when you need to, and you'll be allowed as many breaks for rest, water, etc. that you need, plus you're welcome to bring an escort for security if you like. I tend to shoot wherever is most convenient/comfortable for you, which is usually either my apartment, your residence, or a neutral, third-party location that you approve of, such as a hotel or other semi-public space. I don't expect you to wear anything special, but you will be barefoot - and if you're ok with being tickled anywhere other than your feet, dress accordingly. IE, a tank top for armpit tickling. Finally, I am fully 18USC2257 compliant and will require proof of age, as well as have you sign a model release and fill out a 2257 form. As for compensation...

Post-Dump Clarity

Once you've given the Info Dump, unless this ain't her first rodeo (and, often even if it is), your potential model is going to have questions. How you handle these questions is important enough to warrant its own blog post, so I'm going to leave that for next time. In a nutshell, though? Be absolutely truthful. Do not lie or misrepresent anything about your business.

Rest assured, though, that once you make it through this Q&A, you'll usually get a yea or a nay as to whether or not your potential model is going to do your shoot. If yea, congratulations! If nay, time to hike up your pants and try again. This part of the process is the most draining and/or frustrating, so if it ever starts to seem like a chore, take a step back and go on with your life until you're ready to give it another go. Remember, producing tickling videos is a business, and business isn't always fun.


Updated 09-22-2022 at 02:59 PM by SoleMates

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