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Kristel Penn Discusses Mental Health in Latest XBIZ Issue

Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director, Kristel Penn, was recently featured in the latest issue of XBIZ discussing mental health and the adult industry with other advocates and adult performers. The issue is a must-read and can be read and this feature can be read in its entirety at this link: http://www.xbizdigital.com/xw/2019-06/

Penn’s original responses can be found below: 

From your perspective, what should the industry be doing, or what can they do better, to support and protect the mental health of performers?

This seems like a straightforward question, but the answer is very complicated because our industry is vast and the concerns performers face is as diverse as the performers themselves. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Personally speaking, I’d like to see companies contribute resources (financial or otherwise) to help create more access to intersectional (this is also key) sex-worker affirming mental health services for our performers. It is, first of all, that any professionals we send our performers to are sex worker affirming, but we also want to make sure performers are seen. We all hold multiple identities, often with both marginalization and privilege, and it is important that people working in our community understand that. Companies who say they want to help need follow through in concrete ways rather than just pay lip service to this ongoing discussion. At this point, good intentions are not enough. We need action and we needed it yesterday.

I also believe there should be more education to help empower performers needing to navigate mental health services. My friend Chauntelle Tibbals brought that up to me recently and I think she’s absolutely right. For example, how do you interview therapists to see if they would be a good fit, what are your rights as a patient, what ethical code of conduct must clinicians follow, how do you navigate and submit paperwork (if you have insurance)?

I decided to pursue an MA in Counseling because I’d like to use my educational experience to share my knowledge with others. Mental health is of personal importance to me and I think the framework I’m learning in school is applicable to our industry and can help with its sustainability. We are in a business where our product involves the bodies of our performers and thus should be held with reverence. If industries outside of porn can value the mental health and happiness of their employees, we absolutely have a responsibility to do the same in our communities.

What are some of the practices you recommend performers rely on to sane and grounded as they deal with the stresses of their work?

I encourage performers (and anyone, really) to practice self-care when they feel ungrounded or stressed. Yes, totally easier said than done. But to start, I’d ask people to find and identify safe activities they enjoy (e.g. writing, exercising, listening to music, cooking, etc.). Create a physical list and keep adding to it, so that when they feel low on resources, they can see all of their options laid out.

If an activity doesn’t immediately pop into their heads, I suggest they think about something they did as a child to self-soothe and ask if it’s something they could practice now. Sometimes some of our oldest self-soothing techniques are still some of our most effective.

A bit of advice my therapist told me was to do everything as small, concrete goals. Big picture stuff can be overwhelming, so creating small concrete goals to get through the day can break up tasks in manageable chunks. Most importantly, however, is to be kind to yourself when you can’t complete a task. For example, if you are having a hard time leaving the house due to depression, can you set smaller goals for yourself like today I will leave my bed, and if you are successful, tomorrow’s goal can be to take a shower, and so forth. Then let’s say you are unable to take a shower, remind yourself it’s okay and that you can try again tomorrow.

In psychology, there is a concept known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It looks like a pyramid, with a person’s fundamental needs listed at the bottom and the need for self-actualization listed at the top. The theory is that an individual’s most basic needs must be met before they are able to address higher level needs. I encourage people to practice self-care with this framework in mind and use Maslow’s theory as a way to take a temperature of their mental state. If they are in crisis, for example, what kind of tasks can the person do to help soothe fundamental needs (physiological and safety)?

If possible, I also recommend reaching out to others for support, both professionally and personally. Isolation plays all kinds of dirty tricks on your mind, so I recommend adopting a buddy system. This can be in the form of a therapist, a friend, a family member, or even better, having multiple “buddies.”

What would you want people to know about performers and sex work that isn’t generally discussed? 

I think it’s important to remember that people enter the industry for a variety of reasons and come from a variety of different backgrounds. While people in our industry may be more susceptible to certain stresses and areas of concern, like depression or anxiety, I caution from making blanket assumptions about why.

Non-performers, like myself, should practice being allies and advocates for sex workers while being very aware of the space we take up and should uplift the voices of sex workers themselves.

What are common concerns you hear from performers and sex workers that you feel should be on the table for discussion?

Many sex workers face stigma and discrimination in their everyday lives, which may limit access to where and how they receive support. There may also be financial limitations. In our discussions about how to help performers in our industry, we need as many voices as possible to contribute to get a comprehensive view of what’s needed because, as mentioned, there is no single solution to help.

For example, Steven Grooby, Buck Angel, and I created TAIF (Trans Adult Industry Foundation) to support trans adult performers and their unique needs. We created our organization as a conduit to allocate resources that make sense for the trans community, keeping in mind that transgender individuals face a disproportionately high percentage of violence and discrimination compared to other groups.

Final Thoughts?

I think we all need to do our due diligence when examining mental health resources being made available to our industry. We shouldn’t immediately assume an organization is sex worker affirming just because they say they are. We do not have to accept every opportunity being handed to us – it is our right to ask questions and keep on asking them if something about feels uneasy. Additionally, we need to do our own research in order to make informed decisions about the organizations we associate ourselves with. There is more than just financial resources at play, this has to do with the well-being and livelihood of human beings. How do most people make big decisions? They do some kind of research – whether it’s online, person-to-person, etc. But generally, there is some process of research involved before making a decision. This is no different – we need to practice due diligence.

June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Featured Post, News|Tags: , |0 Comments

Grooby Scores Multiple XBIZ Nominations

LOS ANGELES, CA – Grooby scooped up multiple XBIZ nominations, including in the coveted Trans Studio of the Year category.

“It’s always an honor to get nominations for our producers and products – and like a proud parent, we congratulate all Grooby nominees as well as the other nominees,” said Steven Grooby. “To make it onto the nomination list is a reward in itself.”

Grooby is nominated in multiple categories:

  • Trans Studio of the Year
  • Trans Release of the Year (Domino Presley’s House of Whores)
  • Trans Release of the Year (Real Fucking Girls 2)
  • Trans Release of the Year (TC3: Cock, Tails & Whore Moans)
  • Specialty Affiliate Program of the Year (Groobybucks)

Additionally, Grooby directors Radius Dark and Buddy Wood are both nominated in the Trans Director of the Year category. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

ABOUT GROOBY
Founded in 1996, Grooby is the leading producer of trans erotica. In addition to operating over 30 membership sites, the company produces nearly 50 DVDs a year and hosts the annual TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) held in Hollywood, CA. More information about the three-day event can be found at theTEAShow.com.

In 2017, the company took over the editorial content for Transformation, the world’s most popular transgender lifestyle magazine. For more information, visit Grooby.com or follow them on Twitter at @GroobyDotcom.

 

Grooby Scores 10 XBIZ Nominations, 2 XBIZ Industry Exec Nods

 

Grooby, the leader in trans erotica, scooped up ten XBIZ Awards nominations this week. In addition, company owner Steven Grooby and Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn both received XBIZ Industry Exec nominations earlier this month.

 

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby, the industry leader in trans erotica, received ten XBIZ nominations earlier this week, in addition to two XBIZ Industry Exec nominations for Steven Grooby and Kristel Penn.

 

“Thank you so much to the staff at XBIZ for all the nominations,” said Steven Grooby.  “Being recognized for what we do each year is important to our models, producers, and staff as we have great pride in our company.  We’re particularly excited about being on the ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ list for our flagship site GroobyGirls, alongside industry giants. Good luck to all nominees.”

 

“I am very humbled by these nominations,” added Kristel Penn. “Every person in our company has poured an immense amount of love into our projects this year and I feel grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them. I’m also thankful to be listed as an XBIZ Exec nominee with Steven for the second year in a row. I owe a debt of gratitude to him for the opportunity he’s given me this year to really spread my wings and fly.”

 

Grooby is nominated in the following XBIZ Awards categories:  

 

  • Best Sex Scene: Virtual Reality – Being Aubrey
  • Best Sex Scene: Virtual Reality – Domino Presley: Superstar Edition
  • Trans Studio of the Year – Grooby
  • Trans Release of the Year – All My Mother’s Lovers
  • Trans Release of the Year – TGirls.Porn 9
  • Trans Director of the Year – Buddy Wood
  • Trans Director of the Year – Radius Dark
  • Speciality Affiliate Program of the Year – Groobybucks
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year – GroobyGirls
  • Trans Site of the Year – GroobyGirls.com

 

In addition to the nominations listed above, the company secured two XBIZ Industry Exec nominations. Steven Grooby is nominated for Businessman of the Year and Kristel Penn is nominated for Marketing Executive of the Year.

 

ABOUT GROOBY

Founded in 1996, Grooby is the leading producer of trans erotica. In addition to operating over 30 membership sites, the company produces nearly 50 DVDs a year and hosts the annual TEAs (Transgender Erotica Awards) held in Hollywood, CA.

In 2017, the company took over the editorial content for Transformation, the world’s most popular transgender lifestyle magazine. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

 

 

Grooby’s ‘Real Fucking Girls’ Wins Best Transsexual Movie at 2017 AVN Awards

Los Angeles, CA – Mona Wales’ directorial debut, Real Fucking Girls, scored the award for Best Transsexual Movie this past weekend at the 2017 AVN Awards held in Las Vegas.

“I would like to thank our industry for celebrating the work of the amazing women who worked so hard on this project to create something unique, real, and sexy as fuck,” said the film’s director, Mona Wales. “Every single woman who touched this film gave so much of themselves to this project. I want to tell them how grateful I am for their work, their performances, and their realness.”

‘Real Fucking Girls’ brings together an all-star cast of performers, including Aubrey Kate (who won multiple awards between AVN and XBIZ in 2017), Daisy Ducati, Natassia Dreams, Simone Sonay, Jane Starr, Amarna Miller, Kelli Lox, Ella Nova, Tori Mayes, and Bella Rossi. ‘Real Fucking Girls’ is the only trans title to win both AVN and XBIZ DVD categories.

In addition to its adult content, editor Lilith Luxe shot an exclusive behind the scenes documentary, REAL FUCKING DOC, with interviews from the cast and crew. The title has been submitted to numerous film festivals within the last few months and is currently in consideration.

‘Real Fucking Girls’ star Aubrey Kate also won big at AVN this past weekend, taking home three awards, including the coveted award for Transsexual Performer of the Year.

“Congratulations to Mona and the cast and crew of ‘Real Fucking Girls’,” added Steven Grooby. “It was such an honor to help produce this title and give a platform to the voices of everyone involved.”

“I believe ‘Real Fucking Girls’ is only the beginning,” continued Wales. “The industry and the community of porn consumers are ready for authentic and artistic expressions of sexuality. This win emboldens and inspires me and I hope others. I cannot wait to share our latest film, All My Mother’s Lovers, that drops on February 13th.”

Wales’ highly anticipated follow up, All My Mother’s Lovers, is currently available for pre-sale at the GroobyStore.com. Co-directed with Arabelle Raphael, the title also stars Freya Wynn, Delia Delions, Mandy Mitchell, Mona Wales, and Bianca Stone. The title can be purchase on its own or bundled together with award winning ‘Real Fucking Girls’ exclusively at the GroobyStore.com.

Grooby Wins Big at the 2017 XBIZ Awards

Los Angeles, CA – Grooby, the leading producer of trans erotica, won big at the XBIZ Awards and the XBIZ Industry Executive Awards last week. The company took home four awards in total.

“Thank you so much to XBIZ and everyone who voted for Grooby,” said Steven Grooby. “We have a small, dedicated team who take great pride in what we do as a company so to be honored with awards at Xbiz this year for Trans Release of the Year, Adult Site of the Year (Trans), and Trans Studio of the Year is a fantastic reward and motivation for everyone across the company.”

He added, “Thank you also for recognizing Kristel as Brand Ambassador of the Year, she’s been putting love, heart and soul into Grooby since she began and to see her nominated and then winning alongside other fabulous nominees was much appreciated. Finally, thank you for recognizing Mona Wales’ first directorial release, ‘Real Fucking Girls’, which is an unique of a project that we’ve ever released. All the women who worked on that DVD should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished with it. Thank you XBIZ for  the recognition and encouragement for us to go forward with in 2017.”

Last night at the XBIZ Awards Grooby won Trans Release of the Year for ‘Real Fucking Girls’, Adult Site of the Year for ShemaleYum.com, and Trans Studio of the Year. Buddy Wood’s ‘Tranny Vice’ was also nominated in the Trans Release of the Year category, along with Grooby Network stars Kylie Maria, Chelsea Marie, and Domino Presley for Trans Performer of the Year.

Earlier in the week, Grooby’s Marketing and Editorial Director Kristel Penn won the 2017 XBIZ Industry Executive Award for Brand Ambassador of the Year. Owner Steven Grooby was up for Businessman of the Year.

“It is an honor to win such a prestigious award for my work at Grooby,” said Kristel Penn. “Steven has been instrumental in encouraging me to branch out and diversify our brand and I’m excited for what’s ahead for our company. Although I’m a representative for Grooby, I hope others will feel like this is a shared win for the trans adult industry as a whole.”

“Congratulations to Aubrey Kate on winning Trans Performer of the Year,” Steven Grooby added. “Never has an award been more appropriate for one of the hardest working and professional transsexual performers in the industry and we thank her for working with us.”  Aubrey Kate starred in Real Fucking Girls and also appeared in XBIZ nominated Tranny Vice, in addition to appearing on many of Grooby’s popular websites.

 

About Grooby
Founded in 1996, Grooby is currently based in Los Angeles and is the leading producer of transgender erotica. Operating over 30 membership websites, the company has numerous popular DVD lines and operates the GroobyNetwork.com, which gives models an unique opportunity to own and manage their own solo site. They are also the host of the annual Transgender Erotica Awards. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

 

Grooby to Host Trans Roundtable at XBIZ 2016

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LOS ANGELES, CAGrooby, a leading producer of trans erotica, will be hosting a roundtable panel discussion on the state of the trans adult industry at XBIZ 2016.

The discussion is scheduled on Jan. 14 from 12-12:50 p.m. at the Andaz hotel in West Hollywood, Calif. It will focus on marketing and promoting trans material in 2016, looking at specific issues with social networks and marketing of trans models (including ways around it) and whether the proliferation of mainstream media focusing on trans helps or hinders our porn.

Scheduled to be in attendance are Buck Angel; Kelli Lox; Venus Lux; Michelle Austin; Kenny and JC from TransErotica; Kristel Penn, Grooby’s marketing and editorial director; and a representative from Kink.

The workshop will be chaired by Grooby owner Steven Grooby.  There will also be a number of fans in attendance to give their feedback to the companies.

“We had a very successful and informative talk last year, so I’d like to thank XBIZ for offering to host it again,” Grooby said. “The workshop is intended to put all participants including the company representatives and attendees together for a frank discussion on our industry and what we can do to build in the coming years.

“With many changes in social networks — especially Facebook — it will be interesting to discuss and develop other marketing strategies and I hope this meeting will be a springboard for attendees to find mutual opportunities.  Having some fans attend should give an excellent insight into what our consumers are looking for, and their thoughts on our industry.”

Anyone interested in participating in the panel can contact admin@grooby.com for more information.

(Originally posted at XBIZ)

Grooby to Host Round Table Panel at XBIZ 2016 in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, CA – Grooby, the leading producer of trans erotica, will be hosting a round table panel of top industry professionals in Los Angeles at XBIZ in January 2016 to discuss the state of business for the year ahead, affiliate sales, marketing, consumer issues, and what can be done to further extend the reach of the trans adult industry.

A small number of fans will be invited to the event and asked for their feedback on what they’re looking for in trans porn and other topics of interest.

“We ran this last year with Fran from Shemale Strokers, James Darling, Telly,and myself and it was very successful, so we asked Xbiz if we could do it again and expand it a little,” said Grooby owner Steven Grooby. “This year I’d like to see if we can get representatives from the main production companies, model-producers, etc. together for a discussion about current vogues in transgender erotica and the directions we could take. This is a business meeting and aimed at other industry, affiliates, marketing managers, promotional people, and to include some fans is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time – as getting their feedback on what they want to see, is a valuable resource.”   

Anyone interested in participating in the panel can contact admin@grooby.com for more information. Media inquiries can be directed to kristel@grooby.com.

Founded in 1996, Grooby is currently based in Los Angeles and is the leading producer of transgender erotica. Operating over 30 membership websites, the company has numerous popular DVD lines released with Third World Media and operates the GroobyNetwork.com, which gives models an unique opportunity to own and manage their own solo site. They are also the host of the annual Transgender Erotica Awards. For more information, visit Grooby.com.

November 2nd, 2015|Categories: Featured Post, News|Tags: , , |0 Comments

America’s Next Top Tranny Season 6 Wins Big!

Congratulations to America’s Next  Top Tranny Season 6 for first winning an AVN Award and THEN winning an XBIZ award! In celebration of their double win, it’s on sale right now at our huge DVD store Shemale Video Direct!

Below is my scene-by-scene recap of the DVD. You can see why it won…TWICE!

I’ve been waiting to review America’s Next Top Tranny Season 6 for quite some time now. I heard through the grapevine about it, anxious to see Shemale Yum’s Amy Daly in action.  In fact, the whole cast is kind of like an all-star Shemale Yum line-up: Astrid Shay, Jesse, Celeste, and Amy Daly, which one getting a chance to shine in their hardcore scene.

The DVD begins with a black and white style striptease from Jesse. Wearing a very short skirt and top, she’s swinging around the pole, exposing that sweet package of hers. Of course, she’s not dancing just for us (wouldn’t that be nice?), there’s a lucky guy right in front who can’t keep his hands off himself while she gyrates against the pole.

The two of them have their eyes glued on each other, but seriously, your eyes will just be fixated on Jesse’s cock. Seriously, that thing is huge. In fact, it’s so big that the poor guy can’t fit the entire length of her cock in his mouth.

One of the things that makes Jesse such a great performer is that she gets so into it and it shows. When her guy straddles himself on top of her, you can see her grabbing on to his ass to pound him as deep as she can. She’s working her big cock inside of him, determined to stretch him out. The poor guy has no idea what he’s in store for when she starts thrusting–he looks like he’s about to explode and then soon after she does as well…all over his face.

The scene I’ve been excited to watch is with Astrid Shay and Up and Cummer, Amly Daly. Separately two of them are hot, but together, it’s a t-girl lover’s fantasy. Astrid is definitely the dominant one in this scene, reaching her in down Amy’s skirt to get a feel of her throbbing she-cock. She helps Amy pull down her skirt and then immediately wraps her lips around her rock hard cock. Amy returns the favor by tonguing Astrid’s wet she-hole and then things really start to heat up in bed.

Both girls are playful in bed and it shows. They decide to 69 each other, while Amy fingers Astrid’s she-pussy. This is probably one of my favorite t-girl lesbian hardcore scenes in a while. Confirming my guesses that Astrid would be the top in this scene, she spreads Amy’s legs to enter her. She goes slow at first, guiding her cock inside her, and it’s clear to see that it’s super tight. Then, in a surprise move, Amy gets her turn to fuck Astrid! Astrid is totally receptive, moaning loudly to encourage Amy while she pushes her cock inside of her.

When Celeste walks into a room, people notice. She’s the kind of t-girl you can’t keep your eyes off of. She goes to the repair shop to get her car fixed, but does that scam that all hot girls do, and says she doesn’t have much money. The mechanic is easily swayed and decides he wants to check under Celeste’s hood, making a joke that she’s probably done this before. But before Celeste can really answer, she reaches down to feel his soft cock, it already starts growing in her hand! She pulls down her skirt to tease him with a nice view of her bubble ass and then proceeds to give his dipstick a nice once over.

Marcus the Mechanic fucks her right there in the auto shop, pounding her sweet ass while she holds on to the back of the SUV he was working on. The sound of his balls hitting her ass and her deep moaning echoes loudly in the auto shop. He then lays her down in the back of the SUV with her legs spread, grabbing on to her thighs as he fucks her with Celeste talking dirty the whole time. He squirts his milk all over her face and she takes it with a smile.

Astrid Shay returns, but this time she’s making out with Christian. After her wet and heavy session with Amy Daly, she decides she wants to be fucked again. She just gobbles down Christian’s cock and then lets him suck on hers, bringing it to life. Astrid wastes no time, she wants to be fucked and she wants to be fucked now! She bends over on the couch, spreading her she-hole for him to fuck and he dives right in.

Christian pushes his long cock all the way inside of her, then lets her sit on him so she can control just how deep his cock is in her. She gyrates her big ass on him, begging for more, letting her cock spin with each push.

Overall, I was pleased with America’s Next Top Tranny #6, although it would have been nice to see the girls holding a whip or two in their scenes! What can I say, I’m a sucker (or slave, depending how you see it) for a hot tranny in control.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH America’s Next Top Tranny Season 6 on VOD!

Interested in seeing what the stars of America’s Next Top Tranny Season 6 have also been in?

Celeste (who recently won a Tranny Award) recently starred in a DVD (in a Celeste centric movie) titled SHEMALE PORNSTAR: CELESTE. You can buy a copy at Shemale Video Direct.

Amy Daly has her own website and has starred in a variety of other DVDs, including AMY DALY: THE TRANSLESBIAN.

Jesse also has her own website.  She’s also been featured on a number of Grooby sites, like Shemale Pornstar.

And as for Astrid Shay, she made her debut on Shemale Yum and was later in Buddy Wood’s Shemale Bed Time Stories (also featuring Jesse)!

Grooby’s Tranny Awards Mentnioned on Xbiz

Tranny Awards mentioned on Xbiz

Just saw that our annual Tranny Awards was mentioned on Xbiz recently here! We’re happy that it’s getting publicity, these models (and just the niche in general) deserve recognition.

This is the second year of the Tranny Awards and we’ve made changes to the categories based on people’s suggestions. We also had some very generous sponsors this year.  For a full listing of winners and sponsors, head on over to the Tranny Awards website.

We’re also still having our huge Tranny Awards Winners DVD sale over at Shemale Video Direct where you can purchase DVDs feature our winners at a sweet, sweet price!

January 22nd, 2010|Categories: News|Tags: , , |0 Comments