Web, Tech and Tips

FEATURE: UKAP Interview With Terry Stephens

Our first feature interview with UKAPs chairman Terry Stephens answers some very questions about UKAP and what the association does within the adult business

Published Thu 8th Mar 2018
By itsAdult / Web, Tech and Tips

FEATURE: UKAP Interview With Terry Stephens

"I may not be the best man for this job but I'll take their place until they get here"

                                                                                                       Terry Stephens (UKAP Chairman)             

The questions in this interview were collected from frequently asked questions from a variety of sources in recent  years to give a clear picture of what UKAP is all about.
Terry Stephens is one of the founding members of  UK Adult Producers known herein as UKAP. The association was founded in 2003 and has evolved in recent years to include adult friendly services outside of its traditional scope of producers
Terry Stephens is behind Real Couples and is often outspoken on issues challenging the adult  businesss via his alter ego @NakedTruthGuy and was recently elected as chairman of UKAP for the 3rd year running.

Why does the adult business need an association?

The business had no infra structure.  It was all over the place and was a law unto itself. It was a cottage business full of people  who hardly knew each other. As producers this is bad if there is no cohesion with thoms like health issues it leaves the business open to abuse which most of us do not want to be associated with so we agreed to work together and raise standards, self regulate and share resources. f we want to legitimise producing adult content then this was the way forward

What precipitated the need for an association?

We were defined by a moment in time when Darren James unwittingly gave 3 girls HIV. In 2003. That hit us hard with UK performers working indirectly with those infected and someone had to step in to stop the panic and anger. Until that point no one was stepping up and we called an emergency meeting to implement 28 day testing as standard and ever since then it was within producers interests to keep the association going as a gate keeper to those standards that could impact on the healthof its performers and  productions. Besides that, the business needed a collective voice to support those who speak up for us on topics like free speech and expression. What we do is at the heart of that. I can cite examples of that with ATVOD, the extreme porn bill, censorship and all the other things that people making money from adult take for granted 
There was also nowhere else you cpuld get this information essential to running the business legally. Model releases, advice. The things required to ensure you run a business correctly

Why do you care whether people do business correctly or not?
The more of us doing this business correctly makes a stronger foundation for us all to do business from when we are working with a lot of new talent coming into the business it is  symbiotic because we all work with the same talent whetherit is direct or indidirect. One affects one will affect us all if we dont work together 
What benefits have you seen from this association so far?

We've connected with a lot of services detrimental to our business denied to us when we were individuals, legal services, payment solutions, clinics, designers and services who take us more seriously as a collective than they did in previous years. This is progress that some take for granted. How do you think we found the best lawyers? The best web designers? Even the sponsors that make our events happen
What are the benefits of joining UKAP?
  • Discounts on services 
  • Access to experienced advice and support
  • Priority access and invites to all UKAP network events
  • Exclusive promotional opportunities at UKAP events
  • B2B Networking
  • Discount on advertising with ItsAdult.com
  • Specialised legal support and advice from our network
The association has made a lot of contacts so we can advise on legal representation, approaches to take in the event of a dispute or support where it's needed. You can see some of the things we have done through our members over the years via our social media, Vimeo and YouTube channels
Does UKAP serve the business outside of its own interests? 

The results of our achievements benefit the wider business  but we don't speak for the business outside of what we do. We serve the interests of our members.  We can't speak for those who don't support us and if people are concerned by what we do then they should come on board and be part of what we are doing
How many meetings do you have a year and what do you discuss?
Four meetings across the year usually on the back of a network event or party. This business is never short of things to discuss. Too many things to mention but all relevant
Here are some examples. Read the time lines for topics discussed
November Annual General Meeting
Meeting on the Batersea Barge 21st July

It's been said that UKAP is an Old Boys Club. What do you have to say about that?

That is usually the comment made by people who don't know what the association is about. They should come along and find out for themselves. Some of our most outspoken critics have found us a worthwhile investment for their joining fee. £50 a year is nothing for what you get access to
Are there any women members in the association?

The short answer is yes. We have Lacey Starr, Devon Breeze, Zara DuRose, Tiffany Morris, Harriet Sugarcookie and Miss Hybrid to name a few and there are more thinking about joining soon
What are the main points discussed among your members?

There are so many things we have discussed. Issues with health and testing, no shows, content sharing issues, DMCAs. The meetings are a good place to right wrongs in the business. We provide a neutral space for people to discuss and reach conclusions without warring on social media. We also have special guests from outside organisations who come to discuss, pitch or make us aware of changes affecting us. It's a great day to network with people and worth the time invested to attend.
What are the common pitfalls for new producers?

Shooting content without the correctly worded consent forms signed or not bothering to check if performers have STD certificates and being unable to get bank accounts because of the adult nature of the business
New people in the business find it hard to make friends in the business how does UKAP deal with that?

We are all inclusive and go out of our way to invite those who are new to the business to our events but sometimes there are those  we dont know so if you make yourself known to us we will reach out and include you. Follow us on twitter @UKAPHQ and @itsadult say hi. Even if your a fan. We help fans out with enquiries too. We pride ourselves on knowing a lot about our business and if we dont know something then we know someone who does.
What are those interests you deal with for members that the business can benefit from?

All things to do with adult content production. Networking, distribution, health and safety, legal aspects of the business. We have provided a resource for members who need practical advice you will not find on the internet.  With regards to health, we created better relations with clinic reps who attend our meetings on occasion to address concerns we have with testing and improving standards and services in line with our members needs and requirements
What do you do about ensuring health and safety  in the business?

We provide a resource and support for producers in understanding liabilities as their duty of care when employing models and performers in their productions. Whether they film in a hotel or a studio, its still legally the same difference and we remind people of that
You had a meeting with Revenge Porn Helpline at the last meeting. What was the relevance of that?

Content sharing between individuals is an increasing problem when they do not observe the rules of consent required for 2257 compliancy that could lead to misunderstandings of contensual use if being made avaiable online. In short we see the danger of these people faling foul of revenge porn laws which carry stiff penalties depending on the severity of the crime. Our involvement with Revenge Porn Helpline was to address that not all fake agency style sites are revenge porn in realtiy. They knew this and laid out what it is they do. Weve opened up a channel for dialogue
Why should producers sign up to UKAP?

Becoming part of a community empowers all of us. If anything happened that required specialist advice who are you going to turn to for that knowledge, advice and support? £50 a year is nothing for what you get 
Do you provide support to performers in your duty of care by informing them and banning known offenders from working in the business?

We are not in the position of telling producers what to do and nor are we in any position to ban any one from doing anyhting. Weve hear dof black lists but there are so many producers to work with you can easily have a career and avodi the ones you dont want to work with. We can only advise best business practice by informing them of the repercussions of employing dangerous offenders who clearly shouldnt be working in the adult business anyway
There was a report of a violent offender on ItsAdult.com recently. His name was reported in the media, so why did you not name him on social media?

Outing people on social media can have its own legal repercussions. There is no law specifying that individual should not work in the adult business but it gets challenging if they have a restraining order with particular individuals. Denying people from getting work can be seen as discriminatory too. Far better to handle these things quietly and all people have to do is ask. The moment its out on social media is another matter entirely and usually that results in mud slinging that distracts from the original point. We try to avoid doing our dirty washing in public
Where does UKAP stand on those who fake health certs?

We treat all complaints with strict confidentiality. There was a case recently that was not what it appeared to be, A clean certificate was fudged to make it look dirty to get out of working for someone doesnt count as someone in breach of making a dirty cert look clean. Either way, faking certs puts everyone at risk and is taken very seriously
What is your involvement with the media?

Our involvement there is mainly to raise our profile in letting those who are interested know there is a front line to answer the questions that demand answers and to put a face on a business that has been faceless for so long. Other than that we can only make reccomendations to people to participate in documentaries with the understanding of what they are letting themselves in for. Some things need to be said and the media is sometimes the best platform to say it 
We have friends who are better  placed to engage media such  as Jerry Barnett  and Charlotte Rose who runs her own radio show with RoseTalksSex
You have mentioned increasing opportunitys to the adult industry. What does that mean?

Im getting people to think outside the box that require adult performers doing more mainstream work to variate the adult work and increase their longevity in the market place. In recent years we have seen the TV and motion picture industry require performers for nude work in shows like Game Of Thrones, The Deuce and documentaries. who knew Real Couples was seen on Channel 4s National Treasure? Ive been featured on  Sexcetera and the new series Sexposed which we are screening soon
Trailer to Sexposed TV Show

What is UKAPs involvement with the Sexposed Show?

We were instrumental in assisting the producers making the show about the UK adult industry and sexual lifestyles that is distinctly British. The first season coming out on Amazon Prime features a cross section of people in our business. We wholeheartedly support the producers behind this show. They also made the film Hardcore Guaranteed that earned Mike Freeman a Legend Award at the UKAP Awards 2017 (see 27mins 15secs)

Whats the purpose of these screening events?

The screenings are relevant to educate and inform people of the history that is repeating itself with a new generation facing the same struggles as their predecessors. Mary Millington died in 1979 but yet her story told of a woman who came into the business and suffered from stigma and succumbed to mental illness before her time at 33. It was such a powerful film we launched the Legend Award to acknowledge those who have a historical significance to the freedoms we take for granted today. I hope I am not alone in feeling that way and this is why I film the Q&As for posterity so people can see how the adult business reacts to these revelations.
People who come into the business should understand what they have signed up for  getting into it or they will not understand why things are the way they are and what to do about changing the  mindset of those who penalise them for what they do for a living. Education is a big thing and theres no reason why we shouldnt set the example with that using media as a means to inform and educate
Previous screenings with Q&As were The UnSlut Project and Cam Girlz which was a lot of fun 
Why do you think UKAP gets negativity?

Doing anything to bring about change like setting standards will be met with resistance and hostility in a business where people do not like to be told what to do. People are suspicious of associations they are not part of. I tell those people to come along and see what we are about and decide for themselves. That aside I dont think the negativitiy is that much at all. A few disgruntled voices is hardly an uprising. That said we have been around 15 years now
Do you get an award for sponsoring the event? 

Absolutely not! Awards are determined  by various criteria and it's important to recognise that UKAP is not about the awards in as much as it is about celebrating the industry. itself Awards are just a centrepiece of that to celebrate achievements across the year. Sponsors get their promotion by using the event to showcase the winners. That said we will discuss the The UKAP Awards in a seperate feature to address questions relating to that topic
What has UKAP done over the years ?

UKAP is a concerted effort of producers working together.  We made 30 day testing mandatory in the wake of the Darren James incident in 2003, created network events to meet new talent and producers, the UKAP Awards (previously UKAFTA. See wiki) We've been involved with the BBFC since 2007 from the R18 Online through to ATVOD and now the Digital Economy Bill through some of our members who helped to shape policy, we've also supported interests working against the adult industry by engaging protesters like Stop Porn Culture, OBJECT  and the Extreme Porn Bill with the face sitting protest. All the freedoms people enjoy with their snap chats and OnlyFans apps, web camming and clip sites were fought by others for you to continue what you do and we have documented them as evidence in videos and podcasts. We've also tried to get centralised testing in line with what is standard in the US but failed due to lack of performers supporting it


What is centralised testing?

Standardising tests to make results accessible online to consolidate paper certs thereby reducing the need to fake certs. The idea behind this is to identify  those who need quarantining in the event of a shut down and to minimise panic. Weve been down that road before and thats why its so important to us.

Why would anyone risk their health faking certs? 
Complacency, Fear of needles. The feeling they don't need to get tested if everyone else does or because they never catch  anything. Being certed is your license to work and standards are lapsing in recent years as more people work for themselves and simply don't know the risks they are opening themselves to.
Why is that?

The lack of information to the rise in the web cam and clip site sector where everyone seems to work with their friends and don't think they need tests without thinking about who their friends have sex with could explain why STDs such as Chlamydia is on the rise. There are no obvious symptoms unless you get tested and left untreated it can manifest itself in more seriousl ways to your health
How did you not get the support for centralised testing?

No one wanted to pay for tests. Granted the problems are economics if some performers are not earning enough from work to justify paying for it. We have been instrumental in getting the Gold Cards at 56 Dean Street to make things easier for adult performers. With more support we can accomplish higher standards with tests
What's the common  misunderstanding people have about UKAP?

That we are somehow the police of the adult industry. We are not that. In the event of a dispute between parties we can only advise but we do not have any power to enforce anything. There are proper channels for that and thats why you should join UKAP. just for the advice and support We have helped many producers over the years looking for all kinds of advice from take down notices to disputes over content sharing.

What is UKAP doing about the fake profiles on social media and scam sites that rip off punters wanting to do test shoots  but dont get the content as promised?

There is not much we can do but provide advice. The way around fake social media is to get yourself verified on  twitter but better yet, sign up to itsadult.com and be verified and have producers find you for work.  Sign up as a business or sign up as a performer or both if it applies
Where do you see UKAPs direction going in the future?

The adult business is constantly evolving with new technologies. The UKAP Awards will reflect these changes in the business space. UKAP has been a hub for business to meet and promote their brands and that will continue as long as there is need for it unless something bigger and better comes along to replace it, 
I would like UKAP to do interesting  events that engage and inspire people tin our community to be more competitive with things like TED talks with iconic porn stars which I am trying to organise for next summer. I expect the knock on effect with all this to elevate the UK  becoming more professional than just an amateur cottage industry for what we have mainly been known for. We have some very talented people in our business we like to shine a ligh on every year at events like the UKAP Awards
Has anyone set up an organisation to rival UKAP?

Not really. There were various attempts. over the years. Some groups set up for temporary objectives like APN set up mainly to deal with ATVOD and Age Verification but AITA the Adult Industry Trade Association was the only one we recognised as an association mainly for the retail sector. They were similar and if they facilitated producers UKAP may not have happened. I think its because we had different needs and wants. AITA was successful and dare I say , a lot more professional but they closed their doors a few years ago. We never saw them as rivals and in truth, we dont see why we should be the only one doing this. We've tried to encourage performers to have their own association for years but no one was interested because its a lot of work, its unpaid and for the most part unthankful. I'm fuelled by the drive to do this because it needs to be done but if someone wants to set up another orgnisation that is better than the one we have now I might suggest joining them but as I like to say..."I may not be the best man for the job but I'll take his place until he gets here"
Anything you would like to add to this? 
Some people think with the uncertainty around age verification and the digital economy bill that we should stop what we are doing and wait to see what happens. I say we should party harder if only to keep hopes up and remind everyone we are still here!
We exist to promote the adult industry and prove we can all work together to build a community to take us towards a better day. Remeber, a happy performer makes for better product so look after your talent producers!

What is the criteria for joining and how do you join UKAP?

First you need to prove you are actuall yin the adult business by what you do, sop show us links to your work online or physical media produced. Normally we allow people to attend the first meeting for free to see if we are a good fit for them and if they like what they see they can join, We invoice them and they become mebers which gives them free access to all our events across the year
What has UKAP got planned for this year?

Our next event is the UKAP meeting at Jewel on March 21st followed by a network party on the roof top terrace of Sanctum and an exclusive screening of 3 episodes of Sexposed with a Q&A with Michelle Thorne and Ben Dover. The party is free to the adult industry just register your intention to attend by emailing UKAP or DM on twitter. The screening is free to UKAP members  but if you are not a member you need to buy your ticket HERE ahead of the screening

Doors open 5:30 The screening starts at 6pm. The party starts at 7pm upstairs while the screening downstairs finishes at 8pm
Check out Sexposed official website HERE Follow them on twitter @Sexposed_Show
To attend the UKAP meeting or to enquire about becoming a member email: admin@ukadultproducers.org


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