A note from GG founder Annaliese
All good and half good things must come to an end eventually, right? That end for Godsgirls is here. I want to begin by thanking all of the models who made community with us here. I also want to thank all of the subscribers over the years who supported this project, became our friends and shared so many good memories. I want to thank the photographers who shot tirelessly with us, the hair and makeup artists and the web designers and developers who helped us from the time Godsgirls was just an idea and through this last month of what has ultimately been the dismantling and closure of this website. Without all of your faith, talents, hard work and trust something that meant so much to so many of us wouldn’t have ever existed. I owe so many of you so much.
The founding of Godsgirls in 2005 and its launch in 2006 represented some of the most difficult and most exciting work of my life. I was 20 or 21 years old, freshly in Los Angeles and found myself surrounded by the coolest, most inspiring women I could have ever dreamed of meeting. You all were bold, brave, captivating, beautiful, funny, creative and collaborative and Godsgirls was my attempt to capture some of your magic in art works and erotic works and memorialize and honor you. We spent the first year living in a loft downtown working bizarre hours with a bunch of artists making strange and beautiful art and porn. This was a time that I can only describe as wild and beautiful. I am especially thankful to those of you who lived that process day and night in that loft with me. I couldn’t have accomplished anything without that support and care that we all shared with each other. Some of you who shared that space with me have cared for me in many other moments throughout my life and I’ll always hold you very close.
Time that I spent in community with models who participated with Godsgirls was largely a happy time for me and I have so many memories and friendships that came from this community that I will cherish forever. Many of you raised me up in so many ways. You taught me about feminism when I barely understood it and you taught me to channel my energy into pursuits around activism and equity and justice. I am a better person today because of seeds that you all planted in me over the years. Being with you all in our community over the years was formative for me.
Of course, not everything was magical and dreamy all of the time. At age 21/22 I was probably not equipped to handle the level of responsibility that I had taken on. There were many times throughout the course of my time at the helm of Godsgirls when I was simply in over my head. Between a lawsuit that rocked the foundation of Godsgirls as a business and the stress of trying to keep the business afloat while dealing with my own immaturity, my mental health and other difficult dynamics behind the scenes with the actual owners of Godsgirls I believe I made many mistakes. I believe there were times when my own excitement about this project, while well intended as simple enthusiasm made me feel pushy to some people whom I offered opportunities with Godsgirls and if you were one of those people I cannot apologize enough. It’s been a long time now and details are hazy but I have heard through the grapevine that DMs I sent to acquaintances and others on social media to see if they would be interested in Godsgirls were uncomfortable. Enthusiastic consent was central to my ideals around Godsgirls and its clear to me now my own enthusiasm for my work made me behave in uncomfortable ways sometimes. I am so sorry.
If there are other things I’ve done that made your experience with Godsgirls less than what you had hoped it would be I would be very grateful for the opportunity to talk one on one about your experience and look for ways to understand and make amends and find additional clarity. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and will get back to all letters sent in good faith as quickly as I can.
This is maybe the most uncomfortable part of all of this but it has to be addressed— For well over a decade now Godsgirls has been plagued by a persistent rumor that we pursued and produced a photo shoot with an underage girl. This has been a very painful mark on the legacy of this project and while I was still present working at Godsgirls at the time this photo shoot was produced I did not find out until after my time at Godsgirls had come to an end that the model in question had in fact been under the age of 18 at the time of her shoot. Godsgirls as a business followed all federal regulations for adult businesses and ID was taken for every model before they were given access to the website so that they could set up their profiles and arrange the publication of their photos.
This is an imperfect system much like the door at a bar where people can make it through with ID that has been doctored. There was never *any* intention with Godsgirls to do anything but run a completely legal, compliant and ethical business but in this moment we failed and a photo shoot that should have never existed was produced on our watch. I have refused to speak about this over the years out of the desire to protect the girl in question and not feed into the public’s sometimes voracious and intrusive speculation about her private life. Mistakes were made, with no ill intention or intention to be harmful and my feelings had been that it was better to just hope that people would eventually drop it for her sake but now I feel that I should have explained sooner. By the time anyone affiliated with Godsgirls, including the contracted photographer who shot those images, learned that the girl in question was in fact not 18 at the time of her shoot her photos had already been removed from Godsgirls years before so that she could pursue another career. Everyone regrets that this photo shoot happened and this situation is a painful and embarrassing part of this story that I wish I could have done more to prevent. Our records keeping and documents were inspected by law enforcement regarding this situation and were found to be proper and compliant.
Balancing participation in capitalism with community care was important to me throughout the course of my time working at Godsgirls and I tried to work in a way that respected the humanity of the community with the need to balance the checkbook.
We created a content buyback system which was intended as a way to address the inevitability that some Godsgirls models lives would change and the association with an adult website could cause problems as your careers, families and so on evolved. Godsgirls content was very costly to produce and with ownership who had invested millions of dollars into the creation of that content I thought that this buyback program was a way to give you control over the longevity of your participation while still satisfying the concerns of people who had invested large amounts of money into its creation. I now understand that these buyback amounts were so large and moments where people wanted to buy their content back were often under duress leading these buyback amounts to feel like extortion. While that was never the intention I do completely understand why it must have felt that way to some of you. Needing to come up with thousands of dollars in order to do away with the follies of youth and move on into new careers must have been incredibly alarming.
There are so many things that I wish could have been different and while I would like the opportunity to make more personal amends with those of you who will make some time for me what I can offer now, after compelling the ownership of Godsgirls is this— all of your content is yours. Every photo set that you modeled for over the years now belongs to you free and clear after you use this form to generate a release that will make you the owner (or co-owner) of any images you appeared in on Godsgirls. These images are yours to do with as you please. If you are still active in the adult industry you may use this content of yourself for your own projects. If you are no longer active in the adult industry and want to put everything behind you you can use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to have your content removed from any other places it is published online such as blogs or forums or other websites. Godsgirls ownership will not engage in the sale of or transfer of ownership of any content that was created for Godsgirls to any other websites or businesses. It belongs to you now if you want it to. If you have any further questions about how things like the DMCA work you can contact me and I will walk you through the process or you can find a variety of how-to guides with step by step explanations via google.
The work that many of you did to radicalize me when I was just a baby idiot who wanted to make beautiful photos with beautiful people has been work that I continued after I left Godsgirls. I no longer agree with capitalism. I don’t feel that there is anything righteous or ethical about a company having absolute power to keep intimate photos up of people from historically marginalized genders up when those people no longer want them up. Let’s burn this whole thing down and let the people who still want their images out be fully 100% in charge of that and let those who no longer want their images up have that power back. As far as I am concerned even if there are only a handful of people who regret their time working with Godsgirls that is still too many and the project should no longer exist. I have no interest in protecting someone’s ability to generate revenue at the expense of the feelings of comfort of people that I cared about and still care about. You all are my peers, my friends, a community that meant the world to me. Your content is liberated, the business is dissolved and I hope that this will be either a chance to close a chapter or a chance for you to be in 100% control of your image. I hope that this can be the first step in me making amends with some of you.
Thank you all again for everything and for all of the memories and I look forward to the opportunity to have deeper conversations with some of you about your experiences with me and with Godsgirls and look forward to the opportunity to be in service to you with the DMCA process as needed.