The Many Eras Of Girlsway: How Our Iconic Brand Continues To Reinvent Itself

Written by BREE MILLS

Out of all the creative endeavors I’ve had the honor of developing and showrunning throughout my time as Chief Creative Officer, I think none is closer to my heart than Girlsway. Both as a perennial crowd-pleaser and as a sentimental rollercoaster of challenges and triumphs, I remain to this day so proud of the trails we’ve blazed, stories we’ve told, and fans’ fantasies we’ve helped come true over the years. I jokingly used to refer to what we were hoping to accomplish as “Lesbian World Domination”, but my desire to change the world of lesbian porn for the better was a true and honest dream of mine. And I’d like to think we have! Girlsway not only spurred on a renaissance of the lesbian genre in the mid-2010s, inspiring lots of other great studios to follow suit – but it also remains one of our most beloved and bestselling series so many years later. 

But to let you in on a secret, Girlsway easily might not have continued to thrive if not for many pivots along the way. Brands come and go all the time, in any industry but especially adult, and often it’s by not evolving with the times and staying atop of changes to customer preferences & the ever-shifting market that these brands fade from relevance. As we take today to celebrate Girlsway’s undisputed contribution to Adult Time’s success, I thought it would be fun to take you on a journey through the inception, growth, and continuous reinvention that has served to keep Girlsway ticking for almost a decade.

The Prototype Era

Our odyssey began with a revitalization effort for a domain we owned but hadn’t ever leveraged to its fullest – In a project initially conceived by Gamma Entertainment’s visionary owner, Karl Bernard, we repurposed the URL to be used as a platform for solo masturbation content. Webyoung embarked on its own exploration of self-identity, some 50 or so episodes that were used to test the viability of such a product in the marketplace – and unwittingly paving the way for what would become the essence of Girlsway. These prototype solos remain on the platform, if you go way way back to the very first Webyoung scenes in our archives, offering a nostalgic peek at the brand’s humble origins.

From those solo roots, the brand blossomed into a celebration of authentic lesbian experiences. What started as some initial comparison tests to gauge interest in lesbian pairs vs the solos we had released so far, led us down a completely different path as we began to see the lesbian scenes getting far more traction with audiences than the solos had. With our production operations for Fantasy Massage gaining ground, and already having some initial experience producing lesbian content specifically thanks to its subsite “All Girl Massage”, we knew we were in a perfect position to scale up. Forging a directorial relationship with Girlsway’s original producer, we transformed a single solo site into a vibrant world of girl-on-girl exploration.

The Launch Era

October 23, 2014, marked a historic moment with the launch of With the tagline “Every woman is a lesbian at heart,” we proudly introduced a network dedicated to 100% girl-girl content. The original plan for the network was to entice viewers through four distinctive updates every week, each one catering to a specific audience:

Webyoung: Realistic seduction and experimentation between young and fresh-faced teens, capturing the beauty and timidity of first-time lesbian encounters.

Mommy’s Girl: A daring exploration of experienced women seducing innocent step-souls (or vice versa), delving into family-roleplay taboos and older-&-younger pairings.

Sex Tape Lesbians: Candid self-shot recordings of lesbian conquests, blending seduction, voyeurism, and the thrill of spontaneous hookup culture.

Girls Try Anal: A glimpse into the intimate desires of models as they share and enact their girl-on-girl anal fantasies, often for the very first time on camera.

Overall, the launch was a smash for us, but it was clear from the get-go that not all series were performing on equal footing. Mommy’s Girl, and to a lesser extent Webyoung, were the clear standouts month after month, both for new joins and also for views and audience appreciation. Sex Tape Lesbians, with its handheld camerawork was often critiqued for not matching the same cinematic level of polish as the other three series. And Girls Try Anal, meanwhile, similarly became a black sheep of the line-up because of its focus on toys and not having any story elements, which the other three series all had in common. This led to our first pivot of many to come – we realized the network would be much more cohesive if we had series that complimented each other, rather than clashed with each other.

The Originals Era

Fortunately, we were wise enough to keep a vigilant eye on the launch results for those first few months, with the intention to react quickly if we spotted anything that was over- or under-performing. It was a new product, after all, and we knew we might not get everything right on the first try – we figured we might have to divert from our original strategy if things didn’t quite go according to plan. This ended up being a huge blessing for us, since it meant we were agile enough to roll out a new series in just a few scant months after launch – the debut of “Girlsway Originals” in early 2015.

“Girlsway Originals” was our solution to the issue of the 4 sites not being as complementary towards each other as they could be, but it was also so much more – it allowed us to put forth stories and pairing types we otherwise couldn’t. We had tied our hands for the other series – each one needed to include either teens, family roleplay, anal, or restrictive filming conditions – but the potential for lesbian filmmaking was much more vast than that. Releasing an all-purpose, catch-all category of content would allow us to produce any and every sapphic scenario we could dream of, unhindered by the constraints of Girlsway’s other series.

It was a playground for creative experimentation. We first delved into pilot projects like “A Wife’s Affair” and “Sharing The Bed,” in an effort to try to spotlight these releases and gauge interest in continuing them – or more like them. We also tried our hand at a feature film – “The Business Of Women” – to see how audiences responded to the more traditional style of moviemaking that many studios still carried over from the era of DVDs where a self-enclosed story told over 4-5 parts was quite commonplace. And lastly, we used the Girlsway Originals label to bring some of the same conventions familiar from our other series into a universe of new pairings, with an emphasis on women and character archetypes in their 20s-30s who we didn’t have much opportunity to cast otherwise (too old for teen roles, too young for MILF roles).

It felt like we could do almost no wrong – we had a huge pass/fail rate for expanding successful trials into ongoing initiatives. “A Wife’s Affair” spun off into a mini-series thanks to its immediate popularity, “The Business Of Women” won Best Lesbian Release at that year’s XBIZ Awards, and our content was broadening to appeal to a much wider audience now that we had more variety in concepts and castings than ever before.

The Serials Era

For several years hence, we went all-in on a mandate to produce the most adventurous, unexpected, and critically & commercially successful content we could dream up. A large focus was on serialized content – multi-episode releases with an interweaving narrative and recurring characters & actresses. During this era we produced feature films, mini-series, and even modest two-part stories to keep audiences engaged with the characters and worlds that these fantasies inhabited. We wanted people to care about what was going to happen next, and stay tuned for the next installment to release.

Some of my fondest productions emerged from this time period. 2015’s “The Turning,” a groundbreaking six-part lesbian horror story, marked a turning point (pun intended) in my directorial journey. Adriana Chechik found herself center spotlight in a B-movie-inspired plot, leading the charge in what fans affectionately termed the “Marvel Universe of Lesbian Porn.”

The narrative expanded with 2016’s “Project Pandora,” a psychological thriller that explored the nuances of adult entertainment acting and introduced the ominous Mantis corporation. Our creative universe continued to expand, connecting films like “Missing” to the pervasive presence of Mantis. This interconnected storytelling laid the foundation for a unique approach to lesbian content that nobody else was doing, inspired by the heights of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was at the time exploding in popularity. Fans affectionately called it the “Girlsway Cinematic Universe”, a term I loved saying in meetings because it always brought a smile to my face and a chuckle from employees hearing about it for the first time.

However – despite fans, critics, and the talented creators involved in the production of our serials all gushing with acclaim, the stats told a different story. We generally saw a spike of interest for every new serial’s debut – but this interest would sharply decrease for Part 2, and for some series by the time that Part 4 or 5 or 6 rolled around the viewership was a fraction of the size it started at. By the start of 2017, we had started to question, was this really the best use of our resources? Instead of always shooting a Part 2-6 that many members tuned out for, what if every release was a Part 1? Wouldn’t that greatly increase the chances of each release being a potential hit? 

We were also slowly expanding our director pool around this time, which was proving to be a major hurdle towards keeping story continuity, recurring character castings, and “easter eggs” in our content as practical or even as doable as they used to be. As much as we were all a little disappointed to move away from our “GCU” that we had lovingly crafted, it was no longer serving us like it once was. And so, we set out to try a new approach – how could we make every release individually stand out as an exciting prospect for our fans?

The Fantasies Era

Since the beginning of Girlsway, we were always challenging ourselves to be as involved as possible in the discourse around our content from fans, turning it into a vibrant community. Forums, polls, surveys, and comment sections were open channels for members to express their interests and suggestions – and we decided that as we were going to start dedicating more of our overall content mix to stand-alone concepts instead of serials, that this was a perfect place to refocus our efforts. A system had already been established to allow forum-goers to share their story submission ideas and other requests, so the framework was already there to empower our subscribers to write and vote on their most desired fantasies to be adapted by our crews. We also experimented with fresh new ways for fans to contribute, such as “call for submissions” threads asking for ideas around a specific niche we planned to cover, and teasing upcoming ideas before production even started to gauge fan interest. To commit to our vision of making this the cornerstone of Girlsway’s newest content strategy, we drastically increased the rate of greenlighting submissions every month – I recall that most months, member-submitted concepts made up anywhere from 50-75% of our overall output! And so throughout 2017 to around 2019, member-driven ideas fueled the forward momentum of Girlsway,

Around this same time, we also began empowering directors and even the stars themselves to propose ideas for stories and pairings they were interested in shooting. Our philosophy was that if the creators are emotionally invested and genuinely aroused by the subject matter, they’ll bring out their best performances and promotional efforts to delight their fans. Content collections like “Dream Pairings”, “Girl Of The Month Showcases”, “Director Fantasies”, and the “We Like Girls” spin-off docu-series were all attempts to capture lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry on camera and share it with the world.

As was beginning to become a pattern with Girlsway, this approach worked great until it didn’t. In late 2019, cracks in the foundation were starting to form. Story submission activity on the forum had dwindled, leading to fewer stories written and fewer votes tallied than before. Strong ideas were becoming sparser, and many were plagued with issues of being off-brand, impractical to shoot, or not compliant with our legal guidelines. The ideas that WERE chosen, often didn’t stack up favorably anymore against the other releases we were putting out. Similarly, we were seeing most of the talent and director fantasies underperform compared to stories written internally. Especially on the marketing side, the lack of creative control on what we were producing was obstructing their efforts to promote Girlsway effectively. Additionally, our internal company structure was gradually shifting towards different priorities by then – we were scaling down on site moderation roles, and coincidentally had just recently established an internal team to lead our creative development as our number of studios and brands was growing rapidly. The writing seemed on the wall at this point, that we had to face a difficult decision and ultimately pull the plug on the forum and member fantasy initiative. We knew it would be met with disappointment by quite a few of our loyal subscribers, but in the end it just simply wasn’t proving sustainable to keep it going anymore. But we knew that even if that was a bitter pill to swallow, we had something on the horizon that was going to more than sweeten the taste…

The Adult Time Era

In late 2018 we did a soft launch of the Adult Time platform, and offered users of our existing sites (including Girlsway) the opportunity to migrate to our new Members’ Area. We anticipated members might be slow to adopt – even though joining the new platform would mean newfound access to a cornucopia of extra lesbian content such as “All Girl Massage”, “Lesbian Revenge”, and “Lez Cuties” to peruse, there would likely be some resistance to change. To help encourage subscribers to take the leap, we produced a star-studded, blockbuster, can’t-miss lesbian series called “Girlcore” (I’ll have much more to say on that series another day!) that was only available for viewing through Adult Time so that Girlsway diehards would be enticed to get acquainted with all the improvements Adult Time had to offer.

The transition was gradual so as to not scare anybody off, but eventually we phased out the isolated Girlsway portal and brought everyone together under one roof on the Adult Time platform. We had developed our handy sexual preferences filters by then, to make sure our lesbian-only viewers weren’t exposed to any content they didn’t want to see. And we were on our way to developing plenty of lesbian goodies to keep girl-girl fans delighted. 

Producing Girlsway continued on strong, with some new initiatives such as planning a monthly foursome, increasing our focus on vignettes, and testing out more crews to find the ones that resonated the most with audiences. New series and even stand-alone lesbian releases of other brands were a huge priority for us, to help bolster our overall lesbian catalog. We also began seeking out promising partnerships with some of the best-reputed lesbian sites on the market such as Girlfriends Films, Sweetheart Video, Viv Thomas, and Slayed to pack our lesbian calendar with near-daily releases. Girlsway’s update frequency underwent some cuts – first because of the 2020 pandemic delaying the production of new episodes, but which we later kept so as to help fund other lesbian projects that would cater to a wider variety of customer tastes. But our overall lesbian output remains bigger than it ever was at Girlsway’s peak – we’re just spreading the love out a little more between series these days. And that takes us to…

The Present Era

It’s a little difficult to write about an era while you’re in it. Maybe when I next look back at this time period in a couple of years, I’ll have a different outlook on what defines the “Girlsway of today” in 2024. But when I reflect on all the wonderful lesbian content we’ve brought to life since we started this journey, I’m reminded that Girlsway’s place in the grand scheme of Adult Time is not just about defining what the brand is anymore… it’s as much about defining what Girlsway’s not. Nurturing and protecting its unique characteristics is what will help keep it special and forever-relevant as we launch new lesbian series and films to complement it – allowing all our projects to flourish without stepping on each other’s toes. 

Girlsway is not dramatic or angsty – series such as True Lesbian and MixedX play their part in counterbalancing Girlsway’s lighthearted and optimistic tone.

Girlsway is not hardcore or toy-heavy – fans of that kind of content can instead look forward to series like Lez Be Bad and Modern-Day Sins to get their fix.

Girlsway is not trying to break the mold as much anymore – we have much more liberty to test experimental concepts through Pilots and new channel launches nowadays than trying to turn Girlsway into something it’s not.

But most importantly, at least to me, is that Girlsway is not going anywhere anytime soon! It’s become as much a part of me as it has of Adult Time, and I know that’s true for many fans out there too. Whatever the future holds, and however Girlsway may evolve next to keep up with the times, I know in my heart that our reign of “World Lesbian Domination” is never going to end.

Watch a full Girlsway scene for free here!

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