Chances are, you have no idea.
(you’ve definitely never seen her before)
But you should know who Cindi Loftus is – this enigmatic, 20-year veteran of the adult business runs one of the most popular and highly-trafficked industry news and gossip sites around today, LukeIsBack.com. She is an integral to the industry’s media, communications, and community.
I’ll let her explain…
Hi Cindi!! First off, thanks so much for taking the time to share a little of yourself and your story with PVV. I think I can speak for everyone here when I say that we really appreciate it. Let’s start with the basics: who are you, and what do you do?
“I work for Xcitement Magazine as ‘Head Writer.’ I interview all the girls that appear on their covers, do movie reviews, and write a two-page column. It is a wonderful company to work for; very small, like family, and hands off as to what I want to write about. I was very pleased recently when they let me run two interviews with transsexual performers.
I also run LukeIsBack.com (LIB) and LadiezNight.com. I also post on CindisNakedTruth.com. For all of the sites, I write stories, do interviews, and keep up on the news related to the adult industry. LukeIsBack is hugely popular as the spot to keep up with the adult industry. Most everyone in the industry reads the site and many contribute stories, gossip, interviews, and comments. LIB is known for being controversial, both in terms of subject matter and due to readers’ comments on the stories.
And Luke? He’s back…? Just kidding, just kidding!! I know the story behind LIB, but can you explain a little bit about the history of the site, Luke Ford himself, and how you came to be involved?
Ok well I hope you don’t mind me using a post from LIB to answer this question…
Not at all!!
So… ‘It’s funny and proves how long I’ve been around the industry, that it just seems natural that I, Cindi Loftus, run LukeIsBack.com. Doesn’t occur to me that there needs to be an explanation as to why a female named Cindi runs a site with a guy’s name, Luke, on it. And who is Luke that came back? I have been asked by many to explain this whole situation. So here goes, don’t expect the timeline/dates to be perfect, the short version…
In 1995, Luke Ford started out wanting to write a book about the history of porn. He introduced himself to various industry people and ended up on porn sets. He was (is) a religious person, who was conflicted about his new subject matter, but he got drawn in and became friendly with some of the players. He worked on his book and in 1997 started a site called LukeFord.com where he talked about people he met in the adult business. His site became the GO TO one for porn gossip.
Luke was very prolific and interviewed everyone he could. He also took bad pictures of the stars at events. They were so awful that his photography skills became known as ‘The Camera of Death.’ (my readers miss this feature to this day)
Luke told many important stories, but also tended to tell some that weren’t quite true. He got sued several times. His most important ‘tell’ was in 1998, when Luke broke the Marc Wallace/HIV+ story. Seems several porn actresses were infected [by Marc Wallice in 1998]. Luke Ford put out his book The History of X in 1999…
Ahhh that book… I’m very familiar with it. I remember when I first started learning about the industry myself in the early 2000s. That was one of the only ‘legit’ resources available… you know, ‘legit’ because someone published it. As I started speaking to more and more folks who were directly involved with the business though, I was strongly cautioned against using the text for anything more than a doorstop, largely because of the alleged fabrications you’re referring to…
In 2001, Luke sold LukeFord.com and left the adult business. He started LukeFord.net, which he still runs, where he talks about his religious faith, among other things. Luke didn’t stay away long though, and one year later he was back running LukeIsBack.com. The site was popular quickly, and Luke always talked about how he felt about porn (badly). His site had a depressing edge to it that, along with his outrageous commenters, kept readers coming back.
Luke tried to sell this site a couple of different times, but the buyers defaulted and Luke returned. In June 2008, Luke sold the site again (with undisclosed terms). Now his long time friend, me, Cindi Loftus was in charge, and I have been running it ever since.’
Wow, what a story!! I guess that’s enough said about that… so, what got you into the industry? What did you do before?
I have had many varied jobs. Running a phone sex operation would probably be most interesting to those curious about the adult business. I had upwards of eighty girls on staff. We worked out of a large office, with each phone girl having a tiny private room with a comfortable upholstered chair, a phone, dirty books and magazines, and a clipboard to keep track of her callers.
And no, the girls on the phones looked nothing like the descriptions they gave out to the callers.
Ha!! Well thanks for clearing that up :) So then, what’s the best thing about being in the business?
The wonderful friends I have made, and the fact that being different is respected and accepted.
Awww, that’s really sweet (and a testament to progress and inclusion present in the industry)… What do you find most challenging?
Dealing with haters and conflict. I am a gentle, soft-hearted person. Running LIB has toughened me up for sure.
One of LIB’s strengths is that it welcomes – and posts – opinions and pieces from all sides of an argument that are willing to weigh in, but I know that sometimes you get flack for that practice. How do you balance the fact that some people get upset when you help make opposing opinions available?
It is difficult to deal with the fallout when I post an unpopular view, but I just feel all sides should get to have their side presented. Then the readers can make an informed decision for themselves.
Although I say it repeatedly, people still don’t get that just because I post an opinion doesn’t mean I agree with it. I often DON’T agree with it at all. But in most instances, I keep my opinions to myself and let the readers formulate their own opinion.
I may start posting more of what I think, as several readers have expressed in interest in wanting my point of view. I don’t know yet though, I’m still thinking about it.
Well, I for one would love to know what you yourself think about all sorts of issues, but I also must say that I greatly admire your willingness to give all sides their voice. It’s a really commendable testament to free speech and civil liberties, both of which are principles on which the adult business is reliant. Good for you, Cindi!!
But honestly, are there ever instances when you do decide to remove something?
Almost never. If it’s up on LIB, it stays up.
What about just not include something from the get go?
As far as comments, I generally don’t allow racial slurs or porn peoples’ real names.
As far as stories, nothing and no one is off limits. I do however respect the right to speak off the record, so I often get good stories I cannot tell. The only time I didn’t post something I could have was when I had a big story about a gruesome suicide attempt. It was an exclusive, already written and ready to go, but after talking to this pornstar and her friends, I decided putting out this story would have done nothing but worsen her mental state and hurt her family. So I didn’t use the story. It has never come out. She never came back to the biz after this incident; and no, I never told anyone her name.
Wow… that’s intense, but that story is an indicator as to why people trust you and respect your work. So, has working in the industry affected your personal life at all?
I try to keep my personal life and family separate from my work life as much as I can.
Haha well alright, there you go!! So where do you see yourself in five years?
I’d like to have a partner/sponsor in LIB who handles the advertising and business end of it, while I concentrate on the stories. I want to spend more time writing, which is what I love to do.
Nice!! So, is there anything else you’d like to add?
You didn’t ask me my favorite color? Or if I’ve been in an adult movie? Or if I ever had sex with a porn star?!!
Yes, La Femme Nikita Denise 2.
And no… but some really hot kisses!”
Ahhh if only I had known Cindi was down for “those kinds” of questions, I would’ve totally asked her about her favorite position!!
I kid, I kid (just kidding).
Cindi Loftus is a fascinating woman – her work fuels much intra-industry communication, cultural knowledge, news, and – let’s face it – gossip. And that is so awesome!!
Check out the woman beneath the green hood, and witness for yourself the balance she maintains on LukeIsBack.com. The comment threads are killers.
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From performers to post-production, office workers to executives, PVVOnline Back Stories explore the lives of people who work in all aspects of the adult industry. For more industry insiders’ Back Stories, go here.
Images courtesy of Cindi Loftus.
You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from PVVOnline/Porn Valley Vantage, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”