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9 March 2007: DOMAI is ten years old today

When I put up the first simple and small DOMAI page ten years ago (on a now defunct danish domain), I did not consider that the site might in 2007 be ten gigabytes and be known by millions. Actually I did not even consider it might last ten years, or even just become a commercial site. What fun.

Most pictures on the site today are by other artists and photographers, but the first set I put up was my own, of my lovely friend Mette. That set was taken in 1996, before the age of digital cameras, and amazingly it was taken hand-held with a tiny camera of great quality, the classic Konica Big Mini. (An excellent lens in that little camera.) I gave mette a framed big print of this shot, and she hung it in her home, where it was much admired by family and visitors.

To my surprise the site took off like a rocket. One day just a couple of months after launch I was talking to my web host, and they told me that apart from an oil company, my site was the busiest on their servers!

About half a year later, in the fall of 1997, I was talking to one of my early online friends (he was a nice old curmudgeon in a wheel chair, living in the woods with two parrots near Puget Sound. Ken, where are you now?) about selling my photos. Apparently he misunderstood, for he immediately started helping me making DOMAI into a membership site, something which had never occurred to me.

The web was still young, and we struggled for months trying to set up the site with online billing and member services. It was an exciting time.

Then a year after the start, in spring 1998, the company where I had my day job was cutting back, and I was "let go". I had four months of severance time, but the work they had for me for that time was very boring, and I felt that if I took the hit of no pay for a while, I would have a shot of making a living off DOMAI. And indeed I did pretty soon.

One of the biggest barriers was that "simple nudes" were not a common thing back then, it was something I pretty much had to force into existence myself. So this is why a lot of the early material is no longer on the site... since I often could not find the author of the rare good material I found, much of it was not, er, properly licenced. :)

I am personally very thankful for DOMAI. It provides me with a living working from home, it rarely feels like work, and it has given me many, many wonderful experiences and many, many new amazing friends from all over the planet. Thank guys.

Eolake Stobblehouse

... Our very first paying member is still a member! I asked him to write a few words for us:

Greetings Eolake!

It doesn't seem at all like a decade has passed since I first found you and got to know you. And I probably wouldn't have gotten to know you and develop a relationship with you if it wasn't for my partner at the time who was offended by the thought of "Dirty Old Men." So I went to your site and looked beyond the photos and found the DOMAI Pledge. It warmed me and convinced her.

A few years before you emerged on the Internet there were pics galore available. Most were inferior scans of magazines and most were obviously porn. They were all artificial and staged. Unnatural portrayals of insincere women. Porn, for me, quickly became boring and pointless.

But then there was you!

I chased a few images to your website and I felt I had come home. The models I found all seemed happy and fun-loving and natural. And innocent. Not one bored or cynical face to be found!

The thing that I always keep in mind is something someone else said a long time ago about your images. I can't remember the exact wording but it went something like: "Porn makes me horney -- Your stuff makes me melt." I can't wrap this up with better words than that.

Except thanks for being true to you.

Love, Rik

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