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Blame it on the nation’s Puritan roots, but we Americans still tend to be a little prudish in our attitudes toward sex. As a nation, we’ve become much more sex positive over the years, but we still have a ways to go. Ana Dee wanted to embrace her sexuality and share it with the world, but she understood how that could affect her businesses and personal life. Instead of stifling her urges, Dee did the next best thing—she created an alter ego by the name of Rebekka Blue.

“When I started TikTok, I wanted to really be raw and authentic,” Dee says. “So I felt more comfortable creating this persona that wouldn’t exactly lead people to my personal social media accounts. And Ana Dee was also taken [laughs]. There’s something fun about playing up who you want to be.”

Dee never would have needed to conjure Blue if it weren’t for how successful she has been as the owner of three e-commerce businesses—The Horny Stoner, Blades for Babes and Alien Outfitters, each with a specific niche. The Horny Stoner specializes in adult toys, cannabis-related products and CBD; Blades for Babes markets knives to women; and Alien Outfitters proudly proclaims it sells “Fashion 4 Da Weirdos.”

Expressing one’s sexuality so openly as a CEO is risky, so it’s understandable why Dee wanted to create another identity. On the other hand, times are changing. People are becoming more open about what they do behind closed doors, and Dee saw an opportunity.

“As a business owner, society teaches you that you need to say the right thing and be politically correct,” Dee explains. “But in my business of selling sex toys and knives and clothing to alternative people, I think it’s the exact opposite, and that’s what the youth want to see more of.”

Photos by Irina Reichert

Photos by Irina Reichert

Even before she was hired for her first job, it was clear that Dee was never cut out to be “an employee.” “As a rebellious child, if anyone told me no, I wanted to do it even more,” Dee says. “I followed the motto that many people do: ‘It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.’ So I did a lot of things that got me kicked out of school and fired from jobs. It was hard to be submissive in that way.”

Despite the independent streak that would become her greatest asset, spending six months as an exotic dancer really set her up for success. It was in the club that Dee learned customer service, money management, marketing strategies and, perhaps most importantly, how to have a thick skin. Plus, the money was pretty good. “[The experience] was building me for the future without me even knowing it,” Dee explains. “It eventually funded my entire business.”

Another thing she learned while working as an exotic dancer was how lucrative webcams could be. It was during this time that Dee was able to really explore her sexuality, to learn the kind of things they just don’t teach you in Sex Ed class. As Dee delved into her own sexuality, she also learned about the kinks of strangers. The more clients she interacted with online, the more she found that people were quite interested in purchasing—how should we phrase this?—personal souvenirs. “A lot, and I mean a lot, of users would request to purchase panties, socks, vials of spit,” Dee says. “I mean, anything you can think of, you name it. I started to become really respectful of these people who were so comfortable with their kink, it made my job easier because they weren’t beating around the bush.”

Photos by Irina Reichert

Photos by Irina Reichert

After a while, selling used panties and stockings becomes mundane. One needs to think outside the box to actually raise some eyebrows, and it was during a trip to the gynecologist when Dee felt a sudden rush of inspiration.

“I went to get my IUD changed,” Dee says. “It was in my womb for about five years, and my gynecologist just threw it in the trash, and my brain was like, money. He left the room and I took it out of the trash, went home, listed it, and there were bids on it. There were four digits. I hope someone has it on their mantle like a trophy.”

One thing that has helped Dee along the way is her innate ability to adapt to new technology and trends. Back in the day, she was writing HTML to help her friends customize their MySpace pages and using eBay when it was the Wild West. So when TikTok came along, Dee saw an opportunity. “I missed dancing, it’s obviously been a while since I’ve done that, and there’s no reason for me to go back and be a stripper again,” Dee says. “But I saw that on TikTok, girls were doing these dances, and my competitive spirit thought, I can do that. I know I’m older, but I have tattoos. And that’s going to separate me from these teenagers who are dancing.”

Dee got her first tattoo when she was only 16, a small piece on the side of her foot that has since been lasered off. Like so many teenagers getting their first tattoo, she chose the placement so she’d be able to conceal it from her parents. By the time she was 21, she looked at things differently.

“[Getting my hands tattooed] meant so much to me because I knew I was burning bridges with people I didn’t even care to know,” Dee says. “I knew that I would be eliminating job opportunities down the road if my business failed, and all that did was motivate me. I am who I am, fuck you. If you want to judge me, you can’t change me. It’s permanent.”

But why would you want to change her? That relentless ambition and devil-may-care attitude has worked out quite well, for both Ana Dee and Rebekka Blue. This isn’t a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story—neither identity is trying to destroy the other. Instead, they’re working together to build an online empire, and you’d have to be crazy to want to stand in their way.

Photos by Irina Reichert

Photos by Irina Reichert