How I learnt to diversify my income from sex work, the hard way.
I work for multiple sites with multiple payout dates, they’re also American sites. This means my bank takes even longer to send me the money, in any given month I don’t know when I’m getting paid – or even how much due to the exchange rates. When I first started working I worked for one site, a year later I started working for another, and then every few months I added another site. I first sold cam show – predominantly nonsexual live interaction with me for tips, then I moved on to clips, and audio files.
Nowadays, my income comes from a different branches of my ‘brands’. I write and get paid for my writing, I use affiliate marketing in blogging, I also use affiliate marketing within camming, I run my own business, (ParlourTalk), and I am a phone sex operator, clip producer, sex work consultant, and a bunch of other little jobs. My income isn’t as diverse and spread around as I’d like, but I’m working on it.
But, isn’t it easier to work on just the one site? That way you know when everything is going to happen?
Technically, yes. I go through periods of pulling down my clip sites, and other areas of work, because it’s difficult to keep on top of them all. Unfortunately industries are fickle, and companies are fickle – and will lie to you. Clipvia closed down suddenly and now owe hundreds of not thousands of model hundreds of thousands of pounds, and there’s no indication they’ll be paid any time soon. This was a site that was working up until it closed down, it then offered a payback scheme – if they kept uploading they would get priority in getting paid back. Of course, this was a complete farce. They did not get paid back, maybe one or two did that kicked up a fuss on Twitter (and rightly so), but that’s it. I was one of those models, but I did not re-upload the content, I had to let go of the money because I don’t have the energy to fight.
This is also happened to another adult site recently – YouKandy. They shut down without any warning, and again, they owe a lot of people money. It’s not uncommon for it to happen within the adult industry, sometimes it’s due to the laws and legislation changing (SESTA, FOSTA), and sometimes it’s completely unknown, but doesn’t sit right with anyone.
Just recently a payment processor shut down, just after SESTA, and FOSTA came into play this led to a three week delay minimum in getting paid on some sites. Some models had to wait over five weeks, and some are still waiting to get paid after two months because the companies haven’t figured out a way to pay models outside of the US in a reasonable manner. My payment was three weeks late last month, and there have been a number of months where my payments have been up to 4 weeks late, consistently. Then suddenly they’re on time for a few months, and I relax, and then the cycle starts again. If you’re in this situation, don’t expect the site or sites to give you transparency, it doesn’t often happen, I know because it’s very rarely happened when I’m waiting to get paid.
Sometimes, sites just don’t like you. I have £200 somewhere in the ethos I’m probably not getting paid because a site doesn’t like me – not for any reason I can see apart the fact I left the company. That it, I just left. I actually didn’t know I had money there until I checked it on a whim, and found out customers were being charged after I left. I sent an email, but I’m still waiting to hear back.
Why are the sites getting away with this?
Quite simple, pornography. It’s a risky business. Ask anyone with their own payment processor, there’s a higher fee to process payments of porn because of the rate of charge backs (that deserves another post). Also, look at the news, look at the reception porn stars face when they go public. It isn’t pretty.
When you bring The DE Bill into play un the UK, and SESTA/FOSTA in the US, it gets even more sinister. A lot of the time the companies are battling alongside you, but a lot of the time you a small fish in a big big pond. They want to protect their talent, but they also have to protect themselves, and with these new bills we’re all sailing in uncharted waters full of uncertainty.
I’m telling you all this not to full on scare you, but because you may not have had these experiences yet, and I want to ‘save’ you from, or it least to help you spot the warning signs. Sex work isn’t easy money, not just because of the above. Be careful with your earnings, and always make sure you have your bare essentials covered, if and where possible.
This is part of a series about sex work and money, there will be a post up next week about diversifying income, so keep an eye out for it!