Sex Work 101
I started working in the adult industry in 2013, since then I’ve been a cam model, Dominatrix, clip producer, freelancer, phone sex operator, and custom content producer. My skillset is wide and varied, and I’m proud of the work I do. Sex work allows me my own schedule, and it lets me deal with multiple chronic illnesses without worrying when I’m going to be able to work again.
Below, I’ve noted down six key points anyone should take into consideration before thinking about jumping into the adult industry. I could write for hours on the topic, which is why this will be something of a series. An ‘Intro to Sex Work’, if you will.To kick things off, the basics; things you should keep in mind, and future implications if you chose this career.
1. There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ sex worker.
I’ve met so many diverse people in this line of work, all from different walks of life, ethnicities, abilities, genders, and styles. Some produce clips with fetishes people think of as common, and some produce clips of belly button poking, lawn mower riding, and ignoring the camera. There really does seem to be a fetish for everyone. Likewise, some people never get nude, whilst some bare all – there’s no one way to be a sex worker. It’s that diversity and range of content on offer that make sex work a flexible job for many.
2. Know your boundaries.
Following on from the above, you only have to do what you’re comfortable with. There’s no hard and fast rule on how to make money in the industry. Sure, there are many people who use toys, masturbate, and play out the girl next door fantasy, however that doesn’t mean to say you have to. For example, if you’re not comfortable getting nude, maybe fetish work or Domination is for you. And on a similar thread, know what you will and will not do in terms of fetishes. There are a number of controversial fetishes many people stay away from due to their own personal feelings or how it’s viewed by many. There are also some fetishes that are illegal in certain countries, there will more on this in later posts. If client comes to you saying that another person will do it, it doesn’t mean you have to.
3. Information leaks will probably happen.
The allure of the forbidden draws people in, but it also makes them hungry for more. Even now, people still ask me what ‘my real name is’ or where I ‘really live’. Because you’re displaying yourself as either more emotionally or physically available to people – even if it’s a part of your hustle, they seem to think that they’re entitled to know your whole life story.
Your personal security is paramount. Never use the same email for an adult site under your pseudonym as your personal accounts. Always back up your data, and be mindful of all the information you accidentally give away – change your pet’s name, lie about where you live, change your appearance. Of course, some people are comfortable revealing some of these things – there’s no one way that suits all. However, if you are new to the industry, I’d edge more on the side of caution. It’s better to be careful early on if you’re unsure if it’s a career you really want to develop, then jump in the deep end and regret it later.
4. It’s not for everyone.
If you want a future in politics, teaching, law etc, then sex work probably isn’t for you. Unfortunately, many people hold the belief that sex work is demeaning work, and you should be ashamed of yourself for doing it. If you’re teaching pre-school children and it comes out that you used to work on cam, parents start to worry you’ll corrupt their children, or the school can’t have ‘that repatriation’. It happens. Many still see sex workers as the butt of a joke, or a Halloween costume to make fun of. Sex workers are real humans, and sex work is real work – though unfortunately people don’t get that.
5. It’s not fast, and easy money.
Contrary to how the media portrays sex work, and how people talk about it in the pub, sex work isn’t easy money. Sex workers are anything from a girlfriend, a stand in therapist, an entertainer, a DJ, a professional photographer, editor, director, writer, make up artist … I could go on. The skillset involved in being a full time cam model, Dominatrix, escort etc is far more varied than people think. We have to be constantly aware of our own hustle, how we can improve it, and figure out how to work in a world that constantly wants to put us down, and discredit what we do.
6. No job security.
If you’re hired by a reputable company, there’s a good chance you’ll have a benefit scheme, pension, a contract, and know where you stand. There’s no such thing in sex work. You’re completely at the mercy of the market, and if you only work on one site or take part in one hustle that fails, and you have no back up you might not be able to pay rent that month. Diversification of the hustle within sex work is the key to keep your head above water. It’s also a good idea to know what skills you have to offer. Have some spare time on your hand and a wiz at coding? Offer to make websites. An expert with editing? Offer to edit clips for a fee. The skills you learn through sex work are valuable, make sure you treat them as such.