Here’s why you need to diversify your income from sex work.

by The Ruby Umbrella

Here’s why you need to diversify your income from sex work.

I work for multiple sites with multiple payout dates. They’re also mostly American sites. This means my bank takes even longer to send me money than what the site says, so 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, then a year later I started working for another, and then every few months I added another site. I first sold cam shows – predominantly nonsexual live interaction with me for tips, then I moved on to clips, and audio files, PDFs, Snapchat access etc..

Nowadays, my income comes from different branches of my ‘brands’. I get paid for my writing, I use affiliate marketing within camming and blogging, I run my own business (ParlourTalk), and I am a phone sex operator, clip producer, sex work/disability/accessibility consultant, and a bunch of other jobs. My income isn’t as diverse and spread around as I’d like it to be as the bulk of my money comes from sex work, 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 and you only have to worry about uploading and getting content to one site? You can also direct ALL your traffic to that one site so payouts aren’t across multiple sites with multiple different fees? 

Technically, yes. To all of it. In fact, I go through periods of pulling down my clip from certain sites, and content in 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 (please keep that in mind, they’re not your friend they are there to make money, that’s it). Clipvia closed down suddenly a few years back and still owe hundreds if not thousands of model hundreds of thousands of pounds, and there’s no indication they’ll be paid any time soon. Clipvia was a site that up and running up until it closed down. In fact, when the trouble started it then offered a payback scheme – if the model 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 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, the proposed DE Bill in the UK), and sometimes it’s completely unknown to the public eye, but doesn’t sit right with anyone.

Just recently a payment processor shut down just after SESTA, and FOSTA came into effect, this led to a three-week delay minimum in getting paid on some sites. Some models had to wait over five weeks, and some were still waiting to get paid after two months because the companies hadn’t figured out a way to pay models outside of the US in a reasonable manner. It’s getting better, but if you’re not a US model there’s little help with payouts and little options that don’t cost money to get your payment. 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 happen. Okay, occasionally there is – and demanding transparency can help make changes, but unless you’re a top 0.1% earner to those sites you’re disposable. Even then, they can go grab someone like Bella Thorne to be their new top model. It happens all the time.

Sometimes, sites just don’t like you. I have £200 somewhere in the ethos of an old UK ‘membership site’ I’m probably not getting paid because a site doesn’t like me – not for any reason I can see apart from the fact I left the company. That is, 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 never got a reply.

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 chargebacks and risk – more so in 2021 with places like Visa and Mastercard ‘taking a stand’ (that deserves another post). Also, look at the news, look at the reception porn stars face when they go public. It isn’t pretty. It’s vicious.

When you bring in the bills the UK, US and others from around the world, 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 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.

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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 if any appear.

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 (rent, food, bills, medicine, emergency fund etc) 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!  

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