Online Sex Workers Tired Because They’re Filming

Fabiana Fox was feeling guilty. He’s spent the last year or so focused on making porn for the subscription content site Miután elbuktunk teljes film magyarul, and the work has become overwhelming.

Fox, 30, danced in strip clubs around the West Coast for about 10 years and moved to Las Vegas just a few months before the pandemic began, aiming to transition into porn full time. Largely isolated after moving to a new city only to go into quarantine, Fox has spent his time learning new editing software, scheduling video shoots Miután elbuktunk teljes film magyarul, figuring out sales strategies, and managing social media promotion — all while trying to release a consistent stream of new work. The hustle has been wearing him down.

“I needed to film today and I physically can’t,” Fox told BuzzFeed News.

In the wake of the pandemic, burnout has become a widespread problem among many sectors of the economy, and sex workers have faced some of the toughest conditions. Online work through OnlyFans and similar platforms has been a lifeline for some and often seemed to be an improvement over other types of sex work, with more independence and some insulation from the risks of in-person work. But many have found that making a livable wage on the platform requires long hours to stand out amid a growing pool of creators, as more and more people have turned to online sex work during the pandemic. To preserve their well-being, some have begun using third-party content Miután elbuktunk teljes film magyarul management services to help produce and promote their work, but the services are expensive and often add to performers’ frustrations. Others say they’d like to walk away from the content creation industry altogether but are reluctant to settle for lower-pay or return to in-person sex work. That sense of precarity has become even more extreme after OnlyFans briefly banned sexual content Miután elbuktunk teljes film magyarul last month due to pressure from anti-porn campaigners and financial institutions. The company reversed the policy days later, but the abrupt move was yet another reminder to performers of how little power they have in an industry that has long treated them as disposable.

“I couldn’t really keep up,” said Honey Sanoria, 23, who was making a couple thousand dollars a month on the platform before deciding this spring that she needed a break. “At first I’m like, I’m down for it — I love having sex. Then I’m like, this is a lot of work on me, on my body, mentally.”

OnlyFans’ popularity had been growing among adult performers since it launched in 2016, but as large swaths of the economy shut down during the pandemic, it became a primary source of income for many sex workers who may have previously done in-person work as well as for many others out of work from more mainstream jobs. And, as porn viewership skyrocketed during the early months of the pandemic, the money was also pretty good, at least initially.

Sanoria, who showed BuzzFeed News receipts of her income from the last year, made more than $5,000 in the first two weeks she was on the platform Miután elbuktunk teljes film magyarul and regularly made $8,000–10,000 a month for most of the year before the 20% cut that OnlyFans takes.

“I realized I’m an online girl,” said Sanoria, who briefly tried out strip club work before the pandemic. “I don’t like people coming up to me, being able to touch me. Online, guys come up to you, but in the club you have to go up to them. It’s kind of more work and less safety. I hated it.”

Tori Montana, 21, another performer who has filmed with big brand-name studios including Reality Kings and Bang Bros and supported herself through OnlyFans during the pandemic, said the platform afforded her the opportunity to produce work on her own terms. The porn industry is riddled with racist caricatures, and Montana, who is Black, said she was glad to free herself from the fetishizing categories and packaging that studios typically use.

“You’re able to expand yourself and make yourself so much more,” Montana said. “I don’t call myself ‘ebony’ or ‘chocolate’ — any of those terms used to describe Black women in porn. I don’t use any of those because I don’t see myself as that, I just see myself as a woman. I’m so glad I’m done with that.”

But as the platform has become more popular, with thousands of new people, including celebrities, joining every day during the early months of the pandemic, it’s also become harder to compete for attention, and experienced sex workers say that what was once a relatively accessible way to make a little extra money on the side has transformed into something consuming.

Six performers who spoke to BuzzFeed News about their schedules said they are often on their phones messaging with followers from the minute they wake up, checking in regularly throughout the day. Some performers try to post new content daily, which means getting ready with hair and makeup, setting up lighting, and shooting a video and often photos to go with it, all of which can take a few hours, or longer if they’re filming with another person or in a special location. Then they’re editing and online doing promotion on social media, chatting with other performers about strategy or looking for people to film with, and studying the different metrics on their posts in order to optimize their work — i.e., the best time to post or length of video or type of content. Performers may also spend time posting on other platforms, camming, sexting, or Skyping with fans. Fox said he often falls asleep at his computer.

Many performers choose sex work because of the flexibility, and they may also be managing a disability or have family duties to attend to. Destiny Red, 32, who has been in the industry for eight years, said that she gets her kids ready for school and spends most of the day online messaging with followers or doing promotion while she monitors their online schooling. She films after they go to bed and is often up working until 2 or 3 a.m.

“Everybody and their grandmom is on OnlyFans. It’s oversaturated, so it’s harder to get people to pay,” Red said. “With me having to do my own promo, create my own content, editing my own content, and being a mom … It gets overwhelming.”

Red’s dad died in March 2020. She said he’d had flu-like symptoms and was found dead at home by police doing a welfare check. She believes it was from COVID, but there was no way to confirm it. Another performer, Sinnamon Love, who has been in the industry since 1993, told BuzzFeed News that her uncle had died from COVID and that the “overwhelming amount of grief” had made it difficult to work.

Love, who founded the BIPOC Collective, an organization to support people of color in the adult industry, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder last summer, said she struggled to post regularly and had started to see followers unsubscribe.