josiah jennings

(Sean Zevran)

A New Industry

I believe I am a decent pornographic performer, however I am not a good sexual content creator. It is not that I am incapable of creating good content, but being a sexual content creator is less like being a pornographic performer in the traditional sense and more like being a TikTok or other media creator insofar as satisfying the insatiability of consumers who expect new content and a media personality available for 24/7-consumption; whereas, when I entered into this industry, social media was but a means by which you marketed your work and that was pretty much it. There was no expectation of access, no expectation to always entertain and engage. Of course, the technological landscape and, thus, the industry has evolved—mostly for the better, but not without some serious drawbacks.

While earning potential and autonomy for sex workers has significantly increased, so too has the time and energy required to do this job. It is no longer enough to do good work on camera and then go about your life. People want unlimited access to everything you do. Many even seem to feel entitled to it. Indeed, the demarcation between fantasy and reality is increasingly blurred, and to breach this line means disrupting a fantasy for which adoring fans often hold you responsible for always maintaining. Add to this that if you as a creator are not consistently cranking out content, people are quick to move on. It is hustler life overkill, and this is fine so long as you have virtually no other interests in life and are willing to devote all of your time and energy to entertaining strangers on the internet. I, however, am not.

Furthermore, the drive to consistently crank out content and hustle those subscriptions has increasingly lead to irresponsible behavior. Personally, I get screened for STIs at least once per month regardless of sexual activity, as well as prior to and following every week or trip during which I plan to create content. Sadly, the same cannot be said of most other creators in this industry, and it is becoming a problem. Sexual content creators are not getting tested because they know that getting tested implies they may have to take at least two weeks off from work, and this is income many are either unwilling or unable to forego. I do not believe it is any coincidence we have seen a staggering rise in STI rates. The drive to increase subscriptions throws both physical and mental health to the wind.

There is also the issue of how creators are competing with the algorithm to drive engagement, which in turn drives subscriptions. Competing with the algorithm means competing for attention, and in this creator environment you have about 8-seconds to capture and keep the attention of consumers before they move on to the next shiny thing. This is driving people toward extremes, and when the line between fantasy and reality is as blurred as it is in today’s online environment, I am not really sure it is healthy for producers or consumers. Mind you, this does not apply only to the sex industry. Alas, I am not going to spend anytime moralizing this issue, as it is a hopeless endeavor—this is the new industry, and this clown show is only just beginning. If you are considering entering into this industry, may the odds be ever in your favor, creator.