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Porn In the Age of Corona

Grindr
&
Editorial team
July 15, 2024
6
min. read
Porn In the Age of Corona
Table of Contents

LGBTQ+ adult entertainers explain the shifting nature of their work during the pandemic.

BY EVAN ROSS KATZ

The outlook, as has become a common refrain, looked dim. “The Coronavirus Is Shutting Down Porn Sets,” read a March 16 BuzzFeed News headline. That story came a day after the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the adult industry lobbying group, called for an industry-wide “voluntary shut down” through the end of March. It didn’t take long before the adult expos, which can generate thousands of fans (which can then, in turn, generate millions in revenue) were postponed indefinitely. An industry crippled; an industry largely unprotected (pun not not intended). “Adult performers don't get sick days or government bailouts, and many crew members’ non-adult jobs are already being cancelled,” Mike Stabile, the Free Speech Coalition’s communications director, pointed out to the Daily Beast.

Luckily, there exist platforms like OnlyFans, which, as the New York Times noted in their 2019 story, have changed sex work forever. These sites allow anyone, from adult entertainers and sex workers, to people looking to monetize what they’re already doing recreationally,  a revenue stream that isn’t beholden to studio or government, only their fans.

And there’s been a tremendous boom in both content making and content makers in a time of great crisis for many. Kurt from Toronto, who runs an OnlyFans review site called myqueerfans.com, says he’s seen an uptick in traffic over the last few weeks which he attributes to people practicing social distancing by staying inside their homes. “There is one model I noticed who is making his OnlyFans free for the next week or so to support those who have been laid off,” He says. “Other models have started corona-themed promotional campaigns where they specifically mention ‘coronavirus’ and ‘quarantine’. One couple advertised that you could spend your 'quarantine with them' online and that they'd be posting lots of new material.”

Below, we talk to adult entertainers and veteran content makers as well as those inspired to kick-start an OnlyFans account due to their income being affected by an invisible virus that continues to petrify the world.

“Funny how people change their opinions on OnlyFans once there’s a recession,” Trop Daddy tweeted on Sunday. “Lately I’ve been using discounts because it’s been an easy way to get a lot of subscribers in a short amount of time,” he says, noting that for the past six months 95% of his income has come from OnlyFans. “The downside is when you put your price back to the standard full price, those subscribers are less prone to renew, having paid 25%-30% less last time.” Daddy, 24, says he’ll try a corona-related discount but will likely return to full price soon so that he doesn’t have drop off in future months.

For Tayte Hanson, an adult entertainer who earns 50% of his income from personal training, photography, and as a touring dancer, he’s definitely seen a corona-related spike in his adult content. “I have seen an influx in both views and DMs as it seems everyone is feeling lonely and wanting to be connected to their content creators,” he says. The 30-year-old says he offers discounts regularly, “however, this time I chose to do it on a large scale (200 subscriptions available) as I want people who are bored and stuck at home to be able to enjoy content while they don't have much work instead of going out and having a hookup.” Hanson says he plans to donate 25% of this months’ income from his OnlyFans and JustForFans (a similar content hub) to people who have lost their jobs as a result of the virus’s spread.

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Ricky Roman of CockyBoys fame created a promotion of 50% off subscriptions, which he’s grateful to say sold very quickly. But will he continue to make content amidst CDC guidelines which suggest six feet of social distance from others at all times, especially when asymptomatic carriers run rampant due to the lack of available testing? “Since the quarantine, as of the past few days I’m not sure that I do want to risk myself or others... so I’m not sure that I will be filming with anyone else at this time,” he says.

Veteran adult film star — and recent Favorite Fan Content Creator winner at January’s Str8UpGay Porn Awards — Austin Wolf, 39, feels similarly. Lucky for him, he’s prepared for a disaster situation. “I have enough unreleased material to continue to post at the same frequency for a few months and avoid making new content if at all possible until we clear this storm,” he says. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering his resume includes an estimated 300-400 studio films and 2500 “fan content” videos.

“I do this because I enjoy it and have no regrets, but this world is not for everyone and that's okay, please make decisions that are best and healthiest for you,” Wolf says when asked about those who are starting to produce adult content as a result of dwindling finances due to lay-offs or unemployment. He does offer this tidbit up for newfound content makers: “Never take less than 80%. OnlyFans and 4myFans takes 20% whereas many other sites take 30-50% of the models subscription. Anything less than 80% is a ripoff because you are the product. If you don't know what your percentage is, you should look this up immediately.”

This is the kind of advice that will be critical in navigating this space for folks like Alex Jenny, who launched her OnlyFans during the quarantine after giving it a thought for some time. She posts a mix of nudes, homemade porn that includes masturbation and sex with her partners, as well as lip sync/strip teases to songs that get her into the mood.

“Content will include stuff with me both in and out of ‘drag,’” she says. “I put quotation marks around drag because I'm also a genderqueer trans woman. So I'll be playing with my gender presentation and androgyny. I would love to get creative and find ways to integrate my drag persona, mental health and healing perspective, and my love of being a slut on my OnlyFans.”

Jenny says she also plans on talking about healing and unlearning shame through posting content online, saying she’s done sex work before but up until now feared talking about it could hinder her career. “As I've transitioned however and started doing drag, I found more freedom in learning to love and value my body as well as be more unapologetic about sharing more of myself with the world,” she says. “This is mostly a way for me to have fun, unlearn shame, unapologetically chase pleasure, and heal from sexual trauma—because if I don't have any shame about posting this kind of explicit content online, then it helps me not feel shame for the things that happened to me without my consent.”

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