I’ve always been curious by nature whether that be understanding the physics of a white dwarf star in our universe or diving into the world of neural plasticity to study how the brain can change itself or simply figuring out why human history always seems to repeat itself. There is no topic to simple or complex that doesn’t intrigue me in some fashion.
Over this past weekend I took a few hours, as I often do on lazy Saturday mornings, to poke around the Internet to stimulate my intellectual curiosity on unknown topics. Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon a short video clip produced by Business Insider Today on the topic of the Digital Sex Industry. I must admit this is not a topic I have given much thought to, or ever for that matter, but it piqued my curiosity leading me down my proverbial inquisitiveness rabbit hole.
The wheels in my head started turning as I was thinking about sex, which many of you know I’m very open about and cannot understand why sex is such a taboo topic to discuss in public – much like money or religion. In any event, I wanted to explore the rise in the digital sex industry over the last several years, and in particular, how the industry has changed over the last two months in light of Covid-19.
While I am an open book on the topic of sexuality, the last time I watched pornography was probably 15 years ago in my young 20’s with a boyfriend if I recall correctly. Porn has never really tickled my fancy, probably because I was too promiscuous for my own good back in those days, but when I did engage in viewing it all those years ago it was on a VHS tape and it was called “Debbie Does Dallas.” I will say that Debbie was a very busy girl!
In the mid-2000’s when porn started to flood the Internet I was out living my life and didn’t think much about it. Debbie was the last naked woman I’d seen in any type of video pornography in almost 2 decades. So, upon watching this Business Insider video and poking around the Internet on the rise of digital pornography; I found myself clicking on multiple porn sites. My husband was in the shower this past Saturday and when he hopped out to see what I was working on the computer, his face was priceless. He asked me “Honey, why are there a bunch of half-naked women on your computer screens?”
I said “Baby, it’s in the name of research for my next article.” Never a dull moment in our household.
In all seriousness, when Covid-19 started to ravage our country and as workers were sent home, so were many of the sex workers, prostitutes, go-go dancers, strippers, bottle girls at nightclubs, social media influencers whose business models require them to be around people, etc. I wondered how these folks were going to continue making a living.
Specifically, I wasn’t so much interested in how certain novices flooded the digital sex industry with raunchy pornography, but how they were going to make a consistent living moving forward? After some research I stumbled across several sites, IsmyGirl and OnlyFans in particular, that seemed to completely flip the digital sex industry business model upside down. Let me explain.
A New Digital Sex Business Model
I’m going to use the website, IsMyGirl (IMG), as an example. This venture was created by Evan Seinfeld who is best most known for creating INKED magazine. INKED magazine has over 35 million subscribers and IMG alone is already up to 1 million subscribers. According to Forbes, Seinfeld believes that:
“Beauty and sexuality is powerful and confidence is able to be monetized. We are an actual social networking community. Our models are Instagram models and influencers.”
IMG offers a technology forward and community engaged take on the industry. Less of a porn or cam site, it’s more of a social network for models and influencers to build their fan bases through private interactions. According to the article in Forbes magazine on IMG:
“The platform is member based and heavily relies on social interactions with members in order for models to build their user base and profit. Both models and followers can share and view photos and videos; with upgrades to direct messaging, premium videos, custom videos, and private PM’s.”
The element that appears to set IMG apart from other model subscription sites is that it is not focused on the porn aspect of sexuality alone, but rather the beauty of human connection. So many people have been isolated in their homes for months without human interaction. As human beings we desire some form of connection and, at the moment, much of that has to come from the online world.
Many of these hard-core porn sites take a 40% – 50% fee off the top and don’t protect the models content; thus allowing many people to pirate the content for free. On IMG it appears that the rewards for models are higher with 100% organic and social traffic, a 20% fee of the profits, and women feel empowered to show only what they are comfortable with while maintaining rights to their content.
It is essentially a pay-walled version of Instagram with more features. Instagram appears to be hammering down on explicit content and, thus, making it challenging for many models to show more graphic content. I would say think of IMG is more of a late night Cinemax in the 1990’s.
The way this website works is that you can subscribe to a certain model for $10-$50 per month, purchase private videos anywhere from $50-$200 for several minutes where a model might engage in some sort of fetish you have or have her say your name while talking sexy to the camera for you, etc. The possibilities are endless depending on what a model is comfortable doing, which she explicitly states in the custom video section of this website.
Don’t get me wrong, the site can definitely offer highly racy content if a particular model feels comfortable making a private video for a client. I spent several hours on the website looking at different cover profiles of what the models offer, watching PG type videos in the porn world, and reading some of their bios.
I also learned that during Covid-19 this website increased its traffic by several hundred percent, which makes sense in light of many people losing their jobs. But what I am really curious about is how do you become highly successful in the digital sex industry today with so many people flooding the market right now?
The Answer: A lot of hard work.
This work is not for the faint of heart, and I do not mean because they are naked or making graphic content, but because you actually have to think critically about how to build up your fan base, just like becoming famous on Facebook, Instagram, or some other social media outlet. You have to build up a following, which requires multiple skill sets, and you can’t just do that by showing naked pictures of your vagina.
I clicked on dozens of profiles of girls who have very large followings and I was trying to understand how they have become so successful. Just as a social media influencer on Facebook, they are telling their story, letting you follow along in their daily lives so you can feel connected to them, and they have an engaging presence about them too. The difference on IMG is that you can watch them go for a run and then watch them take a hot naked shower 😉
On the Business Insider Today video I was also intrigued by one specific girl who has a screen handle called GucciBlue. She is in her mid-20s, has a passion for exercise & bodybuilding, has a fun flirtatious way about her, and spent many years being a bottle girl at various clubs in Los Angeles. She mentioned that she could barely make ends meet at the end of each month despite being beautifully fit and gorgeous. She has 300,000 Instagram followers and has a very provocative & adventurous way about how she tells her story. More importantly, her Instagram photographs and videos are professional, well thought out, and she is on many other social media sites consistently promoting yourself.
GucciBlue mentioned that she spends more than half of her time digitally promoting herself on social media, which takes knowledge in SEO, content writing, photography, wardrobe, etc. It’s really a full-time job. However, she was still not making ends meet, which is how she transitioned into the IsMyGirl platform. The video mentioned that she made over $200,000 in the last 1 ½ years. Seriously!
Here is her top screen on IMG – I will let you click on the website directly to look at the photos in case we have many PG readers or those faint of heart!
She links multiple social media platforms together and this is what she does full-time. She’s very open about her body and who she is, and while many may judge girls in her position who sell their looks, life, and body for money – stop and think for a moment.
She is a seriously smart girl because she has learned how to capitalize on herself. What does it matter if she selling her digital body or a can of Coca-Cola? She’s her own entrepreneur and living a life that she’s happy about and proud of. How many of us can say that?
I think most importantly this is an area where many of these folks on these websites feel safe. They are safe physically, from viruses, mentally, and the only post what they feel comfortable with. However, girls like GucciBlue are in the outlier class of success. I’m sure there are thousands of girls who are on the site who don’t quite have the right formula down – even with the best of intentions. It takes work, determination, perseverance, and a little bit of luck as any successful career requires.
Do I or Don’t I?
I have to admit my husband and I looked at each other and said “Hey we can do this!” We could make it a business together as a team. Yes, I know, we’re weird. Then we quickly came down to reality and thought about the logistics of trying to set up a video shoot with my physical limitations. The reason we even jokingly pondered this idea for a moment is because there is an unspoken topic in the disabled world of mostly men who are attracted to women with disabilities. They are called Devotees.
Now don’t judge too quickly. It’s a seriously under served and under recognized market where certain men are attracted to women with all kinds of disabilities. I don’t personally think it’s any different than a man attracted to a woman with brown hair or blonde, fat or skinny, short or tall, big boobs or small boobs, etc. As human beings, we are just attracted to what we are attracted to. That is not to say that there are not serious creepers out there, but that’s true for any industry. It’s those few creepers that give the rest the population a bad name.
From a business perspective, I do believe this is a financially under-valued market and there’s definitely a need. However, after further contemplation my husband and I realized we really do like our private life. I respect anyone who wants to take that route, but I rarely video chat and spend much of my day in my pajamas working when I’m not out and about. Thinking about trying to dress up in sexy lingerie, position myself appropriately as a quadriplegic, and then spend the day editing videos — Yep, never going to happen 😉
A sexy photo shoot I did for my husband to promote sexuality 😉
If I am going to do any of those things it’s going to be for my husband. However, I always have the little entrepreneurship wheels turning in my head. I have no doubt it would be a profitable venture if marketed correctly.
Coming full circle, I thought my dive into the digital pornography world was a day well spent in terms of piquing my curiosity in learning something new.
I was raised with the famous quote “We think with Ideas, not with Information.” Through my investigation to gather more information on this topic, I came up with a very interesting business idea to capitalize on. It doesn’t matter that I’m not following through on it, but without curiosity I would’ve even thought about a business in this area of the market.
The question is, what are you curious about today? We have the Internet at our fingertips – perhaps forgo 10 minutes of your Facebook or Instagram time today, and read something that engages you.