When Male Entrepreneurs and Customers Think Their Ideas are a Godsend to Sex Workers, Despite Their Inexperience Within the Industry


Originally published on this blog, 01–13–2020



Through traveling and sex work activism, I meet many people who are interested in what I do and have their own ideas for how the industry should work. That’s all fine, but let’s just admit it: most of the men who spew business ideas about the adult industry don’t know what they’re talking about.


I only recently found out about Spankchain, reading about it through this article, and three-quarters of the way through, we learn these interesting tidbits:



  • Soleimani’s “market research” mostly involved watching a lot of porn.


  • The pitch deck powerpoint presentation to bring in investors “featured a 116-page stack of hardcore pornography.”


  • A part of Spankchain co-founder de Vogeleare’s expertise was considered sex workers, since he “spent a year in Argentina with a different escort every night.” He had found the powerpoint through Reddit and told the article author that his favorite part of it was the “deck of porn.”


  • When asked by Soleimani if de Vogeleare had any experience (presumably within the porn industry), he responded that he had dated a couple of cam models, to which the former replied, “Great! You have a powerful intuition for user experience.”



Okay, giving these guys the benefit of the doubt first, it could be the article author’s fault that these men sound like braggarts and business people who just want to make a quick buck off of the backs of hard-working adult performers. Also, familiarizing yourself with porn is important if you want to get into the industry, but just make sure you’re actually getting to know the inner workings of what you’re observing. The use of the powerpoint as a “memetic filter” was pretty ingenious, in my opinion. One of the real problems with what I pointed out is that it seemed like their focus on starting up a porn business was more about personal pleasure than that of making necessary, positive changes within the industry, as it seems like they might be trying to do. I can see how it can be fairly easy to make sex and porn jokes in such a capacity. Then again, as a female sex worker, I feel like their attitudes were more about using women for porn than uplifting us. Secondly, what the hell does “user experience” have to do with building a camming site? Was this just a joke about fucking camgirls? Did Soleimani really think that dating camgirls gave de Vogeleare an edge? Not that I’m dismissing user experience as being an important aspect of a website, especially if that’s how you attain business, but me being a Facebook user doesn’t automatically make me qualified to make decisions on how their newsfeed algorithms should work. Again, this all could have just been bad reporting by the author.


I think this story is important to highlight, though. Let’s say that these are hard-working, serious businessmen I would like to work directly with. Even if that’s the case, there are thousands (maybe millions!) of men out there who consume adult services, have never worked in that capacity, yet think they are so brilliant that they have to give unsolicited advice to established sex workers or “just need to” get into the industry.


I’ve met many of these men before. Oftentimes they’re customers, but they can be just about anyone. It doesn’t matter if they have ideas about escorting, stripping, or camming, they think that their observations or experiences as a customer alone entitles them to being an “expert” within the industry. What bugs me, and a plethora of other women, about this is that they could potentially screw over a lot of workers because of their lack of knowledge. Put a bunch of free sex videos on Pornhub because you will get a lot of exposure? That is terrible advice, yet I’ve seen so many men talk about the importance of exposure without knowing (from experience or observation) how practically useless it is business-wise. (Exposure is important, of course, but offer the good stuff behind a paywall, or else you saturate the market with too much high-quality free content, providing fewer incentives for customers to open their wallets.)


How about within business? I’m pretty sure a lot of these men have led companies before, but do they know the headache that is navigating payment processors which will allow for selling adult service or content transactions? How do you reach out to potential customers on social media when Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat won’t allow adult content, and with Twitter implementing shadowbans? How much money will go into verifying the ages and identities of both customers and performers? How about all of those chargebacks? Can you create a good mobile phone experience, considering Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store mostly likely won’t allow you to publish an app through their platforms?


Well-intentioned or not, I’ve found many men who want to get into the porn business have no idea what it’s actually like. They will flaunt their experiences as a customer, observer, or womanizer, yet when questioned about serious matters exclusive to the industry, will shy away from providing useful insight and solutions. Meanwhile, sex workers like me, the ones with the real experience as both performers and businesswomen, are ignored.


If you are interested in becoming involved with the adult industry, it is important that either you or the people who are working with have experience as both business leaders and performers, whether they’re employed or contracted. If you’re actually concerned about the well-being of sex workers and respect what we do, reach out to us when you wanna get the ball rolling on your ideas.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *