On March 1st, I received an email from Pornhub that filled me with frustration and dread. In the first few paragraphs of the message, they summarized how their new monetization program Tiers would incentivize models to upload videos more often and try to increase their rankings for better revenue potential. “All well and good,” I thought,” for established pornstars.” I couldn’t think of how the program could hurt a small-time amateur, such as myself, unless they greatly decreased revenue for lower ranking models. I thought I would approach Tiers like how I approach the contests on many clip sites…not participate because of little-to-nothing to gain in return for time-consuming effort on my part. Then came the kicker.


First, they implemented a rule that an account that has not uploaded a video for six months would be demonetized. Fine enough for current workers, but what about retirees  who depend on the passive income? Finally, I was hit by a ton of bricks when I read, “The video must be 7 minutes or longer to remain monetized.” I became furious.


From the “How Do Tiers Work?” page on Pornhub


Personally, most of the clips I make to sell are five minutes. A lot of videos models make for promotional purposes are 30-60 seconds, with many even shorter. How many creators actually upload videos that are seven minutes to social media sites like Reddit or Twitter for free? Even making compilation videos takes a lot of time for editing. It is utterly insulting that we are expected to upload long videos to remain monetized. A single customer can buy a five-minute clip of mine for  $15.99, but Pornhub expects us to publish videos longer than that, and in exchange, we will receive a few dollars for every couple of thousand views. Then Pornhub will receive all earnings off of our videos if your account becomes demonetized for whatever reason.


When sex workers turn to online work for the long-term, one big aspect we consider is how we are going to retire, and the potential for passive income plays a huge role. Even a $100 payout every few months from Pornhub can play a considerable role in how we utilize their site during the height of our careers and how and when we choose to retire. By requiring a seven minute video upload to remain monetized, many established retirees will have to start working to even retain earnings they previously worked hard for. While I have no plans to retire from online sex work soon, the changes Pornhub has made reminds me of how many disruptions the industry has gone through during my short time as a creator. (I started stripping in 2011, and began my online career with camming in 2012.) Pornhub should remember that  their mere existence was a huge disturbance to models’ careers, many of whom no longer could sustain themselves with starring in porn scenes, and some had to begrudgingly turn to full-service sex work. While over the years, Pornhub has at least put effort into benefiting the models more (RIP Modelhub), they themselves shouldn’t be a reason we struggle to keep afloat in the industry. We already have FOSTA-SESTA, payment processor discrimination (as Pornhub should well know), and other systemic issues that negatively affect our livelihoods. If I had known that Pornhub would take away a means of a viable retirement, I don’t know if I would have joined their Model Program.


What we ask of Pornhub


1) Do away with the 7+ minute upload requirement to remain monetized.


2) Don’t demonetize accounts because of infrequent postings.


3) Make a viable option for short-form video content.


4) Work with independent models to revise the Model Program and Tiers.


Maybe instead of requiring a 7+ minute upload twice a year, require such a length of video once from new models. Or make 7+ minute videos one of the requirements to reach the Gold and Platinum levels. As I said before, requiring continuous uploads is unfair to sex workers who have already retired and for those of us who thought we could depend on these earnings at the end of our careers. With TikTok and Reels, NSFW creators have been searching for platforms to promote our short-form videos on without fear of shadowbanning or having our accounts terminated. Instead of 7+ minute uploads, focus on what we, both models and consumers, really want – encouraging TikTok-style porn.


What we ask of fellow models during the months of April, May, and June


1) If you haven’t already, don’t sign up for Pornhub’s Model Program.


2) Delete or hide the videos and other media content you have uploaded on Pornhub.


3) Do not participate in Tiers, including uploading a 7+ minute video.


4) Spread the word about this campaign! Share this post, your own commentary, related graphics, etc. with the #PornhubPause hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Threads, and Mastodon. If we want people to know and care, we need to speak up.


We will not be policing if or how other models choose to participate. Of course, it would be more effective for every creator to 100% abide by all of these guidelines, but many, for some reason or another, do not have the capacity to partake in the campaign. However, abiding by the above guidelines by 50% is better than doing nothing at all.


What we ask of our fans and viewers


1) Don’t peruse Pornhub, or any other sites owned by Aylo (formerly MindGeek), including RedTube and YouPorn. You can view more of the sites they operate on Wikipedia.


2) If you want to provide the best support and obtain the highest quality media from creators, especially independents, please consider buying from ManyVids, Clips4Sale, OnlyFans, SextPanther, and Fansly.


3) We understand that not everybody has the budget to buy porn, and that there is also the stigma over purchasing it. While we urge viewers to come to understand that buying porn is normal and helps to support the careers of the models you love, for the purposes of practicality – of making this campaign more effective – we are providing this list of free porn sites you can utilize, including XVideos, XHamster, OnlyFans, and Fansly. There is also a plethora of free porn on Reddit and Twitter.


For creators, the adult industry is in a constant state of flux, and if we want long-term careers, we have to acclimate to these changes. While adapting is essential (in every industry), we also need to know when to stand up for ourselves. Whether you are a performer, viewer, journalist, or bystander, stand up with us by letting Pornhub know that certain aspects of their new Tiers program is unfair for many independent models and retirees.


Pornhub, we are telling you to make changes that will benefit the models who have already signed up and will signed up for the Model Program. Tiers, as it currently is, will not suffice.


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