First things first … why in the hell are we doing an entire cover story on safe-for-work revenue streams, in a business-to-business adult industry trade publication? That’s a very good question and my answer is simple.
Traffic is traffic.
See, when adult stars leverage their hard-won XXX traffic (aka fan base) in the realm of SFW streaming, content and ecommerce merch, a beautiful feedback loop is created.
Traffic here, funneled into traffic there, naturally funnels traffic back and forth, creating an infinity sign of infinite earning potential. Audiences expand.
Because traffic, especially the kind willing to pay for adult content in a market filled with freely available masturbation material, craves reality-style, behind-the-scenes, interactive and hands-on connection with stars.
They came for the hotness, then they stayed (and paid) for the rawness … and the t-shirt.
Mind you, camming, clips and even today’s most innovative studio-shot porn have pivoted to capturing chemistry and fan engagement, so there’s no shortage of that. And we already explored the ways that Major League Talent are teaming up with adult industry brands, in last month’s cover story.
Here, we are stepping into that brave new world (old as it is) some call mainstream, where savvy stars have discovered the sheer size of SFW traffic is so untapped in scale, their fan base can grow exponentially faster by staking a claim in various non-adult channels.
Through streaming or creating SFW content via the likes of Twitch and YouTube, not to mention selling merchandise that runs the gamut from branded undies to whiskey and hand-crafted soap, they can make serious bank. After all, even though adult entertainment traffic is sizeable, it pales in comparison to the sheer volume of SFW audiences that brands and personalities can tap into.
Don’t get me wrong. As the hilarious Broadway musical “Avenue Q” reminds us, “The Internet Is for Porn.” But the gatekeepers of major social media giants and content platforms are far more restrictive when it comes to how much porn-seeking traffic they allow to circulate through their vast digital avenues. For this reason, the increasingly multi-faceted, multi-platform personalities driving today’s business (as well as a few adult companies themselves) are harnessing SFW audiences like never before.
And just to be crystal-clear, when adult industry talent does tap into SFW audiences, their content can often be filled with sexually-charged dialogue and scandalous scenarios, like a saucy MTV show or episode of “South Park.” This is not always the case, but regardless, they often warn viewers that they should be 18-and-over, even if the content itself is no more naughty than a raunchy cable TV soap opera.
With so many complex minefields and rules to navigate, SFW success is an art form, not only in abiding by a SFW platform’s hyper-restrictive, frequently anti-adult terms of service, but also in finding a way to market and create such content without sacrificing a lucrative adult career.
Enthusiasm, also, is absolutely vital to powering SFW excitement. Because when stars have a favorite hobby they adore, it’s hard to hide their passion, and few forces of nature engage fans like feeling unbridled joy emanating from their favorite online stars.
This is particularly so in a media era where consumers are more likely to seek out current events commentary from a beloved YouTube celebrity, or rush to see the hilarious streamer they’re subscribed to give a brutally honest review of a product. The internet, in essence, has become a grand cathedral for a million cults of personality. Legacy media be damned.
Thus, to really unravel the secrets of how stars are straddling two worlds with TOS tango-dancing finesse and marketing mojo, we reached out to 10 traffic hustlers who have learned to truly flex their stardom in ways that are not only profitable, but downright fun!
If you’ve never heard of Twitch, arguably the most influential SFW streaming platform with the greatest similarities to camming, here’s a bit of background.
Mia Malkova, XBIZ Award-winning adult star and Twitch creator.The live streaming service launched in 2011 as a spin-off of Justin.tv, which was once a single channel platform that gave rise to the term “lifecasting” in 2007 (back before broadcasting your life was a big thing), where co-founder Justin Kan would stream his real-life via a webcam on his baseball cap. Eventually, it grew into a 60-channel site, and while Justin.tv turned into more of a general interest platform, Twitch became known as a place for video game enthusiasts to broadcast their play sessions live (and were later able to save these broadcasts for video-on-demand viewing).
Several business acquisitions, shifts, expansions and millions of views, dollars and users later, as “eSports” tournaments became a booming industry thanks to the popularity of video games like Riot Games’ “League of Legends” and Blizzard Entertainment’s “Overwatch,” the now Amazon-owned Twitch became one of the highest sources of traffic in the U.S. and a top 50 global powerhouse. And it spawned two annual TwitchCon expos, a North American one in San Diego and a European Union one in Amsterdam, where multitudes of streamers come together for meet-and-greets, in a huge showroom floor akin to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in its heyday, amidst private parties and impromptu get-togethers.
Twitch also gave rise to all-stars like colorfully hair-dyed “Fortnite” player Ninja (Richard Tyler Blevins), who amassed over 14 million followers and was eventually poached by Microsoft-owned competitor Mixer, for a staggering $20 to $30 million sum last year.
And while mainstream platforms like Twitch were growing at a rapid pace over the course of the past decade, so too were its adult industry counterparts in the camming and clips market. In fact, today’s top streaming and video-selling networks are likewise motivated to recruit and curry favor with top-streamed cam models and high-ranked clip creators, though perhaps the sums being offered are not quite the same as the historic amounts Ninja received for jumping ship!
See, while the size and scope may differ between the XXX biz and SFW markets, there are many striking parallels, as each orbited personality-driven content faster and faster, with talent tipping the scales.
And it is this undercurrent of consumers gravitating to authenticity, to people that entertain them and keep them company on their mobile devices, TVs and laptops, which shapes both our own industry and SFW with study-worthy similarities.
Without delving too much deeper into the very lengthy twists and turns of Twitch’s history, with its addition of a token-like currency called “bits” and an elegant affiliate ecosystem that blended video game purchases, partnered channels, referral links and machine learning algorithms, suffice to say the “Just Chatting” section of Twitch now bears a strong resemblance to a cam site.
Lovely and eccentric people bask in the flattering glow of their ring lights, in front of their webcam, often with luminous backdrops of neon and inviting décor, chattering away with their chatroom as bits and direct donations clink and clang. It’s even gotten to the point where YouTube commentators and Twitch traditionalists complain that the once primarily video game streamer-filled platform has turned into a form of “softcore camming.” Their words, not mine!
Even the shrewdest of adult cam sites could profit from a close examination of the token systems and streamer-to-streamer interactivity that Twitch offers, but I’ll get into that later, after we hear from two unique adult-to-Twitch crossover stories in the form of 2017 XBIZ Best Actress winner, Mia Malkova, and 2019 XBIZ Rising Cam Star, Quincy. They each serve as an excellent case study in how an established superstar and fast-growing newcomer can rock the platform, respectively.
27-year-old Malkova, who began shooting porn scenes back in 2012, has amassed a sizeable fandom of nearly 900K on Twitter, holding steady as a top five-ranked star on tube titan Pornhub and rocking 5-million followers on Instagram. She has also leveraged her fame to gain more than 300,000 followers on Twitch (placing her neck and neck with fellow Twitch-loving porn colleague Manuel Ferrara, who is also above the 300K mark).
“I built a following on Twitch by staying consistent with streams and by advertising on my other platforms that already have a following,” she told XBIZ. “Also, collaborations with other streamers who already have big followings on the platform, such as RajjPatel, has really grown my channel and introduced new followers on all platforms.”
This RajjPatel character, in fact, has proven to be one of the singularly most clout-boosting show hosts on the platform. See, streamers can appear via a split screen with other streamers, side-by-side in a duo or upwards of a dozen-plus in a grid, while their individual chatrooms are kept separate. They can also host another person’s broadcast outright in their channel, where they don’t even need to be recording themselves and can just make it so viewers who land on their page end up seeing another streamer’s content entirely.
This is where Rajj’s reality TV-style dating competition comes into play. It features multiple broadcasters who tune their channels into his at a prescribed time, appearing in a grid of live talking heads. There, they spend hours vying for the affection of either a Rajjchelorette or Rajjchelor (riffing on the popular “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” shows), with elimination rounds where contestants get sent packing if they don’t prove entertaining enough. Plenty of hilarity, drama and hijinks ensue, because the firebrand wild cards frequently keep viewers tuned in.
Quincy, 2019 XBIZ Rising Cam Star and Twitch creatorEach competitor, at the beginning, must secretly let Rajj know whether they’re choosing “love” or “host,” meaning that if they last until the very end, one of two prizes will be awarded to them based on that choice.
If they opted for “love,” they get the chance to go on a date with the Rajjchelor or Rajjchelorette. Malkova and Quincy actually starred together in a particularly exciting episode of the Rajjchelor, where a live-streamed 2019 TwitchCon date with controversial political activist Hasan was up for grabs. They both made it to the last round, with Malkova narrowly edging out Quincy, who nonetheless still gained hundreds of new followers in the process and was continually asked about Hasan and Malkova for weeks thereafter on Twitch (and at TwitchCon in San Diego that year). It was the talk of the virtual town for a while.
Meanwhile, if a contestant chooses “host” and makes it to the very end, not only is the Rajjchelor or Rajjchelorette publicly shamed (in a comedic, light-hearted manner) for choosing someone who did not seek their love, but the often 70- to 100-thousand live viewers RajjPatel maintains throughout his shows get sent via a raid to the winner’s channel. These Twitch raids offer the chance to send a massive spike in traffic, which … while naturally dissipating over time as folks inevitably log off … nonetheless injects the winner’s channel with lots of viewers, several of whom can end up subscribing for a monthly fee.
In fact, Rajj’s channel is so popular, that he has to essentially deputize other streamers (like GoneDoc) to hold their own smaller-in-scale recruiting talk shows, where multiple broadcasters audition to see if they have the chops to produce good content (i.e. entertaining streaming banter) on the RajjPatel show.
And when you look at the total views these mega popular shows get, they can easily eclipse the numbers that major cable TV networks get. However, despite these must-watch Twitch programs offering great opportunities to quickly rise in the ranks, a streamer must first and foremost be able to carry on a consistently entertaining solo show for long-term success. It’s not the big events, but rather the day-to-day grind that truly uplifts streamers with staying power.
To that end, Malkova shared, “My approach to creating compelling streaming content is really just being myself, having a good time while I’m live and getting to know the individuals who frequent my chat. I like to start all streams off Just Chatting and answering questions, then I get into the gaming.”
That category of “Just Chatting” she references is one of the highest-viewed ones on Twitch, often rocking several hundred-thousand live users and more than 7 million followers overall, while game-specific categories (currently dominated by “Final Fantasy VII Remake,” “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," "Valorant" and “Grand Theft Auto V”) sometimes only reach a little more than half those numbers. Just as with the adult industry, intimacy drives the business most.
“I stay in TOS guidelines by keeping Twitch separate from my adult career and by not trying to push boundaries,” Malkova advised. “I’m not selling sex on this platform, but I believe I am selling my genuine personality, which is somewhat wholesome! I believe I generate traffic from Twitch by advertising my other SFW platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat … then from those platforms, I advertise adult content that must be unlocked via a subscription.”
This roundabout, trickle-down approach proves vital for adult content creators looking to indirectly attract traffic to their 18-plus content, without breaking the rules, all the while building up a bona fide self-sustaining presence elsewhere.
Which isn’t to say money can’t be made directly on the SFW platform.
See, for broadcasters who want to make a career of Twitch, they can strive to become a Twitch Affiliate after meeting certain criteria like having at least 50 followers, as well as seven broadcast days, 500 total minutes and an average of three simultaneous viewers or more in the last 30 days. Doing so unlocks the ability for them to accumulate bits (the aforementioned tokens for Twitch), earn revenue from advertised video game sales and in-game items originating from their channel page, while also enabling tiered subscriptions, where viewers can pay $4.99, $9.99 and $24.99 a month to have ad-free viewing and earn a global subscriber emote for the streamer’s channel.
Eventually, those who truly rise high can apply for the much-coveted Twitch Partner status, with a minimum requirement of streaming for 25 hours, on 12 different days and averaging 75 viewers within a 30-day period … though many streamers try to accrue more than these metrics before applying, given the uncertainty in being accepted. Partner benefits include a diverse array of perks like unlocking up to 50 custom emoticons, custom chat badges, custom bit badges and cheermotes (which can animate differently depending on the amount of bits purchased at once), a verified user badge and much more, like access to partner-only events, extended VOD storage, etc.
Malkova, of course, has reached Twitch Partner status, and so she rewards loyal viewers with a lot of these advantages. “I offer sub badges to those who sub on Twitch, who automatically receive them alongside the title of Malkovian in my Discord,” she shared, referring to the popular chat program that many creators use to communicate with their fans offline. “I like to think of my community as citizens of Malkovia, and I am in the process of creating new badges soon that reflect their status such as merchant, squire, mage, etc. in the fantasy world. I manage my Discord by trying to be in it as much as possible and keeping everyone up to date on what’s happening in my life.”
She then noted the value of creating travel vlogs on YouTube, as well as collaboration streams on Twitch. And for those fans who cannot make it on time to one of her live shows, she offers plenty of highlight VODs that can be watched at leisure (yes, this includes watching how the chatroom unfolded, because half the appeal of Twitch streaming is the chat banter).
Given her natural appeal and devotion to entertainment, Malkova doesn’t prompt viewers to tip, a practice not dissimilar to seasoned cam models.
“I don’t ever ask for anyone to sub or gift subs; I like Twitch for the fact that you can participate in everything for free,” she said. “I do sincerely appreciate subs, gifted subs and donations, and always give a personal thank you to those who help support my streams financially. Also, I open all items from my wishlist on stream so the sender can see my reaction and I can give a real-time thank you.”
And while adult superstardom would seem almost a prerequisite for growing rapidly on Twitch after crossing over into its very populated SFW realm, this is absolutely not the case, which is great news for indie streamers and content creators looking to join.
In fact, relative newcomer Quincy’s ascent on Twitch is proof that it’s more about making the right moves and the right kind of killer content on the platform, than it is about bringing your built-in mega fan base to the platform. With around 8,000 followers on Instagram and 11K on Twitter, a background in camming on MyFreeCams, content on OnlyFans, Snapchat and zero full-blown porn shoots to date, Quincy has already surpassed several Twitch-streaming porn stars whose millions of fans have not automatically followed them to Twitch. Given the prickly nature of Twitch fans, their very unique lingo (an entire article could be devoted to the many catchphrases and slang unique to the platform, from the history behind emotes like Kappa to "4head," "pog," "FeelsBadMan," "KEKW" and more) and their insider culture, it really takes time and effort to immerse yourself in its fabric.
As for Quincy, who definitely picked up the lingo quickly and identified the powerbrokers, she has gained over 18,000 followers in just a year of being on the platform, which actually makes her one of the highest crossovers in the biz. Some weeks, she even earns more straight-up money from Twitch than from her adult content, but other times it’s the opposite case, which is why she has found doing a mix of both to be key.
Abigail Mac, 2019 XBIZ Female Performer of the Year“Before I started Twitch, I had only heard about it here and there, and thought it was more for gaming … which it was back in the day,” she notes. No stranger to gaming herself, Quincy is fond of third-person shooters like “Red Dead Redemption,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “Division 2” on her Playstation 4. Now, thanks to a donation goal for a Nintendo Switch that she raised enough funds for via Twitch, she is playing "Animal Crossing" and more on that system too.
“But in recent years, Twitch has welcomed content creators that do Just Chatting, as well as IRL (in real life) cooking streams and even body painting streams,” she continued. “And because I wanted a place to hang out with my community without the stress of having to make a certain amount of tokens per hour (any cam girl who cams on MFC will understand), I made an account and slowly started learning about OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) and how streaming on Twitch works.”
At the start, Quincy’s following consisted of her regulars from MFC hanging out with her, playing video games and watching/reacting to videos on YouTube that she would play in the background (like "Catfish" and "90 Day Fiancé"). Bit by bit (no pun intended), she also attracted other viewers, though the quantum leaps truly began when she started watching the Talk Shows & Podcasts section of Twitch and entering their world.
It was there “hanging in other streamers’ chats” where she was one day invited “to be on a podcast with GoneDoc, a recruiter for a big reality-style dating show on Twitch hosted by RajjPatel.” At that moment, Quincy remembers, “I ended up getting in, and that’s when I started to join more and more podcasts and meet more people.”
Now, she really enjoys “doing shows together with fellow content creators or raiding their channels” and the ease with which Twitch enables streamer-to-streamer interactivity made it seem “like a warmer community, whereas cam girls mostly only get a chance to meet up when there are in-person events.”
Speaking of events, as mentioned earlier, she attended her first-ever TwitchCon North America in San Diego last year, where she “met fellow streamers and fell even more in love with the platform.” That is when she decided to go full-time on Twitch.
“On top of being a full-time cam model, I would do Twitch and then bring my audience to other platforms like MFC and Streamate,” she said. “I also started doing even more Just Chatting streams, as my community and most of my viewers preferred when I did talking streams and reacting streams, compared to the gaming. They like how I engage with chat and I feel Twitch is very interactive with their donations; there are a set of alerts that happen when viewers are throwing bits and when viewers subscribe to the channel, where they get access to my personalized Quincy emotes to use for a month.”
Users can not only sub, but also purchase gifted subs, which randomly grants a 1-month channel subscription to users in the chatroom or a specific user if they select them manually.
Noting the many ways Twitch facilitates fan engagement and rewards them for spending time or money in the channel, Quincy said, “A lot of these spending options can trigger requests to listen to a particular song or to watch/react to a video or even spin a wheel, where I do silly things like magic tricks or my most beloved performance, the elephant dance, where I place a huge elephant mask on my head and dance around … silly, I know, but the crowd loves it.”
As the numbers ticked up, Quincy realized, “I feel like my overall traffic and social media following grew more in the past year from being on Twitch, than it did in the three years before when I was just camming; there is just so much traffic on Twitch.”
However, tapping into so many audiences brings its own challenges. “Balancing all my social media on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, plus Discord, OnlyFans and streaming is hard,” she admitted. “It’s like a 24/7 job, and while I do try and take days off, I can’t, even if I need it … plus, I am addicted to it all at the same time!”
In terms of abiding by the TOS, she has thus far kept her content and channel safe from censorship. “Obviously, you cannot promote adult sites on Twitch,” she explained. True enough, she chastises chat participants who attempt to mention MFC by name or ask her for adult content on there, and her loyal chatroom mods (comprised of “Quincy Gang” regulars or other trusted streamers), will timeout or ban such users accordingly.
“It’s against the TOS and it’s better to be extra cautious overall, because the rules can be quite confusing,” Quincy underscored. “While I don’t promote my adult sites, I can promote my Discord, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. People then naturally find my adult content when they put one and one together, or by looking at my socials; that’s how I bring my Twitch viewers to MFC, Streamate and OnlyFans, while also bringing those fans to Twitch. I respect the TOS of Twitch as much as I respect the TOS of MFC and other sites.”
Like Malkova, she trusts that engaged fans will naturally seek her out elsewhere, and soon discover her adult content. Plus, she can safely mention that she is a cam model, though sparingly and without getting too explicit about the when, where and how.
“What I love about Twitch, however, is how interactive it is with your community, which is what viewers love and need,” she pointed out. “For example, people who sit in my chat and talk gain Channel Points; so after spending many hours or days in my stream, they can spend those Gang Points (since you can rename them, as I did, after my Quincy Gang community). These points can be spent on custom rewards, so I offer viewers the ability to request songs, videos and even dances or funny interactions, which makes them happy. It’s like giving back to the community for spending time with me in my channel and also giving members who do spend money another way of earning.”
That time-based currency of Channel Points is vital, encouraging users to stick around and converse, while unlocking the ability to buy streamer-customized rewards: for example, highlighting the font of their text for a few hundred Channel Points to make it stand out, causing an animation to flit across the screen for perhaps a few thousand or asking Quincy to do her famed elephant dance for tens of thousands of points.
“Twitch also brings in so many features, like watching Amazon Video Prime with your viewers,” Quincy said. Given that Twitch is owned by Amazon, the ecommerce giant has integrated perks for Twitch users who are already subscribers to their TV service and vice versa. “You can watch full-length movies that way without worrying about copyright laws.”
Analyzing her path thus far, Quincy summed, “Overall, the way I work and perform on Twitch is the same as how I work on my other sites like MFC, just with no nudity, haha.”
Now, while we’ve just scratched the surface of the Twitch universe, features like the Twitch Affiliate and Partner programs, customizable badges/emoticons, tiered subscription perks, time-accumulated free currency (Channel Points), traffic raids (whereby a streamer can send all her traffic to another model, often as they’re about to log off, thus increasing the chances users will stick around), smoothly integrated multi-streamer interfacing (a la post-pandemic Zoom, but with Twitch-like finesse), gifted subs and channel hosting would pair nicely with adult content platforms. For those who are already actively integrating such features, my apologies for giving the competition ideas!
Although many Twitch personalities refer to their live streaming as “content” (and, of course it is), in terms of the adult biz, we often take the word “content” to mean “recorded content” in the form of custom videos, full-on movies, video-on-demand, clips, etc. And one of the biggest platforms for SFW content, is YouTube (which does possess live streaming capabilities, but is primarily known for its uploaded vids).
And while I wouldn’t blame some of you for not necessarily knowing the particulars of Twitch, I think it’s safe to say we’re all quite familiar with the ground-breaking video-sharing giant YouTube.
Fun fact, however: YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim said that he was inspired to create the platform after Janet Jackson’s nip slip during the 2004 Super Bowl, because he had trouble finding video clips of the event, as well as clips of the Indian Ocean tsunami that year. Adding to the adult-esque hilarity of YouTube’s origins, fellow co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley initially envisioned creating a video-driven online dating service, inspired as they were by the site Hot or Not.
Nonetheless, from its venture capital startup genesis in 2005 to becoming a Google-acquired behemoth that has expanded its revenue streams into premium subscription-based channels in 2013, while also releasing services like YouTube Premium (previously known by the spicy name of YouTube Red), YouTube Music and increasingly high-definition video, YouTube brings in $15 billion a year.
Cherie DeVille, 2017 XBIZ MILF Performer of the YearHowever, for any aspiring SFW YouTube stars with their roots in adult, you should be made aware that the platform engages in aggressive demonetizing, over everything from draconian copyright enforcement claims to censor-happy “community guidelines” enforcement. For those who brave the waters, though, they offer a YouTube Partner Program, which you can apply to after hitting 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 “watch hours” over the past year, enabling the creation of an AdSense account.
Views alone are not the means by which a creator is paid, though, lest they try to game the system with fake views, so a viewer must click an ad or watch it in full for a creator to get paid in that manner. For those wishing to not rely on ads, YouTube Premium is a paid membership program through which fans can subscribe for, say, $4.99 a month and earn loyalty badges next to their names in the comments and live chat sections, as well as a custom emoji.
Like Twitch, YouTube has a strict TOS that bears close reading for any aspiring content creators, especially since they are more heavy-handed about restricting even non-sexual content that is deemed sensitive (for instance, it implemented a monetization ban on any and all COVID-19 related content, in case of misinformation being spread, to the point where creators were afraid to even mention it conversationally during a broadcast).
The good news is, even if you’re demonetized and don’t feel like putting too much effort into a subscriber-based following on YouTube, it’s an excellent marketing vehicle for driving traffic elsewhere.
Successful examples of YouTube use by adult stars include Riley Reid, whose channel has over 230,000 subscribers and more than 9 million views, across 19 videos, and 2019 XBIZ Female Performer of the Year Abigail Mac, who has maintained a presence on YouTube quite some time with monetization fully in play.
Whereas Reid gets pretty explicit on YouTube, with videos like “I HAD AN ABORTION” and “PORNSTARS ASK FANS FOR D*** PICS,” Mac focuses her content on travel vlogs like trips to Costa Rica, as well as Q&As and SFW trailers of high-end adult films. Her video titles include “Abigail Mac and Romi Rain’s XBIZ Adventure,” “Taco Tuesday and Meal Prep” and “Workout Compilation.”
“I’ve had a YouTube channel for years and by keeping my content as PG as possible, I’ve been able to keep my monetization intact,” Mac explained. This strategy has led her to not only maintain monetization status, but also amass an impressive 4.2 million views total over the course of 58 videos.
She also leverages social media, which has allowed her “to work with several brands, promoting products that align with my values and featuring things I would actually use,” plus she has had “a lot of fun doing some comedy skits and I got an opportunity to be in a horror/comedy series.”
Ultimately, Mac is always on the lookout for “different ways to expand my brand and create diverse income sources, and with all the tools available, there’s never been a better time for content creators and creative people.” Because of her approach, she has grown her Instagram following to 2.4 million and her Twitter fan base to 540K-plus.
Elsewhere in the realm of social media, Cherie DeVille has found a way to flex her marketing muscles and attract viewers to her naughtier content, especially with the very SFW app TikTok.
“Basically, for my TikTok, I just try and show a different side of myself from porn; most of my adult content doesn’t allow me to show any humor or personality, so I feel like TikTok is a good way to let people know that you’re a little more multidimensional than just a pornographer or sex worker,” she shared.
Beyond her ~50K and growing TikTok following, DeVille has also gained a massive fan base on Twitter and Instagram, with 435K and 1.7-million respectively, which is why she recommends “having a variety of content types, which can help set you apart from the ‘pack,’ because there are tons of beautiful women in the world that can easily become white noise on social media, but if you have more to offer than just beauty to your fans, they will become more loyal and addicted.”
Personality-wise, DeVille knows the value of being intimate and authentic. “Try and imagine yourself as a virtual girlfriend on all social media,” she said. “If you just sent someone a picture of yourself every day, that would be fine, but it doesn’t feel personal; you don’t get a sense of who you are. However, if you sent them a video of you talking, showing your personality or actually letting them into your world, now, all of a sudden, you’re a real person to them, which has much more value if you’re talking about monetizing yourself as a performer.”
Another TikTok enthusiast and SFW content master is DeVille’s friend and fellow performer, Dani Daniels, who was named 2016 XBIZ Female Performer of the Year, later winning several Crossover Star trophies for her mainstream business ventures.
“I created a TikTok to keep promoting my brand and help push my name out to my fans,” Daniels said. “I am lucky to have a great group of fans who have followed me and supported all my endeavors; they have helped to grow my TikTok to almost one million followers (and my Instagram to 3.8 million followers).”
She has also worked hard to have her social media accounts verified “and I always try to stay within the guidelines of the account I am posting on,” though doing so is not easy and she has had her “share of problems, but the only way to combat that is to stay away from problematic posts.”
She and her husband, Vic Cippola, also created “The Two Onions” podcast “to put free content out there for my fans to watch.”
Small Hands, 2018 XBIZ Male Performer of the YearDaniels explained, “We have a lot of guests on there from comics to Broadway stars and porn stars. It’s a way to keep my fans tuned in and get used to my brand being associated with the mainstream, as well as adult.”
Podcasts are certainly a unique revenue stream, with another major SFW example being director Holly Randall’s “Unfiltered” series, which not only is distributed through audio platforms like Spotify but also has episodes on YouTube, where she has gained ~14 million views and over 50,000 subscribers.
Taking it to the next level of SFW content, Daniels has also produced an Amazon Prime TV show called “Dinner with Dani.” She said, “I wanted to create a show that humanized the adult industry and showcased the performer, not only with what they do onscreen, but off. I received tremendous support from all my fans and they have really enjoyed it. We will be shooting season two once we all recover from the current health crisis. I also use Amazon advertising to promote the TV show and drive viewers.”
Besides SFW tube channels and social media, an increasingly lucrative side business has emerged for celebrities in both mainstream and adult entertainment, in the form of custom cameo videos.
2018 XBIZ Male Performer of the Year, Small Hands, a versatile actor and sexual athlete whose background includes a cornucopia of mainstream talents like punk rock world tours, graphic design and video editing, has taken advantage of the extra time during this pandemic to offer his fame on Cameo.com.
“Cameo.com has been a super fun way for me to interact with my diehard fans and create fun custom videos for them!” he explained. “I’ve written songs for fans, talked dirty to them, given uplifting messages of hope and sometimes a combination of all those things. You can book a Cameo for yourself, or send it to a friend or family member by booking me at Cameo.com/thesmallhands_.”
The in-demand cocksman is also using the additional bandwidth from not being hit up by major studios (especially his newly minted exclusive contract with mega brand Brazzers), to focus on recording an album and cuddling his dogs nearly as much as his wife, Burning Angel founder, star and talent-turned-director Joanna Angel.
“I have a recording studio at home, so I just finished recording an album. It’s big, dark and moody synth pop; I’ll be releasing the EP once the world goes back to ‘normal,’” he revealed. “I wrote everything, played all the instruments and sang everything ... first time I’ve ever made a record without a band, but hey, this is how we do it now I guess? Gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘solo album,’ haha.”
He also noted that lately, “The dogs have gotten approximately four times more walks, three times more treats and 100 times more pets/cuddles than usual. And while I’m very used to having sex with different people almost every day, it’s been fun to just bang Joanna over and over again! It’s like we’re on another honeymoon eight years later.”
Beyond podcasts, cameos and YouTube, some stars would rather create SFW entertainment on adult platforms, which is a revenue-creating opportunity that Pornhub is definitely taking advantage of, since they fully recognize the value of such content.
Natalia Kaplan, product marketing manager for the tubes branch of Pornhub parent company MindGeek, said, “We run two SFW streams: our Pornhub SFW category that houses content from our Pornhub Community and our Pornhub Health & Wellness Center site, which is where health professionals, educators and sex workers share information to answer questions regarding physical, mental and emotional health as it relates to our bodies, sexuality and relationships.
“The SFW category has been a great way for our community to share videos that show more facets of their personalities,” she continued. “For models in the Pornhub Model Program, it allows them to reach and engage their subscribers with new, varying content. They can connect to fans and show them their hobbies, talents and projects they are working on or, in some cases, even just answer questions about their lives (we’ve seen some very cool Q&A SFW videos from performers such as HandsomeBen, who can be followed at Pornhub.com/model/handsomeben, though you might delightfully find that most of his page is not SFW).
“Since Pornhub has several features designed to allow the site to be used like a social media platform, the SFW category really expands on that,” Kaplan added. “However, unlike most social media platforms, our SFW category is still monetized – therefore, that content can still receive ad revenue or be purchased. It’s a win-win for everyone: models get to make money off all and any content they create and users get to connect more with their favorite stars too.”
For those interested in learning more about the SFW content on the tube titan’s platform, click here.
And one of their most dedicated SFW creators is adult industry sage Amberly Rothfield, who has made an entire business out of helping sex workers make more money. “Pornhub has been a major blessing to me after the ad-pocalypse of YouTube,” she shared, referring to the demonetizing and censorship crackdown that YouTube has become notorious for. “Though my content really shouldn’t break YouTube’s rules (teaching marketing and business in the porn industry), my content was deleted. Pornhub has given my safe-for-work content a place that it can be found and also make me money. I cannot wait to see Pornhub known as the safe harbor for fringe creators of all sorts. Visit Pornhub.com/model/amberly-rothfield to see my content.”
And perhaps the most cheekily SFW creator (who does not create NSFW content) is Ryan Creamer, the master of parodying porn scenarios by inverting them with dry-as-wallpaper, hilariously mundane counter-scenarios (that more closely resemble how events unfold in real life).
The sheer comedy gold of episodes like, “Hardcore Choking Alleviated by Heimlich Maneuver,” “Sorority Girl Gets Absolutely Given Water and Put to Bed, “Stepddad Wishes Daughter Goodnight Then Watches Hoosiers in the Other Room” and “Money Talks – Woman Drops Money and I Return It To Her” … in which nothing even remotely sexual occurs, has netted him 10.8 million views on Pornhub and 33.9K subscribers.
Upon being asked what his secret was, Creamer, with his trademark sarcasm and silliness, stated, “When I posted my first NSFW video, within 48 hours, the offices at Pornhub contacted me on my personal cell and said ‘Ryan? This is Pornhub. We have never seen something so sexy and so insanely hot in our entire lives.’ Mind you, these were pros. They’d seen it all. I was thrilled.
“That is, until they went on to say that they felt my video was actually ‘too hot,’ that it was ‘sexier than people could handle’ and that it might actually sour people on regular porn or regular sex for the rest of their lives,” he continued, with utmost sincerity and “truth-telling,” of course. “They advised I take it down. Was I disappointed? Of course. But surprised? Not at all. I had a hunch the video I shot, my first, was the pinnacle of pornography, and that the masses were perhaps not ready for it.
“I swallowed my pride, thanked Pornhub for their advice and went on my way,” he somberly reflected, in the totally-not-fictional retelling of what definitely, well maybe, happened. “’But, wait. You’re the most non-threatening, asexual looking person we’ve ever seen,’ they said. ‘What are your thoughts on making nice, wholesome, non-sexual content on our site?’ A crazy idea, it had never been done. But maybe it was just crazy enough to work. I listened to them and never looked back. Don’t Google any of this to verify if I’m telling the truth. Find my totally not fabricated content here.”
Beyond adult … heck, even beyond all things digital and video-based … there is an entirely SFW kind of adult-to-mainstream business to be had in selling physical goods. Or, merchandise, if you will. At least, if it isn’t a graphic t-shirt with tits.
As any superfan of, well, anything, will attest, if there is a fashion item with the likeness of their favorite person, place, character or thing, perhaps even a hand-crafted or artsy product featuring them, they are ready to spend money on it. Hence, the highly profitable existence of platforms like Etsy and Pinterest, whose virtual storefronts have paved the way for millions of do-it-yourself crafters to hawk their wares in the public square online.
Etsy is also the perfect place for 2019 XBIZ Best New Starlet, Karma Rx, to channel her inner Tyler Durden and make some nihilistic soap, to suit her anarchist brand. Behold, the “Anarchist Soap Co,” with its “Handmade in the USA” tagline and over 1,500 orders on Etsy for Rx’s singularly heavy metal take on soaps.
“I was inspired to create soap by my mania and the movie ‘Fight Club,’” the female version of Durden stated. For anyone who hasn’t seen the movie “Fight Club,” go watch it now. I refuse to spoil the synopsis for you.
“It happened to be good timing, too, since I began making soap two weeks before the pandemic, and everyone needs soap, so I’m actually making ‘porn money’ with this through sales on Etsy,” she continued. “I originally started making soap products because I hate commercially-made ones, so I wanted to make shit I’d actually use, and you’re better off making your own. Furthermore, my reasoning for getting into it is that most of my fan base is men, so I figured I would make man products that actually smell good.”
The biggest response she has received from those who have snatched up her products and lathered that cleansing goodness on their skin, is that the soap smells “the way that men want to smell, and that women want men to smell like.” She quickly realized that “while women want to smell like things they actually like, men want to smell like things women like.”
She revealed, with her signature unvarnished banter, “That’s why half my orders are women buying products for their guys, because cologne smells like dog shit and the mainstream options for men are either froofy expensive cologne, clean scent or Axe, all of which smell like dog shit,”
Her most popular soap is “The Outlaw,” which also happens to be her “favorite smell in the world, so I slather everyone in the world with it.” She describes it on Etsy as smelling like “whiskey, tobacco, leather and gunpowder.”
“The inspiration for it came from when I asked men what they like their soap to smell like on social media, and they began responding with ‘lavender’ and ‘linen,’ so I was like … interesting, I want my man to smell like whiskey and gunpowder,” she countered. “Suddenly, they all agreed they wanted to smell that way. I then got the inevitable culture police comments from people saying I should call my products ‘toxic masculinity,’ but sorry, women love the way my products smell. It’s like it’s not okay to be a man anymore in today’s society, but this soap really does increase attraction. I mean, if a man is super-hot but they smell like lavender, I’m not going to fuck them. So I thought it would be especially fun to tap into that scent. It made sense for me, whereas most people won’t do that nowadays because it all has to be unisex and politically correct.”
That devil-may-care, damn-the-snowflakes savagery is on point for Rx’s brand of real-life tragedy survivor, porn-flavored porn star and zero fucks personality. Authenticity, after all, is key.
“Initially, I figured people would buy my shit because I’m famous, then when they realized how good it smells, they’d keep buying it,” she bluntly stated. “I began making them with a cold process, ‘Fight Club’ style, minus the human fat. But since I’m working with caustic chemicals in my garage, I have a few lye burns; fortunately, I watched ‘Fight Club’ enough times to know that I’m supposed to pour vinegar on it and not run water on it. I should be wearing goggles, but I at least wear an apron and gloves. And my apron rules; I did a YouTube video making soap in the apron, which I got from a tattoo convention. It has a Ouija board on it, skeletons, butterflies and Halloween art, which is totally me.”
While her keeping-it-real talk is one of Rx’s selling points, any other aspiring soap creators may want to invest in proper protective gear, since not everyone is as flame-resistant and acid-proof as Rx. And this is not just some side hobby for her either, as Rx revealed that she wakes up at 8 a.m. every day and doesn’t stop until midnight.
“I’ll admit, I bit off more than I can chew with all of this, because I package all my own orders and am at the post office 30 times a day,” she said. “At first, I was making my own labels by hand-printing them out on sticker paper; it was the most ghetto thing, before I realized I should order them online. That’s why it’s the Anarchist Soap Co; it’s a company that’s not supposed to be perfect. Speaking of, a couple people were like, ‘oh, the irony of using the word anarchy to profit off of capitalism,’ but there’s another irony because I give my profits to people in need.”
While she recognized that pointing out the existence of anarcho-capitalism to such socialist keyboard warriors would fall on deaf ears, Rx knew they’d sing a different tune when they realized how much of her money she gives away freely.
“I paid off the bills of a bunch of people on Twitter with it, when I asked who needed help, because I’ve always spent 50 percent of my income on other people,” Rx noted. “I imagine it looks better as a brand, and if I do that with the soap money, it’s kind of like a charity. After doing this about a month, I’ve made over 900 sales. It’s not like I mass produce, though, since it takes me two hours to create 10 bars of soap.”
Karma Rx, 2019 XBIZ Best New StarletBest of all, is her devotion to using a big dose of healthy ingredients vs. mass commercial soap producers, has resulted in very potent soap indeed.
“What’s cool, is people that are using the soap say it’s actually really, really good. Because there’s no real profit margin in making these, I’d rather have a good product that is strong. For instance, I have a coffee lotion called ‘The Addict.’ I put it on one time and have never had such soft skin; now, I have baby skin. And I thought, how is it that in 27 years of using other products, did I not experience that feeling? It’s because a lot of companies will claim to have good ingredients in their soap, but end up having such a small trace amount in it, just so they can claim to include it on the product label.
“I actually put a large percent of these good ingredients in mine, while experimenting with some,” she shared. “Like for ‘The Addict’ soap, since caffeine can be absorbed through your pores, it gives you a slight high. Your skin tightens and literally rejuvenates, almost like your skin is on crack.”
Before she became a caffeine-soapifying home chemist, of course, Rx turned to online tutorials and guides.
“To understand the basics, I visited a website called Brambleberry.com, and I watched a few YouTube vids, exploring issues like superfatting, ingredient percentages and other chemistry elements in making soap,” Rx said. “Then, I began experimenting with other products. Like this pomade I created took 21 different versions to find the right one, because there’s no information on pomade out there and lots of trade secrets kept close to the vest. After the amount of work I put into making it, I ain’t telling nobody shit either! Along the way, I made some shit blow up on accident, but still, I could do this all day.”
One of her most surprising and heart-warming discoveries in getting this soap business up and running, was the willingness of her peers to freely praise her creations on social media, with genuine delight.
“I never knew I loved the porn girls so much; it looks like I gave them free product to market my shit, because so many bought my products and began posting pics of my soap, like in their tits,” Rx said. “One day, I saw 16 notifications of girls going way out of the way to market my product, that they themselves paid for; I felt like a dick, that I should have given them free shit. That probably helps significantly with the marketing.”
Speaking of caffeine and custom-made products, Dani Daniels has branched out into everything from subscription box services to coffee products and BBQ sauces.
“I always wanted to create crossover products that reflected my brand,” she noted. “I started ShopDDBox and created products I thought my fans would like and that were reflective of me. I will never stop being Dani Daniels, and I am using that brand to drive my sales. I also produced pocket tees with the words ‘Wanna Fuck’ hidden under the pocket to be revealed by the wearer when they feel it appropriate. And I created the Remove To Fuck underwear line for men, and the women’s line will be out soon.
“Then, there’s my BBQ sauce, which is called ‘Wet and Sloppy,’ my ‘Rub and Tug’ Cajun spice and my coffee line called ‘Breakfast in Bed’ and ‘Dani’s Dark Secret.’ To make sure my products are delivered on time, I partnered with a warehouse and fulfillment company who take all my orders and make sure all arrive promptly. When I first started selling products, I was fulfilling them in my apartment at all hours of the night. Using a fulfillment house has saved me time and money.”
That trial and error process, especially with scaling up to meet demand, is something both Daniels and Rx have in common with many aspiring merchandising gurus.
“I have made mistakes and learned a lot of lessons along the way,” she said. “I now have a team of people who can handle products from creation to distribution. And ShopDDbox.com just celebrated its third birthday! I am so proud of what it has grown into, while ‘Dinner with Dani’ on Amazon Prime is still getting new viewers every day.”
Her biggest advice for anyone crossing over into mainstream, is as follows: “The key to working on the SFW (or mainstream side) is to not deny who you are, but embrace it. Use the power of your social media and your brand to get press, promote your items and yourself. I continually mention my projects to fans, who have been incredibly supportive; I even created accounts for my products on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, while buying ads on those platforms in addition to YouTube. I then use email lists of my fans to send them products they may like, while doing as many interviews, podcasts and online articles as possible to keep pushing them.”
From soap and clothing, to whiskey, Small Hands has created one of the most delicious drinks this author has had the pleasure of sampling: Doom’s Whiskey.
“Years ago, in another lifetime before porn, I was a bartender and became enamored with spirits, mixology, distilling history, etc.,” Hands revealed. “When Joanna decided our next venture together should be non porn-related, we tossed around the idea of creating our own whiskey. Through her business savvy and my alcohol/graphic design experience (I created the logo, packaging, recipe and everything), plus the help of a few friends, and spending a few years distilling our brand, we created Doom’s Whiskey! It’s one hundred proof rye, aged in American white oak and it’s the smoothest hundred proof you’ll ever taste, available currently at DoomsWhiskey.com … and when the world opens back up, hopefully at your local bar soon!”
Other stars, like Abigail Mac, begin their careers in the biz with the full understanding that any success they attain may not last forever, and that earnings should be placed into non-adult ventures whenever possible to maximize long-term revenue.
“When I got into the adult industry, I wasn’t really sure if it would be for me or how long it would last,” she said. “At the time, there weren’t as many ways to monetize your own content as there are now, so I was conscious of making sure I’d have something to show for my time in the industry.
“Hands down, the one thing that’s allowed me to create the most income outside the adult industry has been my library card,” Mac explained. And yes, she literally means an actual library card, like the kind folks use for a public library.
“When I started camming full-time, I was lucky to have the support of my then-boyfriend, now-husband; we had a simple plan of living off his income and saving/investing everything that I made,” she continued. “When we weren’t working, we spent most of our time at the library checking out and reading every book we could about investing. What interested us the most was the stock market and real estate.”
This was around 2010, she explained, when she was living in Oregon just as it was starting to recover from the financial crisis.
“We opened our first brokerage account online after we looked up how to actually buy a stock and started putting our money to work,” Mac said. “Apple was actually our very first investment and we still hold all of our shares. Once we moved to L.A., our investments broadened into a variety of arenas. We have a few real estate investments and we also founded a vending company to provide healthy, natural and organic snacks and beverages to offices and community centers. We designed my first t-shirt to sell on feature dancing trips and are in the process of designing a merch line with sustainable fabrics.”
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