Sex workers being taught how to take their work online

MelRose Michaels is one of the adult industry workers holding webinars for Centro University. (FanCentro and Centro University pic)

PARIS: While the majority of sex workers have seen revenues dwindle because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some have taken their businesses online in order to keep on working.

Now, Centro University is offering the industry’s workers a helping hand with their digital transition.

With webinars, masterclasses and more, this new university offers a wealth of online resources to help workers in the adult industry play their cards right.

Centro University was launched late September by the subscription-based FanCentro website, which allows porn industry professionals to monetise their influence.

Like many adult websites, FanCentro saw its popularity grow during the covid-19 lockdown, with almost 400 new users signing up to the platform each day, according to Vice.

This boom in online services has led many sex workers to make the move into web-based adult work.

“To really succeed as a sex worker online, you need a pretty big skill set. People think that it’s just looking pretty, but it’s a business – marketing, brand management, photography and videography, editing, accounting, hair and make-up. You have to be able to do it all, especially now,” FanCentro vice president, Kat Revenga, told Dazed.

That’s why Centro University is now offering free online seminars from industry professionals such as MelRose Michaels, Tilly Toy and Saint Devera.

Subject matter is diverse, ranging from how to launch your brand on social media to practical techniques for making your own adult content.

“Sex work is real work, and benefits from education and training just like any other. The more support we can give to performers, the more our industry will thrive,” Centro University explains in a news release.

An educational hub for adult influencers

As a result, certain industry professionals are offering virtual masterclasses to help workers in the adult sector to diversify their business and succeed in an industry that’s now highly competitive. One such pro is the American dominatrix, Mz Kim, who works exclusively online, making up to US$22,000 a month, according to The New York Times.

She hosts regular webinars on themes like influence on adult sites and savings for sex workers.

“When I was teaching workshops in person, the questions were always similar to the ones I receive now. Do you really make all of your money online? How do you manage so many platforms and so many profiles? How do you keep contact with your clients?

“Now, the questions have intensified because their own situations have intensified.

“Those who have worked online before are trying to manage, albeit under duress, because all of a sudden, online work is the only work they have,” writes Mz Kim in a Medium article.

Sex industry workers haven’t been the only ones experimenting with online adult content during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Certain mainstream celebrities and influencers have recently announced joining the subscription-based OnlyFans website, often dubbed the “Instagram of porn.”

Recent sign-ups include the American actress and former Disney Channel star, Bella Thorne, who reportedly made US$1 million on the platform in just 24 hours.

This spectacular debut soon courted controversy, however, after OnlyFans decided to change its conditions of use.

“If Bella Thorne wanted to actually experience what it’s like being a sex worker, she could have disguised herself, made a fake name, bought an iPhone 7 and started from scratch just like the majority of all sex workers had to do,” commented one Twitter user.