DIY porn distribution and online sex work how-to

this article is self-published and archived by courtney trouble.
the resource section will be revised over time to reflect industry changes and new research.

 

Courtney Trouble has been naked on the internet since 2000 and has also worked as a peepshow dancer and madam at the former SF Lust Lady, a phone sex co-ed, a cam-babe, a niteflirt, a panty salesman, a sex educator, a call center dick slinger, a porn editor, a photographer, journalist, and a smut peddler. Quite bad with crowds and lap dances, Trouble has forged a career making the internet a sexier and safer place.

 

First of all, I would like to thank Julie Simone, Jenna Valentine, Cupcake Sincalire, Chloe Venom, Chelsea Poe, and others (who you will meet when I come in for revisions!) for providing first-hand information and advice to me so I could properly round out this essay. I may quote them sparingly, but their voices together make up a lot of the spirit of this essay and I thank all of them for their earnestness and honesty. Sex workers are sincerely some of the most supportive and helpful people in the world, but this group is beyond sweet for telling me their secrets. This work is dedicated to the people who have taught me. Thank you.

 

cyber escorting and self-distribution.

 

It has never been this easy to be naked on the internet – and it’s never been more easy to get lost. Nobody wants to be naked and lost at the same time. Well, I could probably do it for a few clips…

 

Let’s get straight to the point. Being an online sex worker is a unique experience that changes as fast as your twitter feed. You have to be on top of trends, keep track of your platforms, blah blah blah. Furthermore, you have to get close to your customers without ever knowing who they are. Imagine taking an escorting date at a masquerade ball – welcome to the hustle.

 

The online hustle is a beast of magnificent proportions, and you only get to play with this beast after you’ve made some content and edited it, printed out some model releases, got your production team of one together, found your co-stars, figured out how to make it worth their while with money or trades, and built up your fan base through social media.   If you haven’t begun to tackle any of this, my essay might feel a little advanced – but keep reading, because knowing what you’re doing is a god send when you get into any line of work and online sex entertainment is no joke. It’s hard work.

 

I’m gonna give you the bad news first:  You have to work every day, especially when you are just starting, to make this worth it. On top of that, you have to be patient and you need to be able to support yourself outside of your efforts – at least when you begin. Be prepared to edit hundreds of clips, talk to hundreds of beggars, get rejected from every studio you thought would take you, and maybe even get in fights with other workers. This will all make you feel like stopping. Know your own weaknesses and limits before you ever get started in serious sex work. Protect your boundaries and personal beliefs with your life, because breaking your own rules will eventually burn you out beyond repair. In sex work, the customer is NOT always right – YOU ARE. YOU ARE ALWAYS RIGHT when it comes to what you should do with your body and your time.

 

I am personally attracted to (making, and watching) either artsy porn or super shoddy DIY sex tapes. I like making them myself with other professionals and semi-professionals. Sometimes I just like to work with my lovers or friends. Some online outlets are more tailored to curated pieces, while others are focused on short clips of specific sex acts. Some platforms do really well with my hardcore porn clips, while other platforms are full of customers just want to see my body or talk to me for a while.

 

I’ve always had a presence on Clips4Sale because it’s as old as dirt and has it’s own customer base. I always hope to make and upload things that fit into the Clips4Sale trends because if I do, my passive income flow from that site can be significant.

 

Passive income flow is money that you make passively, ie through online sales of goods. It doesn’t mean that you are passive or not working hard to get that money, but it does mean that it may come in dollars and cents for years and years without you paying attention to it. This is the ultimate financial goal of creating content. If you are only a content producer, online clip sales and this passive income flow model will be your life’s work. The other swell of the tide is active sexual labor, which allows you to work directly with clients to produce live shows, cam one on one, make custom videos, or even engage in relationship-style long term online interactions. For lack of any better term, I’ve been calling this work behavior cyber escorting for a few years.

 

While I don’t mean to make this term definitive in any way for an entire community nor do I mean to give it any kind of hierarchical weight or separate it from other forms of sex work, I define cyber escorting as any sex work done directly with the customer online from camming, phone sex, customs, clip sales, emails, sexting, social media exchanges, GFE, Skype shows, and goodie sales. Excluding those doing online domination, and anyone who just doesn’t identify. If I’m forgetting anything I’m sure one of my regulars will remind me. Oh yes, they already have – streaming video games and smoking joints together…. how could I forget!!  On the creepy side, I’ve even taken a nap for someone. On the creepier side, one of my boyfriends bought a cam show from me without telling me and when i found out (immediately after because any good cam platform will have real-time customer tracking) it really scarred me for life. I don’t know how to protect you from that, but if it happens pleased dump that person immediately. This is a level 5 red flag. What I know now is that you can look up the customer *while* you are camming, so perhaps you can prevent something I couldn’t.This event caused me to rethink my relationship to camming and closed that opportunity for me entirely.

 

Another horror story before I really begin: I also have an ex who told me they *often* brought up my free solo scene on PornHub after we broke up in order to jerk off to me. I had an assistant upload the video to PornHub for self-promotion years ago, and now am unable to delete the video. PornHub, which is owned by the huge corporate beast MindGeek, has not responded to multiple requests for my video to be taken down. Don’t do what I did: Keep your shit off PornHub. You are still at risk for having your public or private cam shows recorded and put on a tube site illegally. This is *theft* though is rarely punished as such. I think tube platforms can be useful for many reasons but tread carefully with the big ones that are too corporate or have no moderation or piracy control. In spirit of disaster preparedness, I suggest you have a DMCA Takedown letter template handy and inform yourself on any and all revenge porn, cyberstalking, and perhaps copyright theft laws that might benefit you in your specific county/state/country.

 

IF YOU GET CYBER HARASSMENT: Check out HeartMob.Com, tell your friends, don’t bite back, don’t do anything illegal back, record everything you can, tell your friends and family you’re a target of harassment, and know your local laws concerning restraining orders. Not kidding, unfortunately.

 

The best thing you can do for your business is to stay behind a paywall on platforms you have complete control of. Jenna Valentine even suggested that models keep their nipples behind a paywall. Jenna uses OnlyFans to direct people to an inexpensive membership to a private twitter feed, where she posts all of her day to day naked meanderings. I’ve seen other methods work, but this one works well for Jenna who I imagine has breast insurance, they’re her bread and butter. Cupcake Sinclaire posts gifs and trailers of her hardcore BDSM scenes publicly on Twitter, enticing her fans to buy hardcore clips from her various platforms and order customs. Her tits are all over the internet (and to be fair, I’m also in the free-boob club although I’m attempting to shift to OnlyFans for a more intimate performer-to-fan experience) and maybe that’s because what she’s marketing is BDSM and full body endurance.

“I use to webcam full time and I was in score a lot. A lot of my onlyfans is fans from twitter, Instagram and people who use to watch me on webcam… I think models should stop posting free stuff and get an OnlyFans” – Jenna Valentine

What sells for me is clips of me having lesbian-style sex or scenes with strap ons and squirting. I made the most money camming doing solo dildo and squirting shows, and when I was doing phone sex my specialties were taboo fantasies and domination. Above all, my selling point has always been my interest and ability in engaging with a few folks long term, who become fans and friends and support my various projects along the way. It all started with a $20 Skype show, or on Niteflirt in 2003 with a 50 cent recording. I’m clearly a talker, and I love hearing about people’s lives as much as I love talking about my own. I’m great with GFE. I’m great with eye contact. I always have good lighting and something creative up my sleeve.

“I am a professional submissive, fetish stage performer, and adult performer who focuses on fetish/bdsm scenes over typical mainstream scenes. I specialize in submission and masochism and ageplay. As a sex worker working online, it is important for me to be able to effectively advertise, as well as succinctly explain what I do because of the different sex work threads I engage in – all in a visually appealing and instantaneous way.” – Cupcake Sinclaire

 

 

What’s your specialty? You may not know right now, so explore. But always be thinking about what your customers are attracted to in you, what’s a natural fit? You may not want your sex work to feel exactly like your real life sex, but what about the job interests you? I’ve always loved watching men jerk off. I’m a lesbian, but that view and that engagement is probably why I do the face-to-face stuff. If I couldn’t stand looking at a man masturbate, or if it bored me, I simply wouldn’t be right for that job. There are days I just want to turn on my camera and dance around in pink lights and glittery oils and smoke weed and cast spells and play with my tits and maybe cry or something, I don’t know. So I’ll do that too. That’s why I personally use multiple platforms and try to personalise them, or allow the platforms to mold my work into their marketing tools – that works too.

 

I decided to sign up for ManyVids after seeing a lot of my friend posts some cool looking stuff there, and seeing that it had a very good platform for cyber escorting. (And here, I find my own edit on this term – cyber escorting is essentially 99.9% legal if you can figure out how to get your panties thru the mail, while escorting in person has legal consequences in most places outside Australia and the Bunny Ranch.)  ManyVids offers Skype shows, underwear sales, bundles, tips — everything one might need to start having one on one transactions with people who may be simply dying to connect with you, their online fantasy person.

 

So I signed up for ManyVids. It was fast and easy. Here’s what happened: After you sign up and upload your Photo ID, they state a 24 hour verification period. I was able to check out my setting and documentation while I was waiting. I got a welcome email within two hours, and then I had to submit a W-9 and my direct deposit information. After that was set up, I was able to start uploading videos. I uploaded two of my classic clips and while waiting for them to upload, went and tried to figure out what I could sell through the store. Many MV Girls are selling panties and used porn outfits, horrah!!! I posted a pair of pantyhose and a grab bag of panties. I liked that you could have options for adding a note or getting “pussy juices” all over it. Since this was one of my first sex work hustles back in 2002, I’m excited it’s been brought back to a modern platform.

 

You need to upload 5 videos to unlock the custom video feature and some of the interactive services, so keep that in mind when signing up on ManyVids.

 

AmateurPorn.Com is a similar outlet, but with a more curated vibe, a smaller pool of customers, less fanfare around customs and contests, and *run by women* for gods sake. You make 75% percent of your earnings there, but it will be helpful if you already have a following on social media to direct towards your page. the passive income flow on AP is growing.  This is good news for anyone starting up, because smaller platforms mean more attention for you, less “competition.”  (Also, please never think of other sex workers as your competition…. no no no)  

 

The Niteflirt platform is old as dirt too, and I worked it hard back in the day but I haven’t touched it since I was doing phone sex and financial domination under a fake name. My Niteflirt account STILL makes passive income, mostly from my recorded voice clips. My 19 year old phone sex stamina has paid off more than I would have ever known back then – I’ve been selling those teen dream mp3s for over a decade. My advice is if you are new and business is slow, fill your work day making solo clips, voice recordings, taking selfies, and striking up conversations with other professionals on social media.

 

I heard about IWantClips from one of the performers I interviewed for this piece who told me it was her best selling platforms. The process was a little less seemless that ManyVids at first. After I signed up they sent me an email with a link to a studio agreement. it’s a document you can sign digitally, and you will need to attach that clear photo of your ID. (You have that on file already right? Just checking.) I then had to verify that document via email confirmation, and check your Updates or Spam folder if you don’t see it – remember, lots of email clients think anything porn related is spam. Welcome to the industry!! They also have you fill out a W-9 right away through the same digital document service. Once you confirm both of those documents via email, you wait for iWantClips to approve you – you won’t be able to sign in until they approve you.

 

Where To Put Yourself

 

The one thing all of these platforms have in common is that you retain full and non-exclusive distribution rights to your work. The idea here is to distribute and distribute smartly. Syndicate your work to the platforms that fit your needs and make choices based on long term goals – do you want passive income flow, or do you want active clients? To be perfectly clear – you may not ever see the kind of money you need to make a living from this. But if you have the ambition to do the work and you have the self-awareness to market your skills and fantasy features, *and* you’re right and people are into you, you can probably make self-publishing at least part of your income.

 

Each of these platforms has a profile meant to cover the basics of features, payout, and requirements. Because each site is different, I’m presenting the list as a list of profiles so I can try to describe what makes each site unique. Some entries are longer and more well-informed than others because I’ve worked with them directly or have gotten feedback from performers who are top-selling in their categories.

 

What can you post? Every site has it’s own regulations. Here’s ManyVid’s “Rules” for some insight about the kinds of situations you might run into with your unique brand of sexuality. Be aware that some very commonly blocked things are gonna be age play, rape play, federally illegal activities, and then some questionable censorship like no fisting or no pissplay which have more to do with old white cis male lawyers than literally anything else. More and more sites are letting us do what we want, so my advice is to find the Rules for each site and tailor your beloved content to each site so you don’t piss of their lawyers. You can also reach out and do activism and public awareness around anything in the porn industry that you want to see changed – take to social media with your ideas for a better porn world and talk about what features you’d like to see, or what kinds of content you’d really like to make in good faith. Representation can sometimes be a huge drive for getting into pornography.

Also, each of these platforms have plus size models, models of color, and trans models working, although some platforms are more overtly inclusive. Regardless of the platform, you have the right to market yourself however you deem appropriate.  Production and self-distribution works best when you are fully in love with what you are making – so trust your unique fantasy features and your own desires. Leave the compromising for the studio work, am I right? (ugh).

 

Oh yeah, those ManyVids Rules:

  • Vid content must be within Accepted Categories
  • Male talent must be accompanied by a female performer
  • No content involving underage material, sex with animals, rape, blood, scat (feces), vomit, urinating on other people or the consumption of urine – whether real or simulated – is allowed. Read all rules
  • Vid must be under 2GB (2048MB) in size and no less than 1:30 minutes in duration.
  • Although .mp4 is strongly suggested and preferred (users will be able to stream their purchased vid), supported file types are: mpg, avi, mpeg, wmv, 3gp, mp4, mov, asf, flv
  • Previews can be edited for 48 hours after upload. After that, you can only upload your own preview.
  • If you have any problems uploading, please contact us at help@manyvids.com

 

“As a performer who is trying to make my selling point about hardcore BDSM, masochism, and edgeplay I always find it unbelievable that my consensual acts aren’t valid but somehow super rough gang bangs where cum gets shot in the girls eyes are a-ok. They’re both the same thing but somehow the societal acceptance feels somewhat skewered. I’ve ultimately just begun selling my more extreme clips through dropbox links.” – Cupcake Sinclaire

How do you promote yourself?

“Promotion wise I utilize FaceBook, Tumblr, Instagram, Fetlife, and twitter. I advertise heaviest on twitter however. While I use the stock advertisements that each site comes with once uploading is complete, I really like iWantClips’ format which creates GIFs of the clip instead of a photo from one scene like ManyVids. On Instagram and tumblr, I create promos via Canva or create short preview videos of the clip along with clip description. Typically I feel that most of my sales comes from Twitter, however I also feel it doesn’t hurt to keep up with other forms of advertising as well.” – Cupcake Sinclaire

“Basically what I do is try to have myself on every single platform. I also did a lot of research about my name to make sure no one else was using something the same or even similar to build a brand. I also try to do a lot of interviews and go to conventions. I try to have fans pay the costs of conventions ill give them porn or a Skype session in exchange and I spend as much time as possible trying to get my name out there.”  – Chloe Venom

Chloe also cams on Chaturbate and My Free Cams, and works at the Pleasure Chest, a sex boutique, so her day job has given her some insight into the industry and also – tickets to more conventions! And if you’re wondering – most performers give out swag and photos for free at conventions, at least until there’s an opportunity to sell. But it’s generally understood that you’re there to promote yourself and meet fans with the hopes of getting new customers. Only you can decide if it’s worth it or not. Same goes for awards shows and anything else that costs money to attend or advertise: always consider your choices and keep a budget for appearances. Some more advice from Chloe was to save your customs to sell as their own clips, and she also mentioned another site – extralunchmoney.com, which she claims is her favorite. I must investigate…

 

Clearly there are a million and one ways to work online, so hopefully these resources lead you to your own sexy victory. This list will probably change as I do more research!

 

TIER ONE: WHERE THE FUN(DS) BEGIN(S)

Tier One is recommended as your first stop in selling your clips, goodies, and services. They should be relatively easy, and worth the hours it will take you to build your inventory up. You still need your clip-making and editing skills, and you should be on top of your social media and marketing. If that’s in place, these are the best spots to start. Good luck.

Niteflirt offers phone sex by the minute, cam shows, and “Goodies” for offering photosets, items, and active engagement or other custom services.


What’s popular: Skype shows, phone sex, and financial domination.
Long-established phone sex platform that has evolved to incorporate other kinds of cyber sex work like one on one cam shows and downloadable bundles. Known for it’s built-in customer base and was one of the first platforms to allow models to upload their own content and name their own prices. It also tweets for you whenever you get a call or sell something.
Passive Opportunity: a built-in customer base might find your uploaded content, it auto-tweets.

Active Opportunity: This site was built for phone sex and direct relationships with your clients, so it’s a daily hub of activity if you want it to be.

AmateurPorn.Com offers clips, photosets, costumes, and a full spectrum of online engagement with clients through messaging and profile alerts.
What’s popular: alt porn, solo girls, homemade clips, artsy/indie
This website has a lot going for it. First of all, they nailed the URL and marketing yourself on this platform is a breeze. AP is run entirely by women, the same babes who run GodsGirls. But while GodsGirls is an exclusive community and models have to be voted in by members, AP is open to anyone who wants to open up a studio and get going. They also have the highest percentage online at a staggering 75% which solidifies their commitment to a model-first environment.Because they are the only clip site you can actually have a conversation with, I’m quoting the manager herself on her answer to why AP rocks:

“We are a service for MODELS. Models are our highest priority.  We pride ourselves on being a safe and comfortable space. We accept non binary and trans models (anyone who doesn’t identify as a cis male). However, we are currently working on allowing anyone to be a model on AP, while also allowing models to decide how they want their gender identified, if at all. Please also take a look at our content rules: . Our goal is to have a MODEL driven site and we are here to serve them ✨💕” – AmateurPorn.Com

 

Passive Opportunity: The site is fresh and new, but the member base is getting stronger. Early adopters are loyal customers to the platform.
Active Opportunities: You can interact with your customers through messaging, though mostly for me it has mostly been compliments and not offers or requests. If you are active on social media and want to make that 75% you can really push your studio to your fans as your preferred platform. There are also promotional contests – so if you end up selling a lot, you can make a real bonus. Like, a real one, I’ve seen the amount. It’s fucking nice.

IWantClips offers clips
What’s Popular: female domination, dirty talk, body worship.
Top List: https://iwantclips.com/top_lists
This platform has been recommended for its Preview Generator, which makes a good trailer of your content and allows you to save and download it, which is useful – I would almost suggest signing up here first, so you can create the previews and save them for use on other platforms in the future. You can also make your own previews of your own clips at any time using the Trim function in QuickTime or by using the cheap app GiF Brewery to make awesome promos on your own.
This site seems to thrive on strong women who are “using” men, so if you can talk to the video camera about jerk off instructions, little dicks, pathetic pig boys, and dirty-mouthed dominatrix stuff like that, I think you probably need to make use of this platform immediately. Financial domination is alive and well here.
Passive: Built-in audience is good and people will be finding you on their own, potentially valuable if you make a series of clips.Active: The specific content attracts repeat users and regulars, so your participation in working with your big spenders might benefit you financially through services or femdom tributes. Professional BDSM is hard work – emotionally taxing for some and yet incredibly simple and seamless for others.
Clips4Sale offers clips and memberships
What’s Popular: literally anything you can think about and then things you have never ever thought about.
This clunky beast of a platform is one of my favorite things on earth. It’s a library of human sexuality, obsessively sorted into our individual body parts, bodily functions, and movements. Sneezing, farting, blowing bubbles, washing your hair, eating cake… any of that stuff make you giggle? Film it. Sell it. In 3 film formats. Why not.
I think the best part of Clips4Sale is that it has been around a while. The site is old and harder to navigate than the others, but they have customers – lots of them – and they always have a huge presence at industry events and conventions.
Passive: Easy, if you get the clips up, people can find them and will buy them.
Active: Sales are better when I get a clip up once a week or so, because it makes the users aware of your entire studio. Also, you can tweet your scenes directly from your studio page and it will show the gif, it’s good.
ManyVids: sell clips, memberships, photosets, Skype, a custom video order form, texting services, and a store for mail order items, download bundles, and other services.
What’s Popular: Top Searches in August were anal, panties, bbw, and pregnant. Lots of POV blowjobs, squirting, solo scenes, and homemade sex tapes were in the “Recently Sold” timeline. A nice feature, you can see what’s selling on the site for inspiration or curiosity! Top sellers have described ManyVids as a place for “girl next door,” which generally means you can perform more comfortably or have an easy-going persona. Good for working in your pajamas.
A Note: The language here is confusing for trans people. When you sign up you pick select MV Girl, Boy, MV Trans, or Producer. Under Producer, it will ask you to check if you’ll be offering “Solo, Girls, Girls and Guys”  “Guys Only” or “Trans.” Also, they warn you if you’re switching between the categories, which may seem alarming to a trans model trying to reach out to a broad audience. Other sites are doing better about this.I do like this one safety feature: You can block users and create a two-step verification for login. It might not make up for having had some strange contests in the past that encroached on privacy. Best practice is to not get involved in anything too personal, let there be a good barrier between yourself and your platform persona. Have some things you wont do, and some things you specialize in. And trust your gut.
Also, if you use your affiliate link to refer other models, you will receive $25 if they sign up and upload two videos. (If you’re curious, mine is https://www.manyvids.com/Join-MV/1000326486 – please, use it. nobody paid me to write this.)Passive: that built-in audience is gonna luv ya, star.
Active: So many features and services, I stopped keeping track. I’m really interested in the interactivity of the used panty sales and hoping someone will bite…
OnlyFans offers a private feed for member’s only twitter feed.
This platform is attached to your twitter and allows your fans to quickly sign up for a membership. You can post photos, quick slideshows or photosets, or short videos. It does tweet for you, but sometimes the images can be really basic and annoying. They could do better with the promotion, but the idea is really good and I have gotten reports that it’s effective, especially for folks who keep their nudity behind a paywall. Clearly, you need to have your own fan base for this to be lucrative, there is no site-wide customer base to entice.Fun Fact: Porn stars Joanna Angel and Asa Akira have OnlyFan accounts, as does one of my favorite porn stars Mandy Morbid

 

Intermission: Sell Your Photosets!

 

For as long as internet porn has been a thing, you’ve always been able to apply for sites like my sites indiepornrevolution and fatgirlfantasies, or others like godsgirls and IShotMyself/Feck Network. These sites pay anywhere from $60-$150 a set and have various pros and cons, the biggest one being that you have to be “Accepted” aka the studio has to want your content or to work with you specifically and it can be a whole ordeal — and then, selling sets isn’t lucrative for 99.7% of folks who do it. But check them out and see if it’s something you wanna do especially if you really love working with photographers. You have no control over your assets after you sell them and generally you will need to give the site exclusive rights to the photo set, so they are not listed in this essay in full. I wanted to mention them because if you do photosets, there are still places who will pay you for them and it can be a great experience to be included in a studio/crew/community. If you can get in, the networking can be a real asset. Don’t go overboard thinking that exposure is equal to payment, but if you’re exposed to networking opportunities you didn’t have before – that could be incredibly valuable to you. Some very famous porn stars started out as alt porn models on some of these sites.

 

TIER TWO: CURATED VOD THEATERS AND MEMBERSHIP AREAS

Tier Two: The next step is potentially getting curated or picked up by small businesses while you’re building your platforms. Your work needs to be good, you have to apply for it, and the pay structure is totally different than anything in the first tier. Curated VOD theaters never require active engagement. Membership areas, on the other hand, require constant engagement and scheduling. Both of these distribution sites are queer and run by folks who are reviewing each submission and should be considered for your truly screening-worthy works.

PinkLabel.TV: Indie streaming site that provides customers with membership or VOD options.
Focus: Queer porn, Film Makers, films made by women of color, trans porn, and artsy/indie. Everything is listed as a short film or a film, and you are considered a Director or a Studio on the site.
PinkLabel.TV is an online porn film festival, inspired by industry darlings Berlin Porn Film Festival and other global affiliates that consistently bring people together to watch incredible porn. PinkLabel is highly curated, with each submission reviewed by owner and award-winning feminist pornographer Shine Louise Houston.
They are great folks but can’t take everything. If you do get in, expect “40% of gross revenue from rental (TVOD) and percentage-based membership (SVOD), all streaming only.”  Optional affiliate program offers an 30% additional revenue.
Studio Submission link: http://www.pinklabel.tv/on-demand/studio-submission/
Passive: It’s a VOD studio, so your work is included in an established video library where people go to browse. You receive payment per view.
Active: You can sign up as an affiliate and make an even higher percentage when you promote your studio or scene. These affiliate funds are residual and ongoing so those funds can add up over time if you include them in your social media schedule.
TROUBLEfilms is a network site that provides customers with memberships and VOD options.
Focus: Queer porn, trans performers, lesbian sex, BDSM, artsy/indie.
QueerPorn.TV is a project of mine, and I buy videos and photosets on a non-exclusive basis to include in the QueerPorn.TV members areas which include a network with troublefilms.com and my clip store realqueerporn.com. There is a $300 flat fee upfront for each video and no royalties. Each submission is reviewed by me,  Courtney Trouble. I only take a few scenes a year but it’s worth mentioning to my audience and if you’ve made it this far in the essay, maybe we *should* work together I don’t know! 😉 I mention to folks I work with in this way that they should share the cash with their co-stars, so if you are thinking ahead that you might want to syndicate to troublefilms, maybe mention to your costar that you’re going to submit because I’m so far the only place that offers cash up front for a finished scene and I imagine that could be a solid financial jump start on getting a stellar scene out.
Submission Link: http://troublefilms.com/queer-porn-opportunities/
Passive: Up front cash, and affiliate funds when you post a link from your website.
Active: It’s a one-time thing, but that affiliate code can also be used on your social media, so you can promote your scene and make residual ongoing membership funds that can really add up.
Patreon is a membership platform for all kinds of creators, but it’s adult friendly.
A lot of writers and artists use Patreon, and because they are friendly to erotica and sex workers, there is some work you make that may fit really well with the platform. Once you sign up, you can set goals for your monthly subscribers to meet per post or per month. Your subscribers can help you budget your future projects and scenes, but this outlet does require updates and maintenance. If folks are pledging for you, you don’t get paid unless you’re making things and you do need to be catering to that membership base often. That being said, I’ve seen some very popular porn Patreons – check out Four Chambers!
Making Your Own Website is a total pain in the ass but very awesome and brave of you
You have the fans to do it, and the start up costs? Don’t hesitate, sign up with a service to make your membership site (ModelCentro, OnlyFans, Clips4Sale, and manyVids all have membership options) or go straight to GoDaddy and buy your own domain right from the source. Once you own your URL you can either point it to a free website building platform (another article, another day, sorry) or you can point it to your own server and build your own site (again, another essay another day, i’m so sorry)
You need to be willing to be married to your work at this point, and have the security and confidence that people will sign up! Be prepared to update your website at least once a month but really you want to aim for once a week. Be transparent with your members about what you can offer. They aren’t signing a contract, but they will send you very mean emails if you let them down. It’s never your fault but if you don’t like those emails, stay on top of your update schedule. You will get to keep most of your own money, be in complete control of your content, and eventually maybe you’ll be curating content and making your own clip stores and personal platforms.
If anything, BUY YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME no matter what you’re up to. It will come in handy, and yes, someone might try to buy it before you do and that would be really cruel and totally normal in this industry. Buy your own domain, period. Go do it now even if it only gets used for bad poetry in a year.
Passive Income: Recurring memberships can lead to a very lovely part time job, and for some folks it can really be a full-time occupation. You can make a living. But it’s hard to say you can take a break. I’ve been doing it for (way too long) and I love it, but doing other things with my life was out of the question once the snowball started rolling down that hill….

 

TIER THREE: HOLY HELL, V-O-D!

Tier Three: You don’t have to get your work curated or put through a membership funnel, though those options are super fancy and fun to get involved in if you are dedicated. But it’s not the end of the road. If you have your content organized properly, you can arrange them into films and put them up on major VOD sites. If you think you have what it takes to put together longer projects, I recommend you do it, and even if you’re just starting out – keep these VOD sites as a major goal for you.
When I say paperwork, you’re going to need everything at this level of distribution. Here’s my Cheat Sheet:
CHEAT SHEET!!!
Your On Set To-Do List:

Every scene/clip day/set up you produce should be accompanied by:

  1. Model Releases for each model
  2. 2257 Age Verification forms for each model
  3. A crisp hi res photograph of each model’s ID
  4. A photo of each model holding their ID (very few distributors ask for this, but still do it for good measure)
  5. Glamour Stills: 5-15 still shots of each model and 5-10 photos of the models together (posed, candid, or in action)
  6. Action Stills can be made in post-production by pulling frames from your film editor, or using screenshots on a hi-res file. Professionals will often stage posed action shots on set in order to have good shots for showing off the scene. Use your own sensibilities because sometimes stopping to take photos can be disruptive to the video work being made, and taking the photos during the shoot may leave you cringing on the editing deck when all you can hear are the sounds of cameras clicking and photographers shuffling around.
  7. Some BTS – get Behind the Scenes! A candid photo of yourself, your outfit, the crew, the set to use for social media later.
AEBN
You’ll need to fill out a lot of paperwork, and there will be a process before you get started, but if you’re on AEBN you’re right there next to giant studios with thousands of titles. And all you need is ten.
AEBN also creates white label theaters for affiliates, so you can make theaters of your own porn, or curate titles you want to share with people, and make a percentage from any sales you generate.
AEBN has tools for you to make previews of your scenes and films, sell scenes individually, even sell DVDs.
Why I Love AEBN: They have queer employees and have always been kind. And, they’ve explicitly allowed me to keep fisting in my sex scenes which I try to insist upon but almost rarely happens. So, AEBN is my favorite for those reasons. They are a huge company, and report sales to awards shows and such. It’s like being in a record store.
HotMovies
Same amount of paperwork as AEBN, but a decidedly different focus. HotMovies has a few really popular specialty sites, in particular HotMoviesForHer, which has always curated and written about porn being made. All of the authors and people putting together the content are women.
You can also do your own theater here, and connect it to a blog or social media and curate your own theater or content that way as well.
I think you need around 10 films to start out on HotMovies as well. “Films” can be one long scene, or 3-4 medium scenes, or a compilation of scenes. They should have a theme and a title, try to find a category that suits you and respect your costar’s genders and identities when you market your work at any level, but especially when you are working with VOD companies that then outsource your films to affiliates. Affiliates are impossible to track down for fact checking. ;(Why I Love HotMovies: They always have an awesome presence at adult industry events, so you can meet the people who you are working with, sign at their AEE tables, get included in press and events, and eventually maybe even get reviewed by AVN Magazine – this is where you start thinking about this kind of stuff. Hey big shot, remember the little people OK? Luv you.

 

OK, even by my scary Virgoan standards this is long-winded so I hope these resources have been helpful and sincerely, if you have any feedback on any of the platforms from the point of view of a worker, I’d love to hear if I’ve missed anything important. I am opening up the comments on this essay (moderated) so that I can receive edits and suggestions.   I am sorry that this is long and probably needs many logical edits. I will continue to work on this piece as I continue my journey, and hear about yours.

 

Some final things to think about as you are making your work:
Documentation: EVERY platform needs model releases and identification on hand if asked. You should have your own model release and a copy of the legal age verification/2257 paperwork provided by the Free Speech Coalition. If you are on ManyVids, they have a model release available to you that you can use anywhere.
Consent agreements: You should have consent by way of written and verbal agreements – sometimes it’s good to have a conversation about syndication, with notes, about where each of you might want to use the clips. This gets more clear cut and easy to organise as you keep working.
File management: Start with .mp4 or .m4v and expand from there. Some other formats:   wmv, flv, avi, mpeg, mpg, mkv, mov. Many models, especially on Clips4Sale, will offer multiple formats for each clip. That could really build your platform if every clip comes in 3 formats!
Paying Models and making trades: Your co-stars need to be compensated. There’s no such thing as a standard rate anymore, but you should expect to either pay upfront, share earnings, or share content with whomever you are working with. If you want the clip to yourself, consider how much money you will personally make off it for the next 2 years if you can, and pay your costar half in advance. Maybe that’s $100 for a clip, maybe that’s $500 for a day, or maybe you agree that you will make exclusive content for yourself, and also exclusive content for your costar. Many syndication points won’t allow two models to post the same video, so consider with your costar about how to share your content if you agree to make a bunch of clips and share them equally. Perhaps you edit and package them differently (pretty easy) – or maybe you collectively split up the platforms into preference or popularity (ie, if you are a ManyVids star, and your costar is a AmateurPorn star – this could be very beneficial) and then you won’t have to work to make double the content in one day.Pricing – This one’s hard, you have to test your market a little and see what works. A dollar a minute is a good place to start for clip sales, and folks have given me quotes from $8 – $600 for what they’ve gotten for custom videos.

got comments send them my way!