No, I don’t want to meet you for tea.
I met you two years ago after you heard about my art, watched me in my chatroom and invited me over to talk about my work as a Camgirl and an Artist. I came to your apartment, you told me you thought I was “the real deal,” we had sex and you opened up the Uber app.
The next time we speak is in DM’s on Instagram during #NYFW. I called you out in my ‘story’ for co-opting sex work for your party and your brand. You claimed that you didn’t know what “triggered my anger.” Everyone needs some schooling now and again so here’s your lesson about Porn in 2017.
Imagine someone scanning every page of your $75 “special edition” magazine, or even the $55 regular one, and then posting it online and distributing it for free. Not only would it be of lesser quality but it would also siphon the income, creativity, and effort of all the people that work to produce it. Now, wouldn’t that trigger your anger?
The edgy, hot, fresh, wild collaboration that you premiered during New York Fashion Week features the Pornhub logo with your little “R” dangling off. This is what you had to say when I asked you about your collab: “I can't speak to Pornhub but the women I met that work for them seem happy and cool.” Why should anyone care about your intended ‘provocation’ if theres no thought or meaning behind it? There are politics to collaborations and this _____ X _____ is leading to the economic decline of the Porn industry.
Pornhub (run by 3 dudes) is owned by Mindgeek (private company, owned by 2 dudes) which owns RedTube, YouPorn and all the other free porn streaming sites you can think of; 8 out of the top 10. Pornhub has monopolized individual performers by stealing, hosting and streaming pirated content. Because of this, Porn performers cannot only make porn; we have to strip, escort, cam, make art and maintain a multitude of jobs and titles because we are aware our content is stolen daily. Pornhub/MindGeek’s success is a discouraging symptom of how commodification can kill an industry and fool it’s audience (even the dude who runs an “erotica” magazine) into thinking that supporting Porn is: wearing a hoodie of a privately-held company’s logo. Pornhub’s wide-scale piracy has led to the decline of the actual production of Porn by more than 75% from where it was in the late 90’s.
My project, Buy Me Offline, is the reason we met. It was a photographic reclamation of my live-streams that were (and still are) stolen, resold and/or reposted for free on PornHub-owned sites. A year ago I started making Camgirl Resume T-shirts to fight against free ‘tube sites’ by representing over 20+ livestream sites advertising independently contracted content producers and entrepreneurs. Cam sites (like myfreecams.com), vid sites (like manyvids.com) and app sites (like findrow.com) are the lesser of all evils in Porn. When hired, we are *protected under the DMCA and paid (most cam sites pay out over 50% of generated sales). *Protection under DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, only means that you can report your stolen footage, first you have to find where it’s posted, second you have to prove your identity, third you may request a take down.
Why don’t well-known industry workers speak up? I wondered about Asa Akira and her motivations for appearing on one of your expensive tees. The same sites that pay her also host her pirated content, not to mention she’s a signed actress. Most performers refuse to speak up because Pornhub will blacklist them.
Back to your NYFW party.
The launch was held at Maccarone Gallery, a space where you curated an all male exhibition titled The Male Gaze back in 2011. The drop for your $155 sweaters and $45 tote bags, featured strippers. Now, I’m from the stripping capital of the world (second to ATL), Tampa, FL and I’ve stripped, mister. There are rules in strip clubs, hardcore rules that were not enforced at your party. I mentioned to you there were underage kids at the event (by name), you replied “New York must have changed.” You thought I was trying to be someone’s mom but I’m 29 years old and me not having kids has been a choice. I totally support teens getting an education about sex work in any safe environment. The lesson you gave them with your “party” was that there aren’t rules and to touch and publicly film sex workers is the norm.
You also leaked that “…there was a problem dividing tips between dancers but it was resolved at my expense.” Why did you leak this? Because your self consumption led you to believe it was one of of the strippers from your party who prompted my social media rant. No, there are other strippers who exist in the world, who happen to be outraged at what they saw.
You’re diminishing your own labor force and you are either completely unaware or playing dumb. Ethical Porn-making and consumption is the new cool thing. #payforyourporn just like people pay for your magazine. Stop using women, the female form, and sex workers [as if you were one] to promote your own personal brand.
MFA Photography & Sculpture, Pratt Institute ’14
Sex Worker & Artist
You can read our DM's here.