As the coronavirus pandemic marches on, and folks continue to shelter at home, people are exploring new ways to make money to pay their bills.
The Labor Department recently reported that some 16 million people in the U.S. have applied for unemployment benefits, so it will come as no surprise that numbers in the online sex industry are rising at a quick pace.
Daryn Parker, the Vice President of CamSoda, a webcam site that streams live online broadcasts, told the New York Times he saw a 37 percent increase in new model sign-ups in March compared to the same period in 2019.
A similar “camming” site, ManyVids, shared their new model sign-ups had increased 69 percent.
Performers on the sites, sometimes called “cam models,” can offer to strip or dance on camera as viewers send them messages. The cam models earn tips for their efforts.
CamSoda shares the number of new viewers to the site has doubled compared to last spring.
You’d think that would mean bank for these online sex workers, but it’s not working out that way.
Mileena Kane, a cam model on CamSoda, told the Times that she’s noticed the influx of new viewers but it seems the new crop of viewers isn’t tipping very well.
“I’m meeting a whole bunch of people more frequently than I normally would, but there’s not much more money,” said Ms. Kane.
It would seem more and more people are watching (and making) sexual online performances but fewer are paying.
The increasingly popular OnlyFans site recently shared that there were 3.5 million new signups in March and 60,000 of those were new content creators.
“As far as sex workers go and cammers go, we are pushing ourselves a little bit harder to make sure that we can entertain people from their homes and encourage people to stay inside their homes,” said popular gay adult performer Max Konnor.
Konnor adds that he’s glad he only commits to two-hour “shows.” Other performers interviewed by the Times say they often work 12-hour days, but with the influx of new performers that doesn’t always mean making more money.
Additionally, the webcam sites take hefty splits of the income for hosting the content, some of them as high as 50 percent.
One performer shared that, in a single day, sometimes they make $30 and other days it can be as much as $300.
Even for folks not looking to pay to view sex online there’s been a huge increase in viewers.
Adult entertainment giant Pornhub reported on April 3 “worldwide traffic to Pornhub has been much higher than it was before the Coronavirus pandemic spread worldwide” adding that the “peak increase of 24.4% happened on March 25th” after the site offered free Premium service in many countries.