Lockdowns became the new norm. Trackpants took over from suits. Social media messages, the new Friday night post work drinks.
For the adult industry, it was the virtual strip show and dinner dates spent dressed to impress on the couch in front of a laptop. Apps like OnlyFans and Fansly replaced hotel rendezvous and in person soirees because, well, they had to.
Covid changed us. All of us.
It changed the way we interacted with the outside world and it irrevocably changed the way we did business. Safe to say most industries suffered. Bad. But the silver lining, because let’s face it, there is always one to be found glistening among the rubble and chaos of life, is that things did in fact change.
Innovation became trendy again and boy did people innovate. Entrepreneurs saw the need to make life better, easier, more efficient and that’s what they did.
Enter stage left… these three Australian businesses.
1. 24/7 Billing Co.
Thanks to Covid, cashless payment is now key. And thanks to 24/7 Billing Co, that is now entirely possible, and incredibly easy to implement, for all businesses.
Here’s how its done. You download the app, enter your details, verify those details, choose your industry, enter a few more details and provide proof of identity and you are almost ready to go. Simple!
No dongles, no plug ins, no extra equipment and best of all for sole traders who might not have had the regular income stream for a while, no set up or monthly fees for the business. Not to mention you don’t need an ABN to use the app and you can choose whether or not you list your business name on the customer statements or remain discreet.
In a nutshell, the 24/7 Billing app turns your phone into a credit card processor meaning you can accept payments fast and from anywhere. Something all industries will inevitably benefit from, possibly none more so than the adult industry where discretion, fast transfers and privacy are paramount.
24/7 Billing Sales Manager Vanessa Bishop said that while the app wasn’t designed specifically for sex workers, they certainly listened to the concerns of the adult industry and provided a solution.
“We don’t discriminate and we want to help ALL sole traders get back to work after Covid. The thing is that a lot of workers in the Adult Industry are used to working in a cash environment. With Covid, things may be tighter and having access to a portable credit card facility could be the difference between making bank or not,” she says.
Turns out a plethora of workers are already downloading the app and prepping themselves to reap the rewards post lockdown.
Adult entertainer Arianna Gold said, “Can vouch for the ease of use of this app. For me, 2 factor authentication makes it so much safer and less risk of fraudulent chargebacks. I love it so far. Great work, guys!”
Download the 24/7 Billing app for free from the app store, or read more here.
2. My Redlight Life
Speaking of businesses innovating the adult industry, welcome our second newcomer, My Redlight Life, to centre stage.
The adult industry’s very own little black book designed by a sex worker for sex workers. The brains behind this beautiful operation, Coady Banks, created My Redlight Life because she knew too well how hectic and stressful the organisational side of sex work was and wanted to do what she could to make life as easy, organised and streamlined as possible for fellow members of the adult industry.
Coady says, “Being busy and in high demand was great, but it was also pretty stressful. And when it got busy, it became unorganised. So, I started creating a scrap book to track my own earnings, bookings, clients and found that this process not only made me more organised and less stressed, it also made me more successful. Six years later, My Redlight Life was born.”
There are four books, the Logbook for workers in establishments, the Bookings diary for independent workers, the Dancer book and the Invoice book which encompasses both the logbook and dancer worksheets.
“Goal setting, clients gift list, money management and budget, client list of regulars, monthly calendar, and checklists, along with booking worksheets designed specifically to suit the three types of workers: independent workers, establishment workers and dancers, it is all in there. Security, health, wealth and achieving your goals is what My Redlight Life is all about,” Coady says.
Independent worker Portia agrees. “I am always busy and in high demand. So much so that I had to hire a personal assistant just to help me manage my bookings,” she says. “But after I started using the MRL Bookings diary I no longer needed my assistant because my business now had structure and I could stay more organised.”
Not into physical diaries? No worries, because the app version I’ll be available this Christmas. Claim a free 7 day trial of My Red Light Life's exclusive app when it gets released here.
Not all online platforms seemed to be providing the goods when it came to the adult industry. In fact, one of the communities’ biggest online subscription platforms, OnlyFans, released a statement earlier this year announcing it would ban sexually explicit content before doing a backflip and, well, changing their mind.
In the meantime, however, a plethora of similar sites such as Fansly stepped up. And over 2.1 million users followed with the site reporting up to 4,000 sign ups per hour in the days following OnlyFans declaration to ban porn.
As far as aesthetics the sites are pretty similar, however Fansly does have a few extra features including their tiered membership options.
Qld based Male Companion Rhys Phillips says he really enjoys the change in platform.
“The OnlyFans statement to ban adult content made it clear that none of our work is promised to last on any platform we work through, no matter how successful we make it. Fansly was a great transition once I understood how it worked, and I find it is actually more accessible for fans in that they can choose to just pay per piece of content, or choose to see everything on the profile with different payment tiers. It’s also a lot easier to find other creators on there without needing to commit to a paid subscription. And I am a voyeur as much as I am an exhibitionist, so win win.”
Lahnee is an Aussie based journalist, sex educator, intimacy coach & content creator. You can follow her on Twitter.