I have been working in the adult industry for 16 years. Although I have engaged in some forms of erotic labor, I have always been more comfortable with the term “Sex Work Adjacent.” For me, that means being in service to Sex Workers, and being in service to Sex Workers is my Passion…although perhaps passion is not the right word.
When I think of that word, “Passion,” I think, “heart-quickening-reason-for-getting-out-of-bed-in-the-morning-eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-my-head-ecstasy.” Sure, there are plenty of those – but mainly, there have been tears, spreadsheets, to-do lists, epic failures, lots of listening, chuckles, exhaustion, more spreadsheets, tasks, work, growth, learning, mistakes, more growth, stigma, so much stigma, shitty laws, meetings, wins, losses, laughter, awkwardness, calls, fights, strength, profile reviews, Twitter, joy, life… so, no. It’s not my passion; it’s my barometer for normalcy, my natural state of being, my baseline.
My being exists in the place where Technology, Sex, and Money meet. My mission is Safety, Sustainability, and Success. And every day, the best part is Sex Workers. Sex Workers are so fire. I have been fortunate and blessed to work alongside some of the most extraordinary people to have ever graced this earth…because Sex Workers are SO fire.
The early part of my career was spent supporting Sex Workers in creating sustainable, secure, safe, and successful businesses, using the same tools any independent business owner would use to grow their brand and market in this ever-increasing digital world. From there, I went on to work with companies to pioneer “pro-sex work by design” communication and service policies & practices. Before starting Peep.me, I was the Customer Service, Sales, and Communications Director for an adult industry company.
In the 16 years, I have been in service to sex workers, sex work adjacent workers, adult creators, sex educators, and all sorts of other types of sexy workers, I have been booted from platforms for selling tickets to sexy events where you could learn to make your own porn, for identifying as sex work adjacent, for identifying as a sex worker ally, for renting a room for a sexy photoshoot…I have credit cards and bank accounts closed for similar reasons. I have banged my head against the wall every time a processor, helpdesk, marketing platform, accounting software, website host, etc has told me that they would not work with me because I am prurient, pornographic, erotic, and worse (insert pearl-clutching here).
I left my friends and family and fled the US, due to archaic laws based on antiquated beliefs. I have watched too many friends and colleagues get booted from platforms for their incredible work, just because it was Adult. I have watched even more let down by the platforms which claimed they were built for them but then threw them under the bus.
I am here because, while I was still at my former job during COVID and immediately after the US went into lockdown, I answered a call from a Sex Worker – a Sex Worker who had been a customer of the company for as long as I had been with them. After 8 years and countless moments of laughter, joy, frustration, and FOSTA-SESTA, with a dash of your basic customer-service-related issues in-between, we had cultivated a bond of understanding, kindness, and friendship. A type of friendship that I think is unique to this industry, in that so many of us work alone and only know each other via these calls, or tweets, or forum posts. I recognized her number, picked up the phone, and this time it was not joyful; there was no laughter and no problem with her account. She was in tears.
No one was expecting COVID. It was not like FOSTA-SESTA, where we watched it unfold and prepared for the consequences. No one was prepared for COVID.
She didn’t know what to do, or where to go. She was terrified she would not be able to make ends meet, and she was looking for answers, for direction, for hope. I was unprepared. I had nothing. I didn’t know where to send her. Where would she receive the same love and attention that she had been given for so many years? Where would she go, where she would be able to really connect with the people on the other end of the line when she had a question? Where would she go where they would even pick up the phone? Where would her voice be heard, and where would she be treated with respect and dignity? The options were overwhelming, and the reviews less than ideal for the myriad of camming platforms, fan sites, clips stores, video dates, tube sites…I could not say with any amount of confidence or ease in my heart that her experience with any of them would match the experience she had with us, and with me.
Now, I can answer that question. PeepMe is the answer.
What do I bring to PeepMe? The only expertise I am bringing to this is that I am an expert at making mistakes and learning from them. I’m an industry veteran, but not an expert; this playground is vast and complex. The intersection of sex and money itself is vast and complex. I have been fortunate to exist in that space, and in that time have gained experience, but I wouldn’t call it expertise.
I’m an enthusiastic participant, with a willingness to listen and make changes. I’m someone who is frustrated with how things have been done in the past, and I bring a vision for a different way of doing things, along with the ferocity and backbone to get it done. It also helps when a bunch of talented folks you adore are willing to do it with you.
PeepMe is the future of the adult industry. A future where collective /cooperative ownership is the norm. A future where Adult creators benefit the most from the profit of their marketplaces. A future where Creators are in charge and in control. A future where no one gets booted or denied service just because they happen to work in this industry. A future where all forms of sex work are decriminalized. A future where everyone has a safe space. A future where adult work is a normal job, and not just a titillating quip.
If you don’t mind lots of photos of dogs, and my obsession with costumes and unicorns, follow me on Twitter @PeepMeCEO & IG @mx.donia.love.