Spotlight w/ Courtni Demilune: How SpankChain Brings Power to Performers
Imagine if everyday when you came in to your work, and the first thing you heard was your boss telling you that you are less valuable than the other employees. This is what it’s like to be a trans girl in porn. The second I login to sell my clips or stream my cam, I have to stare down those three main categories: “Girls”, “Guys”, and the constantly-othered “Trans”. Where I work, I don’t even get to exist as a woman without a big ol’ asterisk next to my name.
Second Class Citizen in Porn
Putting us in these separate sections enforces our status as secondary. Sometimes we even receive lower payouts than our cis counterparts on the same site.
Unfortunately, this is some of the better treatment we see from existing sites. Many don’t allow trans girls to sign up in the first place. The ones that do often use slurs like “tranny” and “shemale” while relegating us to our segregated sections. It’s not just trans women that are excluded, segregated, and fetishized like this. Sex workers of colour, fat sex workers, trans masculine & non-binary sex workers, disabled sex workers, and many others are told that our acceptance on these sites is conditional on our allowing ourselves to be fetishized side attractions.
Trans porn is one of the fastest growing niches in the industry and often tops the list of most watched videos on sites like PornHub and GameSite. In many countries and states (particularly the more transphobic ones), it’s the most popular niche of all. Debunking the idea that viewers don’t want to see trans and cis content mixed together, sites have run experiments consolidating the two and have seen up to 50% increases in sales on trans content* with little effect on other porn sales.
*Content Warning: descriptions of transmisogyny, including slurs
The fact is a few big players still hold all the cards, and it’s challenging to sell our content without them. Setting up your own site is beyond the means of most independent producers. It includes streaming live video to a large audience, hosting your own video content, and accepting online payments, which requires secure technological infrastructure. For camsites, the transaction fees are high and costly, taking up to 50% of the revenue.
A New Solution
SpankChain provides a solution to all this:
- They will all-but-eliminate costly transaction fees, enabling us to have an unprecedented level of financial control over our work.
- They are empowering us with the infrastructure we need to promote and sell our services in our own spaces. You’ll be able to include your live stream, clip store, and payment processing (for everything from panties to tributes) on your own website and social media.
- On top of all that, SpankChain is amplifying our voices by making this a community project: they are giving voices to performers in spotlights like this, working with advisors like Janice Griffith and Kayden Kross, and opening up their Discord chat for anyone to contribute to. SpankChain hopes to be a platform to empower sex workers.
I’m excited to take charge of our own marketing: without being fetishized, described with slurs, or given second-class status by the very same companies we’re making money for. We can make decisions based on what’s best for us and our clients, without having to worry about what’s best for our camming and clip sites. As Janice pointed out in a previous spotlight, there is no real ethical consumption under global capitalism, but SpankChain is helping us seize the means of porn production and putting the power in our hands!
Connect with SpankChain
Courtni Demilune is the stage name of Courtney Demone: a sex worker, app designer, writer, and activist. Her writing and commentary on feminism from a trans perspective has been featured on Mashable, Salon, The Young Turks, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, and others.