Reddit: Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. I’m going to go into why I think that- as it currently is- it’s an amazing platform for sex workers, but first I’m going to talk about the site itself and how it works. If you’re already a seasoned Redditor- that’s the term for people who use Reddit- feel free to skip ahead to Using Reddit For Sex Work. Everyone else, get comfortable, and let’s get started..
Reddit.com was started by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005, making it 14 years old this year. The idea was to create The Front Page Of The Internet, inspired by other websites that were “the billboard top 100 of the internet”. Reddit gave users a place to submit their own content and links they found interesting or relevant to the time. Not only can users respond to these posts with comments, but they can ‘upvote’ (good, I agree, relevant) and ‘downvote’ (not relevant) posts and comments by other users.
Reddit is made up of smaller communities called subreddits. There are subreddits for everything. There are large subreddits like AskReddit, where users can pose a question- usually about an opinion, or experience, and get community response. Some of the questions are funny- What’s The Most Creative Way You Can Cheat The 3 Wishes Limit On Genies?, some are sad- What Moment Completely Shattered You, Ruined You, or Broke Your Heart Completely? [Serious] (The serious tag means this user does not want any responses that are joking or sarcastic.) Be careful- when tens of thousands of users respond to a question you find interesting, it’s easy to get sucked into reading the comments and losing track of time.
There are small subreddits with less frequent posts, like SnakesWithHats which is, as the name suggests, a subreddit for photos of snakes wearing hats.
Most cities and states have their own subreddit, which can be handy for platonic meetups or traveling. There are so many subreddits there is a subreddit dedicated to the fact that there may be a subreddit for something. (Wowthissubexists)
Despite it’s appearances, Reddit is not as complicated as it may seem.
I know it seems like a lot to navigate- and with millions of users, probably hundreds of thousands of communities, it kind of is.
Reddit is run by a team of admins. You’ll recognize their comments as they’ll have a red ‘A’ next to their username. But while admins run the site and deal with the larger issues, subreddits have their own rules within the rules and their own teams of moderators to govern what is acceptable. What may be within the rules in one subreddit may be a ban-able offense in another, so it’s very important when first starting out to see if the subreddit rules are posted anywhere. It will usually be pinned in a post, or on the sidebar.
By the way, speaking of rules, Reddit does have a list of sitewide rules called the Reddiquette. They’re pretty straightforward and a quick read.
Once you know the rules of Reddit, and where to find the rules of the subreddit you want to post in, things seem a lot less intimidating and a little less complicated. Looking at Reddit as a whole can be kind of overwhelming, I think a good analogy to ease that feeling is to think of it like a college with lots of different clubs. The college itself has it’s own etiquette, and each club has it’s own set of rules. Navigating Reddit is really just finding the clubs you want to take part in.
If you don’t have a Reddit account, the first thing you’ll see when you go to the homepage are trending posts. That page is called /r/popular. (/r/ is the prefix for subreddits, /u/ is for users. So reddit.com/r/eviescarlette is my personal subreddit, where reddit.com/u/eviescarlette is my profile.) Your Reddit homepage will change as you join those clubs- and you do that by subscribing to subreddits you’re interested in.
These are just the basics of Reddit. The site is massive and there’s a lot to explore and discover. Here are some definitions of things you might run into:
Cake Day: Your anniversary of joining Reddit. On your Cake Day you’ll get a little piece of cake next to your username when you comment.
Reddit Gold: (And Silver, Platinum, etc) A way to reward a comment or post. (You can also purchase it for yourself.) It cost real money and gives you access to things like no ads and a secret subreddit for members with Reddit Gold.
Karma: The points you earn or lose with upvotes and downvotes. They’re imaginary internet points and worth only bragging rights.
Updoot: Another way of saying Upvote.
You’ll learn through that exploration, and become a seasoned Redditor in no time! If you have any questions, you can always leave me a comment here or message me and I’ll do my best to help out.
Using Reddit For Sex Work
Let’s back up for a minute. At this time, marketing yourself online as a sex worker through social media is becoming increasingly difficult if not completely impossible.
On December 17th, 2018 Tumblr- a major microblogging platform, banned all adult content. “Adult content”, for tumblr, being a wide umbrella that includes “female-identifying nipples” being visible even if the post itself is not pornographic in nature.
Following Tumblr’s porn ban, Facebook created a new Sexual Solicitation Policy which banned any talk of sexual relations between consenting adults.
Instagram does not allow nudity, and has been known to remove accounts of sex workers even when those sex workers follow Instagram’s terms of service.
Twitter currently allows adult content, but can and will suspend your account if adult content is the only content you post.
In the post SESTA-FOSTA age, social media is no longer reliable as a way for sex workers to promote themselves. Any platform can decide to ban adult content, and there will be nothing for sex workers to do but scramble to find the next place. This is why I personally feel it is so important to diversify where your income generates from, as it will be much less catastrophic to lose one platform if you have others to support you.
So, why Reddit?
Reddit has it’s roots in free speech and, in order to promote discussion and thought, are more open to the communities they allow. There are many controversial and problematic subreddits, but they are allowed to exist as long as they don’t incite violent or harassing behavior. In the admin’s own words:
“We’re banning behavior, not ideas.”
While it’s true that Reddit has recently banned nsfw ads from appearing across their site, they have made no move to censor adult or pornographic communities. These communities are not hidden. /r/Gonewild is a massive subreddit with over two million users subscribed. Sexsells- which we’ll get to in a moment, has over one hundred thousand subscribers. It’s been linked to and referenced in other Reddit communities and off-site.
And Sexsells is not new. Before Sexsells there were other subreddits with different moderators. The business of buying and selling adult content on Reddit is not done in a sneaky way behind the back of the administrators, skirting the rules and hoping to not get caught. It is done with open awareness, cooperation, and for now- acceptance.
I understand that just the idea of adding another site to the list of sites to upkeep can be exhausting, but I personally feel like the pay off is worth the effort. Reddit is the majority of my income and how I built the beginnings of my fan base.
Not only that, the community of sex workers on Reddit have given me incredibly valuable advice and tips to further myself. You might imagine your fellow sex workers on Reddit to be your competitors- and in a way, they are- but they are also incredibly kind and helpful. They’ve created a wealth of resources you can apply to your work outside of Reddit. I cannot imagine being where I am now in my sex work journey without the community who lifted me up.
The Reddiquette of Sex Work
Reddit is not a marketplace. While it’s true there are subreddits dedicated to buying and selling all manner of things, Reddit doesn’t want you to use your account solely for advertisement and self promotion.
Engaging with the community on Reddit has two benefits. The first, it can help build a following of people who appreciate your content and who are potential customers. Perhaps a closeted foot fetishist likes your comment in /r/funny, then clicks on your username to view your profile. They see you do custom videos, and so they message you. You’ve just made a sale.
The second, it makes you more “real”. We’re all real, of course, but I personally feel that having more than just ads in your comment history makes you seem more approachable to buyers who are turned off by the transactional nature of sex work. That’s not to say that anyone should pretend that sex work isn’t a transaction. You should do whatever you are personally comfortable with. Reddit is an anonymous space where you can share as much or as little as you’d like. If you prefer to be only business there is absolutely nothing wrong with that- just be warned that Reddit may deem your posts spam and may remove your account.
The cons of not allowing accounts solely for promotion means that Reddit is a moderate effort platform. Not everyone has the time to make non-business comments and engage with the community. The ratio of comments to advertisements that is considered spam is not public, Reddit itself does not inherently ban accounts that solely advertise but cautions you to tread lightly.
Another important thing you need to know is Reddit allows online sexual services to be sold through the site, any physical sexual services are prohibited. Offering meet-ups and full service will result in a ban from most selling subreddits, and may result in a ban from Reddit itself.
“So, how do I start?”
First, you’ll need a Reddit account if you don’t have one already. Registering is easy and fast. Once you have an account, you can subscribe to subreddits.
For me, a good selling subreddit requires users to verify themselves. That reduces the risk of a buyer being scammed. A good buyer getting scammed potentially stops that buyer from ever making a purchase again in the future. As it’s rare for a buyer to purchase from only one seller, if a buyer decides rightfully to not risk another scam, we all potentially lose business.
Just like each subreddit has it’s own rules, each subreddit has it’s own verification requirements. Please read them. You can usually find them linked in the side bar, but I’ll link them here as well. Please, please read them. It will make the process go much smoother for everyone.
/r/SellerCircleStage is not a selling subreddit but is a great place to get tips and information. Here’s their wiki. Please read it before asking any questions there.
Some subreddits have activity requirements and a wait between the time you create your account to the time you request verification, so use that time to comment in communities you find interesting or start to build your fanbase by posting pictures to nsfw subreddits like /r/Gonewild and /r/Chubby. Make sure you read the verification requirements closely so you know just how many, and what kind, of comments and posts constitute “meaningful activity.”
Once you start selling on Reddit, certain communities will ban you just for being a seller. /r/Gonewild is one of them. Here is a massive list of seller friendly subreddits you can post in. These spaces are not for advertising, but rather for gaining followers.
Getting verified can seem like a hassle but it’s less work than it looks. It’s usually the activity requirement that’s the most work. I like to answer questions in AskReddit or AskRedditAfterDark. It doesn’t take too much of my time to type out a one sentence response to a few posts on either subreddit. As mentioned, it’s also a great time to post nudes or lewds to nsfw communities to increase the number of people following your profile.
If it still seems like A Lot, keep in mind you don’t have to verify and post in every selling subreddit. You can pick one (I recommend nsfwbuys or sexsells) and see how that goes before trying to verify in every adult market subreddit. If you want to verify at them all at once, check to see if any of them will transfer your verification to save you some time. It takes about 20-30 minutes and a few sheets of paper to take all of the verification photos in one go.
Once you’re verified, you’ll want to create your first ad. Selling subreddits usually have required tags for you to include in your post title.
[KIK] for Kik, [CAM] for private cam shows, etc. In your ad you’ll want to include your payment methods, prices and a method of contacting you- or you can just use Reddit’s personal messaging system for contact. You can include other things too, like a little bit about yourself or kinks you enjoy. I recommend adding some small terms and conditions- like when you’ll give out refunds and specifying that only those 18+ may contact you. It’s best to have all of this information typed out and saved somewhere to save time.
I would offer you more tips for creating the ad itself but really it’s up to you to do what you want. Photos and gifs do equally well, witty titles and up front titles both can be successful. I’ve had both short and longer ad copies and haven’t noticed much difference. Through trial and error you’ll find what works best for you.
If you’ve never considered Reddit before now, I encourage you to give it a try. If nothing else, Reddit is a space where sex workers are still welcome and adult content is not forbidden. Post SESTA-FOSTA, I don’t know if Reddit will continue it’s current adult policies, but for now it’s nice to have a home.