I posted on Twitter on January 1st that my New Years resolution was to be more judicious with regard to my use of social media. I wanted to share with the people that I have created and maintained relationships with online my reasoning behind this decision.
First of all, I want to be clear that not I am not quitting, pornography, social media, or my in-person work. I am simply trying to be more intentional with my use of these very powerful platforms to better serve the people with whom I wish to connect with, make more meaningful connections, and create new opportunities for reaching people that value my work. I have cultivated and maintained many relationships both personal and professional because of internet platforms. Indeed the reason I have a wonderful career that I enjoy is because of these powerful internet publishing tools (including major porn websites, social media, and self-publishing video marketplaces). I do not want to look a gift horse in the mouth, however, these platforms have revealed themselves to be an animal of a different nature (more of a Pandora’s box than a horse an buggy). I have come to the conclusion that mindless use of social media does not help me live my life or run my business.
When I started my career, it wasn’t a career, I didn’t have any resources I was ready to do anything to get some financial stability. I had an open mind and loved sex and trying new things. Therefore I decided to get naked and have sex on the internet and get paid for it. Full disclosure, I had definitely done weirder things for money and fun because of other platforms. (Thank you Craig!)
When I started doing weird sex things on video to be posted online for money the internet was different. Pornography was different. Laws were different. Society was different. Social ideas about sexuality were if not different at least changing. I was also different.
I don’t want to give you a history going over each twist and turn, and what happened, but shit happened.
In my opinon pornography changed from being produced mostly by two groups: One a handful of professional studios based in California and two a whole bunch of amateur people everywhere in the world uploading videos to YouTube style hub sites (maybe for fun maybe for money I can’t say). Pornography democratized by these platforms so that folks at home could make and publish their sex videos, cam shows, ect and monetize them without a need for major studios. However, the democratization of pornography still relied on hub sites and social media for advertising and to grow an audience. This transformed major social media websites and users into avenues for pornography consumption. Solitary model/producers were compelled to put more and more graphic material online in order to grow an audience that could take some of the larger companies market share. Or if a model who wanted work with mainstream studios, would be required to constantly be using social media to promote themselves to future employer. We all started doing this. I started doing this. This also worked for for me for a while. However, I no longer feel like it is working.
When amateur content flooded the market the studio porn system had to learn new tricks to get you to see the value in professionally made pornography. Enter my friend Greg Lansky who specializes in super high-end porn. This porn is shot exquisitely and caters to peoples basest desires, highest aspirations, and prominently features socital taboos (racism, anal sex, female power). I don’t know this for sure, but I am pretty certain that this content is created with social media marketing strategy in mind. They know the importance to think of porn website as a brand, which is frankly nothing new under the sun (Hugh Hefner) but is incredibly and reliably well executed. People love to work for them, because safety and making the model feel good on set is clear from the first moment you step on set. Bree Mill’s, who started in marketing and moved into production, success in pornography has been along these same lines, however, they focus more on in-site social community (like message boards on the member’s sites). Additionally they have been creating challenging content that scratches those hard to scratch niches and darker desires. Which is in my opinion and with my particular expertise in fetish pornography takes a great deal of care for it to be properly executed.
The company I have the most experience working with kink.com has also changed over the last eight years. We went from in house (well castle) production to more of a Netflix model. Changed leadership from Peter Ackworth to Alison and thus the primary focus of the company changed. From production to technology. What Alison did, and what Greg also does, is to thoughtfully change the mission statement and core values of their businesses as the business/technology/the world grew and changed. This is my inspiration for changing the way that I do business specifically with regard to my social media use. If only the social media tech giants could keep up. As I have changed, as so too has my bussiness. I want to follow in the footsteps of my wonderful mentors in this industry.
Here are my core values as Mona Wales.
I value my life.
I value my IRL life over my online persona and realize that for longevity in this industry you have to take care of yourself.
I value authenticity.
I have found that what people like and appreciate about my presence on social media performances in pornography and the way I interact in person is my to borrow an overused word “authenticity”. I have a real life and I really live it. I am curious, about bodies, sex, travel, different cultures, languages, politics, media and I love to learn.
I value connection.
Connection to my sex work community, to my clients and the consumers of my media. I genuinely care for all of you and want you to be happy and heathy.
I value being valued.
I like the amount of appreciation I receive online. I am grateful to every producer that books me, to every company that hires me to direct and produce for them and every person that I get to meet in person.
I value action over words.
If you appreciate what I do and you have some funds to spare without causing harm to your financial situation. I would love for you to consider showing my your appreciation for the value that I add to your life by reciprocating that in some tangible way this year, whether it is subscribing to a porn site, buying a clip, or donating to st. James infirmary. Saying you like me value me on twitter/insta warms my heart, but demonstrating this moves me.
I value my independence.
I work for myself, always have and I suspect I always will. I never had an agent or a manager, I build my own sites, shoot my own content and own my production company. This is not to say that I am some kind of self-made woman, I have been all too lucky to have an amazing support team and community of people that have lifted me up.
I value privacy and discretion
Social media has changed as a technology enough digital ink has been spilled over this issue of late so I will mostly leave my personal critique out except to make one point. Twitter hasn’t figured out how to turn a profit yet. Instagram and Facebook have figured out that the only way they could make a profit online is by selling your private information to advertisers and other entities. I am not doing that. I want the people that interact with me to feel safe.
I value sex workers lives and livelihoods.
SESTA/FOSTA passed and thus changed what sex workers are allowed to say on the internet or if they are allowed on any of these platforms at all. Here is a quick link if you want to familiarize yourself with this legislation. The social media giants do not want sex workers on their platforms. Even though there is evidence that having online places to advertise cuts down on violence and sexual assault on not just the SW community but the real world too.
In conclusion, I am taking measures to “clean up” my social media. I don’t think that it is useful or reliable to use to advertise my work. If you want to see what used to be on my social media, you can subscribe to my only fans. If you want to support me you are welcome. If you want to keep up with what I am doing you can check out this new SFW hopefully website for info about my life and travels and movies.
And I wish you all the best in the new year,