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Spam bot or sex worker?

Spam bot or sex worker?

It’s been a week a bit since I got booted from an affiliate due to *insert reason they give here*, and I was going to leave the whole affiliate issue lie with the thread I posted on Twitter. I really wanted to leave it there because I have reviews to post, clips to upload, and boobs to edit (*gasp* a naughty word, will I get banned?), however the whole thing really bugs me still. Especially the fact that I only got a ‘suitable’ response AFTER I made the whole thing semi-public. Now the social media manager was perfectly lovely, and I know it is very much a stock company response, however (and this is a word I’m going to be using a LOT), it’s bullshit. The email I got? Bullshit.

Whilst a few people have named the company, I’m not going to (my brain can’t deal with that stress right now). If any bloggers/customers want to know I’m happy to tell you in private.

Before I dive in, I will post the text from the Twitter thread below just in case the thread gets deleted, but for a ‘tldr’ my blog got removed from an affiliate site due to one of these reasons: porn/escort/swingers/explicit content.

Affiliate Twitter Thread:

1. An affiliate removed me today because they: ‘they no longer want to work with websites who have porn/escort/swingers/explicit content.’

And I have lots of feelings. This was going to be a post, but I’m exhausted so here’s 15 tweets on some of my feelings.

 

2. I’m not going to name names (I think, but I’m really rather miffed), but fellow people I respect work with them.

That’s not a slight on the people, but the hypocrisy of the company. These fellow people post explicit content, and yet they sponsor them. They advertise.

 

3. They work for them, but my blog … nope!

The company shut down my affiliate account most likely because I talk a fair bit about sex work, though it rubs me slightly that they’ve done it just after I’ve started posting disability positive photos.

I walk that ‘explicit’ line.

 

4. I very consciously try to walk that ‘explicit’ line – I write erotica occasionally, I will be posting erotic audio, and I post pinup style pictures.

I walk that line because of things like this.

 

5. Now, I did link to them from my FemDom site, which was probably a mistake (even though that site gets far more traffic for me), so I’ve shut the whole affiliate page down. Just when I was starting to gain some momentum.

Could they have asked me to remove it from that site?

 

6.  Yep, wouldn’t have agreed, but yep. That would be have theoretically been problem solved … or would it?

I can’t see how EveAdler.com is ‘problematic’ compared to the people they pay for sponsorship.

Then we get into ‘is it my job?’ Good old whorophobia!

 

7. For every site I pitch, every affiliate I join, and every video I put up I brace myself for things like this.

Whorophobia is everywhere, and preparing myself has become an automatic thing, even within sex toy industry because y’all are sometimes THE WORST.

 

8. For every site I pitch, every affiliate I join, and every video I put up I brace myself for things like this.

Whorophobia is everywhere, and preparing myself has become an automatic thing, even within sex toy industry because y’all are sometimes THE WORST.

 

9. An aside, first year of ‘proper’ blogging I thought they were going to boot me from @EroticonUK because I wasn’t a fully-fledged blogger. Of course, they didn’t, but I fully expected people to judge.

Why?

Because people have done in the past and are doing so currently.

 

10. People expect my time for free: https://eveadler.com/blog/respect-our-boundaries-pay-our-fees-dont-ask-us-to-watch-you-wank-for-free/

Lawmakers are making working dangerous (even if it didn’t come to pass, there are still repercussions): https://eveadler.com/blog/the-impact-of-sesta-fosta-and-the-de-bill/

And they dismiss my views because I’m a sex worker.

 

11. Also, let’s briefly unpack ‘swingers’. As a SWer I unfortunately understand the ‘porn/escort/explicit content’ ban.

There’s a very ‘us vs them’ attitude (even within sex blogging).

But why the discrimination against swingers?

 

12. Is it the potential link to sex work? I know some providers use language to disguise what they’re doing because of the laws.

Is it because they’re too sexual? I thought this was a jest when writing, but it’s becoming all too common to police sexuality nowadays.

Why swingers?

 

13 Did the company message me? No, the main site did. Which might be procedure, but I think says a lot about them.

There was no conversation, just an action. Now, they don’t make me money (funnily enough I was going to pitch them), but what gets me is the principle of the matter.

 

14. Again: ‘porn/escort/swingers/explicit content’

Who on earth do you think buys your toys? You sell SEX TOYS, for sexy things. They’re not for display purposes (most of the time). Real people use them. Real people, including sex workers.

 

15. I proudly earn my living as an online sex worker, and to do my job I use sex toys. I also send my clients to sites to buy sex toys.

The XBIZ list of nominations for this year has just come out, and sex toy companies are right there alongside sex works, and porn performers.

 

16. To you this might seem small, but it has much bigger implications.

A SEX TOY affiliate site shut down my affiliate account most probably because I’m a sex worker. Considering banks, hotels, and payment sites shut us down, who’s next?

Deconstruction time!

Now we’re all caught up, let’s deconstruct the email I received after that thread. I’m going to pull out a few choice phrases because they need discussing.

But first, let’s kick off by saying that I make and have made exactly £0.00 from the affiliate. This is to say that one, I’m bad at marketing, and two this isn’t going to hurt me. Secondly, this has inspired a new project of mine – going around and emailing sex-based companies and very bluntly asking, if they discriminate against sex workers. You’d think the answer would be no, but it’s been a hell of a week. Lastly, companies need to be held accountable because they’re not without fault, and that’s okay! As long as they admit it, and work with people to become better.

The rant before the boss’s email.

I’m keeping this in, because it’s important and very much reflects my feelings at the time, and how it seemed – which is important in this day and age.

The company claims that they are not discriminating against sex workers, and yet they now explicitly state that sex workers and porn stars will not be allowed on their affiliate schemes! How are you not discriminating when you name the people you don’t want as affiliates?

I happened upon another person who had been removed from the affiliate due to them being a swinger, literally writing a few posts on swinging. That’s it.

This doesn’t scream ‘accident’, it screams intentional.

The rant after the boss’s email.

To summarise the conversation the reason for the removal is apparently a SEO issue, and adult spam links might be causing them to rank lower – something that apparently some of their competitors don’t have. However, I want to pull out a sentence or two from the email.

To start, I can’t wrap my mind around this:

“…gave [affiliate manager] a list of sites that were causing issues but did not have a list of the affiliates those sites belonged to.”

Even if the list of problematic sites was a mile long, the company could have sent out a blanket email to say that the site was going to be removed due to x, y, or z, and if they thought this was a mistake to contact them. At least then it could have sparked a conversation.

If I’m not getting it and someone else can explain this, please leave a comment. However, to me they’re basically saying they did have a list of sites that they could have checked to see who the affiliates were, they just didn’t. Am I wrong?

Let’s move on to this freakin’ paragraph:

“… noticed that we were getting more and more spammy backlink’s on a daily basis, which seems like someone has figured out why Google is punishing certain sites, so they are deliberately spamming the top sites. This might sound a little far fetched to you but believe me it happens a lot in our industry.

WE ARE IN SIMILAR INDUSTRIES!

In an age where you can barely say the word sex or put an eggplant emoji on Instagram, of course sex toy companies are being censored! We are all being censored. Maybe they’re just not used to it as much as the people that put out erotic based content like sex workers, and sex bloggers? As to spam, I bet my bottom dollar it happens in every single industry. Start a food blog? Get food spam (not actual SPAM). Medical blog? Get medical spam. Heck, I get spammed daily with links across my many sites, so much so that a portion of my week is dedicated to removing them.

Do companies do terrible things like spam other companies to get a higher ranking in Google, absolutely. According to the many documentaries I’ve watch recently, the world is a shady place, but don’t penalise the people trying to help get your brand out there.

Sex bot or sex worker?

I haven’t emailed the boss back directly, because I do not have the mental energy for a back and forth, so instead I have typed up this post because I have feelings I know would be tamed in a professional email.

Was it all a misunderstanding? Maybe. An accident? Possibly. Am I being a little harsh here? Probably. I don’t know. All I know is every single time I try to dive back into this whole mess I’m left angry and hurt. Sex workers are already a marginalised group, and if a sex toy site thinks links from our work sites are spammy (*ahem* who do you think is buying your sex toys?), who’s next?

At the end of the day I think the thing that really gets to me is that whichever way you look at it, it’s bad. For them to give such a broad we don’t ‘porn/escort/swingers/explicit content’ accounts to an affiliate manager smacks of being disconnected from their affiliates. Yes, they probably had some affiliates that were spammy porn bots (hello Twitter DMs), but sex toy companies know that sex bloggers are affiliates. Sex toy companies partner with them, sponsor them, and sex bloggers guest post for the companies too! To presume that some of us wouldn’t get caught up in this mess is an appalling lack of foresight. Yeah, it might catch some of the bots, but this effects real people that are not numbers on the screen.

The boss has apologised, and knows they messed up but I don’t think I’ll be going back to even try to hustle the affiliate links there.

If you’re an affiliate reading this, hello! I’ll probably be emailing you in a few weeks to see if you’ll boot me from your system because I take pictures of my tits for money.

If you the affiliate, do 120% better. I’ve looked around and I know you’re not adverse to advertising on some sexually explicit sites, so work out what you’re doing.

If you see a new Twitter account pop up from me, I’m sorry! People need to stop doing silly things.  

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