Q&A: Promo model Kim talks about the challenges of the sex industry

Promo model Kim, who entered the sex industry at only 16 years old back home in Bulgaria as a webcam girl, shares her journey from her beginnings in the industry, discusses the challenges she has faced along the way, and offers valuable advice on how she stays safe. Have a question for Kim? Comment below or ask us on Twitter.

Want to learn more about Kim? Find out more about her experience here.

How did you get started in the sex industry at such a young age?

K: It was by choice and necessity. I knew what I was getting into and it was my way of escaping the situation at the time plus making my own “future”.

What was the process of transitioning from camming to escorting?

K: Weird at least to say but again, I knew what was required and what was involved so I basically had to “man up and go for it”.

What were some of the challenges you faced when starting out as a webcam girl?

K: When I started I was kinda naive even though I had a pretty good understanding of the sex industry from what I’ve seen/heard/read. Language/slang/dialect was definitely one of the challenges and then the “managing” company who signed me up wanted more money which meant I had to go to school during the day and work during the night with 2-3 hours of sleep.

What challenges did you face when navigating the industry?

K: Pretty much everyone is in it to use and abuse you in one shape or form. It was a minefield, and even to this day still is (21 years and counting). As a complete newbie, I had nobody to turn to or no recourses to fall back on in terms of reading about it, tips about the good/bad etc.

Can you describe your experiences in the other parts of the industry? 

K: Escorting is a hit-and-miss with emphasis on the miss these days. Adult parties used to be a good way of earning guaranteed income plus sourcing decent clients for one-to-one dates. However with new challenges on the horizon such as Brexit, post Covid and inflation, the pay has stayed the same for a lot more hard work where the punters are charged more, however, the girls are not paid more. The income from parties doesn’t cover the expenses, the enormous mental and physical work and the regularity of them to be able to make it a sustainable way of making money anymore. 

The modelling/fetish/porn scene – all 3 parts of the adult entertainment industry carry more risks than benefits in my opinion. 

Modelling (up to nude/implied nude/artistic – nothing hardcore or penetrative) pays peanuts and is full of time wasters, chancers, boundary pushers and alike. Reputable photographers work for pay, understandable, magazines do not pay for submissions, and studios charge rent for their premises as well as all other expenses a model has to accrue just to raise her profile with no possibility/promise of regular paid work to make it a good income stream. The days of Jordan are well and truly gone. 

The porn industry is even more mentally and physically draining due to the constant stigma, censorship, STIs and mental/physical/drug/alcohol abuse. Not everyone is in a dark hole feeding a habit, however, making a living out of porn in the UK is out of the question. 

The adult industry as a professional entity is non-existent in the UK – no agents/agencies, no set rules for everybody to follow (everybody has their own version/interpretation of various terminology and paperwork). There are no companies, websites, webmasters or any other professionals like in Europe, USA, Asia or Australia. 

Seems like now is the OnlyFans type of creators and websites era where everyone is a “porn star”, battling the mainstream censorship and individual sales platforms’ rules and regulations. 

Content leaking/piracy is a massive problem as well, but that’s a worldwide issue. The punters or porn consumers are way too spoilt of choice which makes it for anyone new coming into it pretty much impossible to find their own niche to make it worth their while. There are people who make massive incomes from it, however, those are a very small percentage of all involved. 

How did you become independent as an escort in the UK?

K: I got involved with an agency in the early days when I came over. That gave me the freedom to make my own research, find my own place and move on to being independent.

What have been some of the good, bad, and ugly stories you’ve experienced in the sex industry?

K: The bad and the ugly were mainly back in Bulgaria where pimps and abuse rule the industry. Since I’ve been here 90% have been good and very few not so. 

In recent years the quality of people has changed dramatically to mainly time wasters, scammers, angry/demanding people who attack you as a person if they don’t get it their way – they involve your family, kids, dox you out etc, generally get the pleasure of ruining your life. 

On the very ugly spectrum, we have those who physically attack sex workers, beat, rape, use weapons etc or break into parlours to steal stuff. I’ve had a few close calls and lucky escapes from physical abuse and online trolls.

What measures have you taken to ensure your sexual health and safety?

K: Every possible way I can protect myself and my clients. I do a full STI screening every 3-4 weeks, I’ve got a coil fitted as well as I take PreP religiously in case of accidents. I try and have a chat with all my acquaintances about sexual health so hopefully some of them have taken my advice.

What advice would you give to someone struggling in the sex industry?

K: If you’ve got an option to not do sex work, take it. Sex work is not worth destroying yourself mentally and physically. Any other “normal” job would give you the same if not better benefits in the long run. If you enjoy it that much, have it as a side hustle. Definitely not as a sole income source.

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