8 Alternative Revenue Streams for Sex Workers During COVID-19

There’s a moratorium on porn production right now. There’s a moratorium on most industries right now, but not even the coronavirus will stop adult content from being made while most of the country—and world—is on lockdown during this pandemic.

Currently, in-person porn shoots are on hold for those who do not already live with other performers. Following California Governor Gavin Newsom’s closure of all non-essential businesses, the Free Speech Coalition urged performers and producers to “cancel all shoots” in March. The adult industry trade group also advised performers to “immediately stop filming with partners who are not a part of their household.”

So, what is a porn star to do when they can’t shoot gangbangs and threesomes with their colleagues?

Independently Produced Content

Hollywood-starlet-turned-adult-model Maitland Ward told The Wrap,

“Truth be told, performers on our side are in a better spot because they can still create and make money. Also, I’m stuck at home, too, so I’m doing a lot more content just to fill time as well.”

Maitland Ward for Deeper.com
Maitland Ward

Sure, they can still shoot solo masturbation scenes. And if they live in a model house with several other performers, the opportunity for partnered content is still available. But if physical distancing remains the order in Porn Town, USA, some creativity may be required.

Shares two-time AVN Award winner April Flores:

“[Staying home] in my apartment has me finding new places to shoot that aren’t in a studio or outside my home. I recently made a video of me cooking in lingerie which I don’t think I would have shot if I wasn’t confined to my home. It turned out really cute. I will definitely be doing more cooking videos!”

Many performers still rely upon clip sales for a steady stream of income as paid shoots are paused, and fans are rabid for new content. With more people at home with more time to watch porn, new videos from their favorite stars is likely at an all-time high. For some, the challenge to mix it up is welcomed.

“The creativity I’ve had to draw from is one of the positives I am trying to be mindful of during this pandemic,”

April Flores
April Flores

Flores even takes suggestions from her fan base to assist with new ideas. She gushes,

“It’s so cool to have a dialogue with them hearing what they’d like to see. My fans have a diverse range of turn-ons and it keeps me full of inspiration and ideas.”

Taking Producer Requests Remotely

Those who are married to or live with other performers are able to push out new coupled content that gives them a leg up (on the kitchen counter) over the competition. Inked Awards nominee Sonia Harcourt lives with her husband Erik Todd, and they’re in an enviable position to pick up work that other performers were forced to drop. She shares,

“Just this week, I’ve been in touch with a few producers who are getting custom requests that can be fulfilled by a couple like us. We will shoot the content and send it to the producers. One producer just asked us to make some chloroform fetish clips!”

Sonia Harcourt
Sonia Harcourt

Releasing Stockpiled Clips

Some savvy creators have saved up content for a rainy day. Shares Harcourt,

“I had a bunch stockpiled. Overall, I haven’t been too affected. I’m still camming and catching up on uploading my unreleased content.”

Lotus Lain, the Industry Relations Advocate at the Free Speech Coalition, is using this time as an opportunity to release content she’s been holding onto.

“I’m releasing never-before-seen footage and films on my OnlyFans, so I can focus on relaxing and not scrambling to survive.”

Lotus Lain from Elegant Angel
Lotus Lain


The revolutionary world of webcamming is used to working from home often by themselves. Cam boy Johnny Stone—a Best Male Clip Artist XBIZ Award-winner—has seen an uptick in viewers on Chaturbate, though he admits the tips have not spiked accordingly,

“People are losing their jobs, so there are less tips. But they want to come to Chaturbate where they’re not always required to pay to watch my show.”


And the shows are becoming more creative as he figures out how to stay unique, entertaining, and sexy. He’s incorporating his weekly Twitch segment, “Science Sundays,” into his live cam shows.

“We’ll make DIY home supplies like soap and detergent—stuff that’s difficult to get without entering crowded stores. So, we can do a show where I get naked and we make the soap. And then, they can tip towards a raffle to win the soap. Plus, they learn how to make something useful at home!”


Some creators do not have the option of shooting new porn. Director Holly Randall—who hosts the popular Holly Randall Unfiltered podcast—is redirecting her efforts.

“I’ve never depended solely on studio shoots—though production is my main source of income by far. So, I am focusing more on promoting my passive forms of revenue: my website HollyRandall.com, my OnlyFans, my podcast’s Patreon page.”

YouTube-Friendly Content

Many agree that traffic is up while people are home. Porn companies have announced spikes in traffic as country after country and state after state imposed harsher quarantining directives.

Shares Randall,

“I am definitely getting higher numbers in terms of my website memberships and podcast hits. The Holly Randall Unfiltered YouTube channel is almost at three million monthly views now, up about a million from last month!”

Non-Adult Work

Other performers are shifting to non-porn work to make ends meet. Harcourt writes porn captions for a network of clip stores. Lain, outside of her work for FSC, consults on business formation and tax filing for other performers.

It’s important for us all to keep our spirits up as best we can. Porn stars are no different.

April Flores shares how she’s getting by in self-isolation:

“Connecting and communicating with my friends, family, and fans gets my spirits up. I’ve re-discovered how great in-depth phone conversations are. I haven’t talked on the phone this much since I was a teen in the 90s!”

Lotus Lain mixes it up with a variety of feel-good activities:

“I go on hikes in secret locations. I dance to various livestreams on DJs’ Instagrams. Listening to three-hour soundbaths on YouTube with no talking has been nice and calming during anxiety-inducing news updates.”

And Stone? He’s indulged more in his cooking hobby. Naturally, he lets his fans peep in on the fun.

“I finally tried making salmon quiche and stuffed peppers! Fans just watch me cook, but sometimes depending on the show, they’ll get me nude.”

Gotta make that money.

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