Engaging in sex work is an impulsive decision for me, but it is driven by my environmental and economic needs. When you face a challenging health condition like me, it may be difficult to find a stable job and complete a tertiary education. It’s not that I’m not capable or attractive enough, I’m just struggling with eight hours of work a day, or have a strict nine-to-five schedule.
I had a rather messy childhood, but one of the biggest struggles was my health. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 10 years old, which is an intestinal-specific autoimmune disease, so I spent most of my early years in a hospital in British Columbia, Canada. Grew up there. I am always very artistic, so reading and writing have become the best way for me to deal with the hospitalization for several weeks at a time.
I briefly studied Eastern religion and anthropology. But when I was in college, I lived in the hospital. I will inject drugs intravenously in the morning, wrap my arm, and then take the bus to school. After class, I will take my homework and bus back to the hospital. I actually did finish this course, but other than that, I didn’t continue my secondary education because it was exhausting physically and emotionally.
After several years of fundraising work, my physical and mental health has been affected. Patients with ulcerative colitis usually experience a cycle of repeated attacks and remissions. I eventually lost my job, and from there, despite some strange jobs in the retail industry, I had to go to the food bank and the local Sikh temple to get free meals. Every month, I try to collect a few hundred dollars in rent while sharing the rent with multiple roommates. Then, a friend asked me if I had heard of “camming”. The concept of making money online by having sex in front of the camera is crazy to me.
In March 2014, I registered a website with a bad laptop, but I don’t know what will happen. I was immediately bombarded by dozens of news. I don’t know how much the tokens are worth or how much they charge. It is actually the users of the site who instruct me what to do. On the first night, I performed a private mill show, which included sex toys and self-pleasure.
This is the first time I have done such a thing, so I feel nervous, but acting in front of a group of people is very different from acting in front of your computer. I can’t even see the person on the other side. Fear and discomfort are not a problem for me.
I worked two hours and made $170 that day. That was about 215 Canadian dollars, and my rent was 500 US dollars. I think shooting a few nights a week can earn me the same income as my regular salary.
In the first few years, any cam work I did was very sporadic, and I was still working on other jobs, but in 2017, I decided to dedicate my work week to cams. The return is immediate. For a few days I couldn’t even believe how much money I could make by sitting in my own home, eating my own food and drinking tea. I wear the clothes I want, and sometimes I don’t even have sex. I might talk to people from all over the world while eating lunch, playing ukulele or folding clothes, learn about their lives and make a living during this time.
Since 2017, my annual income has been fluctuating. But I am still in my 20s, and my income is between US$80,000 and US$200,000. In October 2018, I was ranked in the top 30 among 10,000 models on a website. That’s so exciting. But the money I make always depends on my workload, my own mental health, financial situation and what is happening in the world. In the past year or so, the pandemic has affected many people.
My health also affects my work every day. I cannot eat solid food for a few weeks. I will have to eat baby food or broth, then try to perform and keep in touch with fans. I had to go to the hospital or emergency room and try different kinds of drugs to treat my ulcerative colitis.
I don’t want to be considered sick, but it does affect me. Of course, when the image you are trying to portray is sexy, talking about your gut health is embarrassing and embarrassing. But over time, I started to share my health issues with my chat rooms and fans.
People are really supportive, which makes me realize that it’s not just the sexual aspect that brings people back, but also me and my personality. This makes me feel very grateful, like it very much, and very popular. It also gave me a chance to hear other people’s stories. I was fortunate to hear about the health issues experienced by consumers and creators of adult content.
Therefore, when I had an abdominal total colectomy-I removed the entire colon and my small intestine passed through the abdomen again-in July 2019, I did tell my fans what happened and through my social networking The media let people know about the media because I was hospitalized for nearly a month due to complications.
It took me a few months to get back to a place where I was ready to think about the next step professionally, but continuing to engage in sex work seemed a breeze. In addition to doing what I like to do, I also realized that no entry-level job can pay for the money I have been making.
I returned to camming in September 2019 and received a lot of love and sympathy. At the beginning, I mainly wore waistbands or high-waist underwear to hide my stoma. I have been wearing it after the operation. But over time, in many cases, I was naked and my medical equipment was visible.
I find that I will be in a place where I want to perform, and the newcomer in the chat room will ask a question. This was kind, but it started to make me a little uneasy. So, over time, I adapted and started a OnlyFans page. I really don’t do videography anymore, but I rekindled my passion and inspiration for the sex work I did.
I also do publicity work, which brings me a lot of happiness. I recently led a “Disability in Sex Work” group on behalf of the Advocacy Organizational Work Survival Guide. I am passionate about representatives of disabled bodies. I want people to know that disability and healthy sex and sex are not mutually exclusive.
I tried to lead by example, so I developed a calendar for sex workers with disabilities for 2020 and 2021. People with disabilities rarely appear in mainstream media, let alone pornography. It is difficult to consume media and never see one’s own representative, so it is challenging to consume pornography without seeing one’s body.
Mainstream pornography does not show the vast majority of bodies in the world. Oversized models or interracial scenes are often infatuated or become the full focus of pornography. The bodies of disabled people rarely even appear.
Propaganda work often makes me spend money, but this is not for financial gain. For example, the calendar is art, it is expressive and educational. For the people in it, this is really a kind of power. My goal is to one day no longer need publicity work, because the disabled body will normalize; institutions like me will become mainstream.
I sometimes receive negative comments. People say, “Why should I watch that?” But these comments remind me that this work is still necessary.
People with disabilities consume pornography just like everyone else, so they should be represented like everyone else.
Alex’GoAskAlex’ Resident is a sex worker and disability advocate living in British Columbia, Canada.You can find more information about her goaskalexonline.com Or follow her on Instagram @goaskalexonline.
All views expressed in this article are the author’s own views.
As told to Jenny Howard.