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Paid Survey and Research Interviews for models

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Oct 30, 2023
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Hi All,

My name's Robbie Warin, I'm a researcher at the University of Oxford where I'm looking at working conditions for people using online sex work platforms. We're currently researching 4 key platforms: 1) OnlyFans 2) Chaturbate 3) AdultWork 4) Streamate

The project aims to understand what it is like working on sex work platforms.

For those undertaking the survey you'll be paid £15 and we can process payment via bank transfer (for those based in the UK), PayPal and Wise. The survey takes between 20-40 minutes to complete.

If you are currently working via Chaturbate and are interested in taking part of our research, you can find more information and find our pre-survey (completion time 2-4 minutes) here:

https://linktr.ee/fairworksexwork

The goal of the project is to influence the way that sex work platforms operate, identifying key recommendations for improving working conditions and implementing changes that benefit workers. This research involves surveys and interviews with workers about their work, asking questions about their pay, working hours, the problems they encounter and what support these platforms give.

For transparency, I'm including my own Oxford profile here: https://fair.work/en/fw/fairwork-sex-work-project/

The link to the broader project this is part of: https://fair.work/en/fw/homepage/

and a web page with more info: https://fair.work/en/fw/fairwork-sex-work-project/

Our research has also been shared by sex worker groups, such as SWARM in the UK:

If mods, or anyone else has any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. I'll try keep an active eye on the forum, but otherwise I can be reached at robbie.warin@oii.ox.ac.uk
 
The results of this are going to be so skewed :facepalm:
A lot of the higher earning, more successful models on these sites, are not going to accept 15 quid ($18.23 US Dollars) for 20-possibly 40 mins work.
Just for reference on the Westcoast of the US minimum wage is about $15 an hour right now, many places.
So you're not going to get a fair representative sample or cross-section at all.
You're basically going to be relying on people who either have goodwill and good faith, or extra time they don't mind donating. And the rest of us who are super busy, and don't have the extra time to do some work for such a low rate, probably won't have a voice at all.
 
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Hi Marie,

Thanks for your reply. The aim isn't really to get a representative sample in regards to all of the types of workers and yes definitely it will be skewed in a number of ways. The aim is more to document the types of issues people encounter, how platforms work to mitigate these issues or exacerbate them, and how different platforms have different approaches - and what the outcome of these approaches are. We wouldn't, for example, be trying to make any definitive claims about average rates of pay, the focus would be more on outlining the types of issues people encounter when using a platform like CB.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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I'm not interested in this because I believe the way Chaturbate works is quite fair and reasonable. We're independent contractors not employees and I never want to see that changed. I believe trying to change that, to make us employees, is exactly the opposite of every thing I signed up for, I'm in this gig specifically because I do not want to be anyone's employee.
 
I'm not interested in this because I believe the way Chaturbate works is quite fair and reasonable. We're independent contractors not employees and I never want to see that changed. I believe trying to change that, to make us employees, is exactly the opposite of every thing I signed up for, I'm in this gig specifically because I do not want to be anyone's employee.
Hi,

Of course, you are totally free not to engage with the research and appreciate your opinion and perspective. Just to clarify, we are not advocating for anyone becoming employees but trying to look at the types of issues people face in working on platforms like CB and the different ways platforms shape people's experiences of work.
 
Yeah honestly, I'm not interested for the same reasons. And what I'm saying is that you will only find the types of problems that some people encounter, not everyone. Which I don't feel your response addressed.
Anyways good luck though. But why aren't you guys doing a project on research conditions inside England's prominent and wealthiest Universities? Oxford being one of the top two, right? Seems like that would be more your wheelhouse.

I'm not a fan of outsiders trying to get involved and "change things", because I'm also mainly happy with the status quo.

If you offer to advertise our links to your Alumni as payment instead, I might change my mind though 😆 I am a business woman first and foremost.

Also the problem I'm trying to highlight as tactfully as I can, is that the models who earn less and are less successful on each platform, are going to be the ones motivated to participate in this. Those of us who are perfectly happy, will have no motivation. So from the outset your proposal is trying to look for "problems" to "fix". And as far as I'm concerned there are none at the level that one of England's most prestigious (and wealthy) Universities needs to get involved with 😆 I mean, unless you want to fix capitalism?
 
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Yeah honestly, I'm not interested for the same reasons. And what I'm saying is that you will only find the types of problems that some people encounter, not everyone. Which I don't feel your response addressed.
Anyways good luck though. But why aren't you guys doing a project on research conditions inside England's prominent and wealthiest Universities? Oxford being one of the top two, right? Seems like that would be more your wheelhouse.

I'm not a fan of outsiders trying to get involved and "change things", because I'm also mainly happy with the status quo.

If you offer to advertise our links to your Alumni as payment instead, I might change my mind though 😆 I am a business woman first and foremost.

Also the problem I'm trying to highlight as tactfully as I can, is that the models who earn less and are less successful on each platform are going to be the ones motivated to participate in this. Those of us who are perfectly happy will have no motivation. So from the outset your proposal is trying to look for "problems" to "fix". And as far as I'm concerned there are none at the level that one opf England's most prestigious (and wealthy) Universities needs to get involved with 😆
Totally respect your opinion and decision not to engage
 
Yeah honestly, I'm not interested for the same reasons. And what I'm saying is that you will only find the types of problems that some people encounter, not everyone. Which I don't feel your response addressed.
Anyways good luck though. But why aren't you guys doing a project on research conditions inside England's prominent and wealthiest Universities? Oxford being one of the top two, right? Seems like that would be more your wheelhouse.

I'm not a fan of outsiders trying to get involved and "change things", because I'm also mainly happy with the status quo.

If you offer to advertise our links to your Alumni as payment instead, I might change my mind though 😆 I am a business woman first and foremost.

Also the problem I'm trying to highlight as tactfully as I can, is that the models who earn less and are less successful on each platform are going to be the ones motivated to participate in this. Those of us who are perfectly happy will have no motivation. So from the outset your proposal is trying to look for "problems" to "fix". And as far as I'm concerned there are none at the level that one opf England's most prestigious (and wealthy) Universities needs to get involved with 😆
I'll be less tactful -- trying to break things that aren't broken.
 
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I'll be less tactful -- trying to break things that aren't broken.
Yep. It's spicy and fun to analyze sex workers. We get it.
 
Hi Marie,

Thanks for your reply. The aim isn't really to get a representative sample in regards to all of the types of workers and yes definitely it will be skewed in a number of ways. The aim is more to document the types of issues people encounter, how platforms work to mitigate these issues or exacerbate them, and how different platforms have different approaches - and what the outcome of these approaches are. We wouldn't, for example, be trying to make any definitive claims about average rates of pay, the focus would be more on outlining the types of issues people encounter when using a platform like CB.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
These sites have internal teams already doing this, not sure what this will achieve, it's not like they will read the research and be like by governor these people know more than we do (as they fall asleep on stacks of billions of dollars) and be willing to change something that has been extremely successful since its debut.
 
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I already filled out the survey, talked to Robbie and also checked out Fairwork's website and other projects and if anyone ever saw me responding to randos wanting to capitalise (be it financially or any other way) on our backs you know I'm usually very happy to kindly ask them to go fuck themselves, but in this case I don't think the researchers behind this project are treating researching sex work platforms as something spicy and fun but as a natural inclusion to the other work they're doing around vanilla platforms. I truly don't know if their research is going to help us in any way, but I don't see how it could harm us and yes, I was one of theose people who could've used 15 quid (I 100% agree that it is not much and I would love to see these rates go up if they ever do another survey around our work).

I felt the language and attitute towards sex workers in the survey and in our conversation was very respectful, it seemed to me that people involved in this project did their work educating themselves about SW and various issues SWers might face and I also noticed on Fairwork's twitter that when they were hiring an extra researcher for this project they mentioned experience in SW as something desirable for people applying for that position, which I also appreciated. The questions they asked seemed quite neutral and I didn't feel they were fishing for negative experiences/opinions on chaturbate or pushing into any direction.

Also, for me survey didn't take longer than 15 min to fill out. I know that might be an important factor for someone deciding if participation in this research is worth it for them, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

I'm not telling anyone what to do, I wouldn't have spent my time on this if I didn't need the money, but yeah, my experience was overall positive and I wanted to share it.
 
Hi All,

My name's Robbie Warin, I'm a researcher at the University of Oxford where I'm looking at working conditions for people using online sex work platforms. We're currently researching 4 key platforms: 1) OnlyFans 2) Chaturbate 3) AdultWork 4) Streamate

The project aims to understand what it is like working on sex work platforms.

For those undertaking the survey you'll be paid £15 and we can process payment via bank transfer (for those based in the UK), PayPal and Wise. The survey takes between 20-40 minutes to complete.

If you are currently working via Streamate and are interested in taking part of our research, you can find the link to our pre-survey (completion time 1 minute) here:


You can find out more information about our research project via our linktree:


The goal of the project is to influence the way that sex work platforms operate, identifying key recommendations for improving working conditions and implementing changes that benefit workers. This research involves surveys and interviews with workers about their work, asking questions about their pay, working hours, the problems they encounter and what support these platforms give.

For transparency, I'm including my own Oxford profile here: https://fair.work/en/fw/fairwork-sex-work-project/

The link to the broader project this is part of: https://fair.work/en/fw/homepage/

and a web page with more info: https://fair.work/en/fw/fairwork-sex-work-project/

Our research has also been shared by sex worker groups, such as SWARM in the UK:

If mods, or anyone else has any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. I'll try keep an active eye on the forum, but otherwise I can be reached at robbie.warin@oii.ox.ac.uk
 
15$, for 20-40 min?
Try 150$.
Many models can earn that or more in that time just chatting.
This is a bit insulting to be honest, asking for that much of our time, and paying that little.
 
The most wealthy, prestigious university in England is gonna "help" us all out for $15 😆
It really communicates a deep respect for sex workers and our time.
Definitely an "ally" to our cause 😆
Great look.
 
Hi all, yep agree I wish it were more too and recognise that it's likely far lower than many people's wages in the sector. It's sadly all we can afford as we have limited funds to complete the research, totally respect your decision not to engage with the project.
 
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I dunno I feel like this is better than most of the survey ppl we get on here. At least they’re offering something and I appreciate the transparency/respectful tone.

I do think that when you offer money but only a small amount this may like.. sway the responses you get? Like very low earning sex workers or sex workers in desperate situations are the most likely to take the time to fill this out because the 15 pounds might be worth it to them. But busier, higher earning (or even midrange earning) models won’t be able to justify the time

I’m curious how projects with limited funding like this account for these issues..
 
Yeah...paying 15 pounds is definitely going to skew your data even worse than if you payed nothing.

I find it interesting as well that you're advocating for "fair work" practices yet paying below most countries minimum wage?
The last survey I did (Melb uni Phd student) paid $150aud and was less than 30min.
They were able to get workers from various income levels.

The other aspect here is that I'm not sure you understand how our business model works...we aren't employees of the sites. If the sites want to make more money and retain better models, they'll invest in doing so. We simply go where we make money and enjoy...we're self employed.

A survey isn't really going to do much of anything to change our "working conditions" as we provide those ourselves.
 
I dunno I feel like this is better than most of the survey ppl we get on here. At least they’re offering something and I appreciate the transparency/respectful tone.

I do think that when you offer money but only a small amount this may like.. sway the responses you get? Like very low earning sex workers or sex workers in desperate situations are the most likely to take the time to fill this out because the 15 pounds might be worth it to them. But busier, higher earning (or even midrange earning) models won’t be able to justify the time

I’m curious how projects with limited funding like this account for these issues..
Hi,

Thanks for your response and you raise a really good point. The question surrounding sample bias is a really good one and definitely something we have thought about. In our study we don't claim to have a representative sample, as in we wouldn't suggest that our data is representative of the whole community of people who use a platform like Streamate. Undoubtedly we will have data which is skewed in a number of ways - for example, most of our respondents so far have been based in the UK as a result of the ways we've shared the research call and our links with specific sex worker led groups here. That's not representative of the broader population on the different platforms, who are predominately based outside the UK, so there's definitely sampling bias here too.

However the purpose of the research is to look at the different types of issues that workers experience and how the platform responds to these issues. For example, if someone on Streamate is deactivated, we would ask the worker - what processes were in place to allow them to appeal this decision should they want to get their account back? Were they able to recoup any unclaimed wages on the platform? - we can then look at the different things that platforms are, or aren't putting in place and look at the differences between them. For example, on Platform X you might be offered a formal appeals process, whereas on Platform Y there might be no such appeals process. We can then ask questions about why this is and the impact of such differences on the experiences of workers.

Obviously there may still be some issues that come up through sampling bias, but we recongise that we can never fully eliminate this, so will make these clear and transparent within our research findings, which is common practice for all scientific research.

I hope that answers some of your questions, but do let me know if you have any further questions.
 
I've merged the 2 threads @RobbieWarin created into one in the general section, there's no need for multiple. (That may mean there's redundant posts in this one due to the move.)
 
I've merged the 2 threads @RobbieWarin created into one in the general section, there's no need for multiple. (That may mean there's redundant posts in this one due to the move.)
Hi,
Ok thanks for that - sorry if I caused some confusion. Thought it would be best to have posts in specific forums for the platforms we're studying to avoid cluttering up other spaces but if this makes more sense then that's great. Would it be possible to amend the thread title to read CB and SM models for clarity? I don't appear to be able to change this myself.
 
Hi,
Ok thanks for that - sorry if I caused some confusion. Thought it would be best to have posts in specific forums for the platforms we're studying to avoid cluttering up other spaces but if this makes more sense then that's great. Would it be possible to amend the thread title to read CB and SM models for clarity? I don't appear to be able to change this myself.
I updated the title already, just "models" is fine.

The site specific sections are for support requests and such.
 
Yeah...paying 15 pounds is definitely going to skew your data even worse than if you payed nothing.

I find it interesting as well that you're advocating for "fair work" practices yet paying below most countries minimum wage?
The last survey I did (Melb uni Phd student) paid $150aud and was less than 30min.
They were able to get workers from various income levels.

The other aspect here is that I'm not sure you understand how our business model works...we aren't employees of the sites. If the sites want to make more money and retain better models, they'll invest in doing so. We simply go where we make money and enjoy...we're self employed.

A survey isn't really going to do much of anything to change our "working conditions" as we provide those ourselves.
Hi There,

Firstly, that's brilliant that the researchers you spoke to before were able to pay you so well. I really commend any research that is able to offer such high rates to workers and I wish it was something we could also offer. When making decisions about payment rates we had to make considerations based on limited funding and an attempt to get enough data to ensure that we felt we were capturing a different array of experiences and issues across the 4 different platforms we're studying. Taking into account these 2 considerations we came up with payment figures that we hoped would be adequate to allow workers to take part in our research, but recognise that for many this is below their normal hourly rate on the platforms they work.

Your point about our research paying below minimum wage really got me thinking and I thought I would do a bit of research in case this is indeed true. Taking as a starting point that the survey takes on average about 20-30 minutes to complete and pays £15, that equates to an average hourly wage of around £30 - more if you do it in less time, less if you do it slower. I looked it up and the highest hourly minimum wage in the world is Luxembourg with a minimum hourly wage for skilled workers of €17.83 (£15.56). Therefore, as far as I can tell, it's unlikely that there would be cases of people being paid less than their local minimum wage, unless they are taking a lot of extra time to complete the survey and based in very specific high earning parts of the world.

That being said, I respect anyones decision to not engage with the research for whatever reasons. If you would like more information, we have a short information pack that I'd happily send over to anyone who's interested.
 
Hi,

Thanks for your response and you raise a really good point. The question surrounding sample bias is a really good one and definitely something we have thought about. In our study we don't claim to have a representative sample, as in we wouldn't suggest that our data is representative of the whole community of people who use a platform like Streamate. Undoubtedly we will have data which is skewed in a number of ways - for example, most of our respondents so far have been based in the UK as a result of the ways we've shared the research call and our links with specific sex worker led groups here. That's not representative of the broader population on the different platforms, who are predominately based outside the UK, so there's definitely sampling bias here too.

However the purpose of the research is to look at the different types of issues that workers experience and how the platform responds to these issues. For example, if someone on Streamate is deactivated, we would ask the worker - what processes were in place to allow them to appeal this decision should they want to get their account back? Were they able to recoup any unclaimed wages on the platform? - we can then look at the different things that platforms are, or aren't putting in place and look at the differences between them. For example, on Platform X you might be offered a formal appeals process, whereas on Platform Y there might be no such appeals process. We can then ask questions about why this is and the impact of such differences on the experiences of workers.

Obviously there may still be some issues that come up through sampling bias, but we recongise that we can never fully eliminate this, so will make these clear and transparent within our research findings, which is common practice for all scientific research.

I hope that answers some of your questions, but do let me know if you have any further questions.

Wages: You initially posted saying 20-40minutes. I know that in Australia we have "award wages" which means that the minimum wage varies based on industry, experience, and employment structure.

To give you an example that applies to me personally and to many others...the minimum legal wage for my job (Modeling) in Australia is $120.78aud.
This is the minimum cost of hiring my knowledge and experience as a model.
As I have 19 years of experience in the field, I do charge above the minimum when I pose for photographers, teach others how to model, or am hired for other things that utilize my career worth of knowledge.
I also charge more than that because I am a sole trader, and not an employee. I'm guessing that I don't need to explain the difference to you?

15 pounds of business income isn't 15 pounds of personal pay.

This is something that is absolutely necessary to understand about our industry.

We're running our own businesses, using multiple platforms as marketplaces.

Then we get into the international law aspect of it all.

Sites delete profiles for legal reasons, and that's a good thing. It shouldn't be easy to reinstate a profile if a law has been broken as it puts other performers at risk of deplatforming and investors at risk of business closure if countries blacklist the site due to legal issues.

How the sites treat us- they're providing us a service as a separate business and entity to ours. They basically don't treat us any way or other...theres almost no communication...its just a site, just a platform. If it's shit, they'll simply not make as much money. If they want to make money they can do market research...it's their business not mine. Again, not an employee.
Essentially the sites don't treat us as anything other than their customers. It's a tiered system. They provide the platform, and we essentially pay out of our profit for that. Just like eBay and Etsy.
Some are a bit "pyramid" shaped with the referrals but mostly it's 3 tiers... platform, creators, people who buy the creations.

As you can see...I'm really struggling to find any actual application for the results of this survey.

The sites are a separate entity entirely to what I do.

My boss is me.

I choose my working conditions.

If I don't like a site, I don't do business on it. There's hundreds to choose from.

What actually would the survey results give these sites that their own market research isn't already giving them in a way that is more relevant to their particular business model? CB/SM/ETC doesn't need info that's mixed in with other sites info...if they want feedback they just ask, or look at their support request inbox.

I just don't see the usefulness of this survey when you could be focusing on something that would benefit workers like "how easy is it to access health support as an adult industry worker in XYZ location, and what changes could be made to make it more accessible" ?
 
As some with a background in anthropology who has published research I can say the compensation is very low and that we are a pretty closed off community when it comes to outsiders wanting to research us.

You’d have better luck finding models to speak out with higher compensation and if you were involved in the community.

Beyond that you already admitted it’s a skewed view and has a limited scope. No interest on research that isn’t going to accurately reflect the community as a whole… especially when you’re looking at very different sites and services. Paid subscription is not the same as camming and Chaturbate and live jasmine are very different cultures and sites. And Adultnwork is whole other world with escorting….
 
I took it and honestly I think the remuneration was fair. It only took about 15 minutes and that was with me doing other things and the questions were basic and not at all salacious . It could just as easily been asking about driving for Uber.
 
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