In the past couple of years, the social media app TikTok has become well known worldwide. It is even more popular than microblogging platform Tumblr was at its peak between 2011 and 2013, and the engagement rate on TikTok is significantly higher than it is on other popular social media platforms.
It is not surprising that adult entertainers have joined the hype, wanting a taste of this popular social media platform as well. Just like with Instagram, which frequently deletes sex workers’ posts and accounts, TikTok does not appear to be that friendly to the adult industry community.
TikTok Community Guidelines
The platform clearly states that anyone from the age of 13 and up can use TikTok, which enforces strict rules about the content that can be posted. A quote from their community guidelines reads: “We do not allow depictions, including digitally created or manipulated content, of nudity or sexual activity.”
Per their guidelines, it is prohibited to post, upload, stream or share content that:
— explicitly or implicitly depicts sexual activities including penetrative and non-penetrative sex, oral sex, or erotic kissing
— depicts sexual arousal or sexual stimulation
— depicts a sexual fetish
— depicts exposed human genitalia, female nipples or areola, pubic regions, or buttocks
— contains sexually explicit language for sexual gratification
You can read the full list of community guidelines here.
From Theory to Practice Using TikTok
Plush has been using TikTok for a little over two months and, although four of her videos had been taken down, her account has never been deleted.
“I started to post makeup that I do for my cam [shows], and everything [blew] up when I posted a video of me pole dancing in a beginner class. That video went viral by getting 2.4M views, and now TikTok is the platform where I have the most followers,” said Plush.
After her viral video, all of her platforms blew up. Plush quickly gained enough YouTube subscribers to qualify for the content partner program, and her OnlyFans subscribers went from about 60 to over 200. Though this all sounds great, Plush pointed out that there are both pros and cons in using TikTok.
“The pros are that there are a lot of people using the platform who I can lead to my Premium sites by having a link in my bio. I can do live [shows] and connect with the audience and I can monetize my videos (which I do, I applied for the Creator Program and I am in). People started following [me] because they can see me as an inspiration, and I can make their day and life better, and give them hope,” shared Plush.
However, Plush has also seen the cons of TikTok which include a general lack of transparency regarding what content is acceptable or not.
“TikTok can take down your videos without letting you know and without [giving you] the chance to appeal. Their algorithms are one of the most sensitive,” said Plush.
The pose for the shooting vs. the pose for checking if the capture is acceptable for the main concept.
Not everything is perfect BTS if I’m not using my glasses I see super blur. 🤷🏻♀️🤦🏻♀️ but FUCK IT I STILL LOOK CUTE! pic.twitter.com/x6rWpJgAcX
— Vicky Plush | OnlyFans 50% off NOW! (@VickyPlush) April 7, 2021
Saunders has been using TikTok for about a year now. She has had her account deleted six times and is now on her seventh (7th!) account. The exposure TikTok offers, however, keeps her coming back.
“The TikTok algorithm is unmatched in delivering exposure to creators on the platform and actually matching them with people who want to see what they’re posting,” said Saunders — however, she also maintains that the anti sex-work nature of the app makes is harder for sex workers to promote themselves or even speak about their job in general.
“They even recently updated their terms to say you can’t speak positively about sex work in any fashion — online or in person — because that is ‘promoting it.’ Obviously, people still talk about it, but in a sneaky way as to not get banned,” explained Saunders.
“I do think TikTok can be useful for online sex workers, although it is becoming an increasingly harder space to promote in. TikTok is a great place to drive traffic to fan clubs and live cams, with OnlyFans being a major converter on the platform due to the widespread recognition of their site as a brand,” said Saunders.
“If you do join TikTok, keep in mind you are always at risk of account deletion and content bans, but their algorithm is great and you will gain a following back pretty quickly with consistency,” Saunders said.
1/4 of the way done 😅 I am ready for a nap LOL pic.twitter.com/gPsYKIiRIm
— aerie (@AerieSaunders) March 20, 2021
TikTok Tips for Online Sex Workers
Now, is it really worth it to use TikTok for promotion? The choice is up to you. If you do decide to give this platform a try, here are some helpful tips from Plush and Saunders to help avoid the typical mistakes adult entertainers might make.
“It’s a good idea to be active, funny, showing probably something outside the sex work that you enjoy so the people can get interested in what you do and started supporting you,” Plush advised.
Saunders shared that, in her experience, incorporating website merch has been a huge help in avoiding bans. Plush also recommends using website merch for subtle promotion of your work.
“I use my OnlyFans hoodie or I do videos that are sassy and sexy, so you know I am all about tease,” shared Plush.
“I would recommend also creating a backup account where you save sounds that you use and utilizing the SaveTok app when you post so that in the case your account is deleted you can recycle all of the videos you have already made!’ recommended Saunders.
“Most of all, have fun,” she added. “If you spend a lot of time being a perfectionist on TikTok you will be a lot more upset by their strict rules and bans. Just have fun and let the algorithm do its thing!”
Background header image via Pexels here.