Non-fiction title Why Women Suck by author and online sex work expert Rhi Clare is an explosive and controversial book that lifts the lid on the exploitative world of the female sex worker and all its hidden horrors.
It is an incendiary title for an incendiary book, but Why Women Suck by author and online sex work expert Rhi Clare is far from a hollow, attention-grabbing read.
Instead, it is a critically important and, possibly, unique book exploring the world of online sex work to educate women, especially young women, about the harsh realities of working in this field.
In doing so, this frank and startling account sheds new light on a shadowy industry marked, so the author claims, by internal corruption and deceit and which lifts the lid on a veiled, secretive and, seemingly deeply troubled world where protection and policing are virtually non-existent, leaving adult content creators alone and vulnerable.
Rhi Clare’s damning exposé of online sex work holds nothing back and makes for fascinating and shocking reading.
Perhaps most controversially, it explodes the widely held belief that the principle threat to adult content creators is their male patrons. Instead, it states that it is the community of female content creators themselves that are the real danger.
For, according to the 31-year-old author, these peers are no more supportive or protective than any male-led community. Indeed, they can be—and, apparently, often are—out and out predatory.
Pulling no punches, Clare says that she regularly witnessed, and herself experienced, her peers exploiting fellow content creators as part of the course, leading to significant financial and mental harm.
The author, a mother of four, launched herself as an adult content creator at the start of 2021 after work as a freelance property manager dried up due to the pandemic.
She quickly became a top 0.2% earner within the space of a few months, having thousands of followers and subscribers, and earning tens of thousands of pounds.
This new revenue stream proved a godsend given her previous financial difficulties, and came with the added benefit of being able to work from home, but it soon became apparent to her that any expectation of other content creators being allies was grossly misplaced.
Rather, she encountered scams and cyberbullying, at times verging on blackmail, and, as she explains in the book, her story is far from unique.
Subscription-based adult content sites have ballooned in recent years, especially since the pandemic.
While this line of work carries a distinct social stigma, many women have been tempted to set themselves up with the lure of a good income, often times with the prospect of an earning power far greater than the normal nine-to-five career.
At first, other content creators, Clare says, will offer encouragement and peddle ideas of self-empowerment and wealth creation; sometimes suggesting the idea of this line of work in the first place.
But, as new recruits soon discover, this can only be realised if they build a growing fan base for their page, and that is where the scammers come in.
One of the most common issues is false marketing scams. As she explains, some content creators manage community groups on adult content platforms, as well as accounts on popular social platforms such as Twitter and messaging apps such as Telegram which, on the face of it, seem to have hundreds to thousands of followers.
And, for a monthly fee—typically a few hundred dollars—they promise to promote the content creator’s page and content to these followers in what are known as ‘drops’.
The problem is, according to Clare, that the majority of followers are bots, and that those offering this service do so simply to increase their income on adult platforms which, in turn, increases their status, visibility and likelihood of attracting more gullible users customers.
Clare, who was deceived in this way, says that she only discovered this scam after noticing that while her own follower counts were increasing, she was making no more money than before.
Interestingly, she says there is little remorse in the community over this dishonest tactic. Instead, women boast of their success, capitalising on their duplicity.
The author goes further, explaining how she confronted one of these service providers who, she says, readily admitted to paying for bots, and telling her where to go if she had any problems with that.
So, it seems that the adult content environment, for professionals, is a ruthless dog-eat-dog world, but as Why Women Suck reveals, there are many more hidden pitfalls to be wary of.
For example, Clare bemoans a rampant plagiarism that is rife within the industry, where content creators will openly steal content ideas from successful creators.
And she lashes out at content creators who pose as mentors who, for a price, will offer strategic guidance or even manage the account for a creator on their behalf.
It is, she says, usually just a ruse, with any practical advice just as easily accessible entirely for free online.
In other industries, you would expect the owners of platforms to come down hard on anyone committing such fraudulent acts but, says Clare, adult content creators are left to fend for themselves with no meaningful forms of support or redress.
Furthermore, she says, these platforms provide no sense of security at all for the content creators—basically, freelancer workers—despite many of them quitting stable if lesser-paid jobs to work in the sector.
It is not unheard of for content creators to find their pages and accounts across various online platforms—which they have built up through time, money and dedication—removed without warning, or in the case of social media, deleted for content violations.
While the public’s view of adult content creators may not be high, it must be remembered that their line of work is entirely legal and that, as the book explains, they are businesspeople who must continually invest in their own professional development to prosper.
It is, therefore, shocking to learn that they are seemingly harassed and victimised in a way that would be unconscionable in any other career.
As she writes: “With all business there is conflict, ego and manipulation and women are incredible at these arts. They will tear each other down while offering shoulder to cry on, they will expose deep traumas to feel powerful over each other. They are, in a nutshell, ruthless.”
While still being an advocate for the online content industry as a viable and legitimate career choice, Clare does not shy away from the sobering truth that many women drawn in to this world have been abused.
Likewise, she is candid on the potential of such a career choice to negatively impact romantic and family relationships, due to the associated stigma.
Her primary intention with Why Women Suck, then, is to forewarn and forearm women considering adult content creation so they can protect themselves and their loved ones as best they can.
Well-written and pithy, at times breathtakingly shocking, and at others outrageous or sad, Why Women Suck lifts the veil to reveal the ruthless nature of the online sex industry and is invaluable reading for those seeking to enter this world, and the general public alike.
Packed full of the author’s own insider experiences, it is part of a planned trilogy lifting the lid on the dark underside of online adult content creation and I, for one, cannot wait to see what other secrets are uncovered hereafter.
Why Women Suck by Rhi Clare is available now on Amazon in paperback, Hardcover and eBook formats, priced £12.99, £15.99 and £2.99 respectively.
Q&A INTERVIEW WITH WHY WOMEN SUCK AUTHOR RHI CLARE
We speak to online sex work expert Rhi Clare, author of Why Women Suck, about her shocking experiences of the online sex industry and why she believes an open discussion of the adult content creation sector is both necessary and healthy for society as a whole.
Q. What draws women into the online sex industry?
A. There are many reasons that make the career attractive to women such the illusion it’s easy money, the need for physical approval, and sexual exploration. I’d say the recent surge has come mainly from the need of fast money from home and the urge to seek positive reinforcement about physical form and skills.
Q. Adult content creation is a booming industry but there is significant social stigma attached to it. Should we re-evaluate, and on what grounds?
A. Understanding and acceptance is all that will change people’s minds and I mean that for both pro and anti sex workers! People need to accept sex work is work and there is a place for it, that it can be lucrative and enjoyable, and that it is not a question of one’s morals. Likewise, sex workers need to accept that it makes many men and women uncomfortable for a multitude of reasons and that they should stop striving to have it advertised everywhere or expose themselves explicitly on social media and expect people to be accepting of it.
I would love for the stigma to be truly discussed on the basis that if we all accept sex work exists, and is a legitimate way to earn, then let us truly decide now what will make the majority more comfortable with that fact.
Q. Knowing what you know now, what type of people will thrive in the adult industry?
A. To thrive, currently you need to be one of two things: ruthless or independent. Two types get to the top—those who exploit their peers and those who completely detach from them. The kind, sweet and supportive women that try to have friendships and help each other are often the ones that earn mid-range but get exploited and hurt by the first type of achiever.
Q. Why Women Suck lifts the lid on the adult content creation business. What do you think readers will find most surprising?
A. I think they will mostly be surprised that a worker herself is telling the truth of what goes on. With the community willing to turn their back on anyone who dare expose the truth or stand up for what is right by both women creators and the male patrons, it’s not common for anyone to do what I have done.
Q. What are the real risks to women entering this sector?
A. Financial manipulation and loss due to other creators preying on you, plagiarism of your work, emotional turmoil from the drama of the battlefield—that is, the community and the ever-looming possibility of it all being taken away in an instant by either the platform or the creators stabbing you in the back. Those are the risks every single woman in the sector faces daily.
Q. Can you give examples of how female adult creators exploit each other?
A. Many! Promising success through the purchase of followings or charging for promotion and taking payment through the sites, both to give the illusion of a successful revenue percentage to further charge women for even more ‘services’ such as advice groups, assistant matching, meet ups. These are all covered in Why Women Suck and subsequent books.
Q. Why is social media to blame for harming adult content creators?
A. Maybe not ‘harm’, exactly, but the lack of consistency and a universal definition of what is ‘sexual content’ would be more beneficial to content creators. Some social media platforms will take off pictures and videos, simply because of my body—despite me being cover neck to toe!—while others turn a blind eye to the hordes of women posting explicit images until they randomly remove someone citing their terms and conditions as the reason. This leaves workers confused and open to malicious reporting such as I’ve experienced despite my compliance.
Q. In light of your experience, do you have any regrets about entering this industry?
A. I don’t regret my career in the slightest but then again I’m of an age where I can accept that I make mistakes and grow from those experiences. I certainly made a fair few mistakes in the beginning and I will educate girls on not to repeat what I did.
Q. How can the industry be made safer for women?
A. I am hopeful that my book is the first step in a discussion on this very topic. Education and awareness seems to be key. Platforms providing support and keeping ears to the ground concerning creators participating in the exploitation of others would be a good start.
Q. Why women Suck is the first of three books by you on the subject of the adult content creation industry. What will you be addressing in future books and when are these likely to be released?
A. The full trilogy will cover all aspects of the experiences and careers of adult content creators and clients that enjoy the work. The second book is in the making as we speak and all will be revealed by the end of this year.