This year officially marks my tenth year as a full-time freelance writer. In 2005, Jonno convinced me to quit Good Vibrations and run Fleshbot with him, while writing books, and I went for it. (As an aside, December 2014 was the ten-tear birthday of Open Source Sex.) Since quitting my day job as a copywriter and retail superheroine, I’ve authored and edited many books, and reported/blogged/wrote feature pieces for a lot of great news outlets, magazines, newspapers and blogs.
But it’s never entirely stable, especially with a publishing industry in constant identity and financial crisis — and on top of that, my first and continuing challenge is self-regulation. Every freelancer knows what I mean.
Then, there’s the figuring out how to run my business part, which is very very far from any cookie-cutter startup, author, freelance journo or small business template.
I’ll just put it this way: If it wasn’t for sex censorship by so many major companies, financial institutions, tools and platforms, I’d *only* have to face the typical set of challenges all women face who run their own business. The limitations of censorship, plus the danger of doing business with companies who routinely deal unfairly (and occasionally behave harmfully) to independent businesses/businesspeople (whose business might be sex-related), has absolutely hurt me as a businessperson.
That’s everything from having my name blacklisted in search engine autocompletes, to getting accounts revoked without actually breaking any rules, being disallowed to advertise (or take advertising) through everyday channels like AdSense, worrying payment processors and social media sites (and more) will delete my account, unable to plan around Amazon and Google who may de-list (or deep-six) sexuality searches without notice, being unable to do a Kickstarter or put an app about human sexuality in Apple or Google’s marketplaces, constantly being reported on sites I have accounts on simply because some people think what I do is wrong, not being able to use any of the decent mailing list companies to have a newsletter… I could go on.
I just write about sex. That’s it.
I’m not even a sex worker, a porn maker, nor have I ever been a porn performer — what they (mostly female entrepreneurs, natch) go through trying to run their businesses is so beyond unfair, it paralyzes me with anger sometimes to think about it.
So I have to approach business differently; none of the formulas — or even tools and services — available to everyday, independent women in business are actually available to me. I imagine that if the playing field were even, I might be as financially stable (or even thriving) as many of my friends are.
All this brings me to share with you these two articles about business. They don’t apply to me directly, but last year, they fed my brain. These are articles I wanted to share with my friends who are outside of the sex sphere, because the innate business wisdom in them transcends the sex sector, yet doesn’t reflect any business advice I’ve seen in the non-sex sectors (such as startup culture, or enterprise tech where I make my living).
- “A clearly written contract, even among close friends, trumps a casual attitude of assumed agreements.” Tricks of the Trade: Porn’s ‘Best Practices’ for Content Trades and Shares (in Pink Label TV: Guides)
- “One is the most profitable number.” Sex is Sex: But Money is Money (Medium)