Have you ever thought about what’s happening to the adult entertainment industry during COVID-19? Nowadays, even online dating is considered risky as a consequence of the pandemic, so you probably know that visiting a crowded strip club is not safe. However, what are the alternatives? We’ll explain why watching an online strip show is the new normal!
By now, you’re likely aware that most major industries and businesses have closed down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One field that became the most vulnerable is sex work. That includes strip clubs, red-light districts, and more.
Currently, many strip clubs in major cities like Las Vegas and others are closed because there is simply no way of keeping them open. Of course, this is due to social distancing measures and the fact that the clubs are considered nonessential businesses. What’s more, physical contact is a big risk during the pandemic.
As a result, both sides have suffered. For one, strip clubs are facing major financial problems. While they have to stay closed, they also have to pay for their utilities, rental costs, and similar expenses. What’s more, their staff, and primarily the dancers, are faced with non-existent incomes. Plus, many are unable to collect unemployment benefits.
To make things even worse, some data shows that striptease venues already had a tough financial year back in 2019. On the other hand, striptease lovers are also currently at a disadvantage because they have no way of seeing an exciting show in person.
Luckily, the internet has been our savior during these harsh times.
The Rise of Online Strippers
The lack of open striptease clubs certainly didn’t impact the demand for strippers. Thousands of workers have made the shift to providing their services online. In March and April, many strippers started to book live Zoom calls with audiences of over 30 people. This became a way of working safely during the crisis while actually earning some money. And it’s not only a private endeavor.
Many strip clubs have started to offer online shows through their websites. A members-only club from New York City, Die Happy Tonight, even launched a virtual reality stripper service through their website. The VR sessions provide a 360-degree video that aims to give the viewer a real-life experience of a lap dance in the club’s VIP room.
How It Works
So how does online stripping work? As mentioned, it can be done through Zoom, Skype, or similar platforms. Moreover, many dancers have started to make online bookings on sites like OnlyFans or IsMyGirl. Some are earning around $200 per booking. They can make more if the viewers send them money through virtual tips. Depending on who you ask, that can be comparable to a full night’s work in a real club.
Additionally, popular camming sites have seen a surge of new performers in the past six months. In fact, online sex work is basically taking over the adult entertainment industry as a result of COVID-19.
For example, on Pornhub or other sites, performers can create and publish their own free or paid content with their own prices and rules. The platform IsMyGirl recorded a 150% increase in new performers during the lockdown, according to CEO Evan Seinfeld. Interestingly, Seinfeld also stated that the new performers aren’t only professional strippers. This site has welcomed a number of influencers, restaurant workers, and fitness models that tried to find an alternative source of income. Plus, all this increase in adult traffic online has led to new apps like The Dancers Resource. This app tracks all the sites for virtual strippers, and it includes ratings/reviews.
What Goes Into the Show?
So what happens during an online strip show? If you’ve ever seen a standard cam show, the experience is quite similar. You’ll see a performer or multiple dancers in front of a webcam. The dancers who have shifted to work online are more inclined to book shows with traditional stripping as opposed to other acts performed by typical cam girls (e.g., playing with toys, masturbating, etc.).
When it comes to Zoom virtual parties, an average conference session is around 15 minutes long. The stripper dances to a song and, as usual, removes her clothes gradually. Performers will show off their buttocks, breasts, and other parts of their figure while dancing. Some will go fully nude, while others will only strip down to their thongs or other lingerie.
Furthermore, it’s possible to sign up for subscription-based virtual strip clubs. Some clubs like Magic City have shifted to a digital platform and offer a $20 subscription. The members can then browse pre-recorded footage or watch live videos. There are hundreds of similar platforms, and they allow users to interact with each other or even chat with the performers.
As we’ve said, clubs like Die Happy Tonight offer VR dances that attempt to bring more realism into the experience. In April, some models even arranged for live shows on Instagram, earning over $18,000 per show. Those live streams have even caught the attention of big celebrities like the Weeknd.
Of course, strippers can also perform one-on-one private shows or have “digital dates” with their fans for a higher price.
The Future of Strippers
As we’ve said, the adult entertainment business has found many new ways to adapt to the new normal. Unfortunately, virtual lap dances are still not the same as the real experience.
For many people, visiting striptease bars is a big social experience, and online shows do not really provide that. As some countries have eased their lockdowns, strippers have started to work again but under strict regulations and safety measures.
For instance, lap dances or other forms of contact are still forbidden. Also, masks/gloves are obligatory for the performers/guests. Still, we’ve talked a bit about the upside of the restrictions while emphasizing some examples of businesses that have found creative solutions. With the rise of virtual sex, we might see some new technologies and platforms that can make the experience even more realistic. We can also hope that the strippers themselves will find new ways of earning money through their profession.
Now that you know all about virtual strip shows, you could even try some to support the dancers and to have some much-needed fun during these tumultuous times! Have fun!