Like many Americans, Ken & I are freaking out about the spread of COVID-19. We’re not so much afraid we’ll get sick (although that’s certainly a concern) but more afraid our income streams will dry up and who knows where we’ll end up. We can no longer do live events which generate quite a bit of revenue for us. We’re not sure how we’re going to recoup any of our lost income. Jobs we might have considered picking up that involve working with the public (i.e. adult retail) are also now off the table.
Pre-Coronavirus it was estimated that more than half of all Americans are one missed paycheck away from financial disaster. Gig workers don’t get sick pay, won’t still get a paycheck if our company is temporarily losing business, and we don’t have the option to perform our jobs at full capacity from home. To top it off, many of us don’t have much savings to fall back on. Heck, a good number don’t even have health insurance. Some government officials are saying that we’re looking at our lives and routines drastically being disrupted for at least 6 months. Many of us can’t financially sustain ourselves for that long. Experts are now starting to speculate that Coronavirus will bankrupt more people than it kills. Others claim 54% of Americans cannot financially sustain themselves if they need to take the amount of time off required to recover from coronavirus. That’s simply referring to affording time off–it does not factor in financial coverage for additional medical expenses.
In other words, SHIT JUST GOT REAL.
If you find yourself financially stable(ish) throughout this crisis, making the effort to patronize your self-employed and gig-working friends can make a real difference. And of course, your support does not have to be financial. There are many ways you can lend a hand that don’t cost a dime. Some may simply take a small amount of time. With all of us stuck in our homes, that very well may be one thing you have to offer that can make a real difference.
This is the time to support your sex educator and sex worker friends/those you are fans of. Don’t forget creators of all types, and entertainers that make their income from events, servers that live off of tips, rideshare drivers, etc). We’re all hurting and scared. Below I’ve listed ways you can support American Sex/Sunny Megatron both financially and cost-free. But remember, we’re not the only ones. Many of the things below you can do for anyone in our position. So if we’re not your favorite sex educators/podcasters, please do some of these things for the ones that are. Here are ways you can support us:
Things That Don’t Cost a Dime
RT Our Posts on Social Media
This does two things: 1. It helps spread the word about things we have going on that may generate income for us. 2. Gaining followers on social media allows us to make more income from sponsors. More companies will want to work with us and pay us a higher rate if they see we can promote their items to a larger audience.
Engage with Our Social Media Posts
Things like liking and commenting affect social media algorithms enabling our posts to show up in more people’s timelines. This is important because as “adult creators” (yes, even those that provide education only–no nudity or content meant to arouse) we’re banned from advertising and boosting posts on social media due to the nature of our content. Our posts are suppressed in searches and algorithms as well. Many of us also court potential advertisers by showing them how high our post engagement is. So please, like/comment/share as much as you can.
Subscribe to American Sex Podcast
We love that you listen and we don’t want you to stop. But hitting that subscribe button guarantees that your download gets counted every week as soon as we release our episode. It also helps us rank better on the Apple Podcasts chart (number of new subscriptions are weighted heavily in the ranking calculation). Although Apple Podcasts is where the majority of our traffic originates from, subscribing on Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, or wherever you listen to your podcasts is important too.
Growing our podcast audience can pay off big-time so please tell your friends and recommend American Sex on social media. Each time our audience grows by 1,000 listeners we make on average an additional $35 per ad. It doesn’t sound like a ton but let’s say we have 4 ads per episode in a month. That increases our monthly revenue by $560 (and that much more with every 1k listeners).
Assisting in increasing our audience also helps make the world a more sex-positive place, sex & adult play more satisfying, and relationships stronger because–tooting our own horn here–we provide excellent, life-changing information! We also provide the podcast (and much of our other work) absolutely free to anyone who wants to listen.
The same goes for our GetVokl free Wednesday night sex ed live streams. The more folks that subscribe, watch, and engage the more we financially benefit on the back end. Besides, it’s a fun time to hang out and interact with other humans in a germ-free environment. You’ll also learn lots of great tips and insights to improve your relationships and sex life. Win/Win!
Are you a superfan and want to help out? There are some things we’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the ability. One is starting private groups for fans to talk about sex ed related topics. Ken actually started to patch together a Discord server but we haven’t had time to finish. If you’d like to be a moderator or you have experience organizing Discord servers and want to volunteer your time helping set it up, we’d love it! Same goes for a Facebook group. We’ve wanted to create one but have no time/spoons to moderate it. If your down for being a volunteer moderator, that would allow us to get it off the ground.
Do you have other ideas? Have you thought, “Hey, it would be really cool if Ken & Sunny did THIS THING!” Odds are we don’t have the time, money, or bandwidth to implement anything else that doesn’t generate an impactful income quickly. But if it’s something that will help give back to and grow our audience and you can volunteer to help get it off the ground or maintain it, we’re all ears! This really could be anything–graphics/artwork, music or jingles to use on the podcast, taking your favorite 2-minute clip of a podcast episode and making an audiogram of it we can post on social media (that’s super easy and free with the Headliner app), even taking a few minutes to make audiograms for full episodes helps. We can upload them to YouTube and other tube sites which helps expand our reach. There’s lots of stuff that may take you just a few minutes that would really lighten our load.
It goes without saying, your Patreon support helps a ton. In return, you get podcast stickers in the mail, bonus audio/full episodes, early access to regular episodes, and more. GetVokl integrates with Patreon too, so we can offer live streams that are only accessible to people at certain Patreon tiers. Be on the lookout for more in-depth patron-only streams being added to our perks soon.
We have relationships with many companies that give us a sales commission for every referral we send to them. This doesn’t cost you anything extra, in fact, it often saves you money through our exclusive discounts. Some of our most popular are, Lovehoney (navigate through this link for 15% off your entire order), Lelo (use code SUNNY for 15% off everything), and Stockroom (15% off most items if you navigate to the site with this link). We earn a commission of 20% of your purchase total from all of these retailers.
Kink Academy is one of my favorite affiliates to work with. We get 50% of your subscription plus it’s GREAT resource (dare I say THE BEST) with around 2000 kink/BDSM instructional videos from some of the world’s leading experts. You can also find a humiliation series and electrical play series by Ken & I on the site. Most of the links in my blog and in my online shop are affiliate links so you will generate a commission for us by clicking on any of them. Tracking cookies tell the retailer you found their side by clicking an affiliate link on my website and I get credit for the sale.
Affiliate links generate quite a bit of income for a lot of bloggers and digital creators. We’re a bit concerned, however, because almost all of our retail affiliates sell pleasure products. The majority of sex toys are made in China. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is messing with the supply chain and retailers are starting to run low on inventory without a way to replenish it. So if there’s something you’ve had your eye on and you have the funds to buy it, don’t delay! This also means that our affiliate income may dry up if many popular items are out of stock for extended periods.
Paypal & Amazon
These are also welcome ways to spread a little love and lend support. We have an Amazon Wishlist for our business needs. If you’d rather give one-time monetary support you can send along a tip via PayPal (PayPal is not Sex Educator friendly– if you’d like our PayPal info please contact me directly).
There’s so much here! From podcast ads for your brand, to hiring us for influencer marketing campaigns, doing sex ed webinars on behalf of your company, hosting giveaways, paid endorsements, or longer-term brand ambassadorship like I have done in the past for CalExotics.
There are so many things we can create together–but rather than rehash it here, email me to request our media kit & rate sheet and we’ll take it from there.
Writing & Editing Services
I’m going to be brutally honest here–I’ve stepped back quite a bit from writing over the last few years. The reason is twofold. First, I’m a great writer, however, it takes a lot out of me. One short article can take hours of my time and wipe out my brain’s capacity to do anything constructive for the rest of the day. Secondly, most publications seeking writing services pay abysmal rates. It’s just not worth my time or anxiety.
In the past, I’ve ghostwritten regularly and heavily in trade publications like AVN, XBIZ, and Storeotica. Yep, those articles you’ve read written by brand folks from well-known manufacturers and retailers? Actually written by me. Ken & I have also both written online & packaging product descriptions plus web copy for well-known adult retailers. I’m willing to take up writing again if it’s at a competitive rate. I also offer sponsored posts to select brands on my website. (Also admittedly, this piece of writing is NOT a reflection of my best work. I’m a frightened, rambling mess right now word vomiting on a page!)
I’ve also edited books like Susanna Brisk’s #1 Amazon best-seller, How to Get Laid Using Your Intuition. If you’re self-publishing in the sex-ed realm and need an editor, that’s a service I can provide. I’ve also contributed essays to a handful of other sexuality books.
Similarly, I’ve been intending to write my own book for years but haven’t had the time to spend hours a day doing unpaid writing. If you happen to be a literary agent or publisher thinking, “hey, we need more playful, accessible kink or easy to digest sex ed/sexual technique instruction in the world, let’s talk. I know that’s a huge ask but hey, I’m putting it out there to the universe (Am I “manifesting” right now? Yes, maybe I’m manifesting!). Never know, right?!
Adult Industry Consulting/Training
Ken & I do adult industry consulting. We also make a great team with my business background (detailed a bit more below), his retail & development background, plus our knowledge of the adult industry and consumer habits. Whether you’re a large company looking to market to a new demographic, looking to change your business strategy, or you’re a new business on the brink of launching, we can help. Although it’s not something we publicly offer or publicize, we’ve done this for a number of companies and brands over the years.
Lastly, retail staff and manufacturer training is something we’ve done consistently over the years as well. Unfortunately, in the time of Coronavirus, on-site training is off the table. However, we’re always available for remote video training. We cover everything from sex ed/sexual knowledge, understanding your customers, how to sell adult items, understanding what adult items are for/how to use them, and more. We specialize in BDSM gear & electric play items but also have extensive knowledge about sex toys, general sex ed, etc.
Considerations For Future Offerings
Although we’ve done coaching here and there on a one-off basis, we’re considering making coaching packages a regular offering. Let’s face it, we’re all stuck in our homes right now. If we’re with a significant other, it’s a great time to connect. If we’re alone it’s a wonderful time to grow and reflect. And if we’re separated from a partner and have to connect via long-distance means, our creativity can use a little jump start.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on coaching packages and please, if just hearing this makes you light up with excitement, send me an email. I’d love to get a feel for how much demand there is for this and also get a feel for what’s most needed before I figure out/announce the particulars.
Business Webinars & Coaching
I consult a few folks in our industry mainly on podcast production & monetization plus sponsorship package/proposal creation. They all keep telling me “WHY AREN’T YOU TEACHING THIS STUFF TO EVERYONE!?”
I have a BSc in Marketing from DePaul University (of course, I was also a Women’s Studies minor) plus worked for Leo Burnett/Starcom (#2 ad agency worldwide) for 17 years before getting into sex ed. Some of the brands I worked on are Kellogg’s, Procter & Gamble, and MillerCoors (now Molson-Coors). For 8 of those years, I worked in local radio advertising and merchandising geared toward 21+ audiences. That translates perfectly to not only selling podcast ads but also leveraging other promotional elements to create killer multimedia sponsorship packages that not only generate creator revenue but also give clients an attractive ROI. And if that sentence right there makes you go, “oh shit, what exactly does that mean and how do I do that?!” Then maybe I really should start teaching this stuff! Part of what I did at Burnett/Starcom was teaching and training a rotating team of 80+ employees about these things (media math makes me tingle and making it easy to learn for people that have math anxiety makes me tingle even more!).
I’ve translated the media proposal system I used with MillerCoors to podcasting ad sponsorship packages and brand/influencer deals for folks in the sex-ed/adult sphere. Colleagues, is this something you’d be interested in learning? Obviously I wouldn’t charge an arm and a leg because we’re all riding the same economic struggle bus right now. I’d have to come up with a fee that would generate some income for me while still being affordable for you. Please let me know if that interests you.
In addition, I can offer similar webinars/training for podcasting in general. This would focus more on the steps necessary for taking a podcast from idea to finished product and would be applicable to folks in any industry. I can also show you how to put together a blow-them-away media kit and/or rate sheet for your podcast or personal brand (which includes figuring out how much you should charge and being able to explain to stingy clients how you arrived at the number and why you’re worth it). Of course, I’m available to do either of these things on a 1-on-1 coaching basis as well.
All of the above are things that can help Ken & I specifically but I know there are different efforts that can better support people in other industries. Please share some of your ideas and requests in the comments below.
What Else Can You Do For Others?
Another thing you can do for immunocompromised folks in your life with lower incomes is throw them a couple of extra dollars to help them stay in the house. $10 can be used to pay for grocery store delivery which could be a lifesaver because they don’t have to risk going out and being exposed. Alternatively, you can shop for them and do a “touchless delivery” by leaving the items at an agreed-upon place outside their door.
Immunocompromised people may also have added anxiety about their health. Getting out to therapy may be off the table so gifting money for online sessions is a great idea too (I have a code for a free week of online/tech-based therapy with Talkspace. Use code SUNNY at talkspace.com. FYI, I don’t earn a commission from your sign-ups here, I just want you to feel good). Or simply share your password for online streaming services like Netflix or Showtime with your friends that are isolated in their homes.
Bottom line, the effects of Coronavirus suck for many people for a myriad of reasons. Your creator and gig worker friends have other valuable skills and offerings that may be helpful to you if you’re aware of them. Creators, now’s the time to get vocal. Don’t be shy about telling people what you have to offer and ways they can lend a hand. Supporters, check in on our self-employed, gig worker, and immunocompromised friends. Sometimes even a little non-financial support can go a long way.
Thanks, friends! We’re all in this together!
p.s. if you thought the coronavirus fallout couldn’t get any weirder, apparently it’s started a monkey gang war!
p.s.s. If you really need to get your kink on but don’t want to touch another human being, our long-distance sexy-time episode will come in handy, enjoy!