Royal, a 24-year-old sex worker and cam-girl recently sat down with Bside to talk about how she got into the profession, what her experience has been like and much more.
The interview has been transcribed for article purposes.
My name is Royal and I am a 24-year-old cam-girl. I moved out of my father’s house years ago to become a full-time sex worker. My father used to do a lot of business and he travelled frequently because of it. It was during one of his many trips that he got involved in a ghastly accident that unfortunately took his life. Since he was Igbo and my mother did not have a son, my father’s family members felt entitled to help themselves to everything he worked for when he was alive. We were left with nothing. My mother and grandmother had to fight tooth and nail to keep our house back in Okokomaiko. Since I also had a child when I was sixteen, I needed to fend for myself and my child. My friend Bugatti, at the time, was a full-time sex worker and she advised me to give it a try because it was profitable. She also suggested I move to the island as there was a wealth of clientele there. At first, I did not have much guidance and I could only afford a place in Ajah, Badore to be exact.
Shortly after I moved to Ajah, I realized that I was missing out on a number of
opportunities because even though I was on the island, the hotspots for sex work were either Lekki and its environs. So I decided to move into one of those “girl hostels” close to Lekki. At the time, they were charging eight thousand naira per week for a small bed space. That was where I started doing hook-ups. I charged twenty thousand naira per hour (short-time) and mostly negotiated overnight rates as well. There were a lot of fights and the landlord was incredibly predatory. Since he had an idea what many of us did for a living, he felt that he could bully us easily with little to no repercussions as we mostly had nowhere else to go. There was also a high chance of being robbed, so I had little to no precious property with me, asides from my phone of course.
When I had enough saved, I sent home money to my mum and grandmother. They looked after my boy for me. It was sad because I missed him a lot and I always wanted to go see him but I knew that I needed to hustle even more. They say that in this business, being seriously attached to a person (especially when you cannot help it) can be a huge detriment. Most days, we communicated through the phone. I made sure that he was keeping up with his school work as best as I could. I would admit that I started out doing sex work because I needed to fend for my family but once I felt strong-footed in the business, I became passionate about making sure I got my fair share. The business really taught me how to advocate for myself and my needs, which I felt grateful for.
After a while, I was able to stay in hotels while also keeping my place in Badore afloat. I would pick up some items from Ajah, go to work around Lekki while leaving the bulk of my properties at home. At this point, my rates had obviously increased. I was charging about 70 thousand naira per hour (short-time) and 150 thousand naira for overnight services. However, when things got more expensive and the naira fell, I realized that I needed to broaden my income and look for new ways to pay the bills. This is when Instagram came into the picture.
While still doing full-time sex work, I opened up an Instagram account to post a few of my risqué pictures. Within a few weeks of keeping up with my account; posting hot pictures frequently and updating my stories with the occasional thirst trap, my followers grew quickly. Shortly after, brands were hitting me up to promote their products. Sometimes, regular people also reached out to me for shout-outs to grow their own pages. All of this I obviously charged for.
After discovering how profitable social media was to my line of business, I decided to open a Snapchat premium account as well. Essentially, here, people would pay ($80 per week) for x-rated content that would be posted to a private story. My general story, which is open to the public would be for advertising the premium, uploading sexy or inviting content and also for advertising brands once your viewers grew enough. Needless to say, my Snapchat took off as well. Not only were people enjoying my private content but the quality of men I started to do hookups with was also completely elevated. Snapchat is highly concentrated with younger, BTC-holding men who are highly generous. They enjoy spoiling women. Asides from paying for my premium subscription, they would also gift me money or bitcoin. I also made it a rule that I would only be hooking up with the men on premium, putting a pay-wall to my vagina so to speak.
At times, I hook up with men who are not on my premium but this is rare. I make the exception for my older sugar daddies who are not frequent users of social media but pay big bags for sex. The way I have crafted my business as of now suits me more than any other thing ever has. The only downside is that Snapchat has content restrictions (anti-sex work) and because of the content I create, my accounts get taken down frequently. I will keep creating new accounts because I am making a lot of money and I'm able to take care of my family most especially my boy. When my grandmother requested to move to the village, I was able to buy her a piece of land and build a quaint bungalow for her. Seeing my mother and my grandmother smile brings me the greatest joy there is as they sacrificed so much for me.
My goal for this new year is to save more, as I have recently just spent the bulk of my savings on a car. Knowing that my son is in a new, better school now motivates me to work harder as he just turned eight. I look forward to experiencing what 2022 has in store for me.