4 Confessions About the Secret Porn World of “Premium” Snapchat

By KC

People Are Not Products - White

The social and mental effects of mainstream porn consumption are concerning as it is. But the personalized negative consequences reach a whole new level when porn victimizes someone. You get things like deepfakes porn and revenge porn, trends that allow non-consenting victims who have no affiliation with the porn industry to be exploited with explicit content of them online.

A new “personalized” trend is growing that doesn’t exploit non-consenting victims, though it is dangerous in a different way.

What are premium Snapchat accounts?

Ever heard of “Premium Snapchat?” It’s the latest way porn creators are accessing their target audiences. The term “premium Snapchat” is an unofficial one, but they do officially exist.

A premium account is a normal Snapchat account, but it’s private, and the account owner can charge a fee for users to access it. Overwhelmingly, people—often porn performers—use these premium accounts to offer explicit sexual footage of themselves. If you pay someone for premium access, you can expect a regular influx of her self-made porn, straight to your Snapchat.

Premium account holders can enjoy avoiding their accounts being flagged and deleted by Snapchat by making these accounts private—people who are paying for access want the explicit content and have paid for it, and so are unlikely to report the account.

Related: How “Recruiters” Use Social Media To Trick Teens Into Cam Model Scams

Mostly women, these account holders advertise their premiums on other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram and accept payment through Venmo, Paypal, or whatever money transfer app they prefer. It’s like porn-on-demand, but much more easily disguised.

What’s the problem?

For a one-transaction payment or a lifetime membership fee, people can now receive what they’ve long been wanting—personal sexual attention from their porn performer of choice.

A customer can directly receive explicit messages, nude pics, custom videos, and even explicit FaceTime/phone sessions from their premium Snapchat account of choice. It’s more personal than normal porn, and there is an ongoing relational dynamic for which people are willing to Venmo.

Related: Uncovering The Dark World Of Exploitation In The Webcamming Industry

Seems like a supply and demand issue—consenting customers get what consenting performers provide. Right? Not exactly. Here are several issues we see at first glance.

It’s a fake personal connection.

These premium accounts further confuse the true nature of porn. Is it fantasy, or is it reality? Is it both?

One of porn’s biggest claims is that it is personal, that it can strengthen—or even replace—a consumer’s real sex life. Personal experience and science and research all show, however, that this idea is false. Porn has been shown to leave consumers with less connection to others and less fulfilling sex lives. Snapchat premium may give a convincing promise of personal connection, but at the end of the day, it’s still on a screen, with a stranger, and without the commitment in which intimate sexual connection can best thrive.

There’s no real way to make sure all parties are of age and willing participants.

Sure, there are mostly consenting adults participating in these transactional “relationships.” We hate to be the buzzkill, but there’s no real way to check that subscribers are consenting adults and not 13-year-olds with smartphones and Venmo accounts. Sending explicit content to a minor is illegal. Also, what assurances does a subscriber have that a premium content creator is enthusiastically consenting to create personalized content, free from financial or other circumstantial pressures? This is a very unsupported and unregulated system with a lot of loopholes for illicit behavior.

It’s crossing the boundary into normal life.

These premium Snapchat accounts certainly are not the first way people have used social media for sexual purposes, but it is a giant step over that boundary that separates the explicit world of porn from our everyday human lives.

Social media at its best is for connecting with people in a healthy way, enhancing and sharing our lives in a way that celebrates them. And as we all know, the majority of the population today, especially teens and millennials, use social media for everyday purposes…all the time. With personalized porn being directly marketed and sold on everyday social, people can be unwittingly confronted with the realities of porn rather than having to specifically choose to navigate to porn sites. You may have to pay to access the actual material, but the reality and discussion can still pop up anytime and blur that line. Being committed to living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t need more ways that porn intersects with normal life—we need less.

It opens the door for further sexploitation.

It is already a problem that men and women, under social and financial pressure, feel the sex industry is their only option to make ends meet. This is where consent and trafficking becomes disturbingly comingled. But these Snapchat premium accounts take down barriers to that happening, since anyone can start the income flowing immediately without going to an agent or a host site or having their ID’s checked.

Related: My Name Is “Pretty”: Real Confessions Of An Ex-Webcam Girl

There is already evidence that people are creating these accounts out of desperation—in those cases, the force or coercion of a trafficking situation would be financial.

The future of porn, beyond Snapchat

What’s more, these premium Snapchat accounts are not self-contained. This trend is leading to entire new companies and facets of the porn industry. The app OnlyFans is growing in popularity, too, gaining traffic from Snapchat premium aficionados who want the same Snapchat perks with the official backing of a company (rather than a loose assurance from the premium account holder that the content will continue).

A recent New York Times exposé on OnlyFans suggests that this fan-based personalized subscription trend is the future of porn. The Times interviewed a man who has boasted $10,000 a month from his work on OnlyFans, who says that people “want more intimate experiences. They want a [girlfriend or] boyfriend experience. They want to fantasize about someone that they want to have sex with and not feel disgusted by it.”

Another OnlyFans personality, according to the Times article, has 10,000 subscribers that each pay her a monthly $10 access fee.

So why are people becoming increasingly willing to pay money for these fan-based porn experiences when so much free content exists?

There isn’t research on this trend yet, but we think a huge part of it is this: mainstream online porn offers temporary pleasure but still leaves consumers anxious, unsatisfied, addicted and lonely. Because of this, people are willing to pay for a brand of porn that promises connection and fulfillment as a pseudo-substitute for a real relationship.

This still won’t give people what they are looking for, though. Only real relationship and love can do that. The human metaphorical heart can be smarter than the brains in a lot of ways—even if we think this new flavor of porn will solve relational cravings, our hearts will continue to be unsatisfied until we ditch porn completely and seek love that is real, healthy, mutual, and committed.

The post 4 Confessions About the Secret Porn World of “Premium” Snapchat appeared first on Fight the New Drug.