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Data Scraping Sites Are Taking the Guesswork Out of Making Porn

Armed with aggregated numbers about customer interests, useful posting times and growing corners of the kinky world, adult creators can now make smarter choices about what they post and when

Ever wondered which hours of the day are most popular for “shaved pussy” on porn cam sites? How about the popularity of “cock and ball tickling” videos?

Look no more — Athena Stats is the new data aggregation platform charting porn’s hottest trends, day-by-day.

These stats are interesting to the average horny reader, but for sex workers, they’re a key resource to figuring out exactly what content keeps their viewers boned up. Adult content creator Sitara says she uses it to “check for clip sites niches and trends in sales” — if foot fetish clips are suddenly spiking in sales on a certain site, she can plan her content accordingly to cash in.

Cam models like Elle Purrs can also sift through streaming data to see when most viewers are online, which she uses to lay out her schedule. “Seeing the stats on streaming times, I noticed one cam site is more active during the day while another has more activity late at night,” she tells me. This info helps her reach the biggest, thirstiest audience at all times, maximizing her chances of top earnings.

This kind of intel is relatively novel for online sex workers, who previously had little data to go off of when deciding what kind of content to produce. “The idea for Athena Stats started about three years ago,” says Amberly Rothfield, an author, consultant and adult model who co-founded the platform and uses xie/xier pronouns. “I’ve worked with plenty of Twitch and YouTube creators, but I’ve also worked in the adult industry. I’ve found so many resources to help creators find trends outside the porn world, yet next to none within ours.”

As it stands, Athena Stat collects data for nine key sites, including cam platforms like Chaturbate and clip-sale sites like IWantClips (OnlyFans stats aren’t included due to the company’s notorious opacity). Rothfield says there’s plenty more in the pipeline, including reporting that would help newbies find which kinks are most popular, as well as storyboard guides on how to keep naughty voyeurs engaged throughout the entirety of a cam show.

Especially as the pandemic has seen online sex work disingenuously framed as a “get rich quick” scheme, the adult industry has become more saturated than ever. To address this, Rothfield plans to track “historical sale cycles to help creators pre-plan what they will be creating, and know when to get ready for downturns within their niches before it’s too late.” Spanking and punishment videos are particularly popular around back-to-school periods, for example — clearly the need for hot mommy content peaks when the homeroom doors reopen.

Testimonials are already trickling in from sex workers, but Rothfield says academics are getting in on the action, too. “The sex work community has really rallied behind this project, and we’re getting regular tweets already about how models are making money on the very basic information included in the first version of the site,” xie explains. “We’ve also had academics reach out about using our data to study human sexuality. There’s a lot to be learned about what’s popular, when it’s popular and how humans are reacting to content.”

Especially as laws like SESTA-FOSTA have decimated key online resources such as forums and ad pages for sex workers, this meticulous approach to data collation offers a glimmer of hope for sex workers often grasping in the dark for tips and advice. “No shade, but adult sites haven’t traditionally given this information to models either,” Rothfield. “They honestly just haven’t thought models wanted it.”

But as Simone Savage, a fetish content creator and cam model tells me, the site is long overdue. ”I’ve streamed on sites like Stripchat in niches that not many others are in,” she says. “So far, the results have been awesome.”

Clearly, she’s not the only fan — in just a few weeks, the site’s Twitter page has racked up over a thousand followers. So whether you’re aiming to gauge just how competitive the “footjob” market is or you’re a casual browser looking for new porn suggestions, one thing’s for certain: Mining the data pays off.

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