by Elle Chase
I worked in a professional theatre company volunteering to do light, sound, house managing, set building and even producing in order to pay my dues and earn my way into the acting company. I did this all for no reward, no promise of a role or bit part. I did this to gain experience in order to be part of a well respected theatre company.
I did this work for free. I did it for free, because it was “de riguer” for a young lass of my age to cut her teeth uncompensated in exchange for experience. This is what people do when they are just starting out, or volunteering for a cause they believe in.
I am a now a professional sex educator and writer, who has worked for free, for many years to gain experience in my field (and still do, on occasion). I now get paid for a career I put a lot of work, time and money into creating. It might not be a lot, but I provide a valuable service to individuals, stores, institutions, websites, and companies who recognize that you actually have to pay professionals in exchange for the work they do. They understand this because they are professionals who get paid in exchange for the work they do.
Besides Smut for Smarties I have another site, LadyCheeky.com which consists of curated porn and erotic images. Lady Cheeky gets crazy great traffic, and because of that, I sometimes get solicitations asking for “LadyCheeky.com” to promote products, sites, join affiliate partnerships and mostly those offers are respectful, reasonable and mutually beneficial … but, sometimes they are not.
Sometimes, the solicitor offers me a chance to basically, scrub a kingdom for the opportunity to say I was in the castle.
Today, I got such a proposal.
I received the following email from Performics Global Performance Marketing Agency, “on behalf of Durex,” the goliath condom and sexual health product company owned by juggernaut health, hygiene and home leviathan Reckitt Benckiser (makers of Lysol, French’s Mustard and Clearasil to name a tiny portion):
2.Share the “Sex Positions to Try” page (http://www.durexusa.com/explore-sex/explore-sex/all/new-sex-positions/)
Hmmm, did they just offer gift baskets of condoms and lube for a ridiculous amount of work, for the private of “collaborating” with the condom worlds version of Pepsi?I read it a couple of more times to see if I might be missing anything, and then I sent it to my friend JoEllen Notte, also a professional sex educator and writer. JoEllen had the same reaction I did … insulted. Insulted for being asked to exert a large amount of effort, producing original content to become a sandwich board for a multi-million dollar condom company. We were both pretty peeved, and decided to respond to Performics, in kind. My response reads:
This week I received an email (I’m sure many of my colleagues received it too) from a large, well-known condom company offering me the “opportunity” to “collaborate” with them (you’ll understand all the quotation marks in a minute. I thought “Collaboration? That sounds fun! Do they want my input on a new kind of condom? Maybe they’re looking to bring in sex educators to help spread the safer sex word! Collaboration could mean so many fun things!”
Except it didn’t.
Here’s what collaboration meant … [CONTINUE]
According to Reckitt Benckiser (Durex’s parent company):
– Durex is the number 1 condom brand in the world.
– Durex is 30% of the global branded condom market
– In 2014, Reckett Benkiser made over 15 billion in sales, with
– a MarketCap of over 57 billion
– In 2014, Reckett Benkiser reported a net profit of almost 3 billion dollars (not including RBP, their pharmaceutical arm).
If you didn’t notice, all those numbers are accumulated in billions. That’s “billions,” with a “b.” It goes without saying that JoEllen and I make slightly less than their profits from 2014.
But, who can blame Durex for offering condoms in exchange for work? I mean, you have to keep those profit margins low in order to stay competitive right? How else can a global corporate conglomerate stay afloat in this dog-eat-dog world of finance? I mean, you can’t live on condoms and floor polish, right?