Adult Webcam Experience Company ImLive Partners with Pineapple Support

ImLive Joins Forces with Pineapple Support to Provide Mental Health Services to Workers in the Online Adult Industry

ImLive.com, a site that offers the largest variety of adult webcam experiences, announced today a partnership with Pineapple Support, a free support and therapy service for all persons working in the online adult industry. Together, the two organizations are setting out to make sure that online sex workers have access to mental health services.

“Now more than ever, it is important for all of us to be aware of our mental health and take the necessary care. By partnering with Pineapple Support, we are making sure that not just ImLive hosts, but performers all across the industry have access to the best mental health services whenever they may need them,” said Adrian Stoneman, VP of Business for ImLive. “We are consistently looking for ways to give back to the community, and this partnership will go a long way in helping those in our ImLive family and beyond.”

Pineapple Support was founded by British performer Leya Tanit in 2018, after a string of losses in the adult industry from depression and other mental illnesses. The organization, which is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit in the United States and a registered charity in the UK, has so far connected over 1500 adult performers to mental health services, including free and low-cost, therapy, counseling and emotional support.

“We are incredibly grateful to ImLive for their support,” says Tanit. “Their generosity makes a huge difference to the lives of cam performers, as well as the overall strength of our industry. We’ve tripled our spend on therapy already due to COVID-19, and with industry leaders like ImLive behind us, we’re able to continue our mission to support the mental health and well-being of sex workers around the world.”

ImLive operates with approximately 85 million members and hosts in 100+ countries spanning every continent. Users have spent over $1 billion and more than half a million models have broadcast on the platform over the site’s history. The company’s diverse roster of cam models are passionate and committed to providing the best webcam experience possible, and as a result, the leading cam chat arena has pioneered some of the ultimate innovations in the space. Such innovations include the introduction of a remote device in 2005 that allowed users to control vibrators on the host side, as well as being the first cam site in 2016 to integrate technology of immediate cash outs where hosts can withdraw their earnings immediately after a session has ended.

ImLive has been in the news recently with the launch of several new campaigns, including around its “18th Birthday Wish-a-Thon,” for which it granted 18 wishes from host, members and the general public – one for each year it has been in business. Some of those granted already include initiatives that raised funds to plant trees across the world and help save the endangered Scrotum Frog of Lake Titicaca.

How to maintain a healthy outlook in the industry when difficult clients get you down

Given that our work is centered in our sexual selves, it often feels easier to just ignore bad feelings and hope they go away. But few of us truly have the ability to shake off negative encounters like they never happened. Instead, hurt and insult fester, poisoning our self-esteem, rattling our minds while shutting our bodies down.  – Lola Devina

 

A tweet popped up recently that asked, how do you maintain a healthy outlook when you work day-in and day-out with entitled, toxic, and/or abusive customers. This is such a big and important question. To answer it, I looked to two of my all-time favorite go-to goddesses: Lola Devina and Brené Brown.

 

Sex worker and author, Lola Devina, gives clued-in heartfelt advice about how to cope with the emotional toll of sex work. Brené Brown’s anti-shame work is changing the way our culture thinks about shame and compassion. The following advice is chosen from their work and the work of others.

 

Separating the bad that is thrown at us from the outside world from our own unhelpful beliefs

 

  1. Ask, What is the story that I am telling myself?

 

When something happens that triggers strong emotions, we often immediately create a story to make sense of what happened. These stories are often one-sided worst-case scenarios, and they seldom contain the full truth.  Brené Brown.

 

Brené calls these stories the Stormy First Draft. “SFD is our brain’s way of making sense of something when we don’t have full information. We are a meaning-making species. In the absence of data, we make up stories because having complete information is a self-protective survival skill. But these stories often magnify our fears and anxieties.”

 

Example: A guy on Twitter tweeted some horrible things about me.

 

The story I am telling myself is: He is an asshole. Why is he being so mean? I don’t even know him. ..I must have done something wrong.. at least, I could have handled it better. If only I was (wittier, more professional, better, ______ ), then trolls like him wouldn’t target me.

 

  1. Reality check your story. Often, we fill in information gaps with details that are biased by our fears. Reality checking helps us to separate what they did from what we believe.

 

Reality check: All I know about Twitter guy is that he was being abusive. What I don’t know is if he is an asshole or that I could have done anything differently to stop his abuse.

 

Assumptions about the abusive Twitter guy, our abilities, or our self-worth create an emotional hook that can easily spiral downward. Anger, resentment, and self-criticism can send us into a black hole or exhaust us while we suppress the emotional pain.

 

 

*Helpful extra: Listen to Lola on Anger, Brenè on Stories and Brenè on Shame.

 

 

Getting to know your own emotional hooks

 

  1. Ask, how did the situation make me think about myself?

 

When something bad happens at work, it is natural to feel deflated for a while. But feelings that fester can signal that our own negative self-beliefs have been triggered. What beliefs did this encounter, situation, or bad day bring to the surface for you?

 

The story that I am telling myself: If only I were  …. It would be easier.

What it makes me think about myself: I am not good enough.

 

 

*Helpful extras: read the Science behind Inner critics and Steps to defuse inner critics.

 

 

  1. Use a reality-checking app to unhook from harmful self-beliefs

 

Upsetting self-beliefs are often based on a morsel of truth and a whole lot more of exaggerations, anxious predictions, and/or oversimplification. Use the free app Moodtools Thought Record Diary for Android or Apple.

 

 

  1. Unhook from stigma and shame

Davina explains in her book, Thriving in Sex Work,

..clients show up with all their baggage, expecting us to deal. They want to be turned on; they want to get off. They crave beauty, kink, variety, danger, and role-play.

Often, clients are ashamed of their bodies, their desires, their infidelities and/or their patronage.

Like black holes in reverse, clients bend badness and blame away from themselves. I call it “outsourcing shame.” […] Clients also wrestle with guilt. Many clients are married or partnered or come from religious backgrounds, taking a little taste of something they don’t want anyone to know about. Nobody wants to feel bad while paying to feel good, so they shunt their ick onto us..

Davina offers relief,

It is not nice to be on the receiving end of bad behavior, especially as a reward for doing our jobs so well. In the immediate aftermath of getting slimed by a client, you may well be furious: Listen to Lola on Anger. If you’re feeling ashamed, deflated, or gross: Listen to the shame exercise.

 

*Helpful extras: Read How to break the shame cycle.

 

 

Leaning on your emotional resources

 

  1. Self-care

Davina’s website offers advice from her book. Many of the important subjects, many chapters are free to read or to listen to. Here is an excerpt from, When a client makes you feel like crap.

First: Take care of your body. When we’re humiliated, that hurt has to move through our bodies somatically. Very few of us learn this as children. Instead, we’re taught to rely on our intellect to process bad emotions. But our minds can’t move what’s stored in our muscles and joints and voice boxes and bones. So, as soon as you can:

  • Get right in the shower.Wash the day away.
  • Eat moderately and mindfully, but only if you’re hungry.Don’t starve yourself as punishment or stuff yourself in an attempt to dull the pain.
  • Unless the gym is your happiest place on earth, don’t force yourself through your regular routine.That’s like piling on extra homework when you’re already failing class. You’ll either spend that time zoning out, or counting the seconds until your workout is over—neither is good. The best self-care is to be fully present, addressing your feelings directly.
  • Scream into a pillow, kick a punching bag, take a long walk or bike ride. Play loud music, dance like you don’t care, sing at the top of your lungs. Move hard and fast and long enough so that you’re breathing hard. Wear yourself out with it.
  • While moving, say what you’re feeling out loud: “Scared, scared, scared, scared.” “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.” “Pissed, pissed, pissed, pissed.” This lets you fully feel your emotions in your body, throat, and mind, allowing that energy to move through you.
  • Call a buddy, if you can—get yourself some sympathy, by all means.  For some perspective, it can help to ask the question: Am I going to still be mad about this a year from now?

 

  1. Compassion

Compassion means feeling concerned for someone’s suffering and wanting to help. The feeling itself creates mood changing brain chemicals.

Extend compassion to Twitter guy. Yep, that guy.

Davina says,

I know—it’s not fair. Why do we have to be the ones to turn the other cheek when we’re depleted and aggravated and insulted? But as the Buddha said, “You will not be punished for your anger, but by your anger.” When we fight fire with fire, the whole world turns to ash. Instead, we fight fire with water.

To extend compassion, Davina suggests,

Maybe they were in the middle of a shit day far worse than anything you can imagine. Maybe they just lost their job or their grandmother or their dog—send them a blast of unconditional love. That handsy fan with no manners? See them for what they are, someone lost in their neediness, stunted by desire for what feels just out of reach.

Muster what compassion you can manage—people with happy lives don’t act like [that]. Picture your tormentor’s face in front of you, and breathe into a simple prayer of forgiveness and acceptance.

Compassion doesn’t mean that you excuse or put up with bad behavior. Take whatever steps you need to protect yourself. Compassion enables you to let go of anger and resentment that so often leads to burn out, so that you can refocus on caring for yourself.

Extend compassion to yourself, even to your inner critics.

Our inner critics are really just bullies inside us. What is most often true about bullies is that they show anger because they are themselves scared. This is true in the outside world, and this is true in our heads.

Extending compassion to our inner critic doesn’t mean agreeing with it or allowing it to govern us. It means that we listen, understand and gently translate its destructive input into something more constructive.

 

*Helpful extra: Read for steps on How to defuse your inner critics.

 

  1. Practice Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance means that we don’t try to change anything, rather we accept ourselves exactly how we are in this moment. Perhaps the hardest part of this exercise is accepting that so much of clients’ behavior is outside of your control. You may not be able to control what is thrown at you but you can influence how you react to it.

Radical Acceptance is Reminding Yourself Every Day, You Are Fabulous. You Are Loved. You Are Doing Your Best.

Acceptance is not a one-time occurrence. We choose acceptance this moment and then we choose acceptance when we start to struggle and then we choose it again. Radical acceptance is often much harder in practice than it sounds, but it is your best bet at stopping the negative spiral and building resilience in the industry.

 

*Helpful extra: Read How to handle cam loneliness

 

  1. Supportive relationships

Tapping into a supportive relationship, even with just a short phone call, triggers the cuddle hormone, oxytocin, in our brains. It can change our mood in minutes.

Hug someone or cuddle a fur-baby. A 20-second full-body hug or cuddling a pet triggers positive feelings. Even cuddling a favorite stuffed animal can create a sense of well-being.

Get a cam buddy. Davina recommends buddying up with a colleague. Agree to call each other for emotional support or distraction when you are having an off day.

One dear friend of mine is the best at this — whenever I’m in crisis, she doesn’t try to be a mind reader. She simply asks, ‘What do you need from me right now?’ A reality check? Reassurance? Advice? A shoulder to cry on? Active, loving listening? The best way to get the help you crave is to tell people what you need. Don’t assume they know, don’t make them guess.

Be someone’s super awesome support. Or reach out whenever you are feeling low. As well as psychotherapy and coaching, Pineapple Support offers emotional support in the form of 24-hour peer-to-peer chat. You can volunteer any hours that are convenient for you and be an awesome support to your peers.

Connect with your peers and tap into that network of super awesome Pineapple Support just for you. Remember, if you feel overwhelmed or just need to connect with someone, Pineapple Support is here for you. Contact us at PineappleSupport.com.

The Benefits of Group Therapy

Have you ever wondered what group therapy is, or what the point of group treatment would be for you? Depending on the issue, joining a group can be a helpful choice for making positive life changes.
Group therapy is a form of therapy where a small, selected group of people meet with a therapist, usually weekly. The purpose of group therapy is to help each person with emotional growth and problem solving. Sometimes a person can do both individual and group therapy, while others may only do a group.
According to Dr. Irvin Yalom in his book The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy identified 11 curative factors that are the “primary agents of change” in group therapy:

1. Installation of Hope: People come to a group to improve their lives. Each person in the group is at a different place in their emotional growth and can offer hope and inspiration to others by showing what they have learned and overcome.

2. Universality: Many who begin group therapy may feel isolated and alone. Being part of a group can help people feel understood and have a sense of belonging. Especially if you are apart of a small niche population such as sex work.

3. Information Giving: A big part of many therapy groups is increasing knowledge of a common problem. This helps members help themselves and others with the same or similar problems.

4. Altruism: The ability to help others in the group is a source of self esteem and increases self worth, especially in those that do not think they have anything to offer others.

5. Corrective recapitulation of the primary family: Some people in group therapy may have stress or conflict in their family. The group can become a form of a family that can offer support and acceptance.

6. Improved Social Skills: Social learning, or the development of social skills, is something that occurs in therapy groups. Members offer feedback to each other about their behavior in ways that can improve relationships both in and outside of group.

7. Imitative Behavior: The therapist models appropriate prosocial behaviors such as active listening, non-judgemental feedback, and support. Over the course of the group the members can pick up on these behaviors and integrate them into their own behaviors. This can lead to improved social skills and self esteem.

8. Interpersonal Learning: Being a group can be an opportunity for members to work on their ability to relate to others and improve relationships.

9. Group cohesiveness: Wanting to belong to a group a main motivation for human behavior. Group therapy can help people feel accepted and valued. This is an important healing factor if members have felt isolated.

10. Catharsis: The release of conscious or unconscious feelings gives members a great sense of relief. Yalom states that it is a type of emotional learning, as opposed to intellectual understanding, that can lead to immediate and long lasting change.

11. Existential Factors: Groups can explore and process issues such as death, isolation, and meaninglessness and help them accept difficult realities.

Joining a group of strangers can seem intimidating at first, however, joining a group can provide benefits that individual therapy alone may not, such as providing a support network. Other group members can help formulate solutions and hold each member accountable for change. Also talking with and listening to others can help put problems in perspective. Others may share similar struggles and give each member the experience that they are not alone. Diverse feedback is another benefit of participating in a group. Each members’ personality and background can help examine problems in different ways. Members can learn many different strategies for tackling issues.

By Nicki Line LMHC, LAPC, CST

The list of Pineapple Support support groups can be found by clicking here

Protect Your Pineapples – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Whatever size fruit you have in your basket – Remember to perform a self-exam once a month.

October is breast cancer awareness month, that doesn’t just mean turning half your wardrobe pink, changing your company logo (oh the irony) and proudly pinning a pink ribbon to every outfit.

Breast cancer awareness is about remembering to give yourself a self-exam once a month, it means supporting women affected by it and it means being grateful for your own health.

Each year 1.4 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer, which includes 1 in every 8 women in the USA. But early detection can make a huge difference to beating breast cancer and we think that’s something worth raising awareness about!

So whether your mammaries are like melons or your chesticles are more like cherries we would like to help you get to know your breasts and detect if there is a possible problem.

To show your support and raise awareness we would like to ask you to join our competition. After your self-exam, take a photograph of yourself , covering your credentials with your choice of fruit and post in on social media. Remembering to tag @PineappleYSW #ProtectYourPineapples and link back to this blog to ensure as many women as possible join us and protect their pineapples.

Breast cancer is not always detectable by a lump or hard mass, sometimes the symptoms are visual.

Some changes in your breasts are perfectly normal, but if you are worried, it is always best to visit your doctor.

What is it that you are feeling for?

When feeling for a lump, check from your armpit, to your collarbone, down to the bottom of your rib cage. A cancerous lump feels different from a normal breast lump, it often feels hard and immovable and can be any shape or size.

Getting to know your breasts is really important and the best time to give yourself a self-exam is just after your period when things are most normal.

Remember, when breast cancer is found early, survival rates are incredibly high.

Be proactive in caring for our health, self-exam once a month, eat well, exercise regularly and help raise awareness #ProtectYourPineapples