COVID-19 continued to dominate the headlines in 2021, as vaccination campaigns were rolled out around the world. Despite the challenges faced by the industry globally, Pineapple Support continued its trajectory of steady growth.
Support from the industry was incredible, with both new and established brands pledging their support as we pushed through restrictions to deliver Pineapple’s most comprehensive schedule of events to date.
We introduced a number of novel initiatives to increase our reach, including the Pineapples United Membership club, a corporate training program, a diversity sub-committee, and Community Liaison Officers.
In July, we reached an important milestone — over 5,000 performers served with support and/or referral to mental health services! While this figure is a positive indication of our increasing reach among performers, we still have a long way to go.
Without the generosity and support of all of our partners, supporters, sponsors, therapists, and staff, we would not have been able to connect so many workers with mental health services and support – especially given the challenges we faced globally in 2021.
Despite the financial challenges that the adult industry faced, in the past year we have:
- Connected nearly 3,000 performers, producers, and other members of the adult community with emotional support and therapy
- Provided over 16,000 one-on-one therapy sessions to adult performers and producers
- Recruited more than 90 new therapists worldwide
- Added 16 new sponsors
- Hosted over 30 webinars and 100 support group meetings
- Spoken at or attended 12 major industry events
- Provided active listening to 860 individuals in need of emotional support
The pandemic continued into 2021, with devastating long-term effects for organizations and individuals. Vaccine rollouts and booster shots offered hope as well as confusion as misinformation regarding vaccines spread its way across social media. The uncertainty around further restrictions, the financial burden on those unable to work, and the isolation as a result of social distancing measures left many performers struggling with their mental health.
Performers had their vital income restricted by set closures, social distancing measures, as well as having to support family members financially. Many others that lost their work continued to flood online platforms for content creators, creating a demand-supply imbalance that hit the bottom line of the performers that had previously dominated the space. For many adult workers, this was the second year of working in relative isolation from their community.
We responded with a number of support groups, webinars, and other online events in order to encourage interaction with others and give performers a safe space to explore their feelings around the pandemic. Our therapists equipped performers with techniques and tools to build emotional resilience and help to manage negative feelings.
WEBINARS AND SUPPORT GROUPS
We launched a number of support groups, focusing on themes around addiction, trauma, and PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, family conflicts, abuse, grief, and loss – as well as ongoing drop-in groups prioritizing the needs of BIPOC performers.
As well as delivering effective strategies and techniques by our experienced therapists, these support groups also provided an opportunity for performers to connect with each other, building relationships with other participants throughout the duration of the group, as well as offering a vital structure and routine to those that were affected.
We ramped up our schedule of webinars, exploring themes around relationships, trauma, addiction, Borderline Personality Disorder, and suicide. These webinars were made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors including TeamSkeet, PervOUT, and Free Speech Coalition, who helped to finance individual webinars throughout the year.
In addition to our amplified lineup of support groups and webinars, we also created additional opportunities for performers to connect, learn and receive support with a number of additional events. We launched a competition with PervOUT Productions in February to educate new performers, and another with Streamate during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, which helped to raise awareness and encourage self-exams.
We also hosted a virtual, three-day event in April dedicated to healing through kink, as well as a two-day event on how to successfully navigate relationships in August. In November, we hosted a “Community Collaboration UK” roundtable discussion with European industry organizations that provide resources to the adult industry, helping European-based performers to understand the resources available.
At the virtual InterNEXT conference in February, we hosted a “Virtual Wellness Stage”, where we hosted live workshops, interactive webinars, and other activities including breathwork, meditation, and workouts. We were ecstatic to receive an Honorary GFY Award at the conference, which was a meaningful recognition for all the Pineapple Support team.
Virtual Happiness Retreat
In March, we held a Virtual Happiness Retreat, sponsored by FanCentro, consisting of a series of virtual events for performers, including live exercises, presentations, and interactive workshops from leading counselors, coaches, and performers in the industry.
Healing Through Kink
We delivered a three-day “Healing Through Kink” event, which focused on the benefits and psychology behind BDSM and fetish. The event, sponsored by ShinyBound.com, Kink, Feet4Cash, LoyalFans, and Clips4Sale, included live webinars from therapists, counselors, and mental health experts, as well as panels and round table discussions with performers and producers.
We continued our annual Pineapple Mental Health Summit in December, which took place entirely online for those unable to travel. The 2021 summit focused on the theme of “Security in an Uncertain World”, covering topics such as resilience, support, security, and planning for the future.
Pineapples United Membership Club
We launched a membership club for members of the industry this year, which invites members to take part in regular meetings with Pineapple Support and board members and influence the direction of the organization, helping us to provide improved support and resources to the adult community, for a low monthly donation.
A number of support packages are available to performers that want to contribute, helping to sustain the organization and play their part in helping to make the industry safer and healthier for all performers.
Corporate Training Program
In October, we launched a Corporate Training Initiative which delivers training for employees of companies that sponsor the organization on how to provide better support to performers. Training sessions cover topics including how to identify and react to a performer in crisis, how to support a sexual trauma survivor, spotting the early signs of mental health issues and invisible disabilities, as well as training in gender, sexual orientation, cyberbullying and BIPOC-specific support.
This is the first step towards creating a stronger first line of defence in providing crisis support to performers in need, and we’re planning to invite those that completed training to share the issues they have faced, so we can provide follow-up support, as well as learn more about how to improve this initiative for the future.
Fundraising and Diversity sub-committee
We launched two new sub-committees to provide advice on diversity and fundraising to Pineapple Support, inviting volunteers to provide recommendations and support to help steer our direction for the future. Bringing fresh voices from members of the industry helps us improve in both areas, and propels us towards further expanding our reach and services.
The Diversity subcommittee is responsible for advising and providing insights on inclusivity and how support can better represent the full spectrum of adult industry members. The Fundraising subcommittee helps to guide fundraising activities and help to organize events and campaigns to raise money for the organization.
Community Liaison Officers
Stigma and negative preconceptions around therapy still remain barriers to many performers accessing mental health services. To combat this, we appointed two Community Liaison Officers to the organization; XBIZ’s Leah Mahi and industry veteran Mark Hassell.
As well-known and well-respected members of the community, they offer a familiar face to anyone looking for information, safely and easily. Their role is to act as approachable and trusted sources of information that performers can turn to, to learn more about working with Pineapple Support.
Nothing that we achieved throughout the year could have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Our sponsors contributed to Pineapple’s expanded schedule of events, helping us to reach even more performers globally, launch new initiatives, as well as directly sponsor specific webinars, support groups, and other events that we held during the year. We added a total of 16 new sponsors in 2021, including:
- Adult Site Broker
- Porn Deals
- NuVision Media / PornStarPlatinum
- Adult Empire
- PB Web Media / adultwebmasternet
- IML Media / TransErotica
- Seductive Pleasure
- Ariel Anderssen
- Zubb Media
We thank both our new and existing members for their vital support of our work. In increasingly uncertain times, it’s vital that we support one another and give back to the community that sustains us. For many of us, this is the closest we come to a home.
With love and respect,
President, Pineapple Support