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Paypigs in lockdown
Illustration Callum Abbott

How paypigs have been funding their fetish during the pandemic

Facing financial insecurity, subs are finding creative ways to spoil their dominatrixes over lockdown – including going into debt

TextBrit DawsonIllustrationCallum Abbott

The coronavirus pandemic has hit most of us hard, raising unforeseen challenges when it comes to our relationships, mental health, and financial security. For many sex workers, whose incomes rely on face-to-face interactions or the prosperity of their clients, the latter has been particularly tough.

Often self-employed, and not awarded the same rights as most workers, those in the sex industry aren’t eligible for sick pay nor income support schemes. While some have benefitted from online sex work, including camming or selling content on OnlyFans, many have seen a fall in clients, who either can’t risk meeting in person, or simply can’t afford to fund their fetish, instead turning to free porn sites, homemade sex toys, or Zoom sex parties.

But what happens when your fetish relies on the draining of your bank account? Financial submissives (AKA paypigs) get off on giving gifts and money to dommes (AKA findoms), primarily for the thrill of relinquishing control of their finances. Some money slaves even get pleasure out of being in debt or bankrupting themselves.

22-year-old Adam got into financial domination in March last year, and says the pandemic has only served to enhance his love for the fetish. “I’ve been more free to be on Twitter and interact with the community more,” he tells Dazed, explaining that he used to send money to lots of dommes, but is now ‘owned’ by one, who he gifts exclusively. “I never ask for anything back, and I don’t even mind whether or not I get a reply after I’ve sent it.”

Based in London, Adam is a university student who uses the money he earns from his part-time job to pay his findom, sending her between £150 and £400 a week. After COVID-19 hit, however, he could no longer work. “Obviously in the beginning I took a financial hit,” he explains, “but since I had so much free time, I took up (video game) streaming. This earnt me more money than I did with my part-time job, so I was able to continue sending.”

Financial dominatrix Goddess Asari says she has lost a few paypigs during the pandemic, but isn’t surprised that subs are going to any lengths to continue funding their obsession. “Some of them picked up app gigs like Uber Eats, some used unemployment money,” she shares. “But people spend their income on all sorts of vices, especially things we enjoy like cigarettes, alcohol, and porn.”

Despite still receiving gifts from paypigs, Asari says she’s “not trying to ‘drain’ anyone during a global pandemic”. Instead, she’s turned her attention to other fetishes, explaining that she’s “found more joy” in things like clip making.

“I continue to contribute from debt. I don’t ask for anything; if I receive anything, it’s a bonus” – Muted Pig

One 29-year-old submissive, who’s asked to be referred to as Muted Pig, is looking to be drained, and says he even likes to go into debt for his findoms. “I enjoy paying as many as possible,” he reveals. “I don’t ask for anything; if I receive anything, it’s a bonus.”

Muted Pig, who’s based in the north east of England, tells Dazed that he spends hundreds of pounds a month on his fetish, and although he has been saving money during the pandemic, he is currently in debt. “I continue to contribute from debt,” he declares, referring to financial domination as an “addiction”.

Other paypigs appear to have planned for a financial crisis, saving money in advance so they can still pay their findoms no matter what. “Most of my submissives have listened to me long term,” dominatrix Madame FaeV tells Dazed, “so they have money invested and don’t rely on government promises to keep them afloat. Most of my clients will always be financially stable because I teach them to think in solutions and not problems.”

FaeV – who’s stopped doing face-to-face sessions, and now creates more online content – says her workload has actually increased over lockdown. “More people are stuck at home, working from home, or on leave from work, so they have more time on their hands to scratch an itch or two,” she explains. “I’ve had an increase in subscribers to my OnlyFans and all of my adult sites. I made around $65,000 in 2018, and in 2020, I’ve hit close to $95,000.”

Although Asari also experienced an uptake in work at the start of the pandemic, she says business is “extremely slow” now. “Sex work isn’t ever extremely consistent or reliable, even for the most experienced. We’re used to ups and downs, so the ebb and flow of the pandemic is just another rollercoaster ride that many sex workers are used to riding by now.”

Paypigs may not be as used to the unreliability of the industry as the workers who are versed in it. If they haven’t saved, like those advised by FaeV did, or can’t find an alternative way to fund their fetish, they’ll have to go without during lockdown. “I do know people who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” says Adam. “Since they don’t have enough money to (pay findoms as well as their) daily expenses, they’ve been forced to stop sending.”

On the other hand, some sex workers may find their paypigs spoilt for choice, with more and more people joining the industry during lockdown. “There was definitely an uptick in sex work because folk think it’s easy work,” concludes Asari. “Life has been intense for a lot of us, me included, but we all have to adapt and adjust.”