Fancy yourself as the next face (and body) of Kink?
Fetish modeling is a niche area for making money but is one that can suit a lot of people.
Although still an adult industry role, it often doesn’t require models to get naked or be graphic. Fetish models can even work in the mainstream and plenty of fashion designers of note have turned to kinky clothes horses for their catwalk shows.
There’s also a lot less competition and so many subcultures and specific areas of interest to specialize in. The result is a potential goldmine of opportunity…as long as you know what you’re doing!
In this feature we give you a full run down of what it takes to become a fetish model including what skills you need and how to find work.
What is a Fetish Model?
Okay, it might sound like a dumb question but we’re not judging!
A fetish model is someone who models clothing, toys, devices or other products or services related to the kink industry.
This could be anything from BDSM gear to fantasy cosplay, dungeon furniture to bondage accessories or specialist fetish porn sites. If its kink related and someone is trying to sell it then the chances are they will want a sexy looking model to help them promote it.
This could be via print or digital media and include photos, videos or even public performances.
Though not quite porn, the role is one most definitely within the adult industry and can sometimes be pretty graphic.
It all depends on the kind of company you are working for. There are some kinds of fetish modeling which don’t require any nudity and there are others where the action is more hardcore.
The beauty of the fetish industry though is that there is less focus on sex. Often, the more niche the kink, the less flesh you have to bare.
People with fetishes for clowns, for instance, don’t want to see a naked model and podophiles are only interested in your feet!
The bottom line with fetish modeling is that there are hundreds of subcultures to explore making it an ideal industry for aspiring models no matter what kind of boundaries they have.
Important to Consider Before Becoming a Fetish Model
Just like any kind of adult modeling, you need to be fully aware that any work you do in this field can have an impact on your choices in the future.
With the internet pervading every aspect of our personal lives, it’s not easy to walk away from a past in the adult industry and even fetish modeling can follow you around. If you are okay with the potential implications this may have for you then go ahead but if you want a career in politics or would feel judged by friends and family if the truth came out then perhaps give this career choice a little more thought.
What Kinds of Fetish Modeling Are There?
Just like in any kind of modeling work, fetish modeling could be traditional photoshoots for print magazines or online platforms, catwalk modeling or even working as a live model at expos and events.
Fetish models can be paid by professional photographers and commercial organisations or commissioned directly by customers. We’ll cover more about finding work and how you can set yourself up as a freelance fetish model in our final section, ‘Where to Find Work as a Fetish Model’, below.
In terms of what you can be asked to model in the fetish industry there is no easy answer and what you choose to say “Yes” to is, of course, down to you.
Mainstream kinks like feet are pretty common and we’ve looked specifically at how to sell feet pics, which is definitely worth considering as the appeal is HUGE.
BDSM is also a popular fetish for models but there are thousand of niche sub-genres of kink all of which have an eager audience willing to pay for good quality pics and clips.
From androidism (robots) and antholagnia (flowers) to yeasteality (sex with dough) and Zelophilia (arousal from causing jealousy) you could be called upon to interpret some very peculiar yet specific things.
What Skills Do I Need to Become a Fetish Model?
Ostensibly just kinky glamour modelling, those fetish models who are booked regularly demand are those that have a look which complements their brand, products or services. This often means that models who have tattoos, piercings and unusual hairstyles/colors are more in demand.
Basically, anyone who has an ‘alternative’ appeal or edgy look will find it easier to break into this industry.
However, a lot of what you see in the photos and on-set can just be costume; a look which you “don” as part of a character for work. So, don’t be disheartened if you don’t embrace your inner goth in your everyday wear.
Whatever you look like, if you are working as a professional fetish model, you will need the same skills as those women who rock those swimsuit photoshoots as a glamour model, namely:
- An open-minded attitude.
- Able to work flexible hours.
- Great interpersonal skills.
- Able to follow instructions.
- Have physical fitness and stamina.
A lot of models who work in the fetish industry come to the work because they have their own interest in a kink and whilst this is pretty handy, it isn’t necessary.
Of course, not all fetish models are hired by professional photographers/studios with many freelance artists creating their own kinky content to sell on clip sales sites.
If this is how you see yourself working then you will need the same skills as any other kind of adult content creator, namely:
- Be highly organized
- Be self-motivated
- Be technically savvy
- Have he time and commitment to market yourself and your ‘brand’
And, if you are creating your own fetish content then you’ll need a good quality camera along with the right backdrops, accessories and costumes.
Top Tip: If you are buying any costumes, props or toys specific to your content creation then don’t forget to keep the receipts as these will be tax deductible.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Fetish Model?
Like any kind of adult work, the money you can make as a fetish model is down to how hard you work, the kind of brand you can build and a whole lot of luck.
For most newcomers to this opportunity, unless they are offering something wholly unique and/or have landed in the right place at the right time then, making good money can take a while.
If you are pursuing a more traditional route into this industry and trying to get booked with established fetish studios then you might end up paid up to $1,000 per shoot.
Sounds great until you consider how competitive these can be to land and factor in that you will probably only get one or two of these a month.
That $1k per gig just became $12k-$24k per year….before taxes and expenses. Plus, you will have to build a reputation for yourself before you can start commanding these figures. Your first few gigs might only pay a few hundred bucks.
On the other hand, if you are looking at becoming a fetish model in order to market your own photographs and video clips then there are really no limits to your income.
Content creation is potentially a huge income stream for the right candidates and the best part of selling fetish content is that there are less people doing it. This means less competition and a specialist market where you can charge more for what you produce.
In fetish content sales the limits on what you can earn are the same as selling any adult and will be relative to some key factors:
- How much time you put in.
- The quality of the clips and pics being produced.
- What platforms you are selling your content on.
- How well you are marketing yourself.
There are some other things which can affect your success which unfortunately do include what you look like and how well suited you are to the fetish you are modeling. There is little point in trying to position yourself as a BBW model if you are slim and athletic with a tiny chest!
Where to Find Work as a Fetish Model
Whether you decide to work as a freelance model for an agency or as an independent content creator, the first thing you will need to do is to establish your ‘stage name’. With very few exceptions, fetish and adult entertainers all opt for a fake name to help preserve their real identity and to give them some privacy.
What name you choose is completely up to you and should suit the kind of fetish work you are doing.
If you are just starting out then it helps if you have a knowledge of the fetish industry so we would always recommend researching your target market along with the competition. This goes for whether you want to work for yourself or whether you are approaching agencies.
Getting established as a fetish model for agencies, studios and photographers isn’t easy and successful names in the business have often come to the industry through other lines of work. This could be through cam modeling, porn work or through private fetish work.
It also helps if you have experience of some other kind of modeling, even if this hasn’t specifically been in the adult industry.
You can find fetish modeling jobs through several industry recruitment platforms including:
- Sexy Jobs [Read our review of SexyJobs]
- Adult Staffing
- Adult Talent Managers
- Adult Talent List
- Fetish Models
- Lewd Work
Lastly, another way to get work as a fetish model is to contact those companies, studios or brands that you’d like to work with and to approach them directly. Check out their websites as many have contact details for models. You just need to have a bit of hustle, be persistent (but professional) and try to get yourself noticed.
Independent Content Creators
If you want to become a fetish model, creating and selling your own content offers you a flexible way to earn and chose your working hours. However, it does require a lot of time and commitment before you can start raking in mega bucks.
Setting yourself up for kink clip and pic sales is no different to any other kind of adult content creation work and you will need to approach his as you would any job.
Firstly, you are going to want to start producing high quality content to sell and it pays to have a second person to help you do this if you want to capture the best images.
There’s plenty of advice about how to create the best content in helpful articles across our Make Money From Sex section.
Other than having a good camera, the key to getting high-quality images is all about lighting but don’t forget costume, props and a suitable background. Most of this will all be relative to the kind of fetish you are modeling for. For instance, if you’re marketing yourself to mechanophiles then you’ll want to shoot your pics in a garage but models who want to target adult babies then a spare room prepped like a nursery might be in order.
Remember that, for some shoots, you may need a second model so it pays to start networking with other fetish content creators. They might be your competition in some respects but you could be of mutual benefit to one another for large shoots.
Top Tip: Building a group of contacts in the industry is always advisable and can be of real benefit to you when you want to talk shop with people who know the industry.
Next, you’ll need to get yourself set up as a model on the right sites and there are some content sales platforms which are more geared towards fetish sales.
You can find a full review of the best content subscription sites in our recent feature.
Once you’ve got yourself a marketplace to sell from then you’ll need to start marketing yourself widely to drive potential customers to your fan pages. From here they can purchase your pre-made photos and videos or commission you directly for custom jobs.
A good way to market yourself online is to create SFW social media accounts across popular platforms like Instagram and Twitter and use these to funnel traffic to your clip sales channel.
Advice on Being a Fetish Model
We’ll leave you with some final words of wisdom on being a fetish model and these pretty much apply to any career you follow in the adult industry.
First up, if you are taking any gigs for photo shoots with a new employer, always make sure you let someone know exactly where you are going and when you will be back.
Even better, take someone with you who can be your chaperone. Whilst most studios have great reputations, it (sadly) isn’t uncommon for some small, independent photographers to be a bit ‘hands on’. You are doing a professional job and you deserved to be treated with respect. If you don’t get that (no matter how good an opportunity something seems) just walk away.
Secondly, this is a career and you should treat this new job with all the professionalism you would any other kind of work. This means working hard, being on time and being courteous to the people you work with. It’s a small industry and you need to build up a good reputation for yourself.
In the same vein you should also remember to keep good accounting records and include all your income as well as any appropriate expenses and outgoings because, yes, you will need to pay tax just like with any other job!
Next, custom requests can pay well but you should only do these if you feel comfortable with having the end result ‘out there’ in the public realm of the internet. Fetish fans are (mostly) lovely to work for but some can get pretty intense. Never arrange to meet fans or give out your personal details and stay safe.
Finally, if you enjoy what you are doing – then you’re going to absolutely kill it! Good luck.