Hi, I’m disabled. Pay me. [Video Transcript]

Today I'm gonna talk to you about my worth as a disabled person.6 min


Hi, I am a fairly young 25-year-old disabled, full-time self-employed person and today I’m gonna talk to you about my worth as a disabled person. So, this has all been spurred on because I got a Twitter DM, oh Twitter DM’s, and I decided that instead of writing something about it I was going to make a video. One, because I already have 100 odd blog posts that I haven’t finished which I mean to. Two, I am procrastinating. Three, there are 20 projects that I’m kind of currently all working on at the same time so I thought why not add another, and four, because it needs to be said.

So, right off the bat, pay me. If you want my services, no matter if it’s sex work-related, no matter if you want information, no matter if you want me to proof something, sensitivity read something, pay me, okay?

Everyone deserves to be paid, doesn’t matter what you’re asking. If you’re a business, no matter if you’re a small business, and you ask someone to help you, unless there’s some sort of trade going on and even then it can be problematic. Unless there’s a fair trade going on and both parties are happy and agree to it, pay someone. Don’t go around asking, you know, “I need some help with this, I need some help with that, this,” you know, “can you give me this information?”

It’s like, why? ‘Because it will help disabled people?’ Well, yes, in my head that is the one, number one reason I’m like, ‘I should do this because it could help disabled people’, but my time is not free, you know? I have a very limited amount of time, so the time I have spare is precious and if I’m gonna sit and look at how to make toys accessible for someone then I want money for that. Even if it’s not from a design element and you want me to look for some of the things they need to think about, pay me, pay the rate I ask.

And when I say, “I can give you this information for a fee,” the best answer is, “How much?” And then decide whether I’m in your budget instead of going, “No, you want money for your information that you’ve learned the hard way over years of sex toys? No.” And this person might have, you know, meant it with good intentions, that’s fine, but it’s a larger problem, a larger than life problem. With all those freelancers, there’s the, “You need to pay me,” debacle and it is, it is one that is just, but it seems to me that people expect me to give them my input for free and similarly, I always feel that I need to give my input because as a disabled person, surely more information about things that can help people that are disabled is good, so I should be giving that away.

But my, my time isn’t free. I mean, I am excellent, excellent at cutting down those people who want my time for free in my job as a sex worker, I am excellent. When it comes to my side hobby, my, my, uh, my blogging, I’m terrible, okay? I have barely taken on any paid work because of this feeling that I, I just need to do it because it’s somewhat for the greater good. I’ve been reading a lot of fan fiction with Albus Dumbledore and the greater good is problematic in itself. But, um, pay disabled people.

If you want some information from them, pay them. If you want their input on something, pay them. Even if it’s just going to take half an hour of my time, pay me for that half an hour because I am more likely to tell my other friends that you’re a good place to work with. I am more likely to give you custom. I am more likely to encourage people I know not in the sex blogging sphere, in my day to day life because I have done, to go buy your stuff because it’s awesome. They listen to people, they want input and they pay. That is the bottom line here.

If you’re not paying, if you’re expecting my time for free, what does that say about you? What happens if I turned around and go, “I wanna learn all about silicon dildo making, but I’ve got no money, I’m a small business,” because I am actually a small business, Parlor Talk my side business is a small business but I make sure I pay, I pay people. It’s not as much as I’d love it to be, but I pay 25 pounds, my rate, so 25 pound, whatever it transfers into the person I’m paying, I will pay the fees, if I need some advice from someone I will happily pay, I will find it in my budget. Even if it’s a small budget, even if you can offer something it’s better than nothing.

If you come to me going, “I need some help sex toys, I want to make them more accessible, I don’t know-how. Don’t need design pointers, but I just need to know what things I should be looking out for. I have this much in my budget, okay?” I go, “Right, okay, great. This is awesome. You’re not expecting me to do it for free, you want my input, you want to do better, great.” I’m more likely to work with you if, even if you have an amount in your budget. If you expect information from me and you don’t have the money or you’re not willing to pay, I will shut you down.

I earn a comfy income, so I like being able to go, “Don’t need to be paid for that,” particularly if it’s a smaller creator or if I wanna record audio for someone, like, you don’t need to pay me, I just like the experience, I like doing it, it’s fun. But I also know I need to get better at demanding to be paid because I deserve to be paid and I think that’s what some of this comes down to. Me feeling that because I get paid enough in my job that with the sex working side of things I can take a loss.

Now, I already take a loss in Parlor Talk, Parlor Talk makes me no money. I pay the writers, I pay all the fees for Parlor Talk, I pay to get things, uh, made. I try and do them in the UK and then 50% of the proceeds that have, like, this little red umbrella symbol go towards non-nordic model sex worker positive organizations. So that one makes me no money and I, it’s a money sink, but I love it, it’s my passion project, I want to help, I want to get the word out there. My blog, again, a passion project. I wanna get the word out there. I’ve got some affiliate links, I haven’t really taken on many paid clients because they one, might not fit with me or two, I’m chronically ill, disabled, and my body is not my own, so I do not have all the time that I wish I had.

I hope I could take on paid clients (laughs), it’s just, it’s that when you email someone, they reply and that’s, that, that, that’s a lot to deal with. So, I deserve to be paid even if sometimes I don’t realize it and it takes, you know, someone going, “I want you to give me this information, but I’ve got no money,” and then me thinking, but for Parlor Talk I still pay, I will still happily pay out if I’m asking someone for information to proofread of anything. Everything is transactional, and even if you might think it’s something small, for me, asking information or input on something will take longer than someone else, between brain fog, chronic illnesses, what have you, and I’m an overachiever, okay, so it will probably be presented to you in an A4 format in bullet points, and that’s worth something. I make excellent, excellent bullet point diagrams.

Everything is transactional. Maybe, maybe it’s not in the money. I’ve recently started talking to someone and we’re both quite happy to not have payment in there and just go, “Okay, you do this for me and I’ll do this for you,” great, fine. If down the road there’s something that needs to be involved with payment, we can discuss that and if it needs to be, it needs to be. But there’s a shared transaction that we’re both happy with and we’ve discussed it. If you expect not to pay someone, don’t be shocked when they go, “No. I charge a fee,” and I have found that very difficult to go, “I, I charge something,” for one, for the mindset that I earn, you know, so I shouldn’t charge and two, that I feel like I should just give it away because I’m trying to help the world a more accessible place. But I’m trying and I’m learning.

And if anyone is watching this, any freelancer, fellow sex blogger, disabled sex worker, disabled sex blogger, anyone, particularly disabled people and people come to you and ask for accessibility advice, ask for payment because you deserve it. Your knowledge is valuable and it is worthwhile and people need to treat it as such. So this is the story of how a Twitter DM inspired a video. I have a few more coming I feel will have the same background and the same dress, and hopefully, they won’t just get regaled to the recycle bin on my computer like the last 20 videos I’ve tried to film.

But until next time, I hope you may have learned something about it. I’m not trying to be too in your face, but I’m also trying to put the message across that, you know, pay disabled people. Just, just pay us, you know, I mean, pay us all the money. We deal with enough without people demanding our time, experience and attention for free and energy for free. If you like this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe and, you know, if a company asks you to work for free, feel free to send them this video. Hi, if you’ve been sent this video. Until next time, bye.

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Ruby Rousson

Self-professed 'Professional (Disabled) Internet Human' Ruby Rousson runs Arousibility, The Ruby Umbrella and a number of other sites that all aim to help disabled and chronically ill people in some way shape or form. Twitter and Instagram: @MissRubyRousson


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