What do you get when you put a bunch of queer sex workers in a room? Great reality television, that's what. "Hot Haus" is OUTtv's latest reality masterpiece, bringing together seven diverse sex workers to compete for the title of the next queer sex symbol. And if that wasn't exciting enough, wait until you hear about the judging panel. "Hot Haus" is hosted by reality television legend Tiffany "New York" Pollard of "Flavor of Love," "I Love New York" and "Brunch with Tiffany." And rounding out the judging panel there's rapper cupcakKe, adult performer Matt Camp and trans activist Nicky Monet.
We sat down with Camp, as well as one of the season's breakout stars—Saint Anique. Take a look at how they became a part of "Hot Haus," how they found success in sex work and what they'd get as matching tattoos.
How did you became involved with “Hot Haus?”
Matt Camp: I became involved with “Hot Haus” because I was working very closely with two of the producers to make a clothing line called Daddy Couture—which is all about sexual positivity and being yourself. We were having so much fun doing all of the work for that and making behind the scenes content, so we were like, “We should be doing TV shows.” The first show we did was “Slag Wars” and since then, I’ve been working with their team.
Saint Anique: I had seen someone post on Twitter that they were opening up a casting for it. I saw they were casting for queer sex workers to be a part of a new competition reality series and I was like, “It’s so incredibly niche and specific, but it’s exactly what I do.” I went home and filmed a video as soon as I could. It ended up being a weird three minute video where I was swinging around on the pole and yelling about how they should put me on TV. I was basically threatening them while doing pole tricks, “You should put me on or something bad will happen if you don’t.” And it worked.
How would you describe the premise of the show?
MC: It’s your iconic reality show base with a little bit of funk thrown in there. And the funk is the sex worker aspect of it. At this point in 2022, everybody knows someone that is a sex workers and if you don’t, you need more friends. I think this is sort of an introduction to that for people who don’t have this perspective.
SA: It’s something that really humanizes and demystifies sex work. But it also doesn’t take away from some of the parts of the job or the fantasy that are magical and need to remain intact for you to do your job.
How did you become involved in sex work?
MC: I was too pretty when I was young to be taken seriously for anything. I remember going to jobs and everyone was like “You’re too cute, we’re not hiring you. No one is going to take you seriously.” So after that I was like “I’ve gotta start using this for good rather than my own demise.” I started stripping at like 21 when I moved to New York City and I remember feeling powerful and seen for the first time because I was putting myself in a space for that to happen.
SA: I fell into it. I had a hard time keeping regular jobs and I’ve always had an issue with doing anything on anyone else’s time. Even when I was as young as kindergarten, I knew what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it and how I wanted it done. When I started working, I just couldn’t function within any kind of system and sex work gave me the wiggle room to make my own schedule. I can say, “I really can’t get out of bed today and maybe I won’t work tomorrow, but I can plan for the weekend.” It all started with bikini housekeeping and then once you open the box, there’s so much stuff that flies out. I’ve done a little bit of everything at this point and it’s definitely afforded me a lot of freedom.
MC: Same. I never realized how hand in hand sex work and mania actually are.
SA: It wasn’t my first choice. I wish I wasn’t mentally ill and I had a regular job but I just fucking don’t. *laughs*
How does the queer sex work scene differ from the straight sex work scene?
MC: For me, only in some extreme cases do I see people deify straight sex work. You know, there’s Julia Roberts and people will be like, “Oh, she’s a goddess in that movie where she plays the hooker.” But for the most part, straight people don’t necessarily celebrate that role—but gay people really do. They almost make it a religious experience, you know what I mean? The gratitude that I hear from people because they get to jerk off to my videos, it’s crazy and people love it. It’s very satisfying and a very positive experience for the most part.
SA: I feel like I still work in a lot of fields where my sex work is more appealing to straight people. It’s like this performance and I’m performatively straight. It panders a lot to the male gaze and it’s very uncomfortable and aggressive. On the rare occasions where I get to work with other queer sex workers, I can exhale and let my shoulders down. I feel a little bit safer and I feel like I’m on high alert in a lot of the scenarios where I’m dealing with straight people in this field.
Tell us about the different perspectives of queer sex work that are explored on this show?
SA: On the show, we have a really diverse group of people who are in their own little pockets of sex work. There’s everything from pet play to people who have pro dom experience to full service sex work. There’s also plenty of stuff about fetishes and kinks. We cover a lot of different parts under the sex work umbrella on the show.
MC: I think through the challenges there’s a good representation of what platforms are out there and how you can do digital sex work. A lot of stuff has changed even within the last few years, especially because of the pandemic. I think the show really reflects a 2022 mentality.
What are some of your favorite challenges thus far?
MC: I think the funniest challenge to watch was the Cam For challenge and seeing how most of the people had only cammed a couple of times. To do the challenge, they had to come up with a concept to sell themselves for that platform. I thought that was the most interesting and creative challenge to watch because you got to see people flex a lot of mental muscles that you don't get to see otherwise.
SA: I was going to say that challenge too because it was the first challenge that was one hundred percent sex work. I’ve never seen anything where people really discuss how a cam show works and judge what makes a successful cam show. For me personally, I’ve never really been an online sex worker, that’s never really been where things led me. So it was a totally new idea and concept for me. I was nervous going into it, but I wound up doing ASMR, which felt like a big risk but went over very well. I’m excited to do more of it.
MC: I want to sign up, I want to watch.
What are your hopes for the show?
MC: We want season two, we want catering, we want all-stars.
SA: I hope this show really takes off and is able to continue for multiple seasons. I think there’s a real need for content made by people for people. A lot of what we have in the media is largely produced by straight people for gay people. Some of it is still really good, but it doesn’t feel the same, you know? I think a lot of people watching “Hot Haus” are going to feel more seen than they’ve ever felt in their life. I think that’s a really important feeling and direction for this to be going in.
What are your hopes of representation of queer sex work as a whole?
MC: One of my personal agendas is to get as many people signed up to make pornography as possible. I think it’s really the way to world peace. How are you going to be mad a people if you want to fuck ‘em?
SA: Humanizing and destigmatizing things are big things that I would hope for. I’ve always been really open about what I do and I discuss it as if I’m an insurance adjuster or a barista. I talk about my job and I make it very normal. The more normal things are, the more people will back off on things that make our jobs harder and make it less safe for us. You know, like deplatforming people online and all the bills coming up for stricter internet regulations, it makes it a lot harder to screen clients. I think the more we’re loud, visible and relatable, the more people will back off.
Tell us about your first tattoos.
MC: My first tattoo was an oni, which is a Japanese river demon that’s supposed to be like the devil. I thought it was cool and evil looking and I was like, “That’s me.”
SA: At the end of the day, I’m just a river demon. *laughs* My first tattoo was an antique picture frame with the portrait of Jaws from the movie “Jaws.” I grew up in Boston and I watch it every summer. I was afraid of it for a while, but I always thought the shark was really stunning in the painting.
MC: That’s a good choice. I love sharks.
SA: They’re cool. They’re basically dinosaurs.
Do either of you have tattoos representative of your careers in sex work?
MC: Well, kind of. I have a Kundalini snake on my arm that represents the journey your consciousness takes up your seven chakras. It starts at your base, which is supposed to be your penis area. It’s kind of spiritually sexual.
SA: I don’t think I have any sex work specific tattoos, but I recently tattooed all of my fingers. I know that kids run out and get their first tattoo on their face nowadays, but when I was their age you couldn’t do that. So when I got all of my fingers tattooed that was me wanting to shut the door on a lot of stuff and not look back. I’m going to keep getting tattooed and I’m never going to be on a path other than my own path.
If you guys were to get matching tattoos, what would you get?
MC: Each other’s faces on our butt cheeks.
SA: Each other’s faces, but one on top of the other. I think we could also get a cute little satanic tattoo.
MC: Yeah, like Hello Kitty or the last scene out of “Requiem for a Dream.” Something nice.
SA: Maybe a Lisa Frank baphomet.
Anything else you guys wanted to talk about?
MC: Tattoos are sexy and we love them.
SA: Tattoos are hot and you should get them.
MC: I don’t regret any of them.
SA: Even the fucked up one, I don’t regret.
MC: I love those. Those are my favorite. When people have messy tattoos, it’s endearing and kind of sexy.
SA: I think if you’re a heavily tattooed person, you have to have at least one nightmare tattoo. I think it’s the law.