Inside the Strip Clubs of Instagram

Then women, or, as the audience calls them, “demons,” are encouraged to request to join the stream.

When Mr. LaBoy accepts a woman’s request to dance, he pins her Cash App information to the top of the stream and tells followers that if they like what they see, they had better pay up. “Blue-checks better pay,” he said last Thursday, referring to verified Instagram accounts.

Women said they have raked in thousands of dollars from Cash App donations. Alexis said she has made about $18,000 total from dancing on Instagram Live during a time when she’d otherwise be completely out of work. “Justin makes sure the girls make a substantial amount of money,” she said. He also plugs his own handle, then distributes the funds as a bonus.

The amount of money Alexis has been able to earn through the internet far outpaces what she was previously earning at her job at the club, and for far less effort. “If I’m in the club, I’m there for eight hours,” she said. “On Instagram Live, it’s five minutes. Five minutes compared to eight hours of work.”

Women who have appeared as guests have also amassed a larger following on their Instagram accounts. Alexis started a secondary Instagram account for her own Instagram Lives, after partygoers sent her messages with offers.

“People ask me to send them a voice note saying their name for $500,” she said. “They’ll go on my page and send the eyes or a red heart like, ‘Where you at? Where you from?’ They’re very active during this quarantine season.”

Several women who have been featured have become close friends. “We have a demon community now,” said Sasha, 32, who usually works as a hostess at an upscale restaurant in Los Angeles. “We go on Lives together. We’re a little Demon sisterhood.”

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