Lahari Abani (Essay)

Illustration by Mithsuca Berry.

As told to Tania Peralta. Illustration by Mithsuca Berry.

In five years the webcam industry is expected to grow into a 15.2 billion-dollar trade. From toe-nail painting videos to $50 Instagram subscriptions, sex worker Lahari Abani has managed to create a distinctive relationship with her clients. Based on fantasies, the webcam industry offers sex workers a safe place to garner revenue. For Abani, her business thrives on the dominance over the men that become her clients, and the loyalty and respect that they provide each other with when it comes to business related necessities. With fantasies being at the core of the industry, it is important for her to exude a strong sense of self-empowerment. As a result, the relationships she establishes within the field do not affect her everyday life relationships and vice versa. Below is an essay by Lahari Abani about navigating through a world of fantasy, and the workings of the relationships between her and her clients.

It’s all about fantasy. I like to make men feel powerless, as most of them truly are when a women has a strength about her. I incorporate a lot of my own real life situations in my videos. Men thrive off a fantasy. My true goal is not only to take their money, but have them so enraptured by me that money is not enough. Literal worship is the next thing. Money is easy to manifest, but having someone who will do anything just to sniff you, that’s the real power.

Illustration by Mithsuca Berry.
Illustration by Mithsuca Berry.

The men I attract do not seem to have an issue. I don’t really keep men around who show an inkling of dissatisfaction for my line of work. I don’t deal with slut-shaming men as they are the lowest of the low, lack understanding, and are confused mostly about what they want. Most men who have reached a certain understanding and maturity understand that this is my job, and if you end up loving me, you know I will never change for a man. You basically move to the beat of my drum. I don’t have many issues with this as I am upfront and I care not what a man thinks of me, which is the problem most women have. Men love my strength and they love that I am about my business. Do you really think a woman who was unsure of herself could survive the dating game as a sex worker by not placing boundaries or even caring what a prospective man would think of her? No! It would cause conflict. It’s about doing you and if someone is down and ready to ride, they better eat whatever shit comes. You asked for this and you accepted the challenge. Lahari will always be Lahari.

I have clients whom I adore. We speak everyday. I am able to compartmentalize, so it’s not hard for me to separate work and relationships. They know the rules, they also know I don’t play. Texting and emailing is as far as it goes. And that is a great tool for me, because it keeps them ever tied to me. I mean, they are real people. I treat them as such. I build a rapport with them over time and I do have favorite clients. However, at the end of the day, I am a business woman; this is my business. Yes, we can be friends, but friends doesn’t mean discounts or freebies.

Loyalty is important to me. I have a lot of loyal customers because I treat them like people and not just money orders. I talk to them, I ask about their days. I know everything their wives don’t. I am their best friend. And for some of them I am their everything, so being loyal to me, for them, is like being loyal to a friend. You wouldn’t cross your friend would you? That is important because my business thrives off of my relationships with clients. And, I truly have the best clients/friends ever.

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