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How the Dream of a Porn-Content House Fell Apart

Lucy and Zoe are best friends. They eat together. They shop together. They do TikTok dances together. And they have sex with a strap-on while wearing Fourth of July-themed hats on the camming platform Chaturbate together. They are partial to theming shows around national holidays: In February, their room is decorated pink for Valentine’s Day, while in October, it was adorned with spiders and orange-and-black streamers.

In a vlog on her OnlyFans page, clad in a fembot-esque pink nightie and thigh-high white platform boots, Lucy, 19, takes a swipe at a piñata, which, in keeping with the zoomer baby-doll aesthetic, is Hello Kitty-themed. Later, Zoe, 23, presents her with gifts: a T-shirt that says “chickie nuggies” and a flamingo-hued Balenciaga purse, all against the backdrop of cameras chirping, because in this house, the content machine is always humming. 

The rest of the video is a montage of the girls’ activities in the house, accompanied by two other young women and set to “Daisy” by Ashnikko: filming a TikTok while wearing bunny ears and devil horns; Lucy writhing around on the floor covered in bite-size candy bars; the four women playing the video game Just Dance wearing nothing but latex gloves and fishnet socks. In the background is a wheel for Game Night, which has different sex acts written on it: “booby helicopter,” “doggy-style camel toe,” “chocolate starfish” (a butthole flash to the camera, per Zoe). “Fuck a princess, I’m a king, bow down and kiss on my ring,” Ashnikko raps. Another vlog, from a trip to Miami, shows the girls swigging champagne and twerking on a luxury yacht; they make out, flash their breasts to the camera, and leap naked into the water, holding hands and giggling. 

Such is life in the Can Be Bought House, a five-bedroom, four-bathroom modernist home in an affluent part of Houston. It is owned and run by Zoe, an OnlyFans creator with an avalanche of russet-colored curls, and her boyfriend Austin, 34. (Rolling Stone is identifying them and all of the other content creators interviewed by their industry names, as is our standard to protect the privacy of adult performers.) 

For the past two years, Zoe has been one of the highest-earning camgirls on Chaturbate, a popular XXX streaming platform, where she has more than 435,000 followers. (A spokesperson for Chaturbate confirmed this, telling Rolling Stone that Can Be Bought “certainly can be classified as one of the top earners on our platform.”) Since January 2020, Zoe and Austin’s home has also served as the CBB House, a so-called collab house where creators are invited to live and make content full-time with Zoe. 

In theory, the benefit of this model is mutual: Smaller creators get to take advantage of Zoe’s tremendous platform and live in the house rent-free, while Zoe gets to mix up her cam shows and OnlyFans content by featuring a revolving cast of characters. “We’re promoting them to our almost half a million followers on Chaturbate,” Zoe says. “And we’re helping them build their own brands as well.” (When asked if this is difficult to do in the midst of a pandemic, both Zoe and Austin shrugged it off, saying they do not test creators who come into the house to shoot. “All you’re really required to do is ask if anyone, you or anyone you’ve been with, has been in contact with Covid. And if they say no, then you’re good to go,” Zoe says. “We’re in Texas. You can tell people down here aren’t that scared about it.”)

On her OnlyFans page, Zoe posts idyllic videos of life for those in the house, including shopping sprees and boozy trips to New Orleans and Austin. “We were supposed to be, like, a crew, living this lavish lifestyle and all that,” says Violet Flowers, a cam performer who says she also worked as Austin’s paid assistant and streamed with Zoe for more than a year, from December 2019 until her departure in January 2021.

Promoting this sumptuous lifestyle was key to recruiting new members to the group, says Aspen Taylor, a Houston-based model who met Zoe and Austin while she was a waitress at the restaurant Twin Peaks last year. “[Zoe] had the new Christian Dior bag and Balenciagas, Burberrys. I could tell the way they were dressed they made really good money,” she recalls. The ultimate goal of the CBB House was to generate enough interest to create an adult brand, which would ideally evolve into a Keeping Up With the Kardashians-esque reality show. “They really wanted girls to come live with them,” says Violet. “They wanted to make it a Playboy house.”

But six former members of the house tell Rolling Stone that their experience of life in the CBB House was much darker. These cam performers (most, but not all, of whom are identified by name in this story) allege that they were recruited by Zoe and Austin on websites like Seeking Arrangements and apps like Tinder, only to be financially exploited. They say the two took 50 percent of their earnings in exchange for room, board, and exposure to Zoe’s followers, which often entailed participating in grueling streams for up to seven hours on Chaturbate. Often, they say, Austin encouraged or pressured them to use alcohol and marijuana while filming. Two of the women Rolling Stone spoke with also alleged that Austin, who served a de facto managerial role in the house, sexually assaulted them. (Austin denied both of these allegations in multiple interviews with Rolling Stone.)

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Aspen, Serena (who did not return calls for this story), Lucy, and Violet (from left) of the CBB House, with Zoe (center).

Arturo Alva/www.arturoalva.co

Many of the adult-industry experts Rolling Stone spoke with stressed that such alleged experiences are far from common in the industry, which tends to place a premium on consent. “If you set [a content house] up the right way, it could be great,” Corey Silverstein, an adult-industry lawyer based in Michigan, tells Rolling Stone. “The problem is when you have one person who does it the wrong way, that’s what everyone thinks overall it is.” Allegations of exploitation, he stresses, are “exactly the sort of thing we don’t want or need in this industry.” 

For the past few years, the content-house model has been well established for creators on platforms like YouTube and, most recently, TikTok, which has given rise to such collectives as the Hype House. The template is simple: put a bunch of good-looking people with large social-media followings in one house, where they have nothing to do but party, hook up, and shoot content (or sometimes, all three at the same time) and they can help build one another’s platforms by cross-promoting their work. 

Not all of these attempts have been successful, and plenty of other mainstream content houses have also faced their own managerial-misconduct allegations. But in the digital adult industry, which has exploded during the past year — OnlyFans was expected to pull in $300 million in revenue in 2020 alone, a reported 370 percent increase from December 2019 to December 2020 — it makes sense why entrepreneurial types would want to cash in by sticking a bunch of creators in a lavishly appointed house and letting the content magic happen. 

This was especially true at the start of the pandemic, says Silverstein. “As Covid-19 really hit, you had this monumental shift from conventional content creation,” such as a studio hiring performers to shoot content, “to performers going into business for themselves,” he says. “It happened very quickly, and models had to think on their feet.” 

Because many content creators lived with roommates or family members or couldn’t afford equipment on their own, they couldn’t safely shoot in their own spaces, and to an extent independent studios have helped to serve this need. But moving into a well-appointed house with other creators, particularly those with larger platforms, provides a unique opportunity to boost your own numbers while simultaneously ensuring you’ll never run out of content. Particularly at the start of the pandemic, “people were so desperate to be able to shoot with other people,” says adult-industry marketing consultant Amberly Rothfield. “There’s only so much solo content that will sell for you.” 

Such a model doesn’t come without its own unique legal issues. “If you’ve got a cam studio running out of a house, it’s very possible you’ll run into zoning disputes with the state or municipality,” Silverstein says, citing other cases where he’s seen neighbors complain about cam studios being run in residential neighborhoods. 

For some creators trying to kick-start their adult careers, however, the allure of collaborating with and learning from other, more established models is evident. “Your fans get bored of stuff,” says Hektek Desires, a fetish content producer in Tampa, Florida. Hektek runs short-term content houses in cities like Atlanta and Orlando, meaning he rents out a house for a week and invites a group of performers to shoot as much content as they want during that time, so they can promote it on one another’s platforms. He does not charge performers to stay with him: Instead, both he and the performer profit off the sales of what they’ve shot that week on their respective platforms, in what’s known as a share-trade agreement. 

“If you do solo content and it’s solo with a dildo and that’s all you do, eventually someone’s like, ‘Aight, can you add a vibrator in next time?’ And if you say no, you don’t get that return subscriber next month. That’s what a lot of girls are finding out,” says Desires. “You need to keep stuff fresh and entertaining. It’s called OnlyFans, not OnlyMe. You need to learn what your fans want and go by that.” 

According to Austin and Zoe, the couple started camming on Chaturbate in 2019. At the time, their financial situation was precarious: Austin, who’d been playing poker full-time, had sunk all of his winnings into a shaved-ice business the two had started, which was faltering. It was initially Zoe’s decision, he says, for the two of them to start camming together, only for Austin to later take a more managerial role: “I realized there was no point [in me doing it, too],” he says. “They wanted to see her more than me.” In a few months, he says, they went from making $200 per stream to more than $1,000 per show. 

In December 2019, right before the pandemic hit, Austin and Zoe started asking friends and other cam performers to join them on streams. At first, Austin told me that building a content house was a more organic process: “It was just like, ‘OK, we’re at this part of the business where she’s been doing solos — how do we change the show up a little bit?’” He later told me that the “original vision” was to “emulate” TikTok houses like Hype House, within an adult-content model.

Molly, a cam performer and former CBB House member, was the first to join the house. She says Zoe and Austin reached out to her in December 2019 via Twitter, and she hopped on a plane for the first time in her life to visit them in Houston shortly afterward. Initially, she says, there were things that gave her pause: On their first few streams, she noticed they were frequently encouraged by tippers to drink alcohol, and one night, while they had been drinking, the three of them took MDMA and had a threesome, which she later regretted but says was consensual. But she had only been camming on Chaturbate for a few months, and was immediately entranced by their lifestyle. 

“I grew up in foster care and never really had a lot,” she says. “When I started camming it was my first time seeing the possibility of living a different life. When I met them, they were people who were doing what I wanted to do — they had a nice house, they were comfortable. And I was so naive to the whole sex-work industry. I’d just started, but I saw it was possible to have these nice things.” 

With Molly moved into the house, Austin and Zoe started assiduously looking for other young women to recruit, often on sites like the “sugar dating” platform Seeking Arrangement and apps like Tinder. Rothfield says this is not uncommon in the industry, in which there is often a high profit margin for newcomers to adult — but, she says, it is a “bad practice.” “You’re approaching someone who has not shown any interest in the industry, but you’re approaching someone who, should something go wrong, [doesn’t know] who to reach out to so they’re even more vulnerable,” she explains. 

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Violet (left) and Molly

Courtesy of Molly

When asked why he used such platforms instead of trying to recruit more established cam models, Austin said that they did both, but websites like Seeking Arrangements were good for recruitment because camming served as a more attractive alternative to some women than sugar dating. But other former CBB House members believe they were expressly looking for women who were younger (albeit over 18, as is legally required) and more inexperienced with sex work. “They are young girls trying to find a sugar daddy, so they see this youngish guy who’s 34, and Zoe backing him up, and then they show them the camming thing,” says Jordan Leigh, a cam performer and content creator who worked with the CBB team from July to October 2020 (but never officially moved in). 

Evans, the APAG president, says that while it is not uncommon for experienced creators to shoot together or cam together to save on expenses, diversify their content, or, in the age of Covid, to limit their contacts outside their households, the relative inexperience of the new recruits at CBB House sounded “concern[ing].” “When you’ve got people who work with people so young, they have no life experience,” she says. “Going to live in someone’s house to shoot content that you don’t know — the idea of that itself is scary.”

Many of the former members allege that Austin had a specific preferred physical type. “For the longest time, it was mainly white girls. They didn’t want Hispanic girls or black girls because they said black girls don’t make money,” says Flowers, who is Latinx. Molly recounted an instance where she was instructed by Austin to “dominate” Flowers during a stream “because that’s what people want to see, someone with lighter skin dominating someone with darker skin.” Both Flowers and another performer, Cora, confirms they heard this remark. Cora, who according to Austin was asked to leave the house over a financial dispute, also says she once heard Austin say that Flowers made less money because she was “dark meat.” 

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Austin, who is Chinese American, denies using the term “dark meat” or encouraging white performers to “dominate” performers of color, but he did concede that he had said “darker girls make a little bit less. ‘Cause when I look at the numbers, the black girls make less. But I didn’t really mind because I wanted to be as diverse as possible,” he says. Any such comments, he says, were taken “out of context.” 

Though rates were negotiated on a case-by-case basis, Aspen and Molly said that in exchange for lodging and food, they agreed to relinquish 50 percent of their earnings from Chaturbate cam shows to Zoe and Austin, which Austin confirmed. The models say they happily agreed to the rates, though they never signed any contract to this effect. “I was like, ‘OK, they are giving me a little extra boost than if I had gone solo,’ so I was kinda OK with it,” says Flowers.

Jim Felton, an adult-industry lawyer, compares the CBB House rates to the standard rate for most adult-modeling agencies, which he says are between 10 and 20 percent. He concedes that 50 percent may be less “extreme” when factoring in the costs of room and board. But “I personally find it questionable,” says Rothfield. “I know of few industries where managers make that kind of cash. I think old-school YouTube management agencies never took that much even from new people. Add to the risks being in XXX? Honestly, [that rate is] really high.”

The lack of a contract, while not uncommon in the adult industry, raises concerns, says Felton, particularly when sex and content creation intersect and lines can easily be crossed. “I could see issues arising from — is the idea that they’re living together for the purposes of making content and they might have some fun on the side? Is that part of the arrangement? Is the idea there’s going to be consensual sex going on off-camera? Is there going to be some expectation where there’ll be consensual sex?” he says. “I could foresee that you’d want to understand what the dos and don’ts are. If that’s not documented in writing, you can see how someone could feel they were taken advantage of.”

When asked why he takes such a high commission, Austin says it is a reasonable rate for someone with a smaller platform, and that it helps cover living expenses in the house, as the women are able to live there free of charge. He also blames his own business naiveté for not introducing written contracts, saying that he had just entered the industry and had no idea what to put on a prospective contract, and none of the models had asked for one. “It was a handshake agreement that everyone signed off on,” he says. “And after we built everybody up, they wanted a bigger share.” 

The women who lived and worked at the CBB House say one of the biggest issues of the house was the seemingly constant interpersonal disputes that would take place on a near-daily basis. Much of the tension, they allege, stemmed from the relationship between Zoe and Austin, with Austin often pressuring Zoe to shoot content and berating her for what he viewed as subpar performances on streams. Austin, says Molly, “was like a giant child walking around with a temper” (Austin denies pressuring Zoe in any way, saying, “She can work whenever she wants”). Once, Molly and Violet allege, Austin threatened to kill one of Zoe’s cats during an argument. When asked about this, Austin said that once, when one of his dogs had gotten lost, he had told Zoe, “If my dogs ever get lost, I’ll make sure your cats get lost.” The comment was made, he says, “in the heat of the moment.”

Austin acknowledges that fighting was an issue among CBB members, but he largely wrote it off as minor drama, an organic byproduct of sticking a bunch of women in a house together. “When there’s a bunch of young independent females that all make money and are competitive with each other, the biggest obstacle is hands down getting the girls to get along,” he says. The worst of such arguments, he says, was usually “girls arguing over who steals whose vibrator or something like that.” (According to a few former members of the house, this did happen on at least one occasion.)

In any house where people (particularly younger people) live in close quarters, tensions and conflict are near inevitable. “It’s kinda like being in high school. Girls can be mean girls without really knowing,” says Aspen of the climate at CBB House. Adding cameras and money into the mix, however, invariably makes things exponentially more complicated. 

The women who worked in the CBB House also say that they were subject to intense content-creation schedules, working arduous hours to either cam or shoot content for their CBB-branded OnlyFans accounts. “The pressure of always streaming and making content was horrible,” says Molly. During the few hours they weren’t working, Aspen says, they were expected to be on call for the other members of the house, “to see if the girl who’s shooting needs water, lotion, vibrator. If you’re off, you’re pretty much an assistant to whoever’s working.”

Rothfield says that burnout is particularly common for adult-content creators. For vanilla content creators, “if you get bored of doing, say, TikTok dancing, you can then do a prank or something else.” In content houses focused on producing primarily adult material, the churn “can be draining if you just aren’t feeling it that day.” 

The women also allege that they were pressured to use alcohol and marijuana to loosen them up during their streams. The women say that at first they didn’t find the frequent substance use that unusual: It seemed in place with the party environment Austin and Zoe fostered, and on Chaturbate it’s common for users to tip performers to do shots or smoke (though the platform’s terms of service, somewhat confusingly, prohibit “performing while intoxicated”). 

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From top left, clockwise: Zoe, Lucy, Aspen, and Violet.

Arturo Alva/www.arturoalva.co

But sometimes, they say, Austin would watch the streams on a laptop downstairs and text them telling them to do shots or smoke weed. Violet and Jordan allege that they saw Austin log into dummy accounts on Chaturbate and tip for shots, though this could not be independently verified. Jordan says it got to the point where she would stream for hours on an empty stomach, taking shot after shot. “I would literally black out frequently, that’s how drunk I would get,” she says. 

When asked if he pressured the women to smoke or drink on stream, Austin denies the allegations and says that he encourages performers to do shots of water if they receive a request to do shots while they’re streaming. He also says he never used dummy accounts. “I might’ve texted someone that someone tipped for a shot and they missed it, but I would do that for any tip someone missed,” he says. “I don’t instruct anyone to drink or do anything.” 

It was during a night of heavy drinking last August when Jordan alleges that she was sexually assaulted by Austin. According to Jordan, she was with the CBB team partying at Austin’s friend’s house when she blacked out. The next thing she knew, she says, she had woken up in the CBB House to find Austin having sex with her. “I was confused about what had happened, so I kinda let it go,” she says. “I was ashamed, too.” 

The next morning, she texted a friend and related her version of events. The friend, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her privacy, corroborated details of Jordan’s account to Rolling Stone, and also shared texts between the two of them from the day after. “Woke up to Zoe’s boyfriend and I having sex not really sure what happened there,” Jordan wrote in the August 8th text. “I think that may be called a rape, ma’am,” the friend replied. 

The friend told Jordan to come over to her house. “She seemed disassociated,” the friend says of Jordan’s behavior at the time. “She was, like, acting like nothing was wrong, but you could tell she was trying to put it together in her head.” The friend encouraged Jordan to report the incident to the police, but Jordan demurred, on the grounds that she feared retaliation from Austin, according to the friend. 

Jordan, who continued to work for CBB House for a few months after the alleged assault, says before she left, she confronted Austin about the encounter, who told her he believed it had been consensual. “I’m also a victim of childhood sexual assault, so it’s inherent in me to shut up and try not to make a fuss,” she says. “I learned from a young age, even if you tell, it doesn’t mean something is gonna happen.”

For her part, Molly alleges that while she was staying at the CBB House, Austin came to her room in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions, until late March 2020. After the first alleged encounter, she says that she told her friend Ariel, who had previously briefly visited the house to cam with Zoe and Molly. “I could see why she was afraid [of saying something],” Ariel tells Rolling Stone. “It was her boss and she was living there, and it put her in such a weird way where she felt like she couldn’t speak out about it.” The only other person Molly says she told about it at the time was Lucy, who is still living at the CBB House and appearing in streams, and did not respond to requests for comment. “It was easier to forget it happened, or just say it was a weird thing that was happening and it was my fault,” Molly says. 

When asked about the sexual-assault allegations, Austin denied ever having had sex with Jordan. He said that he had sex with Molly a handful of times during her time at the house, most of the time with Zoe and once on a stream, but that all of the encounters were consensual. (He provided social media posts of the three of them appearing to be in bed together as proof of their relationship. Molly flatly denies having any consensual sexual relationship with Austin off-camera.) He conceded that he had sex with other members of the house without Zoe’s knowledge, though stated that all of those encounters were also consensual. “I messed up,” he says. “As a guy, you’re not used to having so many girls around you like that. [But] I never raped anybody.” 

Not everyone interviewed for this story had a negative experience at the CBB House. Alyssa, a cam performer who worked with the CBB House on and off for about a year, says she enjoyed living in the house and working with the CBB team, and that Austin served as a mentor of sorts to her. “You have to be cut a certain way to be in this business and be a camgirl and doing this thing with Zoe, who’s so successful,” she says. “You have to have a lot of confidence; you have to put your best foot forward. A lot of people feel played [by Zoe and Austin], but maybe it’s, like, they’re not cut out for it in the end.” 

Alyssa says that in her view Austin did not assault anyone in the house, attributing the allegations to romantic jealousy. “I don’t know how you can accuse someone of rape but you want to be their girlfriend,” she says, adding that she “[doesn’t] agree with most of these #MeToo things either. I think that’s so unfair. People be horny and girls want to date this guy and it doesn’t work out.”

In an initial interview, Aspen, who spent five months living and working in the house, was similarly positive about her experience with the team. “[They] were literally paying for the $2 million house I was living in,” she said at the time. “I would never be in the position to house, feed, clothe, and take care of myself and three other people.” She said she saw Zoe as “motherly,” citing how Zoe would fill up a sock with hot rice and bring it to her room while she was having menstrual cramps, and characterized Austin as a shrewd businessman: “You take care of him, he’s gonna take care of you.” She said she planned to continue working with the team after her mother, whom she was caring for, recovered from surgery. 

About a month after our initial phone call, Aspen contacted Rolling Stone again. She reiterated that while her own experience at the house was indeed positive, she did not plan on returning, due to fallout over a sexual relationship Austin had with one of her friends (the friend did not return requests for comment). She said that prior to our initial call, Austin had called her asking her to tell me that she was still living and working at the house. “He’s been really manipulative,” she said. She expressed concern for Zoe, saying of her, “I wish nothing but the best for that girl.”

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Lucy, Zoe, and Aspen.

Courtesy of Aspen

The vast majority of former members that Rolling Stone spoke with reported feeling emotionally drained by what they allege was a deeply toxic environment. The turning point for many of them, they say, is when they started gradually receiving smaller and smaller paychecks, despite putting in the same hours for streams. “Zoe did very well at first, and then it started to slow down because people get bored,” says Jordan. “You can only keep it interesting for so long, so the way to keep it interesting is with new girls and new content and collabs and new eyes.” 

From their peak in July 2020, when Zoe made $100,000 in one month — according to Jordan, Molly, and Austin — the CBB House’s income started to winnow, leading Austin and Zoe to pressure members to cam more hours, they allege. Texts shared with Rolling Stone appear to confirm this, showing Austin’s response when a performer objected to starting a stream after 9 p.m.: “Look, it works like this. The people who just work no matter what make the most. I feel like sometimes you sell yourself short and are a little lazy.” (Austin denies pressuring the women to work more hours.)

The costs of maintaining the luxurious lifestyle they promoted on OnlyFans and Instagram were mounting. In addition to paying for food, Austin says, the team’s earnings went to photographers, sex toys, lighting equipment, and laptops for all of the women; at one point, he says, he spent $10,000 to rent a yacht for a shoot during a Miami trip. As tensions within the house mounted, “a lot of my anger towards them was because I felt underappreciated for how much money and time I spent on them,” he says. According to Austin, they toyed with the idea of creating a financial incentive to recruit, giving each of the CBB House members a small cut of the earnings of the girls they’d scouted. But this effort was ultimately unsuccessful, as women had started trickling out of the house. 

“The money wasn’t worth it anymore,” says Jordan, who left last October. “My mental health was shit. I felt like I lost myself. I was drunk all the time; I was looking like shit because I was hungover. It was not healthy.” She says that in the long term, her income actually suffered from her time at the CBB House because she was devoting all of her time to camming and only making a few hundred bucks per stream. 

“I think there’s a lot of coercion and pressure and people being taken advantage of financially, and not realizing how much they can make,” says Leigh of the content-house model, based on her own experience with CBB and what she’s heard from other adult-content creators. “If it’s a purely collaborative thing, that’s another story, but more often than not, there’s someone at the top of it profiting more than anyone else. I don’t know if there’s a way to ethically do it.”

For many of the women, it was difficult to leave the CBB House. “You deserve everything bad that has happened to you and will continue to happen to you,” Austin texted Molly after she left, in messages that were provided to Rolling Stone. “Trash family trash personality trash upbringing.” He sent her a photo of her belongings outside their garage for her to pick up. (Austin says he did not remember sending the messages.) 

Violet departed the CBB House on reasonably good terms, though that quickly soured after Austin accused her of trying to profit off the brand when she logged into her CBB-branded OnlyFans after she left. In the texts, which were provided to Rolling Stone, Violet apologized, to which Austin ominously responded: “Everyone just wants a quick buck. Stealing is not the way. It will bite you in the ass hard.” When she created a new account, she says, he accused her of stealing followers.

Shortly after this incident, Violet started a group thread for former CBB members to share their experiences with one another. Most of the women had worked with the house at different times, and many had never met one another before, but after sharing their experiences with the house, they saw that they shared many parallels, says Violet: “It was creepy. A lot of them were still reeling from it.” 

When a member of the thread sent screengrabs to Austin and Zoe, Austin was furious. “Y’all need to stop fucking with us,” he wrote. “You think it’s cool making Zoe cry everyday and want to kill herself? Y’all broke as fuck. Worry about your own shit.” In conversations with Rolling Stone, Austin has expressed his belief that the group thread served as evidence of a conspiracy to ruin his reputation and destroy CBB House. To support this, he points to comments referencing the sexual-assault allegations from an anonymous troll account, which were posted on Zoe’s Instagram. 

When Violet got back in touch with Austin to request her W-2 forms, he initially refused, prompting her to call his mother’s assistant to ask for the form; an enraged Austin then texted her, writing, “Do I really have to go drive to y’all’s mom’s house and have a word with her?” Violet says that an hour later, he did just that, telling her estranged mother — who had previously believed that she had been working at a smoke shop — that she had been camming. This prompted Violet to file a police report claiming that Austin had spread revenge porn of her, a public release for which was provided to Rolling Stone by the Houston Police Department. (The HPD declined to provide the entire report, on the grounds that no charges had been filed and no arrests had been made)

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Austin says he visited Violet’s house to speak with her after she had blocked him on social media and publicly wrote (then deleted) posts on social media accusing him of harassment. He says that he met Violet’s mother there and spoke to her about the callout posts Violet had written on social media. It was, he says, a “nice conversation.”

Molly, who moved back to her hometown, is highly disillusioned by her six months at the CBB House. “Looking back, it felt like an opportunity,” she says. “It was presented that way. And I didn’t really have a whole lot of options. I’d just quit my vanilla job and I was doing sex work full-time, and I was having a lot of trouble getting all the equipment I needed. I saw it as an opportunity to go bigger with it and take it seriously. I thought I’d learn things from them.… but I honestly have PTSD from the whole situation.” Young women who join the cam house, she says, “are getting the complete wrong idea of what [sex work] is supposed to be.”

“With the success girls are having with OnlyFans, it’ll open people’s minds to the possibilities of sex work.”

She suspects that as the online sex industry booms, content houses will only become more popular. “With the success girls are having with OnlyFans, it’ll open people’s minds to the possibilities of sex work. They’ll realize, ‘Wait, how much money is in this industry?’” she says. “I do think other places could do it successfully and have a house full of girls who want to build each other up and love each other and not have it be a situation where people are getting hurt.” 

To prospective models entering the industry who want to enter a content house, Evans, the president of APAG, advises them to “do [their] research. Look into the models in that situation and look into the models who have left.” She also recommends adult-content creators conduct background checks on those running the house, and that anyone embroiled in a precarious situation should contact an adult-performer advocacy organization like APAG. 

In the midst of all the tumult at CBB House is Zoe, whom most of the former CBB members said they harbored no ill will toward, viewing her less as a mastermind and more as a tool in Austin’s larger plan to build a content-house empire. “He can say anything to [Zoe], and she’ll believe it,” says Cora. “I feel like he can get inside her head.” (As noted, Austin denies manipulating or coercing Zoe in any way.)

When initially contacted about participating in a piece about adult-content houses, Zoe enthusiastically participated. Yet after Rolling Stone spoke to former members and detailed allegations about misconduct within the house emerged, Zoe said she did not want to comment on the “false accusations” leveled against her and Austin by the former CBB House members. She did say in a Twitter message that she believed the claims of mistreatment were motivated by professional resentment and money: “None of these girls even had a problem with us until they started to make a lot less by themselves than with us.” (Jordan, for her part, refutes that claim, telling Rolling Stone that she earned more after leaving the house than she earned while she was in it.) “We have worked so hard and all they want to do is see us fail,” Zoe says. As the conversation continued over Twitter DMs, she grew increasingly agitated, then requested Rolling Stone not contact her again. 

Austin, however, was more than happy to speak. After reassuring Rolling Stone of Zoe’s well-being, he spent hours addressing the former CBB House members’ allegations, as well as documenting in detail his business plan for CBB House. In his opinion, he says, there was a limit to how much the team members could make on a platform like Chaturbate. “Unless the girl gets sluttier or younger or she does some body modification, there’s not a way for her to make much more than she already makes,” he says. “I don’t see how Zoe can make more on any of her shows.” 

The ultimate goal, he tells Rolling Stone, was not to conquer Chaturbate, but to conquer YouTube by repositioning Zoe and Lucy as mainstream influencers, posting vlogs and comedic sketches on their channel. This pivot, he says, had been long in the works, but the allegations against him had cemented the decision: “If you’re a sex worker and you have a manager, then the manager is [perceived as] a pimp,” he said. “If you’re an influencer and you have a manager, then it’s normal.”

“Everything is my creation, this whole business,” he adds. “They can’t make as much without me because it’s all my ideas that are moving everything forward.”

As a result of the former members leveling allegations of mistreatment and abuse against him, Austin said that he no longer was making an effort to recruit additional members of the house. But a month before we spoke, he was still actively recruiting, if Zoe’s OnlyFans was any indication. In a February 12th post promoting a Valentine’s Day-themed cam show, a new member was featured: Natalie, an 18-year-old brunette. “Natalie’s first show!” the caption on the video read. “I think she’s a keeper.” 

Adult-industry members who are in need of mental-health support are encouraged to contact Pineapple Support, an organization that provides free therapy and support services to online adult-industry workers. Performers can also report incidents of on-set abuse to the Adult Performance Artists Guild. If you are in crisis or require immediate attention, call 911.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also reach out to the Crisis Text Line, a free, 24/7 confidential text-messaging service that provides support to people in crisis when they text 741741. 

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