If you’re an adult who likes watching other adults do adult things on the Internet, you’ve probably come across Harriet Sugarcookie. Excuse the pun.
The 20-something Londoner is the face of – and brains behind – the world’s biggest ‘Safe For Work’ pornographic website; an oxymoronic business idea as complex and innovative as its leading lady.
Despite baring all – literally and metaphorically – online, there’s a lot more to this truly modern anti-pornstar than meets the eye.
Harriet Sugarcookie is often on her phone, for business rather than pleasure, as UNILAD discovered upon visiting her in Budapest, where she now lives and works.
When she’s not on set, being filmed having sex with hand-picked fellow pornstars for her self-confessed ‘vanilla’ adult content, the entrepreneur can usually be found turning her iPhone camera on herself for her loyal band of followers.
UNILAD went behind the scenes of her on-camera life and here’s what we saw:
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Sugarcookie told UNILAD about the pressure of keeping active almost constantly on camera, admitting it can be tiring to share so much of her life online with her 116,000 Twitter followers and her 126,000 Instagram devotees.
After all, a career in porn nowadays is so much more than modelling for creative amateur photosets and constructed fashion shoots.
Social media means the fourth wall is down and adult entertainers represent so much more than a money shot. Not one to self-censor, Harriet enjoys interacting with her fans and partaking in outspoken Twitter debates regarding the porn industry.
She explains the hive of online activity surrounding her, as a fully-fledged online personality, is vastly preferable to her adolescence, which was spent isolated and alone.
Harriet, who moved schools fifteen times as a child, recalled:
My family and I actually moved around quite a lot because of my dad’s job. I was very shy and uncomfortable and awkward and I comfort ate a lot. I wasn’t very good at making friends. I don’t think I was very approachable.
I was very much a nerdy geek, but way before it was popular. I’m really happy now that people love comic books and think it’s cool, but it wasn’t cool when I was at school and I really wish it was because I might’ve had friends.
She described the oh-so familiar ’emo phase’ gesturing bashfully at where her ‘edgy fringe’ used to fall across her open face and where the thick ‘defensive’ glasses used to frame her bright eyes.
Harriet added she – like many of us – had the dreaded orthodonture ‘braces’, laughing at the memory of her former self with her now-straight teeth on show, rid of her former anxieties.
Now, Harriet is the kind of confident pornstar who happily sits on Ron Jeremy’s lap in an anime onesie as she interviews him at the prestigious AVN Awards, surrounded by stillettoe’d women, and putting the ‘playful’ into ‘foreplay’.
She recalled how it all changed when her friend introduced her to Reddit Asian forums and persuaded Harriet to post just one ‘terrible picture’.
Thanks to the subsequent compliments and personal connections she made, her newfound self-confidence snowballed into an illustrious start-up career in camming.
From there, her business developed into an award-winning independent production company, lifestyle website and sexual advice platform which employs a small, fledgeling team of social media talents and videographers out of their Hungarian HQ.
She’s now able to use her public profile to help others who are as lonely as she once was, even setting up a private email account through which she chats to hundreds of her followers who are alone at Christmas.
Despite being a self-confessed nerd, Harriet is actually a terrible gamer, she admits, but Sugarcookie.com is now a hub of approachable and all-inclusive ‘porn for geeks’.
In the face of her good work, society still fails to recognise porn as a legitimate career. Yet Harriet’s is a 24-hour job, which can be both mentally and physically exhausting – and leaves her very little time to herself to game or cosplay.
To the ‘haters who don’t think porn is a real job’, she said:
I mean, I can tell you what my business partner would say. He would say, ‘Well, we employ people. Do they employ anyone? Do they bring back into the economy?’ He’s very gung-ho about that.
But I think I’m more of a pacifist. I don’t really like upsetting people. I guess I don’t mind if people don’t think porn is a real job because it won’t stop me doing what I’m doing. I take it very seriously and that’s enough for me.
UNILAD had the unique opportunity to observe Harriet, who is bisexual, perform for a short pornographic film, alongside her long-term colleague and friend, Spanish-born actress, Jimena Lago.
Aside from feeling like the ultimate voyeur, the experience was altogether uncomfortable – but not because the shoot was degrading or sensationalist.
It was uncomfortable for the bystanders because the shoot felt truly intimate, like a private moment between friends and lovers, filmed on a handheld camera.
Harriet says she likes ‘to film porn the way I like to have sex’ – and her filmmaking process reflects her ethos.
Undeniably, it is a far (orgasmic) cry from traditional money-shot-centric studios.
As with everything she does, it was sincere and sweet as well as totally controlled by her and her only; a low-key but significant display of sexual empowerment.
Harriet views porn ‘like chocolate or alcohol’, adding:
I do think there is a healthy and an unhealthy way to view porn. Porn is like any other indulgence. You should have it in moderation. You should have it to a healthy standard.
Some people watch too much of it, or get too obsessed and it becomes unhealthy. But that’s not a porn thing. That’s an addictive human vice thing.
She understands porn addiction can cause problems when viewers become ‘desensitised’ to adult content. Contrarily, Harriet is incredibly in tune with common complaints about her career choices.
Many concerned observers have approached Harriet with the argument, ‘porn is bad for relationships and children are learning about sex from porn’.
Harriet explains ‘porn isn’t a guidebook’, adding:
If your child has to resort to watching porn, and this is their only knowledge of sex and they learn about sex from porn, then you, at some point, have done something wrong.
She added parents should be open to talking about sex with their children, as well as being able to help them identify a healthy relationship, so kids ‘can look at porn and see it’s fictional and not how real relationships are’.
After two 16-hour days of filming, playing host and tour guide to UNILAD, the young entrepreneur seemed tired.
During our time together, Harriet starred in one photoset, one lesbian love scene, one professional fashion photo shoot, one vlog, conducted three interviews, hosted a crew of journalists and one fellow pornstar, orchestrated her HQ administration while out of office, and live-shared the whole thing.
Once UNILAD left her city, she told us, she was planning a trip to London to speak at an AI sex event and she’s just days away from a jam-packed schedule at the prestigious AVN Awards, where she’s up for the Favourite Indie Clip Star award.
An indie and viewers’ choice darling, Harriet is at the forefront of a new movement in pornography, which dispels the myth of the adult entertainer as a two-dimensional sex object.
To their fans, pornstars like Harriet are living and breathing beings with opinions, feelings and unique identities; not just human holes.
Harriet tells UNILAD she doesn’t plan to star in adult entertainment forever.
As one of the many successful 20-somethings who have jobs which incorporate both business and pleasure, she’ll carry on doing porn until she no longer garners pleasure from the business of having sex on camera.
Either way, the haters and the bullies aren’t going to be the ones to stop her.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.