OnlyFans Change Shows The Judgement Sex Workers Face In The Mainstream
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OnlyFans Change Shows The Judgement Sex Workers Face In The Mainstream

OnlyFans' decision to ban sexually explicit content continues the pattern of judging sex workers in the mainstream.

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OnlyFans Change Shows The Judgement Sex Workers Face In The Mainstream
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*UPDATE: On Wednesday August 25, OnlyFans announced it has suspended its plan to ban sexually explicit content after public backlash.

Sex work is something that has always experienced judgement in our culture. It's unfortunate, because there is a real need for sex work. Those with cerebral palsy, for instance, enlist the help of sex workers to meet needs that aren't otherwise met. Pornography is a valid form of entertainment many enjoy without harming themselves or others. Yet, there has always been a looming cloud of hate whenever it shows up in the mainstream.

This looming cloud made the recent news that OnlyFans decided to ban adult content unsurprising, but hurtful all the same. At first, some creators on the site were told that this would only affect unverified users, but verified creators would still be allowed to post adult content. However, a clarified statement from the company revealed it actually planned on banning sexually explicit content starting in October. The site says the decision was made at the request of their "banking partners and payout providers." Nudity is still allowed, they say, as long as it follows their rules.

What happened to OnlyFans is similar to what happened to YouTube. When YouTube first blew up, it was thanks to countless independent creators who drew millions of views and subscribers. These creators would upload vlogs, create skits, and even make music. The hard work and talent of these creators, however, eventually took a backseat to late night talk shows. The trending page came under fire from many creators for choosing to highlight segments from Jimmy Fallon and James Corden over actual YouTubers.

There was also the dreadful "adpocalypse," which caused many creators' videos to get demonetized. The reason for this was the reluctance of certain advertisers to run their ads on videos containing explicit content. This led to many YouTubers bleeping out certain words, changing titles and thumbnails to their videos, etc. It created a much more tense environment where free expression didn't seem to exist anymore. This also led to more "family-friendly" channels seemingly getting preferential treatment over others.

The perceived favoritism was the result of YouTube going mainstream. This criticism spilled over into the latest updates in the "YouTube Rewind" series. What used to be a fun and exciting look at the past year on the platform turned into a cringey advertisement to please the corporate heads. That was the popular viewpoint, at least. OnlyFans has seemingly followed a similar trajectory. And it's not something that came out of nowhere, either. In fact, many people felt it was only a matter of time once people like Tyler Posey and Bella Thorne created accounts on the site.

The important thing to remember is, this sort of treatment messes with people's livelihood. YouTubers make a living doing YouTube videos. Sex workers make a living doing videos for OnlyFans. This content is monetizable, and therefore, giving your independent creators a backseat is messing with their source of income. Driving them off the site altogether has the same result. It also reeks of unfairness when this sort of attention is paid to rich celebrities or companies who need the money a lot less than an independent creator.

The good news, is there are still similar platforms sex workers can move to. JustForFans is a very popular platform used by many in the adult entertainment industry. Fellow sex worker Dominic Ford founded the platform and this is where many have announced plans to go instead. Many adult stars have been using the platform for years. After all, it was created by a sex worker and its staff is completely made up of sex workers. The site released a statement via Twitter, saying they will stand with sex workers and have no plans on "mainstreaming."

The bad news, is the adult industry is still shafted by the mainstream. It is still looked down on in a condescending manner. The judgement still pervades. It's quite hypocritical, since the popular mainstream narrative seemed all about being judgement-free. However, one must understand that this isn't actually the mainstream narrative at all, and never was. The mainstream narrative goes whichever way the wind blows. It follows the trends of the moment, because it's only interested in gaining for itself.

So when a company like OnlyFans is faced with the choice of following the money or standing with the creators who made them, they will always go after the money. It's the sad truth of life. What needs to happen is, pornography (and sex work in general) needs to be less stigmatized in the mainstream and our culture in general. It's something most people consume and enjoy. The hypocrisy of such judgement is truly astounding. You don't get to masturbate to porn with one hand while pushing it away with the other.

Sex workers are human beings who deserve our respect. They don't deserve to be tossed in the trash without a second look. Unfortunately, OnlyFans is choosing the latter. We must not allow the loudest members of society to view sex workers as disposable. They have value and we must emerge victorious over society's old-fashioned, prudish ways. We must stand up and make a change. There is no better time than now.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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