The OnlyFans Ban is not breaking news anymore. As you probably know, sex workers already started their migration to other similar platforms. However, the question remains. How many “migrations” are we able to take?
News of the week
For those in the adult entertainment business, the OnlyFans Ban easily eclipses the Afghanistan debacle. You probably already know everything about it.
Last Thursday, several news outlets broke the news. Immediately, waves of content creators contacted OnlyFans asking for clarification. At first, they got a somehow comforting response. According to it, the Company was not changing their policy on adult content. The Company also asked them to be patient and wait for a soon to come official announcement.
On Friday, the official announcement finally arrived. Unfortunately, everything was true. The OnlyFans Ban is officially scheduled for October 1st. New sexually explicit content is out by that date. Additionally, any explicit content that is not voluntarily removed, will be forcefully taken down on that date.
After years of pro sex work speech and marketing, the few guys behind OnlyFans decided to pocket their billionaire earnings and go home. After all, who cares about the sex workers, right? If they believed that OnlyFans’ progressive political stand was anything more than Public Relations, it is their fault.
Some are defending them. Instead, they blame the banks and credit corporations and the Christian Right. OnlyFans, some say, had no other options after the credit cards’ ultimatum. I disagree. They had another option. They could have fought.
The OnlyFans Ban Migration
After the initial panic reaction, sex workers acted quickly. Let’s not forget, the OnlyFans Ban is not the first time they have to jump from one platform to another. Previously, they already managed to survive and thrive after Tumblr, Rentboy, and Backpage falls.
Nevertheless, it is not much different to OnlyFans corporate speech before the Ban. It is convenient to be brave when you can sound attractive and benefit from the OnlyFans’ exodus. It is easy to be brave when you are not the Banks and Credit Cards’ target. We cannot help but wonder about what will happen once there is a new Number One in the market.
Once you absorbed hundred of thousands of new adult content creators, once you pocketed a few porn billions, are you going to keep your combative, pro sex work stand? Because we already learned that that one is not the most popular option amongst those who profited from the work of adult artists. It is even in the first sentence of the JFF statement. Why is JFF going to be different? Why is 4MyFans going to be different?
After the OnlyFans Ban Migration
The OnlyFans Ban takes place in less than 40 days. Right now, sex workers fastest and easiest solution is migrating to a similar platform. However, sex workers must stop thinking only in the short term.
Platforms like Tumblr, Rentboy, and the fanspages were key to empower sex workers. Without the independent porn boom these platforms allowed, adult artists would have needed a much longer time to break with porn studios’ exploitation. The brightest and most talented artists learned that lesson very well. They do not need the studios.
However, they freed themselves from one dependence to switch to another one. Before, adult artists needed porn studios. Now, they need video blogging platforms own by someone else.
We could dream of an individual owner or a company standing up against the banks, the credit card companies, and Puritans of all political colors. We could dream of Dominic Ford honoring his promise or Austin Wolf tuning into some kind of Rosa Parks.
It is easy to imagine them ruling the market after the OnlyFans Ban. It is easy to foresee them becoming the new target of the Prudish Crusade. Is it easy to foresee Dominic or Austin not pocketing his newly earned millions and running away after closing business? Is it easy to foresee them leading an effort to build a pro-sex coalition to address the sexophobia in our culture?
Empowering independent creation (and creators)
Sex workers and adult entertainers will continue to be an easy target as long as our sex negative mindset continues stigmatizing them. The common understanding of sex work and sex trafficking and abuse as quasi synonyms and equivalents shows a scandalous ignorance. And yet, politicians of all signs keep getting cheers and fundraising money from that misunderstanding.
Adult artists should not feel defeated by the OnlyFans Ban. Instead, from the empowered place they gained in the last few years, they should start working to be even more independent. As the outsider I am, I would not dare to suggest what the best path is.
I do dare to remember them that there is great power in Unity. The Independent Porn Boom was possible because of intense collaboration. The path to more independence, I am confident, requires more Unity and Collaboration.
I dare to remind myself (as a porn consumer and escorts client) and my peers of the power of Visibility. We need to come out of the closet to educate our neighbors. It is not only up to performers to speak up and educate the masses. It is also our responsibility.
Waiting for the next migration
I cannot wait for my retirement to come out of the sex work closet. As an educator I cannot do it now. In my case, coming out of the closet means total bankruptcy. But there are others in a more privileged situation, others that would not see a life changing crisis after becoming visible. Sure, they may take a financial hit, but would still remain in a comfortable position to keep fighting.
Until many of us can do that, our only option is to stay in the defense. Until we all, creators, providers, consumers, and clients come together in Unity to say no more to Puritanism and sex fear mongering, our only option is to wait for the next migration.
Meanwhile, you should join our JustForFans. We did not migrate. We were already there.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amigo@s!