Now that the famous OnlyFans has announced a porn ban, the site is in the news more than ever. This has sparked a debate between proponents and opponents of sex work. I welcome this discussion, although I believe that rational thought alone is insufficient to end the constant attacks on prostitution, particularly when they come from large financial institutions or arise from within the adult entertainment industry itself. OnlyFans serves as a case in point. Just over a year ago, the site announced it was gaining thousands of new users daily. Now, it appears that they are on the verge of losing that user base, similar to what happened with Tumblr. However, in the current environment, there is no chance that people will stop undressing and engaging in sexual activities on screen, and there is even less chance that people will stop watching it.
What is wrong with online adult entertainment? Let’s consider the perspective of renowned golden-era porn star Colleen Brennan on adult webcamming:
“I see the growing popularity of live webcams as a positive development. It’s sexy, it’s safe for everyone involved, and it empowers women to choose their own path and set their own limits.”
She’s right. Sites like Fire Cams provide a platform for performers to connect with an audience. People who wish to showcase their bodies in exchange for money go there, and others who want to pay to view those bodies go there too. What is inherently wrong with this? How is it any different from a traditional newspaper with its classified ads section? Mechanics who want to offer their services in exchange for money advertise there, and others who need their vehicles fixed read those ads. No one complains. Is it because adults cannot handle nudity? Centuries of successful human reproduction suggest otherwise, despite ongoing rumors about people engaging in sexual activities through holes in sheets.
Unless we accept the idea that nudity, sex, and performing actions for payment are all inherently wrong, how can we find fault in adult entertainment? If some people are paid to play professional sports in front of millions of spectators, why can’t others be paid to engage in sexual activities in front of a live audience? Finding logic in this anti-sex nonsense is more challenging than finding an orifice through the aforementioned hole-in-the-sheet.
In a recent post I wrote about a regular visitor to a ladyboy go-go bar, a commenter named Jack mentioned a Bangkok sex worker he knows who sometimes works with ladyboys. According to him, many of the transsexual sex workers who engage in in-person performances take stimulants to last throughout the night. Is that somehow superior to performing on webcam? Or is working in retail, agriculture, or for a meager wage considered better? If so, why? Is it because there is something inherently wrong with nudity or sex? I certainly don’t believe so. Since you are here reading this, I would imagine that you agree with me.
Of course, you don’t have to agree. Freedom of speech, where it truly exists, is meant to protect “offensive” speech even more than what is considered standard and expected. After all, saying something that most or all people agree with requires no protection. No one would be attacked or repressed for stating that rain falls from the sky. It is only when the content of speech rubs people the wrong way that it requires special consideration. Just as it should be acceptable for an ordinary citizen to criticize a person in power, it should be okay for consenting adults to show their genitals to other consenting adults, whether for free or for a fee.