Date: September 14th, 2021 9:56 PM
Author: DrakeMallard (🦆)
“I Needed To Film Today And I Physically Can’t”: Online Sex Workers Are Burning Out
The platform’s brief prohibition of sexual content was unsurprising to many workers who often feel they’re treated as disposable and say their livelihoods have become increasingly precarious even as the site’s popularity has exploded.
In the wake of the pandemic, burnout has become a widespread problem among many sectors of the economy, and sex workers have faced some of the toughest conditions. Online work through OnlyFans and similar platforms has been a lifeline for some and often seemed to be an improvement over other types of sex work, with more independence and some insulation from the risks of in-person work. But many have found that making a livable wage on the platform requires long hours to stand out amid a growing pool of creators, as more and more people have turned to online sex work during the pandemic. To preserve their well-being, some have begun using third-party content management services to help produce and promote their work, but the services are expensive and often add to performers’ frustrations. Others say they’d like to walk away from the content creation industry altogether but are reluctant to settle for lower-pay or return to in-person sex work. That sense of precarity has become even more extreme after OnlyFans briefly banned sexual content last month due to pressure from anti-porn campaigners and financial institutions. The company reversed the policy days later, but the abrupt move was yet another reminder to performers of how little power they have in an industry that has long treated them as disposable.
“I couldn’t really keep up,” said Honey Sanoria, 23, who was making a couple thousand dollars a month on the platform before deciding this spring that she needed a break. “At first I’m like, I’m down for it — I love having sex. Then I’m like, this is a lot of work on me, on my body, mentally.”