Artwork by Brittany "Bee" Harris
There is no one kind of person that fits the mold of a sex worker. The diversities and complexities of erotic laborers is a beautiful thing to explore. Online platforms have successfully given community to sex workers, reduced the risk of bodily harm, provided more access to higher paying clientele, allowed for more anonymity, and overall reduces the number of negative interactions sex workers have with policing.
When we think of sex work in general, many people seem to hold onto the stigma that to engage in it you have some seedy, dark side to you. That you are in the work against your will or that you are damaged and stuck in the work. While there can be truth to these negative things, there is also a revolution happening in the way we perceive and engage with sex work. In reality, because sex is such a multifaceted form of human expression, these stigmas are naïve. If we can begin to explore sides of ourselves that seek forms of validation through sexual expression, why not pay those doing the work to give you pleasure?
Photo via @ladiesgetpaid
A couple of modes of online erotic work:
Camming is one of the safest ways to engage in sex work and especially for beginning in the work. It can be completely anonymous. You have the ability to cam outside of your home state and block anyone from viewing you in the state you’re located in. Through online cam work you are able to collect money for the time you spend online. Sites have systems where users can buy tokens. They use tokens and have an exchange rate for cash. The exchanged money is then sent to you. It’s a viable option for making money while in school or as a side hustle for any identity. I would have to say that in my experience it’s easier if you don’t have tattoos so you can cam from the neck down if you’d like to preserve that anonymity.
Another outlet of making money is doing specialty or fetish work and meeting clientele either online through social platforms, dating sites, or fetish sites. This space can be much trickier and unsafe if you are unaware on how to navigate it. Unless you do this work in a protected space and by that I mean you are in the industry in some capacity, it is important to use another name when engaging in any sex work to protect the other side of your identity. I have always felt more comfortable going by a pseudonym. When thinking about doing kink work, it's so important to have a mentor and engage in the community you are seeking to work in. In some cities, this is easier than others. When I was in Portland there were multiple dungeons and a fairly large bdsm and kink community. In more policed states, this may be harder to find. Without the advocacy in the community to create these safe spaces…we will always have an issue with access and exploration.
God bless the internet and our freedom to choose how to use it… While there are revolutionary things happening in the world of sex work online, there are so many damning policies that filter out our freedoms. Sex work is something that isn’t new, but online it’s budding in a time when we have to start looking more closely at how we are treating sex work in general. The corners of this work are endless. While the stigmatization of sex workers boxes them into this idea of prostitution, it is much more faceted than that. A large part of our society denies this type of work as valid. By doing so this perpetuates a system that oppresses sex workers and in turn makes the profession unsafe for those doing the work. A large majority of this sexual oppression and policing lives in government policy, laws, etc. Read here on girl boss about F/S and how much it has impacted online work.
If we cannot learn to value sex workers, we diminish their overall quality of life and don’t allow them the freedom, safety, and respect they deserve.
That’s all I have for this week…GO SUPPORT A SEX WORKER!
Photo via @jacqthestripper
Update: Another great resource for protecting women on the internet ~