Civilians are always appropriating the sex work and BDSM aesthetic to sell their music or clothing. It makes real sex workers mad. And now we hear that actress Bella Thorne has broken records for OnlyFans for making $1 million in 24 hours. Frankly, I find it repulsive. I’m tired of non-sex workers muscling in on the territory that we have built through imagination, hard work, and persistence in the face of a world that profits from our work but likes to deny our existence.
They make millions, while we struggle
Finances are just one of the many reasons why this news annoys me so much. Even in more prosperous times, I see sex workers appealing for support. It’s hard to make a living when you’re freelance and don’t have a large platform or fan base. And here comes a famous, wealthy woman who doesn’t need the cash, charging two or three times what many sex workers charge on OF. Yet she gets the support, while others flounder, who really need to make a living.
Then there’s the whorephobia. Many of us are aware that OnlyFans built its platform on the labour of sex workers, but now that it’s a household name is jettisoning many SW accounts. It’s okay for a celeb to post the bikini pics that get many sex work accounts closed though. Double standards like that infuriate me. Celebs like Bella Thorne steal our aesthetic and use us as inspiration, but would never admit the debt they owe us.
Sex workers face stigma, celebs get off scot-free
And the fact is that they don’t have to deal with the stigma that we do. They won’t have banks refuse them financial services, or be denied a rental contract because of their work. They don’t have to face the condemnation of society, because somehow having millions in the bank makes it okay (q.v, any Kardashian/Jenner). None of these people know or care what struggles real sex workers face. We’re just here for them to profit from.
Sex workers are dehumanised and belittled, while famous people use our work to earn themselves more money that they don’t need. So rather than supporting wealthy celebs, just because you know who they are, look at smaller accounts from sex workers who are putting their hearts into making interesting, exciting content. They’ll be much more appreciative of your support.