In the age of technology, everything from groceries to explicit pornography is at your fingertips, and social media accolades are synonymous with personal worth. In a world held captive by instantaneous gratification through platforms like OnlyFans, is baring it all for a quick buck truly liberating, or are we encouraging future generations to engage in destructive behaviors?
BY TEAL DAY, MARCH 5, 2021
The subscription-based social media platform, OnlyFans (founded in 2016), offers an alternative cash flow to content creators who post uncensored content to their viewers for a fee. From high-profile celebrities to struggling nursing students, women from all over the United States are dipping their naked tootsies in the steaming hot pool of online sex work from the comfort and perceived safety of their own homes.
In an attempt to bring paid sex work to the mainstream, OnlyFans is often compared to other gig economy jobs, such as Uber and DoorDash, with a titillating twist, to empower women exploring and liberating their sexuality.
It combines the sexual exploitation of mainstream porn with the economic exploitation of the gig economy.
- Gail Dines, Pornland
Nurses Gone Wild
In the wake of a global pandemic and financially devastating lockdowns, hard-hit nursing students jumped on this steamy bandwagon. The appeal was clear: OnlyFans boasted an exciting way to pay your bills on time. But was resorting to online paid sex work truly empowering for young women, or a survivalist mindset kicking in to stay afloat?
Though these young women faced scrutiny from their peers, consequences at work, and fear of losing their nursing licenses, they continued to post racy and even explicit content in hopes of making ends meet.
BuzzFeed reported on this issue in 2020, interviewing a nurse named Mia, who expressed her belief that the risks she took in the online paid sex work community were worth the reward. She compared the experience to her already borderline explicit Instagram pages.
I already post borderline explicit content on my social media, so why not get paid for it?
A Walking Contradiction of Values?
OnlyFans Model Lindsay Capuano did not let her faith come between her and her adoring fans. With her bank account steadily growing around $200k each month, this self-proclaimed Christian woman sustained the attention of her online supporters by posting half-naked photos of herself, as well as taking tips for personalized content creations.
With the encouragement of her "very laid back" Christian family, Capuano left her career as a staffer at a Christian Day Care and fully transitioned to her arousing online endeavors, raking in an astonishing $6000 a day, plus tips. Capuano relished the doting compliments and positive feedback she received on OnlyFans, stating she felt sexier and more confident.
My religion has never interfered or stopped me from doing anything I've wanted to do.
Lindsay Capuano, "OnlyFans Model and Christian?"
Exploitation At What Cost?
OnlyFans perpetuates sexual exploitation under the ruse of liberation and empowerment. At an even deeper level, engaging in these practices online actually puts the emotional and psychological wellbeing of those being bought and sold as a commodity at a risk.
Overall, research suggests that victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking face developmental, social, societal, and legal consequences that have both short- and long-term impacts on their health and well-being.
- IOM and NRC, Confronting commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States
Though the arousal of growing bank accounts and online likes is enticing, society as a whole should be concerned about the calamitous cost of exploitation at the hands of this social media platform.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teal Day, an adventurer aficionado, has traveled the world and lived quite the incredible gypsy life. She now shares her stories and insights as a means to inspire the masses to tap into their own ability to have fun and enjoy each and every moment of this winding road.
Teal Day is an author at Truly Free Society.
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