The mainstream media has been fascinated by the topic of online sex work for quite some time now. The general public has always been curious of this taboo way of making a living, but at what cost? There are two types of sex work stories that sell – ones about adult entertainers who become rich quickly and ones that talk about how horrible our industry and porn in general is. While these stories certainly get lots of clicks and attention, they do more harm than good to our industry as a whole.
What are your overall thoughts on the way mainstream media portrays online sex work?
“I am tired of the portrayal of sex workers being only trafficked or survival sex workers,” said Noelle Noir.
She pointed out how a lot of movies and shows portray sex workers as drug users who don’t have their life together.
“That gives the thought that none of us are willing, able-minded beings. I have yet to see a movie or show where a sex worker is not regretful. Almost like they need to be saved. It makes us all look like desperados that don’t have our lives together. Look at the unfunny comedian Tina Fey, her bread and butter was making fun of ‘whores’,” Noir explained.
“It’s very black/white with either success stories or the worst disasters, and it’s always twisted stories as clickbaits etc.,” said Kitty Azora Lynx.
“Honestly, I think the way we as a species relate to sex workers is a direct reflection of how our general relationship with our sexuality is. And… it’s freaking terrible!”
How does this portrayal impact our industry?
“It impacts our industry through policy and how businesses interact with us. Look at what some sex workers are going through right now with their banking, where is the ACLU? We are a small but mighty community that is constantly beat on,” Noir said.
“It devalues the work we do and the potential we have. In an optimal future, sex workers are healers, sharing their sexual energy with those who need it, and it is sacred and looked at as something honourable and good. Our sexual energy is our life force, and I truly believe we would be much better off if we started healing our Christian colonization and all the religious sexual trauma we have,” explained Lynx.
Can outsiders accurately report on our work? Why/why not?
“Honestly, I don’t [think] an outsider can report on our community accurately. The society is conditioned [in a way] that we are a punchline and need to either be mocked or laughed at,” Noir responded.
“No, they can not, not at all. And they shouldn’t. They should give the space and voices to the ones the community think are a good representation,” said Lynx.
Chill sunday movie night 🌷 pic.twitter.com/ZoCpeO12A2— Satan's Favourite lapcat 🔞 (@thekittylynx) September 11, 2022
What changes would you like to see in the way mainstream media portrays online sex work?
“I want to see cam models who have a college education or sex workers who own a side business. I need positive representation. I’m tired of serial killers killing us in movies or vanilla folk laughing at our plights,” said Noir.
“I think it needs to be more focused on it being a job and not [so much on] sex. You are working just as much if not more than others because it becomes a lifestyle, it takes all of you. And some people really like that; they love sex and entertaining,” Lynx said.
She said that unlike many others, we don’t feel the same shame around our sexuality because we have healed it.
“I think it’s natural for humans to be naked and enjoy pleasure. I honestly think most people would prefer that.”
Is there anything we as sex workers can do to make a change in this area?
“I think, the best way to change things is to not consume certain media or support certain projects. Also, our money is as green, and we need to withdraw our support for certain chains like Wells Fargo,” Noir told.
She highlighted the importance of community and responding to mocking by telling our truth.
“Defending ourselves with facts is the only way,” said Noir.
“I think we need to work closer together, support each other, form communities, create business relationships and opportunities. We need to share our strengths, knowledge, experience, and ideas. We can also be honest about the work it takes and who we are,” told Lynx.
Lynx shared that sex work is a good option for her due to her disability and burnout. It helps her to nourish her creativity, heal her sexual traumas and gives her freedom to be wherever she wants to be because she travels so much.
We as online sex workers often forget the power that we all hold. With our social media platforms, websites and blogs, we have the chance to talk about our work – the issues we face, how our work makes us feel and how it has changed our lives. While we can’t completely drown out the noise from mainstream media, we can share more of our journeys online. Some platforms you can use to share your story and point of view include Twitter, Tumblr, and Medium. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s take the narrative into our own hands!