There’s a Spike in Digital Sex Work During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Valeria Boltneva at Pexels.com

As many people are well aware, Pornhub.com has had a major traffic spike since most of the world is in self-quarantine. The free site even gave the people of Italy free premium accounts. Another website that’s been gaining a lot of publicity is Onlyfans.com. This is a site for amateur photos and videos that many women are turning to for an extra source of income.

I’m all about women doing whatever they want to make their money. In fact, I’ve dated sex workers in the past here in my city of Las Vegas, NV. It’s not a big deal to me, and I think more men should be cool with it. I find it ridiculous how many men watch or look at porn while simultaneously shaming women. There was recently a huge YouTube controversy because the massive YouTuber iDubbbz’s girlfriend started an Onlyfans account, and men are calling him a “cuck” because he’s okay with it.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are out of work, so more and more women are starting Onlyfans.com accounts. But the massive rise in people making these accounts makes me wonder if they’re going to regret it later.

One argument that’s been presented is that the internet is forever. Women who start posting amateur photos and videos may have them come back to haunt them. In this day and age, just about every employer Googles a potential hire. So, having results show up with pictures or videos of you may not bode well with getting that job.

Up until this point, I’ve thought that argument is silly, and it was. I’ve never met a woman who does this type of online sex work without knowing of this possibility. For the most part, they didn’t really care. This is what they wanted to do. A lot of them feel empowered by doing this type of work, and for some of them, it builds their confidence as well. They know the risk and it doesn’t really bother them.

Now, my concern is that the panic and uncertainty that comes with the pandemic is making people make decisions without thinking them through. I’ve seen countless women on my Facebook feed as well as Twitter who have never hinted at being interested in sex work. It may be that they’ve secretly wanted to and now this is their chance, or it might be that they’re making an impulsive decision based on the current state of the world. Personally, I think it’s the latter.

I actually decided to write this piece after seeing a woman yesterday who sent an anxious tweet about how her husband just lost his job. Today, that tweet is deleted, but there’s a new tweet.

This new tweet says that she started an Onlyfans.com account and that her husband took the photos. She has a decent following on Twitter, and her loyal fanbase is retweeting it and telling people to sign up. That’s awesome and hopefully, it helps her bring in some extra income during this difficult time. Will she regret it later on? Maybe. Maybe not.

What I started thinking about was my personal experience as an entrepreneur. I read about 10 to 15 books a month, and I always try to include some books on marketing and the psychology of marketing. I’ve followed some of the strategies to a “T”, and something I’ve realized is that there’s no guarantee. I’ve self-published multiple mental health books, and the sales trickle in each month netting me anywhere from $20 to $100 a month on average. As someone with a combined following on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram of over 100,000 people, it’s not much. It definitely helps, but I still work a full-time job because obviously that’s not something I can support my family with.

Creating an Onlyfans is a quick and easy way for these women to make money, but is the risk worth it? What I’ve been asking is, “How many of these women are only going to bring in $50 to $100 a month?” Then I ask, “If it’s that low, was it worth it?” There’s zero guarantee that their account will make hundreds each month, let alone enough to cover the missing income from a spouse.

There are obviously ways to market your Onlyfans account such as posting teasers on Instagram or through other social media platforms. The problem is that the more you advertise, the more likely it is for future people to come across it even if this was just a temporary financial solution.

Finally, something that I’ve seen many women get rightfully angry about is people pirating their paid content. There’s nothing that stops a person from signing up for the account, screen capturing photos or screen recording videos and uploading them to Pornhub so people can see for free. This increases the distribution and ability for people to save the content.

The content owner can file a claim to get it taken down on Pornhub, but by the time that happens, it might be too late.

At the end of the day, I don’t know what the right answer is to this situation. I know people are struggling financially, and I’m all about people making their money. I’m just wondering if people are turning to this type of work too quickly rather than a last resort option. I don’t know if the potential risks balance the potential rewards.

Aside from personally catching COVID-19 or someone I love catching it, my primary concern throughout the epidemic is that people are going to make decisions that will negatively impact their lives long after the pandemic is over.

If you need help with your mental health, I highly recommend the service I use, BetterHelp. They’re an affordable online therapy service, and by using this affiliate link, you help support The Rewired Soul.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram@TheRewiredSoul. For more mental health blogs, check out www.TheRewiredSoul.com.

Written by

Psychology/mental health/philosophy. Stay up to date by following me here & on Twitter/Instagram @TheRewiredSoul. Books available at www.TheRewiredSoul.com/shop

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store