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How Creators Can Fight the War on Porn

Blog Post Written By: Mike Stabile

When your livelihood depends on sex work, the War on Porn can feel overwhelming. After all, how is one person going to make a difference in the face of big banks, well-funded religious zealots, and a sex-phobic government?


The good news is you’re not alone. This is going to be a long fight, with rotating moments of triumph and despair. The burden to win the battle does not fall to one person, but rather all of us, working in concert, when each of us is able.



1. Keep yourself stable


The single most important thing you can do right now is work to make your life and financial situation as stable as possible. This means diversifying platforms, paying down debts, working out regularly, meditating, building a support network and whatever else it is that makes you feel in control.


There’s a lot of unpredictability ahead. The more stable you are now, the better you’ll be able to handle curve balls.

2. Know your strengths


During the Trump years, everyone told us to take the fight to friends and family over their politics. Understandable — except that when it comes to people I know, I am incredibly conflict averse. Even when I tried, I would completely retreat once a discussion became personal and emotional. It’s not my area of strength.


On the other hand, I can go toe-to-toe with a reporter for hours. I love debating antis and fascists, going to protest marches, developing media strategy and writing long, meandering blog posts. But I’m terrible about asking for help, fundraising, and working after dinner.


Listen: We all have places where we shine, and places where we’re lost. Don’t feel like you have to be able to do everything, or feel bad refusing a particular ask. But now IS the time for each of us to catalogue our strengths — maybe that’s your reach online, your ability to stand your ground in an argument, or your ability to motivate. Know what they are, and be prepared to share them when the time comes.



3. Speak Out


People dismiss social media activism as empty posturing, but I’d argue that few things have done more to advance the sex work rights movement in recent years than Twitter. It’s been a critical place for exchanging information among sex workers, and for getting that message to journalists, politicians, fans and activists with a reach beyond Twitter.


Remember, platforms like Twitter and TikTok and Reddit are our homebase, and they have tremendous reach. Sex workers know the terrain better than anyone. Utilize your advantage here.


4. Educate Yourself


Want to be effective at getting out the message? Know the arguments and the counter-arguments. Spend time learning as much as you can about issues like Section 230, credit cards and banking, and the groups behind the sex work abolitionist movement. As we go into the fight, it’s important that we know what we’re talking about.


Remember that great strategy doesn’t really come from above. It bubbles up through conversations (or tweets) between hundreds or thousands of smart, clever people thinking and talking about issues. That genius thing you hear someone say online or in a meeting? It didn’t spring from their heads fully formed — it was the byproduct of listening to hundreds of other people. You are one of those people.



5. Look up your legislator


Have you contacted your legislator to let them know who you are and why you’re so upset? It might seem like a small thing, but constituent calls raise awareness about issues and change minds. You don’t need to give your full name and address — they’ll generally want your first name and zip code — but let them know you’re a sex worker, and let them know that you’re concerned about what’s going on with your rights.


Find your Congressional Representative here.



6. Contribute to Our Defense


We are a community of thousands of small business owners. If we don’t use a portion of our income to contribute to our defense now, we won’t have anything left to defend. Imagine if 10,000 adult creators contributed just twenty dollars a month to the Free Speech Coalition — we’d have resources and legal teams and lobbyists who could fight back in a whole new way.


But your contributions don’t have to be political. Giving to groups like BIPOC Adult Industry Collective, which operates an emergency fund for sex workers, and Pineapple Support, which provides mental health resources, help us feel like we’re accomplishing something. At a time when many of us feel powerless, even small contributions can make us feel in control.


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blog post above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SexWorkCEO or MelRose Michaels. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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