This post was originally published in 2018.
SESTA, FOSTA, The DE Bill have decimated my love for my job, and I hate it. Just like I regained my sexuality, working this past month, and listening to podcasts have reignited my love for my job. I love sex work, but people don’t love sex workers.
I’m working on a post about the impact of SESTA, FOSTA, and The DE Bill as a whole, but for now, as requested from a lovely Patreon, this is how the impact of SESTA, FOSTA, and The DE Bill has impacted me.
I’m scared about my financial future.
Before any and all talk of bills, and legislation, I was pretty sure that sex work – at least different parts of it, would be around for a large part, if not all, of my life. I love being a sex worker, and it’s a low impact way (for my body) to earn money. The key phrase there, earn money.
Nowadays, I’m not so sure about all that. I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough to pay my tax bill next year, or my rent next month if sex work dried up due to new laws, and legislation. I’ve already seen a dent in advertising, and therefore income – it’s harder to promote my work, and it’s harder to get sales. My website views have steadily dropped over the past three months, coming up to a little over 10k views a month less than normal.
This is only in the early stages so I’m scared about what will happen even 6 months down the line.
I’m having to diversify my income, quickly.
I am a businessperson at heart, and I like being a businesswoman with fingers in many different pies. I don’t like having to force out new business ideas, or projects because I have to get them off the ground in order for them to be financially viable when these bills happen.
Standalone point because it’s true, and I’m terrified. I can make money, good money that allows me access to private healthcare – something I need because no one is sure what’s going on or what’s happening. The only thing people have agreed on is that it’s probably a rare disorder. What this means is it’s difficult to get medical treatment, difficult to function, and difficult to physically work – this is without taking the bills into account.
When I do work, everything is 10 times harder, 10 times more stressful, and 10 times more disheartening. I built everything I’ve had from the ground up with no support, and a few legal bills can rip it all away.
I’m forever worried about my colleagues.
The bills make it hard for us to weed out the bad clients because they’ve stripped away all protection, and means we have at communicating to make sex work safer.
The number of sex workers that have died since the bill has been introduced has shot up, because the bills have harmed and the ability to gather vital information on clients.
I’m perpetually stressed.
This one deserves its own point. Nowadays stress is bad – stress is always bad, but I’m betting your feet don’t swell up and go red when you get stressed, mine do (if yours do hit me up, let’s chat!). Before you ask, no amount of medication, green tea, or even yoga is going to help that stress.
What will help my stress? Listening to what sex workers want, and helping us do our jobs safer.
It’s harder to get paid. It’s harder to do my job. It’s harder to be seen as a legitimate businssperson.
There is talk of closing down bank accounts to sex workers in the US, on top of the current bills. I’m UK-based, so it won’t affect me as badly, but it will still affect me – as with everyone who works for US-based companies. In a few months, I might not be able to get paid from US companies because they don’t have a bank account.
The bank accounts of more than a few sex workers have been frozen because banks think something like trafficking is going on when they’re just trying to earn money for food, rent, and bills.
Overall, these are just a few of the ways the impact of SESTA, FOSTA, and The DE bill are having on me and those around me. Sex workers are the canary in the coal mine, and if you think you’re safe because you’re ‘normal’, think again. Governments are coming for porn, sex workers, and the adult industry now, but who will they come for next?
This is just the beginning.