Our society has made a mockery of romance and eroded sex into a simple commodity, a product that can be bought, sold, and accessed by the simple click of a button.
Having just turned 18, I’m entering that late, awkward stage where my peers seem to view sex as a remarkably simple and casual thing to engage in. I can’t judge them for this; I grew up in the same cultural wreck. The one where women would conflate exhibitionism with “liberation,” where film and television normalized adulterous behavior, where the internet made pornography easily accessible, and where schools taught children how to have “safe sex” rather than teaching them what sex is, or at least, what it should be – a personal, private, and passionate act of love.
OnlyFans Is a Nail in the Coffin of Romantic Love
Now, as if it weren’t bad enough for Western culture to normalize Pornhub — a free, easily accessible site that directly profits off child rape, sexual violence, and female abuse — young “entrepreneur” Timothy Stokely’s creation of OnlyFans has put one more nail in the coffin of more old-fashioned ideas of love. It’s changed “sex work” forever.
Society tells us that this type of sex work has a big, shiny bow on top labeled “liberty.”
Admittedly, I can understand why this site has so quickly become attractive to young women. Unlike your “traditional” porn site, OnlyFans gives women more control over their content and preferences, giving them better choices for what they charge and gain in return, but this still doesn’t change what it is — sex work. And society tells us that this type of sex work has a big, shiny bow on top labeled “liberty.” But this new idea of “freedom” is deluded and far from empowering.
A Generation of Women Have Mistaken Exhibitionism for Liberation
The majority of women who are “content creators” for this site are fairly young. They have grown up in the same time as myself: the one which saw a new era of celebrities and music artists who used their sexuality as their power, where song lyrics were more graphic than ever, and the time when you could flick through a magazine without coming across nudity was a distant memory.
Female “liberation” turned sexuality into a personality trait and glorified licentious, profane behavior.
This was always excused as female liberation, a way to take back control of the past and get rid of the patriarchal views that once controlled them. Women sexualized themselves and influenced the young minds of those who watched, teaching women that the way to respect themselves was by doing just the opposite of that — turning sexuality into a personality trait and glorifying licentious, profane behavior. In short, making a mockery of themselves and what feminism should be.
So, of course, young women are going to see the creation of OnlyFans as normal behavior. How could they not? The era they grew up in brandished hypersexuality, killed sex, twisted it into fashion, stigmatized ideas of abstinence, and made sure that liberation came from objectification.
Selling Sex As a Commodity Makes It Cheap
The more we market sex and tarnish it by allowing it to be sold, the more we’re teaching women that sex is a power they can use as they please. And with women more entitled to use their sexuality as power, what happens when someone comes along to call out this behavior? They’re shunned. Shut down. Told they’re infringing other people’s rights. How dare they care about what other people do? How dare they care about the actions and collective mental wellbeing of society?
The more we sell sex, the more we’re teaching women that sex is a power they can use as they please.
Things are only growing worse, as young women have dismissed the dangers of what they put out online, forgetting nothing in this world stays secret, and that soft porn can only stay soft for so long. Selling your sexuality isn’t freedom because it strips you of future freedoms you simply don’t desire in the present. There’s so much you put at risk when you decide to bare your body online: your reputation, future jobs, relationships – all the things you may not consider important right now, you will look back at one day with such strong, irremovable regret.
Ladies, your freedom may be a friend to you now, but never forget how easily a friend can become your foe.