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Lux 🤖🤠 Alptraum @LuxAlptraum
, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
It is a generally accepted truth that the internet changed sex work, but I don't think people fully appreciate how extensive that change really was — not just in the form, function, and demographics of sex work, but also the public perception and conversation around sex work.
Like 1) it's an established fact that the internet made sex work safer by providing community, online screening resources, and a way to secure clients from the comfort of one's own home.…
And 1a) it's also pretty well established that the internet changed what kind of people become sex workers. It's a much lower bar to entry to set up a webcam and strip at home than it is to go to a street corner and publicly advertise your willingness to exchange sex for cash.
But that is just half the story, because the internet also changed the consumption of sex work and how we as a community relate to it, mostly through the increasing popularity of porn and subsequent mainstream celebrity of many porn performers.
(And before you try to tell me that porn and escorting are totally different: hold your horses, because I have a response to that.)
In addition to porn becoming more normalized and performers becoming more mainstream in their celebrity, 2) social media gave fans a direct line to sex workers, and gave those sex workers a platform to champion their own issues.
And that direct platform helped humanize sex workers for many people, changing them from 2D caricatures from the punch line of a joke into fully fleshed out human beings.…
I cannot understate the transformation I have seen in the public discourse around sex work over the past ten years that I've been in the media. When I was first starting out at Fleshbot, most people in the media saw sex workers as gross and dirty and *other*.
Now we have Conde Nast publications running stories from sex workers about sex work (and not just sensationalized, Happy Hooker-esque ones).

It's... different.……
*ugh, cannot overstate
And now let's get to a third point: the internet has changed the economics of porn by gutting the industry through piracy, which means 3) there's increasing amounts of overlap between porn performers and escorts.
And that means that many porn performers — who are always going to be the most public, and to some degree least stigmatized, wing of the sex work community, have direct ties to escorting, which makes them more willing to champion causes like sex work decriminalization.
That's a huge change from previous years when the porn industry, as a legal form of sex work, was aggressively incentivized to distinguish itself from the escort industry.
And it means that people who are just following their fave porn performer on Twitter are now exposed to pro-sex work politics.
I've been adjacent to the adult industry for almost twenty years, and the change has been dramatic.

Sex workers are beginning to get a platform, and a voice, in mainstream politics. That's something that was unthinkable a few years ago.
I don't know that I have a grand conclusion here. But I think it's important to recognize that the internet has allowed one of the most marginalized populations out there to become safer, transform public opinion, and gain a platform. That's pretty huge.
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