As a sex worker, opting out of politics, current events, updates to social media platforms and the status of laws and legislations isn't an option. Our work and day to day lives are, unfortunately, heavily affected by changes in all of these areas. The sex working community has been rallying for decriminalization on a local, national, and even global level for decades, long before I even stepped into my first whore heels. Now there's a push for progressive action in not only decriminalization, but active rights and protections, potential unions, accurate and beneficial media representation, less digital censorship and for moving the power and profit gained from the industry directly into the pockets of those doing the work. Weekly, we'll be gathering some of the latest political and pop culture headlines making waves in the community.
In Nevada, sex workers living with HIV have been disproportionately targeted by the state, facing harsher punishments for simply doing sex work while living with HIV, and have been historically shut out of the nation’s only legally regulated sex work industry. But advocates and lawmakers won a major reform to the discriminatory laws during Pride Month, when Senate Bill (SB) 275 was signed into law by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. Supporters of the bill believe this will encourage other sex workers from the community to get tested as there is no longer a penalty for knowing their status. Read the full story of this small victory covered by Filter Mag, here.
At SUGAR, we like to always provide a reliable source for news regarding anything involving the community, however, sometimes it's interesting to read the propaganda served as "facts" to whorephobic civilians who are completely unaware of the nuances of sex work, and fall trap to conflating sex work with sex trafficking. This Fox News article draws all kinds of visual images of a modern-day Brooklyn rampant with street prostitution as a result of Manhattan's recent repeal of the "Walking While Trans" ban, as if setting the scene inside HBO's The Deuce, one of the few current scripted series in which the plot line centers around sex work, amid a pimp-ridden 1970's New York City. The article alludes to the idea that the full criminalization of the sex trade, including patrons, is the way to get victims of trafficking the help they need. Read more, if you dare, here.
While OnlyFans has blown up in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, primarily in the US due to the increase in demand, IRL sex workers turning to virtual during lockdown, and even the appropriation by mainstream celebrities, little thought has been put towards the accesibility of the platform for low-income, high-need sex workers in regions like Latin America, where internet access is limited, and some even too marginalized to open a bank account. Vice spoke with a few Latin American sex workers including Elena Reynaga, a founding member of the Women’s Sex Workers Network on the impacts of OnlyFans in their communities. Read more here.
For years, regulators have been trying to force adult sites to introduce age checks to resitrict under-18 users from accessing pornography. Now German child-protection regulators are on the verge of blocking one of the world’s largest pornographic websites, xHamster, for refusing to do so. This block would make the site inaccessible to Germany’s 83 million people. Legislators around the world—including in Canada, France, the UK, and some US states—are also looking to introduce similar measures. Read more on what this could mean for mainstream adult sites covered by Wired, here.
OnlyFans, often credited with revolutionizing the porn industry, is now beginning to leave many sex workers on the site feeling violated. Users are now viewing the premium content they are paying creators to access, and then receiving refunds via fraudulent chargebacks. This leaves the creator, not OnlyFans, left to reimburse the money when a customer disputes a payment with their credit card company, despite the scammer already having accessed their content. Newsweek spoke with different sex workers who utilize the platform, as well as a lawyer who specializes in pornography to discuss the worker rights issue, here.