While watching the recent YNOTcamawards, I learned about the lovely @AerieSaunders and her new project AdultMutualAid.com
In our industry it is quite common for there to be ebbs and flows, those of us who have been around for a number of years become accustomed to the highs and lows, and can sometimes plan. There are good months, bad months, months where life takes a higher priority than work, times when accidents and diseases cause unexpected expenses etc. However, during a pandemic, when Mastercard is laying layer upon layer of new restrictive rules, there is no planning and savings just aren’t enough. We never know who or what is coming for our industry next and this is heavy and exhausting.
It is overwhelming and challenging to be consistently told that you are broken, a victim, our work isn’t work,etc just for doing the job you do, enjoying it some days more than others. To have religious groups, celebrities, politicians, etc discussing the ups and downs of our work, while refusing to talk to us or understand the realities of it. If they truly wanted to help, they wouldn’t simply speak about us behind our backs, or in front of our faces while ignoring our experiences. Imagine being so stuck in your point of view that you would remove someone’s autonomy or experience simply because it doesn’t fit your narrative. To think that somehow, you are so above others that you know better what their life has been/is about and how they should live it. To think that just because you wouldn’t choose to do something for money, it must be inherently evil/wrong/immoral/illegal etc. I would not, could not work in a slaughterhouse or meat processing plant but I don’t believe those that do are wrong or hold it against them, in fact I am grateful they do so I have food options.
As these people fight against porn and most of the adult industry it becomes more and more challenging to simply do our jobs and thrive as we work. Sites are shut down, restrictions are placed on what/how we can sell, what fetishes we can include in content/on cam, how we can get paid, if we can have bank accounts etc. As every layer is stacked on top of and against us we are more and more burdened in being successful, paying our bills, supporting ourselves and our families, and even thriving in life. We have been fought against in many ways for many years, we will continue, we will succeed, we will thrive.
With all the weight of the world on us while being under a microscope to always feel “empowered” and “love” our job, it can be so hard to ask for help. To share a bit of vulnerability and be honest about where we are at and what we need to survive and thrive.
One of the ways we can thrive is to connect in community, to support one another in so many ways. We come together with the only other people who get it, who understand the unique challenges we deal with and support each other through it all. We create Discord channels, twitter chat groups, zoom video chats etc. We offer to listen, to hold space, to share anger and frustration, to celebrate wins of every level. We can promote each other’s content and availability with retweets and shout outs. One of the ways that has been missing in our industry is a centralized space for financial support to be shared.
Therein lies the beauty of what Aerie Sanders has created in Adultmutualaid.com. She has created a wonderful site where any type of sex worker can ask for help as well as anyone can provide help. It is straightforward, and easy to maneuver to find what is needed. A brilliant collection for support that all current sex workers can make use of.
Sex workers can submit their information through an easy to use form, citing their situation, their chosen payment options, their social info, etc. They are then verified and their post is then added to the site. People can look through the posts of people who are in need and find someone to support either through a payment method they can use, or a situation that speaks to them.
I hope all will go and check out adultmutualaid.com and offer support in any way they are able.