Rambling Thoughts On FOSTA
It's been almost a month since FOSTA/SESTA hit us.
I was flying over to Auckland when Backpage/Cracker was taken down. When I landed I saw my twitter timeline was full of mentions of the new law, but I was in a rush to get to my hotel and get ready for my clients so I didn't have time to read up on it properly. Then after my clients, the hotels wifi was so bad it was next to impossible to research this new law and its affects; and what backpage being shut down really meant.
New Zealand was a meant to be a holiday for me as well - after three days of working in Auckland I visited Waiheke for another three. It was gorgeous; lush costal plants covered the island and the beaches were spotless. Local produce was delicious, I spent my time happily eating, drinking and sleeping. This was my time to relax; I didn't want to think about work, or how FOSTA would impact me and my peers so I pushed it to the back of my mind.
When I got back to Australia, I continued trying not to think about it. It was too hard, and there was so much misinformation and speculation flying around it was next to impossible to sift through it all. I did my best to just keep working as normal, keep living life as normal.
But it's been difficult. This constant worry is eating away at my peers and I. What sites will they take away next? What payment platforms or website hosts will refuse to let us use their services? What new laws will they introduce to further limit our freedoms?
Seeing that the Victorian Liberals are now suggesting the Nordic model as a way to combat trafficking and help ensure that residential suburbs are "havens in which to raise healthy and happy families" was another blow. Yet another law to push back against, yet another law to fret about.
I love my job, I really do. I can't imagine doing anything else, nor do I want to. But these constant attacks on the adult industry are draining. They make me tired and anxious. I'm feeling the need to push myself and take every booking I can so I can save, because who knows what the future holds?
In saying all this, I realise I'm privileged. To be able to shut down and not think of FOSTA is a luxury a lot of other SW's don't have. Backpage was their main (or only) advertising platform and source of income. Those who are new to the industry don't have a group of regulars and fans to help support and promote them. Many are essentially starting from scratch again.
And even if I feel the need to try and see as many clients as possible; I know the reality is I'm still privileged enough to turn down those who I think might be dangerous. A lot of workers are now feeling the need to see potentially violent clients and to offer services they wouldn't normally, in order to make ends meet. The effects I'm feeling from this are nothing compared to those who are now forced to put themselves in compromising situations.
So where do we go from here?