I’m not one to over-intellectualize sex. We are all sexually aroused by different things, and that’s our private business —unless you decide to make it publicly known, as do those who have chosen a career in the adult entertainment industry, aka sex work.
The term “sex work” in itself is multi-faceted, inclusive of even nude dancers who may not engage in sexual acts but use their bodies and skillful gyrations to meet their patrons right at the edge of all possible fantasies.
Sex is a viable business for many who use it to earn an income, and though it is not the path I have chosen, I don’t negatively judge those who have. However, as for my sex worker friends, with their best interest at hand, I might ask from time to time, “Are you saving for your retirement?”
As for the rest of you out there, I have found over the years a disturbing trend in slut-shaming sex workers, ridiculing their lives, and even somewhat blissfully mocking them when they face hardships. And yes, for some, those hardships are brought on by substance abuse. That said, with 25 million people in America of various backgrounds and occupations battling addiction, a meth-addicted porn performer deserves just as much compassion as the opioid-addicted office colleague. We should be rooting for them both to win and get better.
But when it comes to gay men, there seems to be a thrill in putting sex workers down, reprimanding them for their perceived lifestyle, often based on stigmas and antiquated stereotypes. And the thing that is so pathetic is many of you doing the ridiculing likely just got off of Porn Hub, yanking your noodle to content created by those you mock, and many of you have hired these boys directly from their RentMen page.
So why is it then, a few days ago when news broke of OnlyFans banning all sexual content from its platform, an almost collective jubilance from gay men permeated social media? The bitchy swipes were abundant. I read things like, “It’s about time those whores had a reality check”, “Good for them!”, “How do you tell the unemployment office your former job was f*cking?” and of course, there was no shortage of the default, “Now they will have to go and get a REAL job.”
One adult entertainment performer — the extremely popular Julian Torres wants you to know, sex work is his REAL job. Julian earns a significant part of his income through his OnlyFans account and similar platforms. He responded to the criticism with a personal PSA to the gay community, dressed only in a baseball cap and underwear (admittedly to grab viewers’ attention). In the now much-shared video, Julian informs the public that many legislative efforts are being made to criminalize sex work and he urges the gay community to be supportive. He further makes a good case for why there should be no stigma attached to the services he and his fellow performers provide consumers, like any other service oriented job.
Perhaps most importantly, though, he asks that people not be so judgmental, as he implores them to understand that content creation is a real job and sex work is real work.
Alex Tikas, Julian’s fiance is equally as popular. Together, they have become two of the most sought-after sex workers in the gay adult entertainment industry. Still, again as Julian stresses, it’s work. What they do requires job skills like any other — or else nobody’s giving you a dime for a job poorly done. There are countless hours in what they do, and it does not all involve the act of sex. I mean, yes, part of their job is to have sex with some of the most beautiful men on the planet — and they do!
But there are genuine work components, including shooting videos, editing, uploading content, and promoting the content and social media management. Additionally, they serve as their own talent brokers, negotiating client requests and bookings with pay and travel expenses to appear at the hottest circuit party events across the country.
In a recent Facebook post-Alex, whose real name is Achilles, responds to many negative, shaming comments and calls out the hypocrisy of the critical men who watch porn and engage in the same behaviors he does in his videos. As he points out, the difference is he gets paid to do it. Alex very colorfully clarifies that careers are about finding that in which you excel and monetizing it. That’s what he, Julian, and their fellow sex workers have all done for the most part. And it raises the question, are all the haters secretly harboring jealously, wishing it were they whose job came with the freedom to travel all over the world, sexually adventurous with total abandon?
My JOB is creating adult content – after flipping burgers from 14 – 18 — after 6 years of auditioning for your bull shit shows in Paducah, Kentucky then – after 20 years of working behind a desk and bartending on the weekends.. the DECISION to create adult content has afforded me a freedom that as propelled me into a life of
1. Zero judgment
2. Zero sanctimony
3. Zero pretense
4 .Zero fucks given. ￼
In the meantime, I would remind everyone to live and let live, and if something is not for you, then live your life and let other people live theirs. I’ll also add if you have ever engaged in self-pleasure, even once from watching sex workers do what they do on camera, but you then make disparaging remarks about them, that makes you a hypocrite of the worst kind. And maybe, just maybe, it’s you who is grappling with an internal conflict with your sexuality and your freaky, kinky side.
A few more things to be aware of, prostitution is legal in 56 countries, where sex worker earnings are reported and taxed by their government like any other job. According to current statistics, over 40 million American people regularly visit porn sites. And almost half of all internet downloads are pornographic.
So, before you boys go bashing sex workers and mocking what they do, check yourself first — because we all know all that porn ain’t watching itself!