America's War on Sex Work
First They Banned All Credit Card Purchases on Pornhub, Now They're Targeting OnlyFans
Hi, I'm Kayla Nicole 999; maybe some of you know me from websites such as Pornhub or OnlyFans. I'm a cam girl and an amateur solo porn star, for those of you who aren't familiar with me or my work. I've only been in the porn industry since February 2020, but I've dabbled in sex work since I first turned 18; that was 19 years ago.
Sex work has literally saved my life many times. It's helped me to get out of abusive relationships that I wouldn't be able to afford to leave otherwise. Most recently, it was my safety net when my car broke down and forced me to quit working as a ride-share and delivery driver. I'm filing bankruptcy because of my car trouble, as well as other factors, but I'd be homeless right now if weren't for sex work.
In 2019, I was working as a part-time, after-school computer coding teacher. I was being paid for 10 hours a week, but with class prep time, I was actually putting in around 20 hours a week, not to mention the commute time to teach 1.5-hour classes. Obviously, this wasn't enough, so I was also driving ride-share and working for Amazon as an independent contractor who used my personal vehicle to deliver for them. I was working 7 days a week, burnt out, and just barely scraping by financially. I had to make a change for both my physical and mental health. I decided to quit teaching and go back to sex work.
At first, I intended to just sell my dirty panties, but that is NOT an easy business. I soon realized I had to do more than just sell panties, so I started my first website, and within a month I found the confidence to start a Pornhub page. I was still driving ride-share and delivering for Amazon, but I planned to slowly turn sex work into my full-time career. I had also begun working as a cam girl very part-time on sites like My Free Cams.
Shortly after I began my sex work career, COVID hit. Suddenly, I was out of income from ride-share, and I was picking up as many delivery shifts as I could to stay afloat. I was in a terrible mood; the pandemic was affecting my mental health just as it was doing for many people throughout the entire world. I stopped working cam and was rarely making videos for my sites. I was depressed, not horny. I was bringing in some passive income from my videos on Pornhub, and that was helpful. By December 2020, I was feeling a bit better and ready to start focusing on my porn career again, but then disaster struck...
Right as I was starting to sell quite a few videos on Pornhub, Visa and MasterCard chose to ban purchases on the site. I was blindsided and left only able to make money from my free video views; you don't earn much from free views. The rate we are paid for video views fluctuates throughout each year, but for example, the average RPM (rate per 1000 views) for 2020 was $0.604. Whereas our premium (for sale) video views paid out at a much higher rate. For example, in 2019, the average Viewshare rate was $35.58 per 1000 views. Though without the ability to use credit cards on the site, no one was able to purchase premium memberships, and those who already had them were canceled.
Pornhub has been around for years. Why did this suddenly happen, and why were hundreds of thousands of models screwed out of a reliable income source? It all started with an opinion-based New York Times article, read it for yourself: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/04/opinion/sunday/pornhub-rape-trafficking.html
Don't get me wrong, that NY Times article is hard to read. I feel for every girl mentioned in that article. I agree with making changes to Pornhub's policies to prevent those things from ever happening again. What I don't agree with is making the thousands of innocent models who have NEVER done anything wrong suffer due to the actions of a few bad people. I'm a 37-year-old woman who only does SOLO porn. I make all my own videos at home with nothing more than an iPhone. No one else is involved in the making of my videos other than me, so why am I being punished for the crimes of people I don't even know?
This one article prompted a petition to shut down Pornhub; it got over two million signatures. It did not get Pornhub shut down, but Visa and MasterCard decided to stop servicing Pornhub shortly after this. For more on the petition, please read this article I've linked: https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxqy4z/petition-shut-down-pornhub-trafficking-hub-earn-it
In December 2020, my car broke down on Christmas Day of all days. I didn't have money to fix it, and it wasn't worth fixing. It was only 5 years old, but driving ride-share had destroyed my car. I was upside down; the car had 185,000 miles on it, and I still owed $12,000. I had no other choice but to allow it to get repossessed and file bankruptcy. In this same month, major changes were happening at Pornhub due to Visa and MasterCard choosing to stop servicing the site. Not only was I out of a source of income from my driving jobs, but I was also about to find out that I could no longer earn money on Pornhub from anything other than free video views. I literally felt as though my life was over. I didn't know what the fuck to do.
If you would like additional information about what Visa and MasterCard's decision means for Pornhub models such as myself, please read this article: https://www.vice.com/en/article/n7v33d/sex-workers-what-visa-and-mastercard-dropping-pornhub-means-to-performers
I was scrambling to recoup my losses. I turned to OnlyFans, but I was unsure of this decision. I had started an OnlyFans page early in 2020, but I deleted it because I didn't have any subscribers, and I didn't have a clue how to market that site. In January 2021, I started a new OnlyFans page and decided to advertise my OnlyFans page in my free videos I uploading to Pornhub. I started gaining subscribers, and I began to make more money than I had been on Pornhub.
Things were going okay for me, but then in February, I received a subpoena to testify against a man I had pressed charges on years before. I wasn't expecting this; my mental health began to deteriorate. This was impacting my ability to work in sex work. I wasn't posting much content. I ended up having to take a break from sex work altogether. The man had found me on Facebook of all places long before I started doing porn. I could tell he was an awful person just from his energy and the messages he continued to send me even though I asked him to stop numerous times. I eventually blocked him.
Months after I blocked him, I arrived home from driving ride-share, got on Facebook, and saw a post that made me sick. A mother I was not connected with posted about this man and included his picture stating he had just offered her money to send videos of her bathing her young daughter to him. A friend of mine shared her post. I wanted to puke. At the time, I was still a teacher and a mandatory reporter. It was late; I went to bed. As soon as I awoke the next morning, I picked up the phone and called the police to report him; he was local. They asked me to come down and file a report, I did.
I then worked with the detectives to get the messages id's from the messages he had sent me and posted the case number on Facebook asking other women with information about him to come forward. Multiple women came forward stating he had been harassing them too or offered them money to pee on a video call for him, which is what he asked me to do for him before I finally blocked him. I never heard anything more about the case until over a year later when I received the subpoena to testify.
I agreed to testify, but I didn't want to. I didn't think I would be required to testify when I reported him. I'm a rape survivor. I didn't want to face that terrible man in court. I've been raped more than 10 different times, by different men. None of my rapes were because I was a sex worker. Most of my rapists were men I considered friends, and I was always too scared to press charges. Knowing I was going to have to face this pedophile in court caused me to have a severe C-PTSD attack, preventing me from focusing on my job as a sex worker. I stopped uploading content to OnlyFans. I started praying that he would withdraw his not guilty plea so I wouldn't have to face him.
My prayers were answered. I received a phone call from the victim advocate telling me that I didn't have to testify because he withdrew his not guilty plea. He chose to do that because this terrible man went out and got himself a brand new charge while he was awaiting trial for the first. I was happy and angry. Happy I wouldn't have to face him, but angry he hurt another person again. I don't know what the second charge is for. I still may have to testify against him if he chooses to take his original charge back to trial, but I hope he doesn't. I hope he goes to jail for a long time.
For those of you who are not aware of this fact, there is far more child sexual abuse material spread on Facebook than on sites like Pornhub. For more on this, please read this article I've linked: https://www.thedailybeast.com/facebook-a-hotbed-of-child-sexual-abuse-material-with-203-million-reports-far-more-than-pornhub
No longer stressing over having to testify against an online child sexual predator, I started focusing on working cam and making content for my websites again. Within weeks I was in severe pain and had to go to the ER. I thought maybe I had some form of reproductive cancer. Turns out it was just my uterine fibroids that I have had for years, but one had grown to the size of a baseball and was causing severe pain. I need a hysterectomy, but without medical insurance, I can't get one. I was out of work for another two months because I could barely get out of bed. I did some research, found some natural supplements that are working well to treat my symptoms, and was finally able to get back to work.
I've been back at work for about a month now, and I am finally starting to become successful as a cam girl; I'm beginning to earn more money in the industry than I ever have before. I'm slowly but surely rebuilding my list of subscribers on OnlyFans that I lost due to being unable to work for months. Things were going great until yesterday; I saw an article circulating on Twitter, and my world was shattered again. A Republican congresswoman is attempting to launch an investigation into OnlyFans using the same crusade that eventually caused Visa and MasterCard to stop servicing Pornhub. Fuck, not this again! Here's a link to the article: https://www.xbiz.com/news/261005/rep-ann-wagner-asks-for-onlyfans-investigation-calls-all-sex-work-illegal
Well, I'm not going to sit here and allow this to happen again. So let me tell you about my personal experiences as a sex worker. I was born to a single woman who is also an abusive narcissist. I finally escaped that woman's house but did it through boyfriends who also turned out to be abusive. I bounced from abusive relationship to abusive relationship. However, whenever I needed an out, sex work was there as my safety net providing me with more income than I could make from a full-time job, which allowed me to leave my abusers.
I first dipped my toe into the sex work pond as an 18-year-old single mother. I started doing bikini parties at bars and working cam. I didn't stay in the industry long because I was scared of the judgment I would face from family and friends. I tried working regular jobs; I attempted to complete a college degree, but I was working office jobs full time, struggling with depression, and trying to be a part-time mom to my child I sent to live with family because I wasn't financially or mentally stable enough to provide for my baby on my own. I was dealing with severe and undiagnosed C-PTSD back then. I didn't know how to help myself because I didn't even know what was wrong with me. Had I just stayed in sex work and went into porn like I wanted to, I would've been capable of providing a stable home for my baby.
I couldn't handle the office work and full-time college, I dropped out of school, quit my job, and became a stripper for 5 years. I don't regret that decision one bit, but I was in so much debt from medical bills and student loans I still couldn't afford to provide for my child. This just made my depression worse. I went back to office work, tried to go back to school, but once again, my depression was too severe.
In 2020 when I came out of retirement from the sex work industry, I hadn't worked in the industry in almost 10 years. I wanted to go back to the strip clubs, but I wasn't sure my body could handle the stage work anymore, plus I was still working my delivery and ride-share jobs, so I wanted something I could work more on my own schedule from home. Cam and amateur porn were the answer.
I didn't know at the time, but cam and porn were about to save my life. I was going through one of the worst heartbreaks I'd ever experienced. I was being stalked and harassed by my old "friends" because I fell in love with the man who shattered my heart. For more on this please read this story I wrote: https://vocal.media/filthy/i-accidentally-fell-in-love-with-my-ex-best-friend-s-ex-boyfriend
It's the first in a series I began but haven't finished yet. Anyway, I lacked confidence and self-esteem. I didn't feel beautiful, at just 35 years old, months away from turning 36, I felt old and gross. Something incredible happened though, I started attracting some incredible fans and meeting other incredible women in the industry on social media. These people have been my rocks, and their support and love have helped me to heal from that heartbreak. I've become stronger and more confident than ever. I speak my mind now, whereas before I stayed quiet. Strangers on the internet are telling me to keep speaking because the world needs me. I can set strong boundaries now thanks to online sex work, and most importantly, I'm pulling myself out of poverty.
Sure, I deal with some disgusting jerks in the industry, but I'm easily able to block them and report them to the websites I work on if their behavior is really out of line. I will NEVER meet any of my clients in person; doing so would put me at risk of being raped or trafficked. Websites like OnlyFans keep online sex workers like me safe. Please don't allow politicians to take these websites away from us! Doing so would force many women to make a very hard decision, either go hungry and homeless or start working the streets.
I believe ALL sex work should be decriminalized. I have the utmost respect for full-service sex workers who meet clients in person. Those women put themselves at risk every day of being raped, abused, trafficked, or worse, killed, just to earn a living. However, full-service work is something I could never do.
Please don't listen to the false narratives of politicians who have NO real knowledge of or experience in the sex work industry. The legislation they are trying to pass endangers sex workers. These politicians are only harming us. Instead, listen to the words of real sex workers. We're the ones who know what we're talking about.
Websites such as OnlyFans don't even allow us to use words such as "meet" or "child" on the platform. People aren't being trafficked on OnlyFans, nor is it a place for child pornography. These kinds of disgusting things are happening in other places on the internet such as dating apps and social media sites. Here is a link warning women about the dangers of dating apps: https://www.welivesecurity.com/2020/03/17/fbi-warns-human-traffickers-luring-victims-dating-apps/
And before I go, here is one more link that can tell you more about how FOSTA-SESTA harms sex workers. Please read: https://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/article/view/448/364
I am begging you, don't let politicians pass legislation that will harm or shut down the online sex work industry. Support your local sex workers!
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and considering things from the perspective of a real sex worker. If you liked this story and want to support me, the best way you can do that is to fight back against dangerous legislation that harms the online sex work industry. There is also an option to tip on here. Your tips help me to find more time to write. All tips are greatly appreciated.
About the author
Hey ya'll, I'm Kayla Nicole 999! I'm a model on multiple different adult websites. I'm an abuse and sexual assault survivor. I'm a human rights activist. I'm very bold, courageous and outspoken. You're either going to love me or hate me...