Online sex workers are people who provide erotic labor online for a cost, often by posting sexually explicit content of themselves on platforms such as OnlyFans. Little literature exists on the experiences of online sex workers disclosing their occupation to others. This study analyzed the disclosure experiences of 15 online sex workers who identified as women or non-binary. Participants were interviewed about their life experiences pertaining to online sex work. The interview data was analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2020). Most participants took protective measures to manage the stigma of disclosure. Family, non sex workers, and sex workers were identified as the audiences to whom disclosure occurred. Within each of these audiences, finding and maintaining safety was important for many participants considering disclosure. There were several notable similarities in the disclosure experiences of online sex workers and LGBTQ+ identities. It is argued that the online sex work community must increase its political presence to limit the stigma that they face. To do this, allies must provide safe spaces for them to disclose their occupations.
Dr. Laura Ramsey, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Hana Shahin, Committee Member
Dr. Michael Root, Committee Member
Gomes, Michael. (2022). Who to Tell?: An Analysis of the Disclosure Experiences of Online Sex Workers. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 537. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/537
Copyright © 2022 Michael Gomes