Read the full article by Aurora Snow at TheDailyBeast.com

 

With the presidential election approaching, many constituents in the adult industry are struggling to forgive Democratic candidates’ past voting record. Less than a year ago, most of the 2020 frontrunners voted in favor of two bills: “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” and “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act” (commonly known as FOSTA/SESTA), legislation that has negatively impacted sex workers more than the sex trafficking it purports to stop. The new legislation pushes responsibility, and thus legal consequences, to the online platforms that “promote or facilitate prostitution” without distinguishing consenting sex work from coerced sex trafficking.

In an attempt to excuse some of the candidates for their uneducated voting faux pas in passing FOSTA/SESTA, porn star Nina Kayy offers a rather empathetic view. “They probably signed it blindly without talking to anyone in the industry or talking to sex-trafficking victims,” she says. “Sure, a lot of sex workers are mad about it but you have to look at the bigger picture: yes, it’s part of the candidate’s job to reach out and educate themselves, but imagine if they didn’t sign a bill against sex trafficking? How would that look to the people that voted for them?”

According to Kayy, all of the congresspeople vying for the 2020 ticket—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Corey Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, etc.—are guilty of doing what the majority of voters do at the polls: voting for the header. Hence a bill even the DOJ expressed uncertainty over was passed, 97-2 in the Senate and 388-25 in the House.

Independent contractors (i.e. sex workers) use online forums to discuss clients, post reviews and warn fellow co-workers of potential dangers. Those options have now largely been removed, with sites—fearing prosecution for “sex trafficking”—hesitating to allow consenting sex workers a platform to validate the safety of clients or independently advertise and book work. It’s thus driven many consenting sex workers off-line and underground, endangering them.

“I think the original intent of FOSTA/SESTA was to prevent sex trafficking but as a result, and what all sex workers have realized, is that it really has taken away a lot of our resources to do our job safely. It’s backfired without completing the original goal,” offers porn star Christiana Cinn.

Prolific porn agent Mark Spiegler doubts the legislation will have an impact on sex trafficking. “Even though the law doesn’t do what it’s intended to do it’s an easy vote-getter, but there’s no real sex trafficking that’s going to be stopped by this,” he says. “A lot of people I’d consider regular sex workers are kind of stymied now that Craigslist is down. Other sites where escorts went to discuss johns or post reviews have also been stymied, so it’s lowered the possible protections sex workers had.”

 

Award-winning actress Aurora Snow performed and directed in the adultbusiness for 10 years. She is currently a full time writer and divides her time between California and the Midwest.

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