With OnlyFans and Pornhub erecting more attention everyday, I see a problem. Our discussions on adult content, while stimulating, can be damaging. It’s no secret the adult content industry has a dark side. The line between adult content and grooming is clouded and when this line is clouded, grooming is normalised without us even realising.
Traditionally, grooming describes an older figure manipulating a child and exploiting them sexually. The truth is grooming can happen to anyone, regardless of age or sex. I see subtle signs of grooming every day and have no idea how to address it. I don’t want to shame anyone who enjoys or partakes in the adult content industry – that’s not an opinion I hold. But I do want to share how problematic grooming is among developing adults.
More and more, the idea of opening an OnlyFans is glamorised. Side hustles appeal to Gen Z. We chase the idea of making hard earned cash by ourselves. As a feminist and as someone who advocates for the decriminalisation of sex workers and the reclaiming of women’s bodies, I don’t believe it’s okay to teach young women that sex work is a fun side hustle. When side hustles like these are glamorised an increase in sexual fancification rises. And sexual fancification usually comes from predatory OnlyFans or Pornhub users.
Identifying grooming on adult content sites can be difficult. Posts luring and misleading young people into believing they can sell their bodies fails to mention the exploitation behind it. Creator control, money, and pushing boundaries to make a living can only be achieved when we exploit ourselves. The more we exploit ourselves, whether we realise it or not, the more we are objectified. It entirely strips away who we are and reduces us to a body. In a greater form, it is dehumanisation.
In the end, people love sex. Universities are breeding grounds. Whether you like it or not, people use and watch Pornhub and OnlyFans all of the time. We must be mindful, however, of our values. If we aren’t, grooming will grow and seep into every aspect of the adult content industry. If you don’t see something wrong with young girls wanting to open an OnlyFans then you may be playing into the grooming narrative.