What A Truly Powerful Industry Would Look Like

I hate to say it, but the sex censors are eating our lunch — from France and Germany, to the UK and Australia, to Canada and the United States, drastic new laws and unworkable regulations drafted to push adult businesses off the internet are advancing at a record pace. 

We’re survivalists by nature, always under attack, so you might be forgiven for failing to notice just how hot the water has gotten — draconian credit card policies, site bans in Europe, increased censorship on social media, constant moral panics in the press, not to mention legislation like EARN IT and KOSA and Online Safety Act

But too many of us assume that we’re powerless. That we’ll not only lose the IG account we bribed someone to get back, but that platforms like Twitter and Reddit will eventually ban adult content all together. That we’ll lose our banks, our Paypal, and then our crypto wallets. That we’ll pay inflated fees for processing and be subject to an endless cycle of legal harassment and censorship. 

For an outlaw industry, we’re surprisingly passive. Rather than control our destiny, we’ve instead looked for ways to survive in every new and hostile environment. Hardiness is an admirable quality —  in a weed — but what if we actually fought back? 

What would that adult industry look like? One that not only stood up for its rights, but had the power and resources to effect change. A strong industry would:

  • Testify at every Congressional and Parliamentary hearing that involves us!
  • Donate to candidates who defend our rights!
  • Lobby for legislation to protect our businesses!
  • Fund research and whitepapers to provide real, not ideological, data!
  • Be omnipresent in the media — never let misinformation go unchallenged!
  • Pressure financial executives on unfair rates and discriminatory policies!
  • File legal challenges against those who defame or discriminate against us!

It’s true that, even with next to nothing, we’ve learned to fight effectively. But so much of the work that’s done on the industry’s behalf — by FSC and others — is patchwork and underfunded. Much is done by volunteers, or in our spare time. Yes, we have surprising strength and power, but our lack of resources limits the reach of our actions, and leaves us largely reactive.

Everyone reading this newsletter knows the value of our work as an industry, and believes in our right to do it. Everyone knows the truth behind the lies of the opponents. And everyone wants a strong defense — one that not only fights back when we’re attacked, but works to undo the systemic discrimination and bias.

FSC was founded in the early 90s, when the FBI was attacking individual companies, using the government’s immense power to push them out of business – and into prison –  one by one. The Free Speech Coalition pooled resources and successfully fought back. We need to amass that power again.

Today, we see legislators and banks going after our largest companies — Pornhub, xHamster, OnlyFans — attempting to pick them off one by one, knowing that if they can eliminate the biggest companies, the rest will fall easily. We can’t count on a small handful of people to support our industry. We need to build a strong defense for all of us.

And that time is now! If each of us committed as much to our collective defense as we spend on Netflix every month, we’d have a powerhouse on our side. An FSC that could defend members, take back the conversation and force systemic change. That’s what a truly powerful industry — an industry that believes in itself — looks like.

Mike Stabile
FSC Director of Public Affairs
[email protected]