Should We ‘Ban’ Onlyfans?

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February 15, 2022

Why is it that I don’t “mind” Onlyfans?

Firstly, people can do what they like. I’m not here to regulate what someone else does or does not do. But the doesn’t mean I support it, agree with it, or think that it is beneficial in any way. The best liberal argument in favor of Onlyfans is that women debasing their sexuality is equality. Men have been doing this for years, so why not women?

Mark Queppet explains it this way: part of the male sexuality is that men naturally have a polygamist instinct; they want to have sex with as many women as possible. This allows the human race to reproduce (although keep in mind that this isn’t the only part of male sexuality). Society has learned to overcome this polygamist instinct, allowing for more stable family units. Taming this instinct is part of the ‘masculine maturation’ process. This process has become ruined by the internet today because every man is able to carry around a “harem of women in his pocket.” Because of this, even if he’s in a committed relationship, he never has to let go of this polygamist instinct.

On the other hand, Onlyfans “caters to the hypergamous instinct in women.” While women don’t have the drive to sleep with many men, their “instinctual sexual programming is to try and find the highest status man…this would allow her to basically secure the most resources for her and her offspring…A woman overcoming that instinct is part of her ‘maturation process.’” By settling down with one man, she is letting go of the attention of other men, and therefore “learning how to devote herself to her husband and her children.”

However, Onlyfans allows women to keep that instinct going; as well keep the polygamist instinct in men going. Therefore, Onlyfans does empower women, according to Queppet, and it equalizes men and women who debase their sexuality to these instincts. Nevertheless, there are harmful consequences as a result.

(For more on this see Mark Queppet’s video).

I agree with Queppet. Keeping this in mind, I would add that I find Onlyfans to be exploitative of both men and women, as it relies on men for financial support and degrades the male and female into a mere object of money and pleasure, respectively. This is counterintuitive to the often voiced proclamation that this is a form of sexual liberation because it confines both parties to mere transaction.

I do, however, believe that all human relations are transactional in some way (see Sex and Modernity); and those that admit their operation—what is expected—are honest and most natural. But this can, and does, work to our detriment. I don’t personally think the world is better off with young men masturbating to naked pictures of their fifth grade crush; although, it might be empowering for women as they sexually castrate society’s men, giving them the dopamine fixes without any emotional strings attached that can’t be bought with money.

But the question is whether or not legislation is a way out of this toxic relation; and I am not so convinced that it is. There is an admittance in legislation that the moment you have to regulate behavior, you lost. Consider this passage on “institution building outside the control of the state”:

“Social life should be founded in free associations and protected by autonomous bodies, under whose auspices people can flourish according to their social nature, acquiring the manners and aspirations that endow their lives with meaning.”
Roger Scruton

To Scruton, a “right wing” vision of politics, as he calls it, or of society, will not solely rely on government but on people. It is people that have agency, he says, and it is only by recognizing the persons behind a government, a corporation, or any other institution, that keeps them accountable to other people. It is when the state, acting as a class on its own, that exacts control over people, turns dangerous. Individuals can no longer be held to account, which is why totalitarian governments often commit atrocities. The government serves as the face of society—in the communist example, as the “dictatorship of the proletariat”—whose only end is that of its ideological perseverance.

This cautionary remark would make an excellent argument for the libertarian—i.e., that even regulating Onlyfans would turn us into totalitarians. But that consequence is too extreme, even for the libertarian.

Legislation, on its own, is not immoral or antithetical to a free society. We have rules, regulations, laws, and even implicit social conventions that influence our daily lives. No one seriously argues against legislation in general; it is the content of that legislation that encounters argument. Unless we plan to ban free speech, it isn’t so likely that banning Onlyfans is going to spiral us into a period of totalitarian darkness; although, many may make the argument that Onlyfans is free speech.

Perhaps it is. How does one tell millions of women that they are no longer able to sell their digital bodies in the U.S.? Or sexually express themselves, however objectifying it may be? Regulation or prohibition of Onlyfans would rely on whether or not it is determined to be a form of free speech or expression; but the case can be made that it is essentially digital prostitution, and prostitution is illegal, unless the digital aspect modifies that, which it clearly does because Onlyfans has neither been regulated nor had its substance deliberated.

There is no clear answer. Banning Onlyfans will be seen as another attempt to “control” the bodies of women; although it may also be seen as ending the exploitation of men, in a society becoming increasingly sexualized, where both young men and women face the harmful effects. As of right now, my answer to prohibition is no. It is neither feasible nor culturally sound to do so.


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