Farewell to Stripper Web
The online forum, Stripper Web, has shut down, marking the end of an era for sex workers. The forum was a place for strippers and other sex workers to share stories, exchange information, and create a sense of community. Its closure is yet another blow to sex workers who have faced increasing difficulties in finding safe and supportive spaces online.
The loss of Stripper Web is particularly significant given the ongoing efforts to shut down online platforms used by sex workers. The passage of SESTA/FOSTA in 2018 made it much more difficult for sex workers to advertise their services online, and many popular websites, such as Backpage, were forced to shut down as a result.
While the stated intention of SESTA/FOSTA was to combat sex trafficking, its real impact has been to make life much harder for sex workers themselves. Many have been forced to turn to less safe methods of advertising and communicating with clients, and the closure of Stripper Web will only make things more difficult.
The loss of Stripper Web is also significant because of the role it played in creating a sense of community for sex workers. Stripping and other forms of sex work can be isolating, and the ability to connect with others who understand your experiences can be a lifeline. Stripper Web provided a space for sex workers to share stories, advice, and support each other.
However, the closure of Stripper Web is not an isolated incident. Sex workers have long faced discrimination and marginalization, and their voices are often silenced or ignored. Efforts to eradicate sex work from society have been ongoing for decades, and the closure of Stripper Web is just the latest example of this.
The reality is that sex work is a legitimate form of labor that deserves to be recognized and protected. Sex workers, like all workers, should have access to safe working conditions, fair pay, and legal protections. They should also be free to form communities and support networks without fear of persecution or censorship.
One of the ways in which sex workers have fought back against these efforts is through the use of online platforms. By creating their own spaces online, sex workers have been able to connect with each other and advocate for their rights. However, as Stripper Web’s closure shows, these spaces are often under threat.
It is important to recognize that trying to rid spaces, online or not, of sex workers has real and damaging effects. Sex workers are often pushed further into the shadows, where they are more vulnerable to exploitation and violence. The loss of Stripper Web is a reminder of the importance of creating safe and supportive spaces for sex workers, both online and off.
The legacy of Stripper Web lives on in the communities and connections that were formed through the forum. While the closure of the site is a loss, the resilience and determination of sex workers to advocate for their rights and create supportive spaces will continue.
Read this great piece by Marla Cruz for The Cut to learn more about Stripper Web and its legacy.