An adult film performer has 300k followers on Twitter: it doesn’t matter which one, but I remarked to xbtusd, RPD, and another friend that she got those followers just for being attractive and naked: I said, “we live in an amazing world.” Xbtusd countered, “Attractive, naked, and recording yourself having sex.” He’s got a point, and yet I wonder if we’ll get to a world where recording yourself having sex and that recording being public will be socially acceptable to the extent that it doesn’t cause negative social and economic consequences; removing those social and economic consequences might drive out or down the premium those willing to violate social norms can achieve.
This isn’t as crazy as it might sound: in the 1950s, lots of people had sex before marriage, but it was a disaster for women to let it be known that they had sex before marriage, even though many women, maybe most, were doing it. It took until the 1970s, if not later, for sex before marriage to become common and expected. By today, it’s weird and bizarre for anyone not to have had sex before marriage.
Today, we’re in a situation where it’s extremely common to shoot nude photos and make sex tapes, but it’s relatively uncommon, and still reputationally damaging, for those to be publicly and socially available. We have celebrities (Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton) whose fame is linked to their sex tapes, and in some sense we all “know” that everybody does it. The vast majority of women let me shoot nude photos. I send them the photos, and I bet many later send those on to others. At what point do sex tapes lose their ability to shock and create negative consequences? It only takes enough women whose sex tapes become public shrugging and saying, “So what? It’s not a big deal. Everyone does it.” Maybe women don’t like their sexual value being foregrounded in this way. Onlyfans is arguably accelerating pre-existing trends. I’ve run into girls who are open about having an Onlyfans account: something I’d not have expected or imagined even five years ago.
Maybe watching other people have sex is losing some of its mystique / taboo elements: watch a show like Mad Men, and observe the etiquette of that time period… like, if you’re a married woman and you’re alone in a room with a man not your husband you better have a very good excuse for that happening. Now it’s like, “Yeah I’m married and yeah I’m going out and getting drunk with the girls tonight, we might fuck a bunch of random dudes, what of it?”
In Mad Men, Don freaks out because Betty tries on a bikini, and he slut shames her (“It looks DESPERATE…”), and Betty immediately changes. That’s representative of the culture of that day; now, thongs are common, and, as mentioned, some famous women got that way because they made sex tapes. And everyone’s fine with it. Very very soon you’re gonna have chicks that are the heads of major corporations, even presidents of countries, they’ll all have sex tapes, no one will care. Italian member of parliament (MP) Cicciolina made erotic films in the ‘80s, prior to being elected to Italy’s governing body. Maybe she’s a one-off, maybe she’s a harbinger. The last American president has more in common with pr0n culture than mainstream political culture. Maybe making sex tapes will be celebrated, an exploration of sexuality, and anyone who criticizes those practices will be ostracized… the exact opposite of what we have today (shaming women for doing pr0n). To use another historical example, recorded sex might be like tattoos; something that was shocking and outrageous decades ago becomes commonplace today (noting that many people don’t have tattoos).
I’ve had female friends whose nudes and/or sex videos have been leaked. And what’s happened has mostly been… nothing. Usually the women in question spend a bit of time trying to wipe the images or videos from the Internet, using DMCA requests, and that usually works. They’re unhappy for a few weeks, and then whatever fracas might have occurred dies down, and their lives return to normal. What’s most interesting is how minor the event tends to be. Most of their friends are supportive, and angry at the ex who’s done the leaking.
Trends tend to persist, similar to how Newton’s first law tells us that objects in motion stay in motion unless acted on by an external force. What external force is going to step in to curtail the growth of women’s sexual freedoms? Or the growth of smartphones, imaging, and connectivity? I wouldn’t want to be short women’s sexual freedom over the next decade. This isn’t my view, but it’s a possible view: if sex has become totally desexualized, and nobody can get hard anymore because of a desensitization to any sexual stimulus, it’s possible women might ask, “What are the costs of an unlimited growth in sexual freedom?” Cancer is unchecked cell growth but most cancer patients damaged their body long before the cancer showed up.
Soon, we’re going to defeat most STIs via vaccination. The social and cultural consequences of this still aren’t appreciated. We’re living in a changing world. Are you ready?