The bodies of the (digitized) body
Experiences of sexual(ised) work on OnlyFans
Keywords:Pornography, Onlyfans, Gender, platformisation, Gig economy, technologies of the self
OnlyFans has enjoyed increasing attention from media and from users and consumers, especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and particularly amongst Internet-savy emerging adults. We used semi-structured interviews to collect testimonies from young Italian women (N = 20) who sell their own sexual(ised) content on OnlyFans and processed them through Th ematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Through this process, we sought to explore how different bodies are conceptualised in relation to content production, and how labour takes somatic existence in multiple ways. We looked at 1) how the body is prepared to be presented and mediatised, 2) how its presentation is conceptualised and actualised, and 3) how that work of representation, as a work of networking and therefore where bodily energy is invested and expended. Through this, we show how there are multiple, concurrent, and at times contradictory, narratives about corporality, and that potency and healing coexist alongside exhaustion.
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