The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has released a new report documenting the extent of financial discrimination against professionals and businesses involved in the adult industry. The report shows that the majority of adult industry workers have lost bank accounts and access to other financial resources because of their profession.
The report is based on a study conducted between December 2022 and March 2023 by the FSC and Sex Work CEO, an educational platform for sex workers. It involved surveying more than 400 members of the industry.
The report, titled “Financial Discrimination and the Adult Industry,” highlights the extent of discrimination faced by performers, content creators, professionals and executives in the adult industry. According to the report, this discrimination is widespread: 62% of respondents have lost a bank account or been turned away because of their work in the adult industry, and more than 40% have lost an account or other financial resources in the past year alone.
Nearly half of adult industry businesses (48%) ranked financial discrimination as their biggest revenue problem. In addition to the direct problems, however, other disadvantages and dangers arise for industry members,. Financial discrimination additionally makes people within the industry vulnerable: one in three performers are either outed to their financial institution as sex workers by people who want to harm them, or threatened with blackmail.
The FSC’s public relations director, Mike Stabile, said the prevalent phenomenon has devastating consequences for businesses and workers. Financial institutions exploit the labor of workers in the adult industry by charging exorbitant fees and conducting unjustified seizures of funds.
Discrimination in financial services creates constant instability for workers and businesses, forcing them to pay excessive fees or rely on third parties to manage their income.
The report draws on existing academic work and studies conducted by groups like Hacking/Hustling and CLEAR, as well as researchers like Dr. Val Webber and Bianca Beebe.
The full report can be found as a PDF on the FSC’s website.