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Black Experiences / Feminism / Sex Work

Actually, Serena Kerrigan, You Played Yourself

"To my knowledge Serena is not and never was a sex worker, therefore she is effectively a guest in the sex work community, which is a community and space that I happen to be a part of."

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Written by Addis Fouché.

To all of the white folks reading this article: this sentiment is not aimed directly at you, but it does not excuse you either. To all of my people of color and intersectionally-marginalized people: I see you, and I want better for us.

I write this in response to Serena Kerrigan’s launch of her Let’s Fucking Play card game. Late last year she exploited peoples expectations of OnlyFans to promote her brand and herself, mocking sex workers in the process. As someone who has done sex work and is neither white nor wealthy I was deeply insulted.

I, a black queer woman, began following Kerrigan, a straight white woman, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. A quick glance at her Instagram or Tik Tok accounts show her strongest qualities: humor, intelligence, and passion. Her website reads: “Serena changed the TV landscape during the global pandemic by creating the first ever Instagram Live reality show, Let’s F*cking Date. The show streamed Serena’s virtual blind dates to her audience of 400K+ followers and amassed over 5 million views. What started as a way for a single 26-year-old to entertain her followers in quarantine, was immediately dubbed by The Today Show as ‘Quarantine’s New Must-Watch.’ Let’s F*cking Date became an international sensation with numerous brand partners, including Bumble, Svedka, Bev and Hint”.

To capitalize on the success of her Instagram show, Kerrigan created a card game with the same name, followed by an X-rated version called Let’s Fucking Fuck. In addition to the success of her show and games, which aptly juxtaposed modern dating with the accessibility of social media, Serena calls herself The Queen of Confidence who has “saved a seat at her throne”. But I beg to differ.

To clarify: This article is not an attack on Serena Kerrigan as a person. She is a piece of a larger-scale issue; Serena is not the CEO of white ignorance. This is a widespread problem of white folks failing to support most marginalized communities.

On November 11th, 2021 Serena announced that she was dropping something major.

There was a simple calculus. Here we have a wealthy, privileged white woman who has historically publicized very few friendships with black people (or people of color in general) and has never, to my knowledge, demonstrated an interest in, nor support for, sex workers. Despite profiting off of the “sex sells” mentality for at least two years this same woman suddenly makes an OnlyFans account to promote a business venture. It is extremely unlikely that this will be impactful in the way that she thinks it will be.

Her announcement exposed a few things to me: that shock value was more important to her than community; and that nobody on her team could see any way to both entice and respect an already marginalized community.

OnlyFans, which grew massively in popularity during the pandemic due to sex workers having extreme difficulty performing IRL work, is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms right now. With over 170 million registered users and 1.5 million content creators, there is opportunity for growth here but also huge amounts of inequality: 1% of accounts earn 33% of all money generated on OnlyFans, and the top 10% of accounts earn 73% of the money. Do that math.

Not only were sex workers flocking to OnlyFans in order to survive during lockdown, a time where this influencer professionally flourished, but there has been a huge censorship movement on social media that has affected the community as well.

With these facts in mind, on November 15th, 2021 I logged into OnlyFans. I was confused by Kerrigan’s reveal of a third game, but it was her Instagram post the next morning that truly disgusted me.

Her announcement exposed a few things to me: that shock value was more important to her than community; and that nobody on her team could see any way to both entice and respect an already marginalized community. To my knowledge Serena is not and never was a sex worker, therefore she is effectively a guest in the sex work community, which is a community and space that I happen to be a part of. I am the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC creator and sex worker that she cannot identify with, and I am deeply hurt by this marketing strategy.

As someone who has performed sex work on and off for over half of a decade I can say with my chest that sex workers were not destigmatized, embraced, or protected through this launch. However, this is not a Serena-specific problem.

Sex is personal and complicated, especially as we navigate a white supremacist, capitalist, and patriarchial society. However, when you have a large platform that emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance, body acknowledgement, and sex positivity for all, yet don’t publically interact with the marginalized folks in the community you’re co-opting; it’s offensive.

Since her big reveal there was no mention of SWOP in any of Serena’s subsequent feed posts or stories (and trust me, I looked). There were no SWOP-related items in the swag bag for the Let’s Fucking Play launch party, which included products from Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila, Studs earrings, and Highline Wellness gummies. There were no sex workers present at said launch party (but I did see several privileged white influencers post about it). No sex workers even promoted the product. It’s very much giving Bella Thorne.

As someone who has performed sex work on and off for over half of a decade I can say with my chest that sex workers were not destigmatized, embraced, or protected through this launch. However, this is not a Serena-specific problem.

I studied, flirted, and imitated my way into wealthy white spaces. My boarding school, liberal-arts college, white ex-partners, and corporate workplaces have continuously reinforced the idea that whiteness is success, but whiteness is something I will never obtain. I am proud to be black, I am proud to be a woman, I am proud to be queer, and I am proud to have done sex work. Moreover I am exhausted and disturbed by privileged folks like Serena telling me that they have saved a seat at their throne when they have not even cleared a path for me to approach.

I do not think that Kerrigan set out to intentionally hurt marginalized communities, but just because intent does not match power does not mean that it damages any less. While sex workers associated with SWOP can benefit from financial assistance, money will rarely buy understanding, compassion, and safety. White people, especially those with high public images, have a responsibility to donate their time, attention, and space in order to ameliorate the mess we call modern society. Pick up a book, expand your social circle in a non-tokenizing way, and listen when people are telling you that they are in pain because of something you prosper from. Volunteer for these organizations and communicate with the staff; do not just sit on a panel and walk away.

On Wednesday November 17th, 2021 the influencer answered a question from a follower. This person asked: “Congrats on the launch!! I’m a little confused about OF, will you be updating it regularly?”

She responded: “No! It was to launch the game. Nothing more! But if you signed up for the platform I encourage you to check out the incredible creators on there!!!”.

That’s not good enough.


About the Author

Addis is a freelance writer, content creator, and $egg$ w3rk3r based in Brooklyn. When not working she enjoys running, collecting memes, and finding new ways to enjoy spending time with her friends. Also, don’t try to advocate for mayo around her, she hates it.

Follow on IG: @addisfouche |


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