Aella: Libertarian Sex Worker Turned Data Scientist

"I am not okay with you making laws that prevent me from doing what I feel is good for me."


Meet Aella, the daughter of evangelical Christians from Idaho who were so poor they couldn't always put food on the table.

A former factory worker who never graduated college, she became one of the most successful performers on the adult subscription site OnlyFans, sometimes taking home over $100,000 a month on the platform. She still does one-on-one appointments but only with clients who can afford to pay her current rate of $3,000 an hour.

These days, Aella is known for her forays into data science, oddball social media polls, sexy and silly personal moments on Twitter, and using her giant platform to spread hot libertarian takes, such as declaring, "I like capitalism."

"I am not okay with you making laws that prevent me from doing what I feel is good for me," Aella tells Reason. An outspoken defender of sex worker rights, she compares her current life to what it was like at the age of 19, when she would wake up at 4:30 a.m. to go do repetitive tasks on an assembly line in a windowless factory, often putting in over 50 hours a week.

"Why do people talk about survival sex work but not like…survival factory work or survival burger flipping?" she wonders. Yes, there's exploitation in sex work, but "decriminalizing sex work would let workers actually go get police help if they needed it."

Even before she got rich and famous, back when she was "scraping change off the ground to eat," Aella says she still "had libertarian-leaning economic views."

Reason's Liz Wolfe met up with Aella at her home in Austin, Texas, for a wide-ranging conversation about everything from how sex work made her a better data scientist to why many successful practitioners in her industry are selling not only sex but also the personal connections that so many of us are missing in our lives.

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