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OnlyFans - The Popularity of Selling Nudes During Quarantine.

I respect the hustle “Selling nudes instead of giving them away for free”. I have known about the adult content site OnlyFans for over a year now, the site is frequented by many to purchase and sell exclusive content such as nude pictures/videos. Many mainstream apps such as Twitch and Snapchat have premium sections where paid subscriptions allow you access to exclusive content, mostly of sexual nature. These new apps allow anyone to start earning an income from a few taps of their phone, Many well-known celebrities have also recently started posting private content on these new platforms breaking the boundaries for many of us and tempting us to explore.

I’m still trying to work out if OnlyFans is a socially acceptable form of sex work or not. I know OnlyFans can be very tempting for young women, you can make a lot of money if you risk stepping out of societal norms and going against the grain to give it a try. I’ve heard of some girls keeping secret OnlyFans accounts and then later on getting exposed after the people closest to them found out, whereas some will post the link publicly with no hesitation at all. There was also a major hack on the database of OnlyFans causing private content to be shared across the internet for free, many people were exposed after the leak which publicly shed light on the dark side of using OnlyFans, the lack of proper cyber privacy and safety.

"OnlyFans deliberately lacks restrictive content policy and permits users to share revealing or completely nude pictures of themselves in exchange for a monthly membership fee"

During quarantine, there has been a recent spike in women joining OnlyFans to share content, whether you join for extra income or to earn a full living, many start of aiming to be as successful as some of the women in a BBC Three documentary Nudes4Sale which follows the lives of the everyday Instagram models to the average girl next door, to underage girls who frequently sell nudes on Onlyfans illegally, one woman makes over £20,000 a month selling sexy photos on the site.

Lauren, 23, was able to leave her job after finding financial security in the app after gaining a steady following of over 2,000 subscribers and over 400,000 Instagram followers establishing herself a steady stream of new followers weekly, increasing her income. Stating that she earned £37,000 in one month. The documentary touched on how Lauren also deals with the stigma associated with this new form of modern sex work. Now she is well known it may be harder for her to rejoin the corporate world due to her newfound popularity and her face now attached to adult sites prompted by google search engine at the click of a button. I would not consider joining the site myself even though I found her story financially liberating in some ways, I still feel like selling this type of content is a risky business as there are also so many downsides to the industry which could cause a long term negative effect on your future endeavours.

With the social stigma of sex work affecting the lives of the women who have decided to make some money through the site, causing problems in their day to day lives, many popular heated debates are going on at the moment one of which being about men dating women who decide to sell content to other guys online, some will support their girlfriends who choose to do so and others will shun them completely.

"In January 2020, 20-year-old American Kaylen Ward raised more than £1 million in contributions to charity during the wild bushfires in Australia. OnlyFans teamed with her for their first partnership for a charitable cause. This started a trend with some OnlyFans creators who have been raising money through their accounts."

I know of one influencer couple who are currently expecting their first child together, Adam22 and LenaThePlug, Adam runs a popular podcast called Nojumper and Lena has an OnlyFans account as well as Snapchat premium both have a significant social media following. Adam has spoken before on his podcast about knowing that the porn he makes can hold him back from other opportunities in life as some brands will not work with him because of this, Lena has been selling and creating adult content for over five years and Adam has encouraged her to keep up the hustle he even stars in adult movies with Lena on Pornhub. Another influencer Erica Mena has recently created an account alongside her husband who has started creating his content for his fanbase but some men do not like the idea of their partner sending that type of content to other people which is understandable.

There have been public arguments posted on popular social media sites, one I remember seeing last week where a popular musician was upset with his girlfriend because she joined OnlyFans as a creator, she decided to film the argument on IG live for all of her followers to see, he was visibly upset about her decision and pushed her to the ground trying to rip her phone out of her hands. Everyone has their own opinion of earning an income through this new form of social media. This is going to keep being debated due to the rise in popularity of the app.

"The company pays 80% of the fees collected to the content creator, with the remaining 20% retained by OnlyFans. After merchant and processing fees, the company's share is around 12%."

One thing I do find funny is when I hear about girls joining OnlyFans to then go and only post the same pictures they post on their Instagram profiles/stories, to earn quick money. Many men have fallen for this trick and have been disappointed, many unfortunately won’t stick around to pay next month's subscription fee when they find out that their Insta crush is only posting vanilla level content instead of lingerie pics and semi-nudes.

There's an article published by one woman who shared her experience on OnlyFans to explain why she decided to leave the platform. She told of her experience using the site becoming all-consuming, she became popular rather quickly and struggled to keep up with the demand of extra purchased private message photo and video requests, her inbox became backed up for over a month, causing her to send free content to those waiting as she felt so bad for her lack of punctuality. she also spoke about how addictive the attention became, the constant stream of lustful validating comments responding to her physical appearance, she stated that since giving it all up she does miss the excitement of shopping for new lingerie weekly as well as the extra income she was making.

"In late May 2019, OnlyFans introduced an extra safeguard into the account verification process so that a Creator now has to provide a selfie headshot with his/her ID in the image in order to prove that the ID provided belongs to the account holder."

Social media has also glamorised the OnlyFans lifestyle, flaunting easy to gain financial stability, luxury lifestyles and the freedom to work from anywhere in the world whilst travelling to some of the most sought after bucket list destinations. this type of glorification of the Instagram lifestyle helps OnlyFans to maintain a constant flow of fresh faces seeking to reap the benefits of success.

Pornstars have also spoken up about the increase of creators, What sets the sex industry apart is that experience doesn't equal value as it does in other industries when lack of experience can make you less valuable because the sex industry thrives on fresh meat and young blood. A lot of the users on the buying end are looking for stimulation from people who are not pornstars but for a different type of connection altogether from an everyday woman they follow on social media that they find attractive, many men who use sites like OnlyFans are lonely and are happy to pay for internet intimacy being able to message and speak to these women online something many of these men are not able to do in real life being the main motivator. Some men who purchase OnlyFans content have been labelled as Incel’s and Simps by others who criticise them, it's the closest thing to female attention/intimacy for a lot of the regular guys on the apps who form online paid-for connections with creators.

"In May 2020, CEO Tim Stokely told Buzzfeed news the site is seeing about 200,000 new users every 24 hours and 7,000 to 8,000 new creators joining every day."

This has been making many of the original sex workers from the site feel pushed out of the app which was first created for and used mainly by them. Culture has changed so much and pornography has become the norm, Pornhub is free and readily available to anyone seeking stimulation, what porn does not offer OnlyFans makes up for, the main motivation being a fantasy consisting of the individual selling content liking the purchaser, adding just the right personalised touch. All in all, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the OnlyFans pie.

Written by,

Ebun Felicity Hargrave


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