Update #11: :Looking Into: The Content Creators of OnlyFans.
Hello everyone, it's been a lengthy amount of time between the past update and this one. Personally I am trying a new idea to journal something that still has been kind of shrouded in a lot of prejudice, intrigue and confusion. This is something I thought about and thought as I wanted to check into having experience in journalism. With this, I wanted to make sure that I can give this the attention and care that I felt it needed.
On my end, I have been doing a mix of not much in terms of learning and training. More creative focuses and outlets for where I am working. It's been quite some time since the last update, I have been working a lot on this article, whilst a few projects for my mates, and looking at calls for work around my local area.
Working on a few paintings and generally working on improving myself such as learning to drive, looking for places to live and work. This and working on keeping my mental health on check as the past few weeks have been rough for myself and many others during this lockdown.
I donated plasma for the tests on antibodies in my system to help potentially save many lives from COVID-19, it was my first time donating and can confirm as nerve-wracking as it was at the beginning, once you have got started it's no sweat really.
I have also been working on a song currently, this one has learnt into personal feelings and how I've seen some of my close friends become so drained of the isolation we are currently through.
I had been contacted by a good friend of mine to participate in her university work in a piece, this I was incredibly excited to develop and create, as she is a talented actress and a keen eye for emotional detail. It is also one of my favorite plays: 'Two' by Jim Cartwright. Hopefully I will be able to provide you all with some audio to hear from the performance in the distant future.
Looking Into: The Content Creators of OnlyFans
Made in 2016, Only Fans was created, a platform for content creators to for their fans behind a subscription paywall to provide a more intimate VIP sort of connection to their fans whether that be for behind the scenes of their favorite filmmakers, cooking tutorials or more well-known content, adult content.
Through the creation of the website it is seen as, mostly a platform for people to create and share self-made porn for subscribers, whilst offering a more intimate, customizable, and somewhat more ethical site to release content. A few things I will be taking into consideration, is the privacy and anonymity of those I have personally interviewed, and care in tackling some of the more sensitive subjects of this article, and all sources will be mentioned at the end. Through this article I will be looking into, the liberation for adult content creators in the porn industry, the pros and cons of being an adult content creator on only fans and the recent boom in popularity of platforms such as OnlyFans in regards to the global pandemic.
OnlyFans: A Brief Overview of the platform
Founded in September 2016 by Tim Stokely and owned by Fenix International Limited, OnlyFans is a subscription based platform in which content creators allow their fans and followers to have paid subscription or pay-per-view content for what they create, this can be for a large variety of content, such as beauty tutorials, cooking, comedy, the list goes on. However, with it’s less restrictive guidelines than other popular platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, one type of content has dominated the site, that being adult content. From the spike in popularity seen on Google Trends (A tool which lets you view the searches and to what magnitude they have been searched by users) that the search ‘OnlyFans’ exploded around March the 29th to May 17th 2020
(More on how it relates to the global climate later) for both the UK and America. Through this website many creators have made a successful career through OnlyFans, creators such as Blac Chyna, Bella Throne and Mia Kalifa. Some of which have made the transition from other large companies and places for adult content to OnlyFans, some making their debut from OnlyFans. So, what makes OnlyFans so good? And what are the hidden downsides that often go unspoken for?
Pros and Cons
From the research I have conducted, through interviews and looking through articles and videos on the subject, there appears to be a doubled edged sword, both bringing pros at the risk of cons. Through this I asked the question “What are the pros and cons of having/running a OnlyFans” To get a mixed range of the issues and spoils that maintaining a OnlyFans provides, this can be seen below:
Pro – The Money
It is obvious almost that from seeing successful careers on OnlyFans such as Bella Thorne rack up earnings of potentially “$1 million a day” (https://www.insider.com/onlyfans-creators-call-on-bella-thorne-share-the-money-earned-2020-8) it is easy to understand how people are drawn to the idea of the ability to promote their content when payrolls are within that grasp. From all the interviews I conducted one of the main pros mentioned amongst others was the money, having the ability to make from a little extra cash on the side, to the extent where it can be rivalling a full time job salary if not more, which can be great in a global climate as we are living through currently where jobs are sparse and a lot of people are unable to return to their work. Through my interviews, ‘Financial freedom’ was mentioned frequently, and as the cost of living increases extra money/ side hustles become more prevalent.
Cons – The Money (and the difficulty to make it)
From statistics, its seen that a large portion of the total money earned goes to the a select few, being the “Top 1% of accounts make 33% of the money” whilst “Most accounts take home less than $145 per month” (https://influencermarketinghub.com/onlyfans-stats/) This can be seen as most people do not have a celebrity background to leapfrog their content with a head start. People who are just starting out it can be quite tough to get that following, which also means that marketing and presence online can be a lot more difficult, some of the other financial issues mention through interviews was:
“You have to file taxes when you receive over your personal income allowance. -Some banks don’t accept money coming in through only fans. -when you apply for a mortgage this doesn’t look great. -girls who get you to sign up through a referral code make 5% of anything you earn that year”
Although money can be made, there is still some friction when it comes to processing said money, this in time, when less stigmatized, will hopefully be a lot easier and as smooth as being paid by any other service.
Cons – Abuse from Subscribes and boundary pushing.
From my interviews, what I have seen is that some of the people that subscribe want more than what the creator is comfortable is with, one of the Content Creators I talked to mentioned:
“I got a lot of verbal abuse. I was threatened to be exposed. Subscribers would comment if I put on or lost weight.”
“No,(response from “do/did you have any subscribers that send abuse or hurtful comments?”) Not yet anyway”, this implies that from owning a OF, it is expected that abuse is something of a norm.
“Absolutely lots (do/did you have any subscribers that send abuse or hurtful comments?)” “Rude subscribers, not respecting my boundaries (if applicable, what made you quit?)”
From those I have interviewed personally 3/5 have received hurtful or malicious comments to the content creator, whether that being refusing to create content they asked for which is out of their comfort zone, or general internet maliciousness which can come with any comment section with anonymity. This is something that would have to be considered for those who are thinking of uploading content to OnlyFans, as it can have a strong effect on people’s self-image.
Pros – Confidence boosts and developing skills
When it comes to adult content, it comes without a surprise that the focus of the content is usually content of their own body. As there can be risks of negative comments, there is also the likelihood of positive, confidence boosting comments. This isn’t a necessity of the subscribers to do. However, it can give the content creator a confidence boost, on top of the money they receive from OF. I learnt that there is more to a content creators’ life than creating the content. Skills in marketing, knowing where is best to advertise, editing skills and knowing and playing to your audience are also key skills that are often learnt and improves whilst running an OF. These transferrable skills can be used elsewhere or even help boost into a different career if they would like.
Stigmas is still one of the biggest issues that face creators of Adult Material on OF at the moment. The stigma being that there is still a sense of unprofessional conduct and preexisting prejudices (Especially female content creators). This stems from what feels a disconnection from seeing it as professional work unlike other side hustles. As said in Medium.com’s article ‘OnlyFans - Liberation or long-term entrapment?’:
“From one point of view, it’s the women holding rights to their body in their hands. Men are going to check them out and send offers to have sex anyway, why not charge money for that?
On the other hand, it’s just making coin out of male desire. Essentially, that’s what they want: woman’s body exposed for their pleasure.”
The stigma of OnlyFans can also be seen in the idea that it is easy work:
“People think that you earn millions just for showing pussy, but it doesn’t work like that. Internet is already full of nudes and porn; you need to be good in sales and spend a lot of time advertising yourself to be successful.”
The Fence- Relationship tensions
One of the things I wanted to ask was how tensions are between significant others and family members perceptions when it came to having a OnlyFans. Through this it was interesting to see how it differs between people. Most significant others from my research were supportive, even if uncomfortable with the subject, whilst others are very uncomfortable. The key thing I have seen from the people I have talked to is communication, as some have had past relationships in which them owning a OF can be considered as uncomfortable or undesirable in a sense. The important bit I see is to respect the relationship you share in a sense of understanding each other’s emotions on the matter, as people can have different views on this line of work. From my interviews asking about their Significant others views on them owning a OnlyFans:
“my ex knew when i did it before and he just accepted i can do what i want but i hid the ins and outs from him cos I knew he wasn’t too keen”
“My SO (Significant Other) wasn’t very supportive but my mum was very supportive”
“My boyfriend knows and has full access to my account so that everything is transparent… if I’m ever unsure he’d be uncomfortable with something I check with him first.”
The Fence: Closer Communication between Creator and Subscriber
OnlyFans gives a more intimate closer connection between the user and the content creator, I see this a double-edged sword. The reasons being is that it gives the user more of a voice to ask for certain content and develop a connection to the creator in a personal sense, allowing to converse and talk to the creator. This is also a good strategy to keep people subscribed to the content. However, the kicker is it can give the user a sense of ownership or entitlement to demand certain content from the creator which they might not be comfortable in doing. This when denied, like most people who can remain anonymous in an online conversation, allow them to hurl abuse and threats and even attempt blackmails. As seen by one of the people I interviewed: “Men treat you like an object - Some people subscribe just to call you ugly and it takes a thick skin to ignore.“ Through this It can be quite concerning and harmful for their self image and motivation to post.
OnlyFans: Potentially liberating?
The controversy around OnlyFans has created a contrast in opinions, stigmas and arguments on the platform as a place to sell adult content, some calling it ‘Internet prostitution’ whilst also being mentioned (From interviews) as “a way to create and sell ethical kind of porn” In this section I will be looking into the arguments for and against the idea that OnlyFans can be liberating for content creators in the porn industry.
Firstly, we must look at the industry itself to get a better view on why and how OnlyFans gives the creator more power and control over their content. As leading porn websites such as Pornhub, the leading platform in the porn industry, has a different platform setup, making most videos available to everyone for free with adverts and views being the ways the content creators upload their content. This is also the method where most professional filming and companies in the porn industry release their videos. Through this, individuals often do not get as much recognition, or be able to have as much choice on what they create, and do not have as much potential for pay in terms of the website taking commission, then the production team etc. However, OnlyFans takes 20% of the subscription costs off the creator, which is a lot, but not as much as the potential payout of being in a professional production.
OnlyFans has the advantage of providing the creator a paywall for their content instead of being free, which in turn through this, they can also moderate and be able to control who can view their content or not, this adds an extra level of safety to those who wish to pursue a career in a ever growing industry. This however, like a lot of other industries can be quite corrupt in sense of paying the creator. OnlyFans only gives the options for other services to be sold on the platform which can go against of guidelines such as Instagram’s, tinder and Facebooks. Which is more liberating giving those in the industry more options and a place to advertise. This in itself are one of the more controversial points which people raise, but for those especially in the new global climate of a pandemic, is it as bad as people mention? Or just evolution of the industry?
When running a OF it also gives you the ability to advertise as little or as much as you want, which in itself are one of the main things people have found liberating about OnlyFans as a platform: more control in general of the content they create. The issues so far are the nature of the business and the content they create can pose difficulty to advertise as most guidelines on social media do not allow advertising for that nature of content. This in turn, having the ability to advertise as much or as little as they want is quite liberating as it gives them the choice, whilst the choice of where to advertise is limited, making it both a pro and con in itself.
Running an OnlyFans also liberates the creator on being forced on what content they want to make, and to what limit they want. Not to mention it helps to get firsthand feedback from their members on what they want content wise making the members feel more committed to the content and tailored to them. This whilst not having much pressure to create anything they don’t want to, it creates an equal blend between creator and member.
One of the main cons is the issue of objectification when it comes to this nature of content. As it is a commodity that they are buying sometimes people stop associating the content as a person and more of a sex object, which can cause potential issues, especially when it comes to future relationships for the person purchasing, altering their perception the body without considering the emotion behind them. Whilst it gives the content creator a platform to share this sort of content, it can be considered dangerous and unhealthy mentally for people, especially for those not mentally mature. This coincides with the impressions of the porn industry and sex work and the societal view
OnlyFans in regards to the pandemic: what it tells us.
When I discovered that OnlyFans Become popular in 2020 when it was created in 2016, and decided to look on current impacts that happened in which lead to the sudden boom of popularity for the platform, looking at the impacts, it appears that the Global outbreak and ongoing pandemic might have been the reason of the rise of OnlyFans, here are some of my reasons and theories that lead to supporting my statement: How the global pandemic boosted OnlyFans.
The biggest tell was around March 15th-18th both the UK and the USA saw a large boom in searches through google from OnlyFans, through looking at new articles from between 1/03/2020 - 30/03/2020 there was a few articles mentioning about people such as an Ex-Disney celebrity Belle Throne making over £1,000,000 from being on OnlyFans.
One of the main reasons I believe there was a boom, was loneliness and spacetime during the first strict lockdown in the UK.
“During the same period, 30.9% of those asked said their well-being had been affected through feeling lonely in the past seven days, around 7.4 million people across Great Britain. We refer to this group as “lockdown lonely”. If we adjusted this to be representative of the entire Great British population this would be equivalent to 14.3%.”
As we were no longer able to see anyone from other houses or meet to talk socialize, it became difficult to combat loneliness due to the isolating nature of lockdowns in the UK. OnlyFans may have been a way to combat or help relieve some of this with the ability to communicate with the content creator, mentioned in the article by The Guardian ‘Everyone and their mum is on it': OnlyFans booms in popularity during the pandemic’ it mentioned:
“Once the pandemic came around and strip clubs started shutting, [OnlyFans] became so oversaturated because it was just every single sex worker, or just anyone in general, realizing there was money to be made,”
This is one of the reasons in which the platform OF blew up in popularity during the pandemic, as demand was still just as high whilst supply became lower in the world such as brothels and strip clubs.
Through the world of social isolation and global panic, germaphobia and social anxiety for large crowds and socializing in person, OnlyFans provided the comfort of being able to talk to new people digitally. This thought the pandemic could of been one for he reasons OnlyFans increased in popularity it gave users the option to converse whilst also be able to talk to them intimately, as they can talk to someone who is a stranger to vent and opinions, whilst never having to worry about meeting them in person in case of judgement or prejudice.
“Use of OnlyFans exploded during the pandemic, going from 7.5 million users last November to 85 million now.”
As I am sure, the snowball effect of OnlyFans as more users joined as members and celebrities jumping on the hype-train as their line of work slowly dried up increased popularity as well, but without the pandemic personally I am in the belief that the pandemic helped the popularity of OnlyFans.
To conclude my studies into this subject, I believe that OnlyFans is a good outlet for content creators who want to work in the porn/sex industry on a dedicated platform with a to more control over who can see it, what content they can make and a lot more safely than other forms. However, there is a still a way to go through their being still many dangers and ways for their content to be leaked. There are also many other issues such as internet safety and shady aspects to the iron Industry which people need to be more wary of, so I urge anyone who is thinking of this line of work to assess the risks, and whatever is put on the internet is very hard to get off the internet. Wherever this new platform can topple of shake the foundations of the other leading companies, websites and platforms remain to be seen, but in the bet interest for the creators, this is a step forward. It can also be seen as a step for de-stigmatizing sex work: although taboo in nature and without careful regulation can become sinister, it still gives people an option in a climate where jobs can be difficult to come by.
Various Interviews conducted By Samuel Collinge
SOTW- Hire a Clown Expect a Circus- Tree House Fire
as said by Aristotle, "Art Imitates Life", and here we have a proper catchy example of such. From a ska punk band Tree House Fire, they comment on the British politics and the upper classes and corporations ease of abusing laws and dodging taxes in a way of they have become untouchable. Belter. (Not to mentioned recorded through isolation, if that's any extra brownie points.)
AOTW - Ducks In a Row: Sasquatch in heat
It's a lot of vibrant creative trippy ducks in a row, what more could you want?
They can also be bought: https://bagmanstudios.com/collections/duckie-big-prints/products/duckies-big-print-2-pack-13x19
A unique and interesting take on a film, based entirely on a drive of a Welshman heading to London from the North of England overnight for a unknown reason, we slowly discover a lot of the character Locke through phone calls and interactions in the car. This in itself is a excellent display of a unique character analysis which drip feeds information, plot and leaves you in anticipation of each phone call made and received and the multiple plotlines through the films and the outcomes of such, and how they relate to the characters tension, stress or emotions, whilst also highlights the characters intentions and reasons for doing so. Overall, a masterpiece of filmmaking.
Shrek The Third - 5/10
Unfortunately and arguable the weakest of the Shrek Films, whilst it still retains the charm and humor of the dreamwork's messiah voiced by Mike Myers, it felt like it missed to mark when it came to the charm and the world of Far Far Away.
The animation is still in character of the previous films, whilst style has been slightly morphed when at the Fantasy High School, whilst others enjoyed this scene it didn't translate well to me.
Points however for the most natural 'Girl Power' moment I've seen in a film. in 2019 In the Avengers: Endgame, we saw the most painful forced unnatural Girl Power scene I have ever seen. Which in itself to me personally felt lazy and pandering, to the extent where it almost felt rude the lack of effort they tried to integrate it into the film
(Source: Avengers Endgame, retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-girl-power-moment-in-Avengers-Endgame-feel-so-forced)
Shrek the Third however,
Not only is it a badass scene for a kids film, it also flows and feels so well placed that it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, but also turns all the princesses that were rendered 'useless' or 'waiting for their man/true love to save them' and empowered them in a fun and creative way. Earlier in the film, they hatched a breakout plan of 'assuming the position' of waiting for a prince to save them, like in the Disney films they all came from. DreamWorks (Known for combatting Disney's Values and mocking them) Really nailed it with the scene, it can be watched Here
To say that Endgame in 2019 had 356 million USD estimated film budget whilst 12 years ago Shrek the Third at 2007 with a 160 Million USD estimated budget, its clear to see that scene in Endgame, it was nice they added a scene which could be empowering to women, but to force it, instead of integrating it, made it feel so tacked on. Shrek the Third Dominates it, not to mention with one of the Ugly Stepsisters also maybe inclusive of Transgender Women as part of the scene. They nailed it.
Fuck it, from that scene alone it ill give it another point, 6/10.