OnlyFans a saving grace for adult entertainers

Photo by Darrien Funk

What really is OnlyFans? Is it porn? Is it a social networking platform? Is it like that LinkedIn thing everyone’s been telling me to get?

Well, OnlyFans is a lot of things, but on its most elementary level, it is a user-run, subscription based platform allowing creators and entertainers to show whatever they want to their fans without the stressors of mediation.

The majority of creators demand a subscription fee to access their content. This price tag is rarely ever more than $15 to $20. But what are you actually getting for such a low fee? 

Plenty of OnlyFans accounts then request a secondary fee once their initial account has been unlocked. Often, a paywall will appear on their page suggesting you spend another however many dollars on content that, for some reason, is not included in their general subscription package.

Creators are making a killing off these subscriptions. Former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne reported earnings of over $2 million in only her first week. Celebrity Rubi Rose is said to have made over $100,000 by simply reposting her Instagram photos onto the new subscription-based platform.  

I’d only ever known OnlyFans as the platform Belle Delphine sold her bath water on. I’d never contemplated its ethical, economic or political influence until digging a little deeper into what OnlyFans really is.

At first, I was baffled at why anyone would willingly pay the subscription fee for an adult film star’s OnlyFans? If this is the kind of sexually promiscuous content you’re looking for, these same actors are doing a whole lot more for a whole lot less on cheaper websites. 

But OnlyFans is much different than simply logging onto PornHub. Rather than funding the already wealthy conglomerate MindGeek—the owners of PornHub—OnlyFans puts both the control and the profit in the hands of their entertainers.

“They want more intimate experiences,” said OnlyFans model Matthew Camp, in a 2019 interview with The New York Times. Camp expressed his reluctance to film porn due to the label—and the low pay.

Instead, Camp performs and entertains on his own accord and makes significantly more money doing so.

Websites like PornHub use constant advertising to capitalize off viewership. Rather than pay their artists and entertainers while charging their viewers, they post content for free and make their profit through adverts.

This up-and-coming platform takes the power away from large production companies and allows entertainers and artists to make their own content, tailoring it to their own personal preferences as well as their fans.

“Guys don’t want to pay for that,” said Dannii Harwood, one of OnlyFans’ pioneers, to The New York Times in reference to free pornography. “They want the opportunity to get to know somebody they’ve seen in a magazine or on social media. I’m like their online girlfriend.”

OnlyFans offers the ability to see the content generated by the entertainer. You see what they want to share, and if they don’t want to share it, they’re aren’t contractually obligated to do so.

I won’t go into the ethics of the pornography industry here — do your own research. It won’t take you long to find several claims of injustice from former entertainers.

OnlyFans is more than pornography, in fact, that may even be a crude description. It is better described as a community, a platform for entertainers to support themselves fairly and safely. 

This type of content may not be for everyone but it’s hard to deny the benefits—for the entertainers at least. As for users, I can’t speak much to it. If this is the type of entertainment you enjoy, by all means!

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