In 2020, the world has moved from shaking hands to communicating over a computer/phone screen, such as in classrooms and offices. In desperate need of money and contact, more people are now participating in the online Erotic market, especially through the website OnlyFans.
OnlyFans is an online platform where producers can post explicit photos and videos for monetary compensation. In order to see the explicit content, the viewer must subscribe to that person’s channel, paying upfront. The pandemic has influenced a spark in users of OnlyFans due to COVID-19 both causing a decrease in jobs and limiting social contact.
“OnlyFans saw a spike of 3.5 million users in March, with 60,000 of them being creators,” said Canadian journalist Maggie Gowland.
Most of these users are using OnlyFans as their primary income. Jobs are scarce and money is low for a lot of people, so OnlyFans has provided a quick, easy way to earn cash. Even celebrities are on the website to earn back lost money. Influencers like Bella Thorne and Cardi B are users and have publicly posted about it to their millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram.
Even though OnlyFans is a legit business that helps people make a profit, it is also viewed as immoral. Depending on a specific person’s background, they may believe that OnlyFans is degrading and immoral. This is especially the case for the United States, where a lot of social norms are based on religious ideologies.
This has not stunted its growth, though. In a society where women are told what to wear, how to carry themselves and to stay covered, OnlyFans gives its users sexual liberation.
“OnlyFans is a way for me to access sexual and personal freedom,” says an undisclosed OnlyFans user on social media.
Many of us were raised to believe that sex work is degrading and disgusting. Whether people believe in this ideology or not, sex work is a business. Just like a singer, someone who uses OnlyFans is participating in a monetary transaction. I believe that selling explicit content is safer, especially now, than most sex work occupations. Unlike prostitution, users do not participate in sexual activity with their consumers.
OnlyFans in particular is a good, safe way to earn money. According to Vice News, CEO Tim Stokely has said that creators earn a commission of “80 percent”. This percentage is more than hair stylists who work at a shop get to keep. This is the main reason why this platform is so popular: content creators remain safe while allowing their customers a more personal interaction than other erotic websites. I know many people who are OnlyFans users and they are financially independent as a result.
OnlyFans could be empowering for men, women and those who are non-binary. Most explicit content shows men and women who are “socially attractive and fit”, but those are not all possible content creators. It doesn’t matter if you are skinny, curvy, or somewhere in between, you can sell content on this online platform.
Although, not every video or image on this platform is sexual. All over social media, I see people promoting body positivity through OnlyFans. Generation Z are huge advocates for sexual freedom, whether for the LGBTQ+ community, sex workers or erotica actors. OnlyFans shows how Gen Z’s beliefs can be acted on.
OnlyFans gives men, women and people who are non-binary the freedom to unapologetically express themselves while making money. Not only does it give users a safe, intimate experience, but does so for anyone, regardless of their identity or body type.