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Inside OnlyFans: 4 Women Share Their Experiences On The Platform

What is OnlyFans?

Social media has helped many women become their own brand online, sharing photos and videos to followers around the world. However, platforms like Instagram aren’t always easy to monetize for creators and have strict rules on things like nudity in photos. Enter OnlyFans, a website where creators can earn money and show whatever content they want, R-rated content included.

OnlyFans has seen exponential growth in 2020, as the global pandemic has put many performers out of work and given others ample time to spend behind their phone or computer screen. Here’s what you need to know about this new online phenomenon.

What is OnlyFans?

A subscription-based online platform where creators can choose what they want to show to viewers. The website is frequently associated with nudity and sex work but there are chefs, fitness instructors, musicians, and more on the platform. Performers and creators can make money through subscriptions, pay per view custom content, and tips. Performers can set their own subscription prices (up to $49.99 per month) with additional tips at the discretion of users. Of course every creator has different earnings but top earners can make around $10,000 per month. OnlyFans keeps 20 percent of all forms of payment.

Recently actress Bella Thorne earned $1,000,000 in a single day but faced backlash due to false advertising of nudity and also accusations of gentrifying a platform that many people financially rely on.

We spoke to four OnlyFans performers about why they decided to join the platform and their experience thus far.

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Maria Fernanda

What made you decide to start an OnlyFans page?
Maria Fernanda: Never in my life did I think I would have an OnlyFans! I heard about the platform from my ex-boyfriend, who was a creator on there. Even though he was on there, I was still like “No, I would never do something like that!” I changed my mind when I was modeling in Miami and the pandemic started. I had to fly back to my home country and my manager encouraged me to do it in order to innovate and stay at the top of my game. At first, I was afraid of what people were going to say about me, but then I thought “I have to do this in order to stay active in this industry I love.” I just did it! I don’t see it as something bad, instead, I see it as art, and as something that’s leading me to my biggest goal, staying active in the modeling industry.

What’s empowering about having an OnlyFans account?
I think the most empowering thing, besides making money on your own, is that I’m not afraid of showing who I am and how much I like the person I’ve become. I’m not ashamed or feel embarrassed about it. I feel like if every woman in this world feels empowered, we would have less hate between women since everyone is living their own life. I felt so much freedom after I opened my OnlyFans account. I love myself and I enjoy doing this!

Have you experienced negative reactions or effects in your life for having an OnlyFans account?
Yes! At first, people criticized me a lot for my OnlyFans account but I took my time to think about it and decided to do this because I enjoy it. When it comes to my family, my mom always knew about my modeling career and her concern was my health since I’ve dealt with eating disorders in the past. My family knows what I do now and they understand. It was hard, but it wasn’t impossible, because they’re open-minded.

What do you think about the Bella Thorne OnlyFans debacle?
In OnlyFans, you can create an account and sell whatever you want to, so I don’t really understand why everyone was mad at her. However, I do think that what Onlyfans doing is a strategy to remove the excess of people OnlyFans has. At first, it was hard to get into the site, it took me almost two months, but now, everyone can get an account.

Do you think it will have a lasting impact on the industry?
Yes, because more people will want to create an account and what’s going to happen is that they (OnlyFans) are going to close the creation of new accounts since they won’t be able to pay everyone. Anyways, trends come and go, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen next.

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Fola Patton

What made you decide to start an OnlyFans page?
Fola Patton: I’m a student and OnlyFans is something I do on and off, but I started a few months ago encouraged by my friends. I was really nervous! I think sex work and sex in general, is a topic you don’t really talk about. That was the reason I was nervous to start, but once I did I enjoyed it so much. It’s weird but I was influenced by TikTok too. I watched the videos of these women and I felt it was so empowering seeing how much money they made and how it made them feel about themselves. It made me want that confidence in my life.

What are some things you were surprised to learn about the platform?
I was surprised that you don’t have to post nude content. You can do no nudity, you can do workouts, you can post whatever you want. I was hesitant at first but then I saw this girl on TikTok saying she doesn’t post nudity and still makes a lot of money. I was like “I can definitely do that!”

What’s empowering about having an OF account?
It has made me more comfortable with my body and more comfortable with showing off. I feel like society tells you to not brag about yourself, but doing this made me realize I look good. It’s a total confidence booster to be able to speak highly about myself.

Have you ever experienced negative reactions or effects in your life for having an OnlyFans account?
Not personally. All of my friends were really supportive of me making this. While I advertise my account I’ve seen or heard people saying “I’m not going to pay for this” but nothing really hurtful. People that know about this, support me, even my family, especially since I don’t post nude content.

What do you think about the Bella Thorne OnlyFans debacle?
It was so insane! I don’t like to talk down about people, but I think that was extremely selfish of her to do because she’s already a millionaire. Also, it’s not even the fact that she already has money, it’s the fact that she lied about the content. I used to like her because she was really open about her sexuality and pro-sex work, but you can’t be supportive of it, and then mess up people’s jobs and the way they get paid.

Do you think it will have a lasting impact on the industry?
I think it will have a lasting impact on OnlyFans, for sure. I think people are going to be a little more hesitant to go on sites like that. I’m in a lot of Facebook groups and women talk about how this will affect the way they will get paid, especially in a pandemic when people really need money.

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Cherry Slime

What made you decide to start an OnlyFans page?
I started a few months ago. I’m a dancer and I was like “Well, clubs have closed and this is an easy way to make money on the side.” It’s not a full-time job, I don’t recommend it fulltime unless you’re a celebrity and you have a large following.

What are some things you were surprised to learn about the platform?
There’s no surprise! When you’re doing it, you know what you’re getting into. You know who you have to deal with. If you don’t know what you’re doing, I recommend you to not do OnlyFans.

What’s empowering about having an OnlyFans account?
It’s really cool how we, women, can help each other grow. We share other girls’ account, we give shoutouts, etc. Everything is about connections and love, it’s like a community. These groups are on social media, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

Have you ever experienced negative reactions or effects in your life for having an OnlyFans account?
No, I feel really comfortable about it, and if someone has something negative to say about it, I just dismiss it. I’ve never had a situation where my OnlyFans account has led to something negative. So far everything has been so good. When it comes to my family, my mom doesn’t really know the depth of OnlyFans. She’s okay with it. I have sisters and they support me too.

What do you think about the Bella Thorne OnlyFans debacle?
I can’t really be mad at her! I don’t really agree with what she did because I do post the real thing. However, I can’t tell her to do it, because, at the end of the day, it’s her body and her account.

Do you think it will have a lasting impact on the industry?
I think so. She did get a lot of attention and a lot of people wanting their money back. Also, the way women get paid will change. We won’t be able to get our money whenever we want, we’ll have to wait a certain amount of time to get paid.

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Chivonna F

What made you decide to start an OnlyFans page?
Chivonna F: I started an OnlyFans account to generate extra money since where I live, everything is super expensive. I thought I could make some cash to support myself.

What are some things you were surprised to learn about the platform?
I find it surprising how easy it is to make money from it. It’s super easy!

What’s empowering about having an OnlyFans account?
I find empowering that I feel comfortable with my body and how I look. I do lingerie and full nudity, and I feel good about how I look.

Have you ever experienced negative reactions or effects in your life for having an OnlyFans account?
Honestly, I haven’t, since my friends and family, and people where I’m from, don’t know I do this, and I don’t want them to know.

What do you think about the Bella Thorne OnlyFans debacle?
I think that what she did was wrong and it has affected others on OnlyFans creators. She’s already a millionaire, so she didn’t really need to do it for the money like other women are.

Do you think it will have a lasting impact on the industry?
It will, since now will be harder for people to trust the accounts they are paying for. It will be hard to earn the subscriber’s trust.

Featured photo by Aiony Haust on Unsplash

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