We’ve all made some changes during the last year, for better or for worse. With widespread lockdowns, restrictions on social gatherings, and more, pretty much everyone could use some company – and that’s where OnlyFans comes in.
OnlyFans has been around for a while, but things have really taken off for content creators in the last year or so. Celebrities like Sonja Morgan of Real Housewives of New York, Michael B. Jordan, Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey, Cardi B., and Blac Chyna have all become content creators, with no shortage of adoring fans.
Contrast the scene today with attitudes just a few decades ago, when Vanessa Williams lost her Miss America title after having nude pictures published in a Penthouse magazine. It can even be compared to other related industries today. Sex workers of all descriptions, from cam girls on sites like Nudelive, strippers, and others more often work under the direction of someone else, typically a male manager. With OnlyFans, though, the control is put into the hands of the creators – they get to decide exactly how much their fans get to see. Plus, they get a solid 80% of what they charge subscribers, which for many is enough to pay the bills and then some.
Even though OnlyFans allows all kinds of content – creators can post about any subject, from cooking videos to knitting tutorials – it stands out from competitors because it allows sexual content as well. Stephanie Michelle, who supports her family with her OnlyFans account, makes the point that all the pearl-clutching is a bit hypocritical. Nobody blinks an eye when boxers or football players end up with permanent brain damage, but they object to people who decide to make a living by selling sexual pictures or videos of themselves. Stephanie is of the opinion that of the two choices, brain damage is definitely more harmful than independently creating and selling sexual content online – and she certainly has a point.
Many people agree. The comparison has been made between OnlyFans and peep shows, which have plenty of parallels. There’s no contact involved; what the viewer sees is carefully controlled; and there’s very little risk of STD transmission or other physical harm.
Even more important, though, are the differences between OnlyFans and peep shows – and they’re all good ones. Instead of having to work for managers, conform to a certain image, and put up with unsanitary conditions, the content creators get to call the shots. They’re the only bosses around, and it shows. Instead of businesses and publications telling everyone what’s sexy, each creator gets to showcase themselves just the way they are. Every gender, race, weight, or legal age – people of all kinds find their audience on OnlyFans.
What’s the takeaway here? The recent OnlyFans boom is part of a new sexual revolution, in which sex workers – especially women – are taking control of their personal boundaries, prices, and their public images. Even if it’s partly the result of a pandemic, this phenomenon will probably affect the way we view sex for years to come.