From Beyoncé lyrics to BBC documentaries, it appears that this year OnlyFans is everywhere. Gef put back on his investigative journalism fedora to get all the details. 

So what is OnlyFans?

OnlyFans is a platform designed for users to create content for “fans”. It’s all behind a paywall, with users paying a fee (often a monthly subscription, but it can also be a one-off payment). Think of it like paying for an exclusive Instagram.

Who uses OnlyFans?

While big celebs like Cardi B have been using OnlyFans to share content with their fans, OnlyFans is most famous for its adult content.

How many people use OnlyFans?

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Onlyfans has an estimated 700,000 creators and 50 million users. 

Why are so many people going to OnlyFans?

While OnlyFans has been around since 2016, the pandemic meant that people have found themselves unemployed, or looking for ways to move their businesses online. Online sex work has, for some, proved to be a lucrative buisness. 

For many creators making adult material, OnlyFans allows them to have control over their own image, work as their own boss, and work outside of the often toxic porn industry.

What’s the money like?

While there are stories about women making hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, that isn’t the case for most creators. Xsrus reckon that most accounts take home less than $145 USD (109 GBP) after commission (OnlyFans takes 20% commission from each transaction). Most people making the big bucks already have a social media following- starting from the bottom (if you excuse the pun) seems to be difficult.

But getting paid to get your nawks out… sounds easy?

Well yes, and no. Sure, taking a picture of your tits isn’t rocket science, but to be successful on OnlyFans requires an account to be run like a full-time business. As the name suggests, OnlyFans is about fan interaction: there is an expectation to interact with your fans to keep them happy, as well as posting consistently and marketing yourself properly. 

What are the downsides?

With there still being a stigma around sex work, creators can find that the work can effect their personal lives. Creators have reported their content being shared without their consent, and receiving abuse, threats and have even been stalked, with authorities often being unhelpful. 

 A BBC documentary also reported that a third of accounts on twitter advertising ‘nudesforsale’ belonged to underaged individuals, many using OnlyFans to share content.

For some people, OnlyFans provides the opportunity to work from home as their own boss. For most creators, OnlyFans isn’t a get rich quick scheme. While there are certainly perks and freedoms to working as a content creator, sex work is something that comes with a lot of risks.