How OnlyFans Reshaped The Landscape Of Sex Work

How OnlyFans Reshaped The Landscape Of Sex Work

Humans – just like any other creature – have a natural desire for sexual pleasure. Probably, it even has the highest appetite for sex. No one can deny that. The existence of sex toys, sex dolls, and pornography stands as pieces of evidence.

Now, sex requires at least two people. However, sometimes, there’s no one around to have sex with. People have different views about sex. Some want it as much as possible, while some think it should be reserved for special occasions.

When there’s this lack of a partner, people turn to other things to provide them sexual satisfaction. One of which is pornography. You might think that because of this high demand, pornstars would get rich quickly. All they have to do is perform on scenes, and then they’ll earn easy money.

But that is incorrect. Yes, there may be cases where a pornstar has earned millions, but that could only happen if they have a long-term contract with a renowned studio. Most porn models do not make much from scenes. That’s most unfortunate. 

When a person decides to perform on a scene, they accept being labeled a pornstar forever. And it is no secret that pornstars are marginalized. To put it simply, these models put their reputation on the line. Sadly, what they get from it is not enough to compensate for what they lost. But since people already view them differently, it is hard to quit sex work and start again. Therefore, they have to lean on other methods involving sex to earn a living – some of which are undesirable.

 How OnlyFans Reshaped The Landscape Of Sex Work

OnlyFans, the new place for sex workers, is built differently. It takes sex work to the next level. Both the models and their subscribers would not feel disgusted with what they are doing. At the same time, the site allows its creators to earn what they deserve.

The Great Shift In Porn

Chanel Santini is a 21-year old performer turned escort turned OnlyFans model. She said there’s one statement in her first scene that she couldn’t get out of her mind. Santini said that the director told her the only real way for sex workers to earn money is to also be a prostitute. She did not sign up for that. 

Santini was forced to be a pornstar because of the difficulties she was facing in her life. Her parents threw her out of the house after she came out as a transgender person in her teenage years. Thus, she never finished high school. Because of that, she experienced trouble getting a decent job. The one she got as a clerk in Hollister is not enough to cover her needs, even in Las Vegas, where there is fairly a low cost of living. That’s what brought her to the porn industry. And, of course, hearing that from the director was not pleasant to hear. 

Now, let us address why the director said this. In the past, you could be a pornstar and not need to also be a prostitute. Your earnings should be enough to cover your needs. However, there was a big shift in the industry that made models earn less.

 How OnlyFans Reshaped The Landscape Of Sex Work

A bunch of “tube sites” popped up. These websites allowed the uploading of stolen pornographic content and let visitors view them for free. And because porn studios lack political connections nor capital, they cannot sue their competitors. This hurt the revenues of the studios, and, consequently, rates for scene work dropped.

Like Santini, Dirk Caber is a porn model who is also an escort. Because of the problem stated above, most of his income came from escorting rather than from performing. 

To illustrate how big of a change this was, here’s a statement from Brian Gross – a well-known industry publicist. Gross says that in the early days, porn websites would out performers who do escort. “Because it was shocking, for lack of a better word,” he says. Now, a talent being an escort is the norm, and even those who are not escorts are also viewed as one. The sad thing is, they just have to accept this fate.

OnlyFans Disrupting The Scene

If a pornstar does not want to be a prostitute, they can instead do webcamming or posing nude for magazines. These inspired OnlyFans. Its founder Tim Stokely founded a site called Customs4U. It is a website where guys can be the directors of what they watch. They can order specially made videos from the models. At that time, it was gaining popularity. Ms. Hardwood, who worked for Stokely’s softcore site, admitted to him that she favored the site over prostitution. Meanwhile, on the “tamer” side of the internet, Instagram was also skyrocketing in popularity. People can monetize their content on this platform, though it does not allow full nudity.

So Stokely thought: why not combine all of these? And thus, he created OnlyFans. This website functions like Instagram, but creators can post sexually explicit content and have their fans access them by purchasing a subscription. Content could be anything. It could be seductive photos, a nude, or a model having penetrative sex – either with a partner or a sex doll.

 How OnlyFans Reshaped The Landscape Of Sex Work

OnlyFans will take 20% of the fees collected on each feed, with 8% of that going to merchant and processing fees. The 80% will go directly to the model. The best part is, unlike Uber, which has a similar setup, OnlyFans does not dictate how much the models can charge.

In no time, Ms. Hardwood – who became one of OnlyFans’ first models – was bringing home five digits monthly. So now, models can earn a lot from sex work, without being a prostitute.

OnlyFans caused changes in more ways than one. Content from the platform is arguably now more popular than those on porn sites. This is because the experience that comes from it feels more personal. As the models Matthew Camp and Ms. Harwood have put it, they act like they are the subscribers’ online boyfriend/girlfriend. It is unlike on porn sites, where the satisfaction comes from their physical appearance and their performance. Here, on OnlyFans, it comes from the connection. As per Camp’s words, it “allows people to fantasize about people they want to have sex with, without feeling disgusted by it.”

Back to Santini, she says that she wants to face the director again. She wants him to retract his words that prostitution is the only way for a sex worker to make a living. Santini will tell him how0 she makes thousands of dollars every month just by posting content online. 

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