There has been a huge surge in popularity when it comes to one particular platform on the internet and that platform is none other than OnlyFans. Many people ask the question as to how and why did the platform become so popular in such a short amount of time? There has to be some science or psychological reasoning that is the driving force behind such an outlandish concept that seems to appeal to the masses. In a world of free pornography, why is it that some people give up their life savings just to thirst over an individual online?
OnlyFans was launched in 2016 as a platform to provide exclusive content through a a monthly subscription fee. As of late August 2020 The site has over 50 million registered users and claims to have paid out US$725 million (conservative estimate) to its 450,000 content creators. OnlyFans as a platform is valued at more than $1.2 billion and its CEO Tim Stokely claims the site recieves 200,000 new users every 24 hours. The site is said to be on track to make 400 million in annual net sales.
OnlyFans allows users to post uncensored X-rated pictures, videos as well as live streams and it also has a messaging feature to reel in users to engage directly with creators. The site may be popular amongst sex workers but it also hosts creators from other genres with the soul interest of content creation and community engagement much like rival platform Patreon. Content creators on OnlyFans receive fundings directly from monthly subscriptions, one time tips and the pay-per-view (PPV) feature but the platform also takes 20% of every payment that is made.
The Perfect Timing
The timing for this platform is perfect considering the current state of lockdown that millions of people are facing worldwide. OnlyFans profits off the loneliness aspect that many are facing due thier isolation from loved ones and this leads individuals to turn towards paid services in order to seek comfort. Creators on OnlyFans are expected to message users privately offering the illusion of intimacy and Covid-19 has definitely increased the commercialization of sexual intimacy.
Besides a brand new flock of users on the platform there has also been a huge increase in creators and this is also due to the pandemic. Thousands of people are losing their jobs by the day and they struggle to pay their bills or mortgage. Corporations are having to lay people off at work due to the current state of the economy so more people have to take employment into their own hands and work as private entities. This level of independency is hard to obtain but OnlyFans is willing to offer it to their creators during this time of need.
The internet is flooded with rags to riches stories posted by creators who are buying new houses and cars from the money they make on the platform. All those who are willing to sell their body on the internet are promised huge rewards but the sad reality is that the average creator on OnlyFans makes merely $180/month while the top 1% makes 33% of all the money and a prime example is Bella Thorne who had made a whopping $1 million in her first 24 hours. However the illusion still stands that OnlyFans is a path to ultimate riches and so it becomes enticing to many.
OnlyFans managed to capitalize on the pleasures of life providing people with a hedonistic lifestyle from the comfort of their own homes during this period of lockdown. Our primitive minds helplessly seek out stimuli that provides temporary benefits that ultimately deprives us of our health, wellbeing, happiness and most importantly our money. This business model is adopted by OnlyFans as they sell the idea of nudity with intimacy by selling the idea as a form of fulfilling companionship. Creators are making money during this troubled times but the users are watching their money burn, yet they continue to entertain their harmful desires.
Catering For All
OnlyFans was built for all and catered to all kinds of tastes. There are some outlandish things that can be found on this platform and users and creators alike are both extremely diverse. It is quite impossible to leave the platform unsatisfied since there is a perfect match for every user and this level of diversity truly becomes the selling point for OnlyFans. The minimum age limit to join the platform is 18 years old and users need a government issued ID in order to sign up but beyond that, it is a free for all.
Adult content is highly attainable online and the content found also caters for the masses, however the only difference is meaningful interactions. The only way these creators are able to retain their fanbase is by interacting and communicating with them. These creators need to be willing to accept all their fans for who they are and this is where the term ‘catering for all’ comes into play. Finding desired content takes a matter of seconds these days but finding someone to interact with may not be so easy and many turn to OnlyFans to gain this comfort.
The feeling of being valued is mutually obtained through the use of this platform as not only does the model feel adored but so does the user who gains recognition. Many users claim porn is void of connection and that the individuals on OnlyFans don’t seem like actors/actresses rather they are transparent and more relatable as human beings. There is no barrier between the users and the creators and this allows the users to feel less alone or empty inside.
This platform managed to suck in individuals from all walks of life even making the site appealing to celebrities, streamers and established models. Some individuals don’t even need the money yet they are willing to do it for the admiration so clearly this isn’t a last resort instead, the career path to becoming an Onlyfans model may in fact be appealing to many. Everyone seems to have an incentive to get on this platform but everyone is also choosing to turn a blind eye when it comes to the long term effects of this global phenomenon.
The long term effects have an impact on the creators more than the users and this is due to the level of transparency. The users may remain anonymous and their adventures on Onlyfans can remain a guilty pleasure but the same can’t be said for most creators. The individuals who choose to publicly show their bodies will have to deal with the long term consequences and many important decisions have to be made before jumping onto the bandwagon. Sex work has been relatively taboo over the years but it seems that platforms such as Onlyfans and Patreon are making it more appealing to the masses.
It may be hard for parents to accept a reality in which their children are selling lewd images of themselves for money. Those who grow up in a conservative family may struggle even more to be accepted and many end up being ostracized from their family altogether. The profession may not be seen as noble by traditional parents, and parents tend to blame themselves for the decisions their children make. However in most circumstances this issue will ultimately be resolved and parents will forever support their children so long as they are happy in life.
Both creators and users end up losing friends due this platform. Creators are unable to befriend those in professional industries as they may end up jeopardizing their status or career. Users become obsessed and socially isolate themselves from the outside world, choosing to live in a bubble by worshiping creators on OnlyFans. It’s hard to lose people due to a career choice and that may be reason why many people in the industry tend to keep their friend circles within the industry to prevent awkward conversations and try to facilitate a relatively normal friendship.
Unfortunately many creators on the platform are unable to find romance with individuals outside the industry and maintain long standing relationships. It may be overwhelming to accept the fact that random strangers are able to breach a certain level of privacy by accessing lewd images of their romantic partner. Getting married and having kids can only be a dream for many as the children are forced to live in a reality where they may be ridiculed due to the actions made by their parents. Whatever that is put on the internet shall forever remain and that will ultimately interrupt any form of intimate relationship.
A creator on OnlyFans does not have the same freedoms as a person who pursues any other career choice. A doctor can become a lawyer by attaining the required credentials but the same can’t be said for an OnlyFans model who hopes to make a career swap. Any employer will be able to make a quick Google search and end up finding more than he/she intended to. An OnlyFans model will have to sustain themselves by doing their own thing as getting into an organization will be nothing short of a miracle. Thus a career in this industry may not be sustainable in the long run and it limits future job opportunities.
However we still have quite a ways to go before normalizing the industry and until then, there will always be a slight disconnect. Most sex workers pursue such a career choice due to poverty and the need to sustain their livelihoods. However this may not be the case anymore as the industry has been glamorized for the youth and less people are thinking about the long term effects this has. In most cases the decision is made on a whim as an act of disobedience or short term financial independency that is unsustainable in the long run.
Capitalizing on Loneliness
The idea of hyper sexualization has long existed but only now it is becoming more relevant and desirable for people. OnlyFans profits of loneliness and the inability of people nowadays to form meaningful human connections due to the presence of online culture. Based on a research study carried out by Cigna in regards to loneliness being at epidemic levels in America, it is found that 73% of heavy social media users are considered to be lonely compared with 52% of light users.
The survey also found that 63% of men tend to be lonely, compared with 58% of women. These feelings of isolation are more evident in Gen-Z (age 18-22) which is contrasting to common belief that older people would be lonelier due to the lack of companionship. The younger generation seek out companionship by dwelling on the internet rather than forming real connections as the real world risks a possibility of failure whereas most people rather have a pay to win mindset even when it comes to human connection.
With more people swaying towards online dating culture or the rise of the e-girls phenomenon, it is clear that both lonely men and women use OnlyFans as a way to satisfy their individualistic needs. The internet is littered with virtual dating apps/ online girlfriends and this culture is already taking shape in countries such as Japan where such a lifestyle is fully embraced. Ultimately we have successfully digitalized relationships and monetized affection through the use of platforms such as OnlyFans.
The Future of Onlyfans
OnlyFans has grown into such a giant over the years and it will continue to grow exponentially as more people choose to experiment in this industry. Thousands of users and creators are joining by the day due to the massive media hype that surrounds it and the increasing demand for virtual human connections. If this trend continues we may make a huge shift in terms of intimacy and embrace this new technological era that monetizes human connection by capitalizing on loneliness.
With more influential people joining the platform and normalizing the distribution of lewd content, it will take no time for it to be a worldwide trend and a legitimate career opportunity that people work towards. The marketspace is becoming more competitive and it will continue to get harder to make it on the platform as more people join in. OnlyFans is at the tipping point and people are considering it to be the gold rush of the 21st century so it is only a matter of time before the platform becomes oversaturated.
A dystopian future may be closer than we realize as this concept is clearly a functional business model and people are truly willing to pay for companionship. With a growing demand, more people are also willing to give up privacy and intimacy for the sake of monetary gain. This will lead to disastrous outcomes years down the line and many people will regret it but for now, the short term beauties are hard to mask and the appeal is stronger than ever especially for the younger generation.
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