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During the pandemic, some discovered new hobbies such as bread-making and crafts. Some people took the time to work on their own, but now they’re wearing new clothes, earrings, tattoos, and identities. Some people cleaned in the spring, winter, fall and summer. And some have jumped into the explosive world of online sex work.

OnlyFans is a very popular fan site that has become famous for hosting adult content as well as Beyonce lyrics. It would be worth it now Over $ 1 billion.. And with the popularity of platforms and other sites like that, the number of ordinary people setting up creator accounts is skyrocketing. It is a phenomenon that changes some assumptions about sex work in their heads: once out of despair, work has become an increasingly popular side activity.

Local Creator Jamie Wolf (the name of the performance, plus the names of other content creators mentioned in this story) reader He created OnlyFans in May 2020. This was right after the nationwide COVID-19 blockade was implemented, but after “enough” adult entertainment as an amateur artist. Wolff says he uses platforms to supplement his income and enjoys the flexibility and anonymity that comes with having an agency as an amateur adult artist. He says his other employers are unaware of his account, but I’m sure he won’t incur any consequences if they do.

“I don’t think we’ve ever signed a studio or used a traditional professional route,” says Wolf. “I like privacy as an amateur artist, and not out of fear of exposure. I literally like to exercise my right to privacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its dire economic consequences for many are also creating a kind of perfect storm on fan sites, a way to make money with record unemployment. Give the. But even without a pandemic, the platform can be an important outlet for artists who want more control over their work.

Unlike studio work, where Chicago-based adult artist Griffin Burrows often contracts with studios that have great control over the production of adult films, platforms like OnlyFans have already given the artists themselves . It offers an almost unprecedented level of agency.

With over 675,000 followers on Twitter, Barrows is arguably one of the most famous gay creators with over 500 videos on the OnlyFans page.

“A lot of artists brag on social media that they do next to nothing other than flash the erogenous zone, so they’re spreading the idea that content production doesn’t work very well,” Burroughs explains. “The truth is, a lot of time and effort goes into this sexy career.”

Besides giving users more creative control, the platform especially benefits the unconventional people that most studios are trying to promote.

The transgender Trip Richards was forced by OnlyFans and these platforms to endure fetishization and total exclusion from popular studios, especially for adult artists with historically excluded backgrounds. Said he was able to prosper in the industry.

“”[The platforms are] We’re taking power back as individual performers, and what that means is performers are more diverse and unbiased than ever before, ”said Richards. “It also addresses many concerns about the coercion that have been brought to bear on the sex industry.”

There are many misconceptions about sex work through OnlyFans and other platforms. But from hobbyists like Wolf to industry leaders like Barrows, many creators say the biggest misconceptions on these platforms are inextricably linked. That is, the income potential and the level of work required to achieve it.

“OnlyFans gives me a bit more financial cash, but it doesn’t fully meet my financial needs, especially when it comes to how profits are released. That kind of survival about sex work, ”says Wolf.

Burroughs also points out another common misconception. This means that there is a herd of creators making exorbitant profits every month.

“Only a handful of people made a lot of money in a few months, but it really was only a handful,” says Burroughs. “It often takes months to earn a decent income and years to earn a solid income. “

  • Chicagoan Griffin Barrows’ OnlyFans page has over 500 videos and is arguably one of the site’s most famous gay creators.
  • Courtesy of Griffin Burrows

And the platform itself is not without its problems. The interface is clunky and can be difficult to navigate as a user. The site also cuts creators’ income by 20% and lists sex acts creators can’t do on the platform, such as “sadomasochistic abuse and hardcore bondage” and “urinating”. These prohibitions are contained in legal standards that prevent users from exhibiting outright violence such as torture and rape on the platform.

The site has been called exploitation by many in the adult industry, especially after actress Bella Thorne pocketed millions of sites on the site a week after setting up an account.

For many, OnlyFans and these sites have certainly democratized sex work, giving more people access to the industry than they previously knew with “pillow sales” auditions and restricted contracts. I agree with you.

But aside from the platform’s popularity, Burroughs and Wolf agree that even “legal” sex work is not yet a truly accepted and condemned form of work, or even a hobby.

“There are many stories of people facing unwarranted consequences after becoming the creators of OnlyFans,” Wolf said. “I think it’s important to recognize that the only thing that helps protect and assess sex workers is positive sex worker law.

And Richards quickly points out that these findings disproportionately affect marginalized groups who may have engaged in safer forms of sex work on fan sites.

“Things that affect sex workers, like the law, criminalization and loss of platform, don’t affect everyone. Specifically, disproportionately marginalized groups such as people of color and people with disabilities. Is influential, ”he says.

In addition to those concerns, London-based OnlyFans owned by tech company Fenix ​​International Limited is also reportedly moving away from adult content.

However, the platform’s biggest rival, JustForFans, is owned and operated by an adult artist and has no plans to change it, founder Dominic Ford said. Ford has a 13-year career in the gay adult entertainment industry and founded JustForFans about a year and a half after OnlyFans was founded in 2016. Unlike OnlyFans, Ford briefly and proudly describes JustForFans as a “porn site.” .

In that sense, Ford said the site is fully populated with people working in the adult industry behind closed doors or behind the scenes. He and all of his staff have personal experience not only with performers, but also with the needs of producers, directors, agents and other commonly forgotten but still important industry professionals. He says the site is much more user-friendly and holistic than OnlyFans.

As an author, Richards praised the site for its lesser content restrictions than OnlyFans and for the attention-grabbing payment processors.

  • “”[The platforms are] We’re taking power back as individual artists, and what that means is that artists are more diverse and fair than ever, ”says Trip Richards, a content creator who uses OnlyFans.
  • Courtesy of Trip Richards

Plus, unlike OnlyFans, Ford says this is the first time in the adult industry, JustForFans allows site builders to donate a portion of their earnings to charity. According to the JustForFans website, the creators include Black Lives Matter, Trans Lifeline, HIV League, Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA and Freedom of expression.. Ford says it’s just part of a community driven platform spirit.

But even when Ford tries to make JustForFans stand out, he seems almost surprisingly anxious to hear the news that OnlyFans is abandoning its roots in favor of more mainstream success. It’s a phenomenon he says the adult industry is more used to than ever, but what he says only helps JustForFans and other loyal platforms thrive.

“As artists and businessmen in the adult industry, we’ve had enough of tech companies that start up and bite the bullet with adults. [content], Earn money, fix their bugs and leave us when they no longer need us, ”says Ford. “OnlyFans is not the first, not the last.” v

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