In a twist NO ONE saw coming, London-based purveyor of fine filth OnlyFans has announced they will no longer be allowing sexually explicit content to be shown on their platform starting from October 1. Right in the middle of a pandemic too. That’d be right. It’s almost a Betoota headline. Website known only for its sexual content bans sexual content.
This announcement from a website that is almost exclusively known for its sexy times footage feels a bit like your local florist saying they’re no longer stocking flowers. Just two dead sticks they found out back.
visa & mastercard buckling to evangelical psychos & successfully pressuring onlyfans to limit the sex work on their platforms is awful but expected. caving to that demand when sex work built your platform is a betrayal. everyone loves sex work but dehuminazes the ppl who make it
— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) August 20, 2021
Despite having only kicked off four years ago, OnlyFans has become a standard byword for explicit content. It’s allowed sex workers to operate at a certain level of self-sufficience and given them control over their own image and engagement.
It’s not without its flaws, however. There’s been criticism from the get-go that the platform’s lack of age verification has meant underage individuals have been also appearing in sexually explicit material with little oversight. Then there’s the company’s incredibly high cut of profits. Last year alone, it’s been reported OnlyFans generated US$2 billion (AU$2.8 billion) in sales and from this OnlyFans receives a healthy 20 per cent cut.
Of course, it’s not all pink bits. There is, for real, some celebrity PPV engagement. Rapper Tyga is one of the highest earners on OnlyFans, reputedly earning more than US$7 million a month by being on the platform. CardiB is also on there, as is former Kardashian associate Blac Chyna (who it’s rumoured at one point in 2020 clocked a whopping US$20 million a month in earnings.)
But the decision to ban the kind of content that made the platform a) famous and b) incredibly profitable (in June Bloomberg reported the company to be valued at US$1 Billion) feels shortsighted. Or at least, opportunistic. In the words of Cristal Connors, they took the cash, they cashed the cheque and gave the world what they wanted to see. Now it’ll just be birthday messages from Love Island contestants. Saucy.
Already content makers who use the platform are speaking out against the move, calling out the company for making bank off the wank then using the pull out method on them in the worst possible sense.
Onlyfans used sexworkers to build itself up. Now its cutting bait and leaving its workforce high and dry after taking in 12 billion in profit.
No protection for the laborers that propped up this flimsy site. Pathetic
— dAd (the A stands for acab) (@lexnstuff) August 19, 2021
Competitor JustForFans has already come out with their own statement saying this kind of treatment of adult performers is typical of corporations. JFF, which was launched by sex workers and managed by people within the industry, put it into no uncertain terms that JFF remains dedicated to helping you take a load off.
Our statement based on today’s news. pic.twitter.com/3PHKmkQ5qQ
— JustForFans (@JustForFansSite) August 19, 2021
But JFF isn’t quite the saviour they’re making themselves out to be either. Despite the bold statement of being a company founded by sex-workers this the inuendo they’ve got their best interests at heart, they’re takings are even higher than OnlyFans with a 30 per cent cut on all income earned by their members.
Of course, the timing of all this isn’t surprising even if it is sudden. Earlier this year a BBC investigation alleged that the video sharing site was still knowingly letting creators slide even though they were publishing illegal (underage) content on the internet. This issue isn’t solely with OnlyFans either – there’s been numerous documentaries investigating the profiting and distribution of illegal material across nearly every adult website including the so-called people’s porn, PornHub.
Is this the end of OnlyFans? Look, probably. And it also feels a bit inevitable. The website itself was originally intended to connect “celebrities” to their fans in a more intimate style to Cameo. It was only when Leonid “Leo” Radvinsky of MyFreeCams took a major stake into the startup that it became almost solely focused on sexual material.
But as they say, more to cum. Or not, as the case may be.