[Writer’s note: All images used does not reflect the actual content created by the OnlyFans content creators interviewed. All names have been changed to ensure anonymity.]
For the unacquainted, OnlyFans is a subscription-based social media platform which has gained a label as a place for users to sell and/or purchase adult content.
Launched in 2016, the site recently saw a surge in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
An OnlyFans spokesperson told Vice in April this year that new signups increased by 75 per cent in the weeks leading up to the interview.
According to Huffpost, as countries around the world went into lockdown and businesses went bust, thousands of people turned to OnlyFans and other independent-creator platforms in hopes to make up for lost wages.
OnlyFans content creators post videos and photos to their accounts, which are protected by a paywall.
To gain access to the content, users have to pay a monthly subscription, with fees ranging anywhere between US$4.99 and US$49.99.
With that access, subscribers can also send direct messages and “tips” to get pictures or videos created on demand.
Recently, the platform has also been growing in popularity in Singapore, with more Singapore-based content creators on the platform.
Vulcan Post spoke to three OnlyFans content creators to find out more about the job and the stigma behind it.
It Can Be A Lucrative Career
OnlyFans has often been touted as a way to make a quick buck.
However, as with any other job, how much one earns on the platform is correlated to the amount of effort they put into promoting themselves and the content they put out, according to 20-year-old Jayinne.
The full-time university student declined to share her earnings, but said that some creators earn around S$500 a month, while “big creators” can earn up to S$20,000.
According to Angela, she earns an average of S$10,000 from posting content on OnlyFans each month.
The 27-year-old joined the platform in July this year, after being scouted by the OnlyFans Asia Team since 2017.
The content on her OnlyFans account is similar to that of her social media feeds — mostly bikini shots by the beach or during her travels to exotic locales.
She shared that her fans prefer authenticity rather than posed images, so she sometimes does selfie-style chatting videos to answer questions that they might have about her.
Besides posting on OnlyFans, Angela is also a content creator on Patreon, Kofi and other fan platforms, on top of holding her full-time job.
Like Angela, Candice also has a full-time job and treats OnlyFans as a way for her to earn additional passive income.
She signed up on the platform after she came across an Instagram influencer who managed to earn up to five digits each month from OnlyFans.
“Since I was already posing for photos in bikinis on Instagram and it was free for people to look at, I (wanted) to try and monetise it instead.”
The 22-year-old was initially uncertain if she would even be able to get subscribers, but “it took off pretty quickly” and she realised that there were people who were willing to pay to see her content.
Candice said that OnlyFans takes a 20 per cent cut of all earnings, and she earns an average of S$1,800 each month after the deduction.
While she noted that many creators put in a lot of time and effort to plan their shoots, concepts, and edit the images produced, she personally does not have a professional set-up for such purposes.
Hence, the content she puts is usually more “straightforward” such as selfies. However, she does however occasionally go for photoshoots with her friends for more variety in content.
She also stressed that she strictly does not post nude photos, and topless photos are censored. While her photos consist of mainly lingerie or bikini shots, she does send “more explicit” content on a pay-per-view basis.
This means that subscribers can only see the content if they pay the price attached to it.
Similarly, Jayinne’s photoshoots are usually spontaneous, but she also tries to look for different sets and locations for photoshoots.
Besides photos, she also puts up explicit videos and audio clips.
Not Everything Is Sexual On OnlyFans
OnlyFans is often misconstrued as a pornographic site, but not all content on the platform is of an explicit nature.
Even though it gained prominence for sexual content, the privileges of the platform has begun to appeal to users creating non-sexual content.
Musicians, actors, fitness enthusiasts and dancers are flocking to the platform. More recently, even popular American rapper Cardi B joined the platform.
Angela echoes the belief that OnlyFans is largely a platform for artistes of all kinds.
“OnlyFans is ultimately a locked content site despite its association with porn that came from a strange PR stance. Majority of its users include musicians, dancers and fitness trainers as well,” she said.
Candice also said that “there is a lot more to OnlyFans, even though it only blew up because sex workers turned to the platform during the quarantine period.”
Jayinne has also met a lot of fans who do not request for explicit content, but just want to have a chat.
“Not everything is sexual context on OnlyFans,” she said.
It’s Not As “Easy” As It Seems
Many might deem OnlyFans as an easy way to earn money, but being an OnlyFans content creator comes with its fair share of trials and tribulations.
The main concern is the stigma that these creators face in Singapore. Both Jayinne and Candice have hidden the fact that they post on OnlyFans from their families, who are not open enough to accept it.
Angela added that her concern with OnlyFans is “the response from Singapore’s conservative society, where age-old stereotypes are still rampant.”
However, the silver lining is that these three creators have extremely supportive friends and partners.
Candice shared that her friends are very supportive of what she is doing. Besides that, she has a boyfriend who is also “100% on board with it.”
Similarly, Angela’s husband is also supportive of her OnlyFans business.
Another issue is dealing with demanding customers.
For example, Candice has had subscribers who do not respect her boundaries and demand for more explicit content. Subscribers have also threatened to leak her content to the public if she did not do as asked.
However, besides the minority of demanding customers, all three creators agree that their fans are generally polite and cordial.
Furthermore, the Singapore OnlyFans community is tightly knitted, and according to Candice, everyone does provide assistance and advice to each other.
At the end of the day, despite the stigma and judgement, OnlyFans creators still have total autonomy over the content that they put out, and it can be taken as a way to monetise one’s online presence.
I have been viewed as a sexual object my whole life as a child, a teenager, a woman, an employee, a friend, a boss, a client.
Now, I am still sexualised but it is my own choice and on my own terms, for my own gain, benefits and pleasure. That is the core of female empowerment: choice.Angela, OnlyFans Content Creator
Featured Image Credit: Cosmo PH / Screenshot from OnlyFans