Raise your hand if you’ve considered starting an OnlyFans account during the pandemic *raises hand*. Hello, and welcome to my TED Talk. From the Bella Thorne scandal (read: privileged celeb scam that appropriated and harmed real sex workers who actually make their living through the platform) to paramedic Lauren Kwei who was outed by the New York Post, online sex work has been a major topic of conversation over the last year or so. Although sex work has always been possible, platforms like OF have definitely made it more accessible to SWers and non-SWers alike during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You probably already know how OnlyFans can help pay the bills, because uh… it’s literally a job, but there are so many other reasons that folks might join. I interviewed five adult content creators to discuss how using a site like OF has helped them during the pandemic.
Oh, and before you drop your toxic thoughts in the comments section: Sex work is real work, and sex workers deserve the same rights and access to protection that all other working humans have. But we live in a world of judgy, power-hungry assholes who crave control over others and are full of hate and sexual shame, so here we are! I digress. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is if you’re a troll, GTFO.
Charyn Pfeuffer is an industry icon and absolute badass human who has written about sex, dating, and relationships for more than two decades (!!!). Then when the pandemic struck, she began calling, chatting, sexting, and swapping photos and videos with clients as a paid companion and confidante. But her work doesn’t stop there.
“One of the more satisfying surprises of doing online sex work during the pandemic has been working with Trump supporters seeking domination and humiliation,” says Pfeuffer. “As a super liberal human, I’ve been more than happy to craft degrading scenarios, then reallocate a portion of the money earned to ACLU, Planned Parenthood, BLM organizations, and during the election, Democrat candidates in swing states. It’s been a therapeutic outlet in which to channel my rage for Trump and the GOP.”
Folks, this is what a modern day hero looks like. (She notes that she can’t take credit for the idea, as a friend of hers pegs old white men and gives the money to BLM causes, but STILL. As she calls it, this “gives a whole new meaning to F*ck The Patriarchy.”)
Her activism doesn’t stop there, though. Pfeuffer also used her platform to encourage people to vote during the 2020 presidential election. “If people sent me a photo of their postmarked ballot, I sent them a free photo of my tits,” she says. “I got hundreds of responses from men, and to my delight, couples. Between this and making donations, online sex work made it possible to do some political good.” Charyn, on behalf of the entire United States of America, we thank you for your service.
Starting A Business
Before COVID hit, Rylee Rabbit was constantly on the go, modeling or hosting events in a different city every week. Then things changed. “When cities were shutting down and travel options closed, like many others, the outlook for my income looked doomed,” Rabbit recalls. But since people were bored at home with nothing to do, OF traffic increased and content creators cashed in. Literally.
“For a lot of models on OnlyFans, it really became a money maker and took a turn for the best,” Rylee recalls. Thanks to staying home more often and making her own schedule, she ended up hiring people to manage tasks she was handling on her own, formed an LLC, set up payroll, and is currently debt-free (!) with plans to buy a house in a few months (!!). Boss moves.
“It seemed like having a financial program and plan for retirement would never happen before OnlyFans came along,” she says. “Now, in one of the biggest economic downturns of our time, my income is surpassing [that of] people I looked up to on a financial level. OnlyFans has expanded my brand on another level and made it easy for me to finally say that I’m successful.”
A Creative Outlet
Laurin, aka Another Bi Gemini, started an OnlyFans account in May 2020. “I wanted to create one because I wanted to express my sexuality in a new way that felt empowering and liberating,” she says. “I was going through a divorce in the middle of a global pandemic [and] just wanted an expressive outlet that was fully mine to create.”
She recalls she was super hesitant at first because she was newly divorced, is queer, a mental health therapist, and a mom. And because of the f*cked up stigma toward sex workers that’s polluted the air we breathe, she was also worried about what people would think of her. Ultimately though, she said “f*ck it” and put herself first, and it was 100% worth it. “Now I’m enjoying making the content so much that it doesn’t matter,” she says. “I’m going to keep making content because it’s become a creative outlet and a form of self-love.”
ThatBadTeacher is an elementary school teacher working from home by day and an OnlyFans content creator by night. “A few years ago, I discovered the BDSM/kink lifestyle and it completely changed my world,” she says. “Since then, I’ve been working on sharing everything I’ve learned about it outside of my school hours.” Instagram had been her platform of choice but the new trash (read: harmful) terms of service as of December 2020 make it so much harder for sex educators and content creators, like her, to publish content or do their jobs virtually without facing shadowbans or actual bans. So she made the switch over to OF and has been having the time of her life ever since. “Not only am I able to freely express this huge part of myself, I’m able to create a community of supportive like minded individuals and be an outlet for them as well,” she says. “So far, my experiences with users have been nothing but respectful, supportive, and kind. I’ve even received a few tips and extra financial support through there, which is honestly just touching considering how everyone’s jobs seem to hang in the balance, including mine.”
Talia* created an OnlyFans account after she was laid off in March. She never publicly posted about her account and has since stopped creating content, but she privately sent her link to folks who fetishized her weight on Tinder. “It’s an amazing outlet and I did really enjoy it,” she says. “You fully control the content you post regularly and charge for what you feel necessary. It also inspires a lot of confidence knowing that people are willing to pay for photos of someone like me, who has, in my opinion, never been a typical ‘pretty girl.’ It was fun!”
From finding self-love to supporting important movements like BLM, sites like OnlyFans can offer way more value to its users aside from making money and paying the bills. Seems like the only potential con to using these platforms is dealing with the stigma toward it. I’m hoping the stories of these badass content creators can help to remove some of it and showcase that they deserve respect and praise for the hard work they put in to bring us pleasure during this sh*t show of a year (and always). Oh, and one more time for good measure – raise your hand (or drop a comment) if you’re still debating starting an OF account. *raises both hands*
*Name changed to preserve anonymity.