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Does Onlyfans Empower or Exploit Young Creators?

Onlyfans is the Youtube of XXX-Content Creators who create almost soft-porn content to get a following and earn through monthly subscriptions to their exclusive content. This exclusive content includes almost-naked pictures or videos of them performing sexual acts individually or with a partner. The subscription cost varies from $4.99 to $49.99 monthly. Creators can also set up tips or paid private messages at a minimum of $5. Paid tips and personal messages can boost earnings and help creators engage their fans and build a loyal following.

Miss Swedish Bella is one of the top-earning creators on Onlyfans, even though she has a monthly subscription set to $6.5. She makes the bulk of her money through commissioned work via private messages. Business Insider reported that she earned around $100,000 monthly through her subscribers. However, she has to constantly make content seven days a week to maintain her level of earnings. She is quoted as saying,

"I would never advise someone doing it if they only wanted to do it like two days a week or something. It's not a part-time thing in your mind. You wouldn't make enough money."

This is a concern voiced by many sex workers in the industry since it is important to build a large following and audience to maintain the subscription counts. Moreover, it is also important to consistently produce content to turn a huge profit in their business.

However, Onlyfans is also a source of financial freedom for most sex workers and content creators, especially porn stars, who can have greater freedom and control over their content than a traditional production house.

Bhad Babie, or the Cash Me Outside Girl broke the internet when she earned $1,000,000 in subscriptions in only 6 hours of creating an account. Bhad Bhabie charges $23.99 per month for access to photos and videos on her OnlyFans page. Subscribers also are promised the ability to “direct message with this user.

However, it is not only rainbows and butterflies for content creators. Many of these creators state difficult working conditions and a low likelihood of success in the field. The average content creator has to gain subscribers gradually, constantly producing content whilst following up with anyone who engages with their work. As a result, content creators report that the rewards do not always match the time and effort spent – particularly during financial difficulties like the coronavirus pandemic. However, the most successful followers are celebrities and have a built-in following on Instagram and Snapchat, which they leverage to their OnlyFans.

Moreover, models also experience Low Self Worth as they place too much value on the perception of others, primarily males. One creator was quoted as saying,

“I started to hate the attention; it made me sort of narcissistic and hyper-aware of my appearance at all times, which had never been typical for me.”

Moreover, many content creators, especially those who have previously created explicit content, challenge the idea that OnlyFans is a tool for sexual empowerment. They state that selling semi-nude and nude pictures on the platform should not be romanticized. One creator was quoted as saying

"Nothing is empowering about showing your body to people for money. It’s a job, for Christ’s sake – it’s no more empowering than working at a grocery store.”

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