OnlyFans has Been Playing Footsie With us all Along
So that’s that, the shoe dropped and OnlyFans is dropping sex like the dirty, icky thing it is. In the end it’s quite a gamble for the company, when you consider that the company has paid out billions of dollars to creators, several of which earn over a million dollars annually, sex is what built the empire. The numbers are mind boggling when you consider that OnlyFans keeps 20% of what all of it’s creators earn. To say this announcement is seismic would be a bit of an understatement.
The company’s roots can be traced back to 2011 when Tim Stokely started a niche platform that focused on the BDSM and fetish market, allowing for the sale of direct content from the creators. The secure, reliable platform was the key, creating the marketplace and ecosystem was everything.
One can’t overlook that the dynamic of sexual content was changing with the advent of cell phones and other technologies that allowed the average guy or gal to produce content. It was a perfect synergy just waiting, the kindling was laid, and the spark was about to ignite a flame that would evolve from fetish content to superstars like Cardi B joining the platform.
It’s a bit of a David and Goliath story really, with OnlyFans in the David roll, gradually siphoning off users, content, and dollars from the porn industry. Porn and sex were liberated and democratized, and suddenly it became more personal when you could interact directly with a creator, and request exactly what you wanted. And the money flowed, and that’s when the trouble began.
Platforms flourished and some struggled to exist within Apple’s walled garden, the App Store, and it’s decided disdain for all matters of fleshly delights. In the past year or so we have seen platforms like Tumblr, PornHub, Patreon, TikTok and soon XTube succomb to the ever increasing pressure and liability of hosting, to certain degrees, unmoderated content. The minority that produced and uploaded illegal content has long been the bane of platforms that host sexual content; moderation and curation of content and creators became essential, from moral, legal as well as financial perspective.
In April of 2021 Mastercard, a major financial force updated their terms and policies, shifting the onus on platforms and banks to “ensure that sellers have documented consent as well as age and identity verification for those involved in the content before being able to process payments”.
Earlier in the year fisting and other ‘hardcore’ content began to disappear from the platform, and just recently all ‘public’ content was banned from the platform. When one of your major sources of cash flow says “All adult sites should be prepared for extensive KYC (Know Your Customer) compliance efforts to ensure that the operators are adhering to these expectations.” the game has changed, and what follows is inevitable as gravity. The shoe had dropped.
So where do things stand now? In October the ban starts on ‘sexually explicit conduct and content’ begins. The platform has announced that it will still allow nudity, of sorts and released a somewhat less than helpful guide as to what is acceptable nudity.
It would be an understatement to say that this is a cataclysmic event to sex workers and adult content. Many creators have spent years creating and curating a user base, for many their livelihoods are irrevocably altered. In a world so adverse to sex workers and adult content, the blows sometimes seem inevitable, and even perhaps insurmountable, and yet there is hope, there are alternatives. As history has shown us niche, need, desire and lust, and money have always found a way to flourish.
We’ll explore options for other platforms soon, we’re looking and gathering resources.
And as to that David and Goliath story, these two have learned not only get along but we’ve been afforded the opportunity to see lots more from some of our favorite mainstream models in far more intimate ways, and to show our financial appreciation. And we’ve seen OnlyFans creators evolve and transition into mainstream work. Unlikely bedfellows David and Goliath have become, we are left wondering if the porniverse will ever be the same? And what to make of that empty space under the covers as we watch OnlyFans leave without any chance of a goodbye kiss, or even a backwards glance.