I’m sure for the most part, all of this sudden uproar surrounding potential policy changes at OnlyFans may seem like superficial fodder that only affects sex workers who use the pay-per-view network app to download their adult content. – but I can assure you that these questions are far from trivial. Regardless of which side of sex work is the most liberating or oppressive argument your views lean towards, the fact remains that sex work is real work and needs to be protected as such.
Now, I totally agree that sex work is undeniably a more unconventional industry for trying to create a sustainable way of life, compared to most ‘day jobs’, but that is. also undoubtedly one of the oldest professions in history. I mean, smallpox and white supremacy weren’t the only things pilgrims brought to the “new land”, they also brought prostitution!
A profession which, like so many others during the pandemic, had to discover new and innovative ways to engage their customers, while navigating our increasingly evolving list of restrictions. Only fans have quickly and quietly become sex workers’ ultimate asset to combat these extended midlife limitations, providing them with a platform to showcase their literal strengths! While paying taxes… these degenerates, I know, right?
While OnlyFans’ unprecedented success is really hard to explain, especially considering that this unorthodox business model is not unheard of (paid sites like Chaturbate, Flirt 4 Free, and Rent Boy do exist and create jobs. for sex workers for years), there is still an alluring freedom and an overwhelming sense of security that OnlyFans offers its users. With the pandemic seeing an upsurge in domestic violence and hate crimes against transgender and gender non-conforming women and folx (TGNC), who often turn to sex work not to get rich quick (as many who saw the rise of OnlyFans as a grab for money) , but for necessity or survival – the latter (security) is extremely vital and reassuring. Thanks to its popularity, sex workers no longer have to hide in dark alleys or dingy, smoky clubs. Like most things in demand these days, OnlyFans makes sex, or the illusion of it, instantly available for customers to devour the meticulously curated content at their own pace, from the comfort of their own homes.
A nearly unanimous shockwave turned into horror from content creators, subscribers and casual watchers, when the news hit the interwebs on August 19, the polarizing pop culture phenomenon announced that certain changes to their acceptable use policy (tentatively implemented October 1) would soon begin banning the posting of any new content containing sexually explicit conduct. Only fans, who had subsequently become a household name synonymous with gender, were now inadvertently trying to rename themselves without it? It is obvious that you are successful in life when you get a cry of the queen herself, Beyoncé, but honestly, who were they to thank for this insurmountable brand recognition?
In the words of ’80s rock / pop group Starship made famous, “We built this town!” OnlyFans has built its success on the backs of sex workers. The sex workers that OnlyFans might inevitably have to turn their backs on. As many scoff and target OnlyFans as the culprit of their own seemingly impending doom, I implore the folx to realize that there is a more sinister villain here lurking in the shadows – Patriarchy!
You heard me right “The Man” isn’t just trying to stop a few loose girls from showing off their strawberry washing machines (my niece’s code word for her vagina) all over the World Wide Web . Like the majority of censorship tactics in use today, it is absolutely and almost exclusively about establishing power, controlling money and enforcing politics.
What’s in your wallet? I bet you have at least one card or account from a major banking / processing company – these are the same powers that tried to force the hand of OnlyFans to implement the aforementioned changes. Only fans were left with very few options outside of compliance. I guarantee you they didn’t suddenly wake up deciding to abandon their loyal customers and their accompanying fans; this logic does not even make sense. Only fans are treated over $ 2 billion in sales last year only.
Some banking / processing companies refused to process subscription payments as long as sexually explicit content was uploaded to the site. Literally holding sex workers hard (no pun intended) made them money. Fearing the risk of not being able to pay any of their creators, OnlyFans rightly conceded. This is called an efficiency oligopoly – with a few large companies, everyone relies on the decision.
If you think this is all pornography, think again. Can we talk about the irony of banks refusing to process payments on moral grounds – it’s disgusting. They pimp us and it’s pure bullshit that a handful of companies have the power to decide what people can buy. They can simply play the role of judge, jury, and executioner, as almost every business today depends on digital payment processing. This is a patriarchal power game of harnessing the stigma of sex work, with the aim of dictating what other businesses may in fact exist.
At the moment, OnlyFans has suspended at the moment one of the proposed changes, but going forward it’s unclear how reliable they will continue to be. Can OnlyFans survive without sex workers? Not with these shady sneaky schemes that believe the best way to protect yourself from sexual exploitation is to force sex work back underground and unregulated. Can sex workers survive without OnlyFans? Ab-so-fucking-lutely!
This is why I continue to encourage all sex workers to distribute their content on multiple apps, so that they can have a continuous stream of income! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, this is real work, so feel free to invest in yourself like it’s your job, because it is! Build your own websites, get better cameras, pay off debt, and collaborate with other creators. To safeguard! To safeguard! To safeguard!
It’s a sexual revolution, enjoy it! And while they can try to kill the revolutionary (OnlyFans), they can never kill the revolution (the sex workers)! I don’t know which came first the chicken or the egg, but life itself cannot exist without sex. And sex will always sell! So as long as there is someone willing to pay for it, sex workers will be there to make the fantasy come true! Fight the power!
Phelix Crittenden is a local organizer and taste maker who spends her time advocating for mental health awareness, amplifying the voices of marginalized communities, and hosting socially responsible events (Purpose Parties) throughout Louisville. Phelix sees itself as the ultimate connector and aims to continue to connect people with the appropriate resources needed to elevate their personal / professional endeavors. Stay up to date on the latest events at PhelixPlease.com