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TEAM ZOELLA MARCH 12, 2021

We Spoke to 4 People About OnlyFans

How does OnlyFans work for regular creators without a big name or following behind them? We spoke to 4 women about their experience on the site and got the juicy details you’ve always wanted to know.

Whilst you’d be forgiven for not having heard of OnlyFans before the pandemic hit, spending more time at home combined with a collective need for extra streams of income has seen the site go big time in the past 12 months. For those that have missed the OnlyFans hype and successfully nailed digitally detoxing in 2020 and beyond, OnlyFans is a content subscription service in which creators earn money from users subscribing to their page, in addition to one-off tips for custom content or solo interaction with a creator.

OnlyFans has become a “billion-dollar media giant” that’s on track for $400 million in annual net sales.

Whilst the site can be the home to content of any genre, be it exercise, music or beauty, OnlyFans has become synonymous with sex work, shaking up the industry and transforming the way women earn money. Since the pandemic began, OnlyFans has become a “billion-dollar media giant” that’s on track for $400 million in annual net sales. The site has seen its creator and overall user numbers triple to more than 1 million and 90 million respectively, and has well and truly made its mark on the Internet as an accessible way to generate money from the comfort of your own home. 

Despite an obvious disparity in wages amongst its 1 million creators, OnlyFans is synonymous with big cheque payouts and has a get-rich-quick identity following the success of celebrities and public figures on the site. One example of this is Love Island’s Megan Barton Hanson, whose subscriber count and engagement can make her up to £800,000 in a month. But how does OnlyFans work for regular creators without a big name or following behind them? We spoke to 4 women about their experience on the site and got the juicy details you’ve always wanted to know…

Maeve Moon

First up, Maeve Moon of @profit_from_trauma on Instagram. Maeve has a long history working in the adult industry including time in brothels, escorting, sugar babying and also training and working as a professional dominatrix. After leaving the sex industry behind, she now focuses her time and energy on educating younger generations on issues within sex work, including the “quick cash” myth of OnlyFans and healing trauma after sexual abuse.

What was your motivation to start OnlyFans?

Only Fans for me was my final attempt at ‘safe’ sex work. I started out in the adult industry as a Sugar Baby on Seeking Arrangements at 20, travelled to America, private mansion swingers parties, luxury spas and even dated an ex-felon turned celebrity. After about 9 months in the Sugar Baby world I realised I could make the same amount of money I’d make in a week from a sugar relationship within a day if I turned up an account on Adultwork and began escorting. 

I went ahead and it quickly transitioned into full time, high class escorting. I then moved into low class escorting, working in brothels and continuing with Sugar Daddy appointments and arrangements. I also provided a safe space for other sex workers to work within my apartment in London and receive 100% of their earnings, where as working in brothels you are lucky to get 50%.

I then trained as a professional dominatrix for 4 months at a private dungeon in central London with the London Dominatrix school, and then finally – OnlyFans. All whilst I was a student at University.

Maeve Moon

After the whirlwind of my life as an escort, sugar baby and domina, OnlyFans seems like the safest form of sex work I could be involved in. As I already had a solid 2 years of sex work behind me, I thought it wouldn’t be possible for me to find another job…

Sex work is an industry often still shrouded in taboo, is it something you have felt backlash for being part of from your immediate circle/friends/family? Have you had any awkward conversations with those close to you?  

Backlash has never been much of an issue. Most sex workers, if they’re open about the work they’re doing, usually have a good amount of confidence and so when the judgements come from others we don’t tend to be fazed.

The pity in their eyes was awkward for me because I always sat on my high horse as a prostitute and loudly exclaimed, I’d rather put a price on my own body than allow some large corporation to put a price on it and pay me peanuts for taxing mundane work.Maeve Moon

I think my top 2 most awkward conversations were when I let a client chew my nipples so hard they bled, as well as allowing him to pay me extra money to hit my naked body with a leather belt and then went straight to meet my friends for coffee. They all sat and watched me try to sip my americano whilst holding my boobs in a lot of pain and just carry on as if nothing had happened. The pity in their eyes was awkward for me because I always sat on my high horse as a prostitute and loudly exclaimed, “I’d rather put a price on my own body than allow some large corporation to put a price on it and pay me peanuts for taxing mundane work.” I had to pretend like I didn’t care, but they could all see I was in pain and trying to play it cool.

Another awkward experience I had was when I was working in a brothel in central Bradford, and I became very ill so I had to stay with my mother for a few days whilst I recovered. The pimp both dropped me off and picked me up from my mother’s house a few days later. This was right before Christmas and on Christmas Day itself my mother refused to do Christmas and I sat at the dining room table and cried as she told me how disappointed she was in me. Hoe hoe hoe…

How do you navigate maintaining healthy relationships and is it something you ever worry may impact a current or future partner? 

I did find this a difficult thing to navigate as a sex worker. Sometimes I just wanted to date a normal person who wasn’t paying me for sex, and who just wanted to spend time with me for me, and date me intellectually. However, I always told people what I did for a living as I was never ashamed, nor did I care what others thought, and this then almost set the precedent within their minds that I was fair game, easy and would sleep with me regardless.

What often ended up happening was I would just date clients, which looking back also didn’t work for me as they were mainly drug dealers or sugar clients in their 40s who wanted to have a family with me and always tried to convince me to ‘not’ be an escort anymore. 

Now as an ex-escort, but not ex-sex worker (I still struggle to leave Only Fans and intend to continue being a dominatrix), relationships going forward are still going to be difficult but in a different way. I will no longer hear the phrase from my Tinder dates “How can you possibly say you have respect for yourself and refuse to have sex with me when you literally sell your body to men everyday?!” – but instead face the reality of a lot of potential partners being afraid to sleep with me, either due to the common myths of a stretched vagina, being riddled with infectious diseases or a fear within them that they will be very inexperienced in comparison to my experience, and not be able to satisfy me. 

Alongside that, I have now seen humans in a different light altogether. I’ve slept with hundreds of men, and sold images and videos of myself to hundreds of people too, I am now no longer interested in sex. 

A funny thing happens within the mind of a human being who no longer wants for money and who also no longer wants for intimate connection and sexual partners. When you have both in abundance, you relieve yourself of the two most pressing wants and desires of humans. Going forward in looking for a relationship, I’ve found it hard to find someone who can connect with me on a level of mental intimacy, as that’s all I really crave- I don’t require the physical intimacy most people need in relationships.

Is there anything surprising or unexpected about creating OnlyFans content you wish more people knew about?

The energy exchange. This is something I was blind to when I began sex work and something I shout from the rooftops now. The energy exchange between you and a client, either online or in person is vital. The energy it requires of you, not only creatively and socially, but physically for the autonomic nervous systems to try to gate out and gage how safe a person, situation or environment is, is incredibly strenuous. In order to be a sex worker, you need to have other aspects, people and environments in your life that feed back to you the love, social energy and creativity you sell online. You need balance.

When you sell your energy for money but receive nothing back other than money from the industry, you will quickly realise that the money is not fulfilling. 

If money was no object, would you really like to do this with your life?Maeve Moon

This is why I strongly advise and implore young sex workers or people considering a career in the industry to ask themselves “if money was no object, would you really like to do this with your life?” – I ask this because if you genuinely love the work, if you ‘genuinely’ love creating content, talking to OF subscribers, clients, punters, people on cam sites etc, then the job will fulfil you as a whole and the money will be an added benefit, as is the same with many careers. But if there’s anything I’ve learnt from earning a lot of money in the industry and subsequently losing a lot of money trying to purchase happiness, it’s that you ‘must’ work for satisfaction, because when energy meets energy, that’s where happiness is. When love meets love, when social energy meets social energy, when creativity is met with applause and genuine admiration and appreciation, that’s where happiness is. When energy is met with money, a physical element, you can quickly begin to feel lost.

I believe that when we have sex with someone, we share a little bit of our soul with them, and we take on a little bit of their soul in return. The moment that changed my life and made me quit being an escort altogether was when I went on an Ayahuasca retreat and the Grandmother medicine showed me all of the souls I was carrying in my body from being an escort, all of the men I had slept with, and how traumatising it really was for me and how disassociated and damaged my yoni is. After that retreat I stopped it all. I gave up my apartment, all the money I was making, left escorting behind and started my community @profit_from_trauma so that I could educate people and potentially prevent anyone from doing SW for the reasons that I did, that being; trying to fill the hole in my heart from years of abandonment, abuse, homelessness and addiction with the money I could earn from SW. And instead, look within ourselves for that healing. Post Traumatic GROWTH.

Do you ever feel concerned that your OnlyFans presence could limit your future career opportunities outside of sex work?
You can find me on UK punting offering bareback sex to all and sundry, you can purchase videos of me having sex and stuffing lace panties inside of myself, as well as watch me give a foot job to a dildo and electrocute a man’s penis strapped to a table in a dungeon, you can probably still source me on Adultwork, so what does this mean for future careers? Well a lot of companies have a morality clause:

A morality clause is a term within a contract of employment that prevents the employee from behaviour that could bring the employer into disrepute, or is contrary to the ethos of the employer.

The morality clause typically allows for the employer to take disciplinary action, up to and including the termination of employment, against the employee if the clause is breached. Morality clauses are sometimes seen in high-profile positions, such as in the entertainment industry, or in religious institutions.”

If you decide to leave OnlyFans/Porn, there’s a strong chance an employer can deny you work. Maeve Moon

This means that if you decide to leave OnlyFans/Porn, there’s a strong chance an employer can deny you work. For me, the damage is done, but I want younger girls and anyone who’s thinking about doing OnlyFans or online sex work to really think about this. You can end up in a revolving door of trying to leave the industry, being denied work and returning to sex work to pay the bills. This is all part of the oppressive systems at hand, and until they change, we must take them into account.

An ex-client, who’s now a very good friend of mine once said to me: “however long you think you’re going to do sex work for, times that by 10, and then times that by 10 again” and he’s right. Once you’re in, you’re in. The money and the adrenaline of the danger is heavily addictive, you quickly realise very few other industries can even come close to paying you a ¼ of what you earn as a sex worker, you feel the empowerment of being self-employed and being part of badass tribe of independent women, but you quickly put a big red X on multiple jobs and occupations you can apply to in the future. 

A look to the future…

I wrote an online course called 15 Days of Introspection 4 months after I left the industry because introspection, along with the Ayahuasca retreat, is what saved me. I am also a coach and mentor, for current sex workers, sex workers who want to leave the industry as well as ex-sex workers who are suffering from trauma that occurred whilst they were in the industry. 

Within 15 days of introspection, participants take part in a 15 day video course paired with intimate self-enquiry zoom groups led by me or by one of my introspection tutors.

As a coach I can offer help with:

  • Sex work, be it current, past or future sex workers seeking guidance
  • Trauma from emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse
  • Trauma from homelessness
  • Addiction
  • Disordered Eating
  • Self-awareness/Introspection 
  • Self-healing, regulating the Autonomic nervous system (useful for people with PTSD of being a sex worker)
  • Goal setting and achieving
  • Music – Healing through songwriting

To connect with Maeve, you can find her on Instagram at @profit_from_trauma or visit her website www.profitfromtrauma.com to learn more about her work or book onto a course.

Charlotte

Next up we spoke to Charlotte (@arcticharl on Instagram and Twitter) who at the time of publication ranks in the top 0.4% of OnlyFans creators since starting out in sex work in 2017. She created her OnlyFans account in 2019, and was able to dedicate consistent time and energy to her page during May 2020.

What was your motivation for starting an OnlyFans account? 

I was asked on Twitter if I sell nudes – which I didn’t at the time – and so I started selling them via Twitter and then discovered OnlyFans so it made sense as the natural next step.

Have you always felt confident and open in discussing sex with those around you or has OnlyFans helped to make you feel more empowered in this way?

I always have but I think OF has definitely helped.

What’s something you wish you could tell your past self when starting out on the site?

Don’t undervalue yourself!

Do you work on your OnlyFans platform full time, part time or more as a hobby? 

I work full time (12-16 hour days), 7 days a week.

What are the best parts of creating OnlyFans content?

The main part of the job isn’t really making content, although people think it is. But I do like editing photos after I’ve taken them!

What are the downsides to creating OnlyFans content?

It can feel monotonous and like you’re doing the same thing over and over again sometimes.

Sex work is an industry often still shrouded in taboo, is it something you have felt backlash for being part of from your immediate circle/friends/family? Have you had any awkward conversations with those close to you?  

I have seen no backlash as a result of my job, which is how it should be. My friends and family all support me (as they should, it is a job just like any other)

How have you found the experience of sex work during a pandemic? It seems like the ideal role when you’re able to create content during extended periods of time at home, but have you found it hard to switch off or set boundaries?

Up until June 2020 I was making $1-2k a month and in August I started making $13k+Charlotte

I didn’t start putting a real effort into my OF until the pandemic hit. Up until June 2020 I was making $1-2k a month and in August I started making $13k+ so having all the time in the world to work has really benefited me.

Do you have a particular niche or identity on OnlyFans that you think sets you apart from other creators? 

I wouldn’t say so – I would consider myself a ‘soft alt’ girl next door.

Do you ever feel concerned that your OnlyFans presence could limit your future career opportunities outside of sex work? 

I really don’t like this question. First of all, I don’t think it should ever be assumed that sex workers see their job as a temporary thing. I intend on doing this for as long as I can and retiring early. I also don’t think it’s anyone’s business what I choose to put online, and I don’t want to ever work for anyone else again anyway so this isn’t relevant to me.

Is there anything surprising or unexpected about creating OnlyFans content you wish more people knew about?

Probably just the mass amounts of bizarre requests I get – but this isn’t news to me any more.

Have you picked up any new and unexpected skills since working on OnlyFans such as photography or videography?

Hahahaha absolutely not, I own a tripod now and I use a Bluetooth remote to take my photos but that is pretty much as far as it goes.

Do you think having a strong social media presence before starting your OnlyFans helped contribute to your success?

I used to think so but now, absolutely not. I have not gotten to where I am on OnlyFans from social media whatsoever, I do all my promoting internally.

Is there anything OnlyFans does as a platform that makes you feel safe and supported, or anything you feel needs to be implemented to improve this?

I wish I could use another platform, but OF is the platform with the highest volume of trafficCharlotte

Honestly, no. It’s a terrible website and I wish I could use another platform, but OF is the platform with the highest volume of traffic and where my subscribers are happy to be, so moving to another platform is not something I’m considering at this time.

Kaya Corbridge

Next up we spoke to Kaya Corbridge, a 24 year old OnlyFans creator who has made a total of £1.5 million using the platform. She has amassed over 30,000 Instagram followers, 50,000 Twitter followers and is currently within the top 0.4% of OnlyFans creators. 

What was your motivation for starting an OnlyFans account? 

I was a broke university student that couldn’t find a job. I had no idea just how life changing it would be at that current moment. 

Have you always felt confident and open in discussing sex with those around you or has OnlyFans helped to make you feel more empowered in this way?

Yes it certainly has made me more open. Nothing shocks me anymore. I have seen and heard it all … (I hope). I wouldn’t say I was not open about sex previously, it just didn’t come up in conversation as much before OnlyFans whereas now it’s around me all day every day. 

What’s something you wish you could tell your past self when starting out on the site?

Stick to your own rules and boundaries.Kaya

Be prepared. Stick to your own rules and boundaries. Remember you are your own boss and you don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. Don’t tell people what you earn because they will treat you differently. Your life is going to change forever- no going back. 

Do you work on your OnlyFans platform full time, part time or more as a hobby? 

I have worked full time on Onlyfans for almost four years now. I quit uni when I started to make 30k a month and it’s only increased since then. 

What are the best parts of creating OnlyFans content?

Playing around with photography and props- it can be a lot of fun so long as you have the right attitude. Themed content is your chance to show your uniqueness. Think Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween… all chances to be artsy and smart. 

What are the downsides to creating OnlyFans content?

Looking at yourself all day can be so damaging. You begin to see ridiculous flaws with yourself and it can make me very critical towards myself. Some days content just doesn’t flow – I could be due my period or on my period so I feel bloated/tired and not as much effort can be put in.

Sex work is an industry often still shrouded in taboo, is it something you have felt backlash for being part of from your immediate circle/friends/family? Have you had any awkward conversations with those close to you?  

No I thankfully haven’t. My family has known that I started Onlyfans from day one – it’s never been a secret. Just be honest with those you care about to avoid shock. 

How have you found the experience of sex work during a pandemic? It seems like the ideal role when you’re able to create content during extended periods of time at home, but have you found it hard to switch off or set boundaries?

Yes I struggled massively with this during the second lockdown; I found myself working for up to 19 hours a day. I didn’t move, some days I even forgot to eat. I lived by each hour- it was unrealistic of me to think I could carry on living like that so I began to find balance. 

Do you have a particular niche or identity on OnlyFans that you think sets you apart from other creators? 

I’m just an amateur creator. My content isn’t professional, it’s just me usually in my room taking personalised content for subscribers. My theme across my socials however is travel focused.

OnlyFans has given me the freedom to travel and work all over the world for the last three yearsKaya

OnlyFans has given me the freedom to travel and work all over the world for the last three years, as so many of my subs are invested in me for that and my solo travelling adventures as an OnlyFans girl.

Do you ever feel concerned that your OnlyFans presence could limit your future career opportunities outside of sex work? 

Yes I did at the start of my OnlyFans journey however as it started to grow I realised that so long as I’m smart with my money I’ll never have to work for anyone again. 

Have you or would you consider working in the sex industry in person or do you enjoy the dynamic of exclusively working online?

No, I could never do it in person. I feel like I’m too shy even though my close friends would say the opposite. I prefer exclusively working online because it’s less time consuming I believe. 

Is there anything surprising or unexpected about creating OnlyFans content you wish more people knew about?

It will feel like you’re repeating the same poses quicker than you think. I recommend using Pinterest for model/pose inspiration. Pinterest is great for finding inspiration. 

How do you navigate maintaining healthy relationships and is it something you ever worry may impact a current or future partner? 

No it’s not something I’m worried about. I am only 24 years young. I still have a lot more life to love before I start worrying about future romantic situations. 

Have you picked up any new and unexpected skills since working on OnlyFans such as photography or videography?

I can type extremely fast on a keyboard/iPhone. I can type with my eyes closed actually. I send out roughly 5000 messages per a day replying to all my subscribers one-to-one so it was a skill I acquired pretty quickly. 

My photography has certainly improved as I take all of my own content. I have never had professional shoots done or help from other people. I know my best angles and the best lighting spots without trying now. 

Does OnlyFans feel like a sustainable career for you long term?

I don’t believe age would stop me from earning – I’ll stop when the money stops. Kaya

I do know models in this industry who have arrived at OnlyFans previously from camming websites and are now some of the top earners on OnlyFans. I don’t believe age would stop me from earning – I’ll stop when the money stops. The sex industry is growing rapidly. Since OnlyFans popped up and I get invited to replica sites weekly. There will always be other/new platforms to use if need be/wanted to. 

Is there anything OnlyFans does as a platform that makes you feel safe and supported, or anything you feel needs to be implemented to improve this?

I think they could have better communications with creators as it’s noticeable at times when they send the same automated responses out. Live chat speaking with support would be an awesome feature. 

Mama Soothe [Anonymous]

Finally, we spoke to an anonymous OnlyFans creator who goes by the alias Mama Soothe on the platform about her experience on the site, namely the difficulties and misconceptions when it comes to money, finances and being able to survive on OnlyFans earnings as a small creator:

What was your motivation for starting an OnlyFans account? 

I started an OF account for the most basic of reasons, to make money. I kept putting the idea off, but there was one constant motivator…. TikTok. Every time I opened the TikTok app my For You Page would be full of people telling me about this easy way to make money. It wasn’t just OF, it was ALL sex work. Selling panties, fem dom, massages, sugar babies. You name it, I saw it. I couldn’t escape it, and these girls were making BANK.

Every time I opened the TikTok app my For You Page would be full of people telling me about this easy way to make money.Mama Soothe

They would show their accounts, their homes, their cars and I would be sending the videos to my best friend. Eventually, I caved and created an OF account. I wish I’d seen a TikTok about the fees of OF, or really the fees on any of these platforms. If you sell photos on OnlyFans for 3.00, they will take 1.20.  I do OF as a side hobby, so far I have made about 105.00 which is more than I had to begin with, so I’m thankful. To do this as a replacement for a 9-5, you have to put the time and money into it. It takes a lot of work. It isn’t glamorous either, talking with men and flirting with them constantly. Promoting yourself is also a full-time job. 

Sex work is an industry often still shrouded in taboo, is it something you have felt backlash for being part of from your immediate circle/friends/family? Have you had any awkward conversations with those close to you? 

I only have one friend that knows I have an OF and I would prefer to keep it that way.

What are the best and worst parts of creating OnlyFans content? 

The best part of creating content is being in complete control. Whatever you want to put out there, is on you. You can be as graphic or non graphic as you want. The worst part of creating content is when it starts to feel like a chore.  The fees of working on OnlyFans are not talked about enough, nor are the reversal charges. OF creators don’t want me to talk about it, because essentially more people can know about how to scam the OF content creators. This is a flaw in the OF system. 

Do you ever feel concerned that your OnlyFans presence could limit your future career opportunities outside of sex work? 

I believe OF could definitely limit me in my future career, even though my content on OF only shows my breasts. I am still trying to remain as anonymous as possible. While doing that, I also make less money. But it’s a sacrifice that is worth it.  On that note, nothing is sustainable forever. I think some women have definitely built a solid career that could last quite some time. For others, like me, this will not be a forever thing. 

How do you navigate maintaining healthy relationships and is it something you ever worry may impact a current or future partner? 

In terms of being honest with my partner, I will tell him. I’m single right now, but I would expect that kind of honesty from my partner so I will extend them the same courtesy and be honest with them. If they stay, they stay… If not, well life continues. 

People can screenshot or screen record your content and it will be out there forever.Mama Soothe

To conclude, sex work is work. It is difficult, it is time consuming and it can be life-changing in good ways and bad. People can screenshot or screen record your content and it will be out there forever. I’m in my early thirties and made this decision with heavy thinking, my advice to younger people aged 18 or 19… wait. Just wait just a little bit.

For many, OnlyFans has been a saving grace during pandemic life, creating an accessible platform through which users can generate income with little to no equipment, experience or long term commitment. But what is perhaps brushed to the side when hearing of the many financial success stories is the time required to reach this level of stability, along with the emotional energy and compromised privacy that you’re also signing up to when creating an OnlyFans profile. The site has been the point of debate many times as creators have been ‘doxxed’ (the act of publicly revealing private personal information about an individual, in most instances someone’s identity) by those that know them in real life, potentially jeopardizing jobs outside of sex work in the future and taking a huge toll on an individual’s mental health.  OnlyFans is an empowering place for women in so many ways, but the standout success stories are not the only experiences worth taking notice of. 

For support, charities and organisations such as SWARM (Sex worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement) and Maeve’s resources on www.profitfromtrauma.com offer safe spaces for information and mental health support for those within the sex work industry. 

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Melissa

Just WOW. This is an amazing article, I hope younger girls read this. So many different experiences and life perspectives.

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