As of October 1, 2021, OnlyFans — a website popular among sex workers — will effectively ban sexually explicit content. According to a statement released on Thursday, the policy change comes at the request of the company’s banking and payout partners. Allegedly, content featuring nudity will still be permitted, provided it’s consistent with the new Acceptable Use Policy. The ban comes as a devastating blow to the amateur sex work community. Here are the details about this recent announcement.
How it started
OnlyFans is a live streaming platform synonymous with amateur porn, although it wasn’t built intentionally for sex work. The original idea behind the site’s inception is to connect creators (predominantly on Twitter) with their audience, cutting out the middlemen and facilitating easy payments. When using OnlyFans, viewers can tip a creator directly, subscribe to content, or pay by the view. The platform went public in 2016, and today, OnlyFans claims to have over 130 million users.
How it’s going
Without a doubt, the majority of the content on OnlyFans is amateur porn. For some business models, this would equate to obvious success. Unfortunately, not for OnlyFans. Despite the incredible growth, the company has struggled to attract investors. Sex may sell, but it can also seem too risky for business. Similar to challenges faced by the cannabis industry, investors have listed concerns like:
- The risks associated with gray market content.
- Preventing access and use by minors.
- Damage to partnering brand reputation.
- Bureaucratic red tape. Some venture capital funds are prohibited from investing in adult industries.
The ban is reminiscent of Tumblr’s pornography ban in 2018. Previously a haven for marginalized youth to explore their sexual identity, Tumblr sold for 1.1 billion in 2013 before the ban and reportedly sold for just 3 million in 2019.
The Blow to the Amateur Porn Industry
People usually get into the sex industry for two reasons: They are horny and have been for a while, or maybe they have a neglected kink. Plus, extra cash never hurts. Or, they need cash. The latter reason seems to be the easiest and best option.
Some of the most vulnerable people in the sex industry are doing it because they need the cash. If the primary motivation is money, boundaries can be flimsy. It’s imperative to have a solid, healthy structure for new sex workers, especially when their focus is financial. When it came to amateur porn, OnlyFans provided a way for the average person to enter the sex industry and control the entire experience. Most people would have no idea how to begin a porn career, but OnlyFans made it easy to break into the industry. Thanks to this recent announcement, many amateur pornstars are now facing the impending loss of their livelihoods.
Where to now?
Do you use OnlyFans? Does this change mess with your life? Be not dismayed because there are other options out there. Here are some alternative adult creator platforms.