What the Unique Engagement on OnlyFans Says About Sex and Society

In the last seven months, OnlyFans creators posted over 200 million pieces of content, a 58% increase in new material compared to the same period as last year.

While adult content and sex itself are controversial and surrounded by stigma, OnlyFans is a booming platform growing exponentially. The immense success of OnlyFans could indicate a society moving toward a more sex-positive culture, but others see its popularity as a sign of rampant perversion.

The adult site has grown to encompass more than 2.1 million content creators, serving more than 210 million registered users. Clearly, there is both a demand for this type of content and a willingness on the part of many to create and share sensitive material.

The Dynamic Between Creators and Customers

Unlike sites like PornHub, OnlyFans fosters a direct connection between the creators and customers, making it a standout experience. This is a major draw to the platform for many customers, as they can interact with the creators they lust after.

Matthew Schubert, a mental health counselor at Gem State Wellness, explains, “Despite the accessibility of free alternatives, consumers are willing to pay for adult content on OnlyFans due to the distinctive relationship cultivated between creators and their audience. This unique connection becomes a driving force that entices both creators and consumers to actively participate in the platform’s ecosystem.”

Most online platforms that help people generate income utilize advertisements. OnlyFans has a direct creator-to-customer system, fostering stronger, albeit sometimes dangerous, relationships between the creators and users. It allows creators to curate loyal fanbases, giving them an almost celebrity status.

Schubert says, “OnlyFans has effectively decentralized the role of sex work, providing sex workers with an unprecedented level of control. They now wield greater authority over crucial aspects such as pricing their services, shaping their privacy protocols, fostering audience engagement, and delineating the nature of the work they choose to undertake.”

This high level of control is one of the benefits that draws so many creators to the platform. Wage stagnation and low minimum wage rates are out of most people’s control, but OnlyFans allows creators to set their own prices and take control of their income. The strong relationships built between creators and customers strongly influence the rates a creator can charge, and the more fans someone has, the more money they can earn.

Emancipating or Degrading?

A big question that comes to mind when discussing the relationship between OnlyFans creators and users is: Does OnlyFans empower or debase content creators?

There can be a common misconception, especially amongst more conservative or sex-negative people, that sex workers like OnlyFans creators “need to be saved,” or only do the work they do out of desperation. While this is true for some sex workers, for many content creators, being paid for expressing their sexuality while having fun is a dream.

In today’s society, there are issues with women being nonconsensually sexually objectified. Sex work and adult content creation can easily be seen as objectification, but the distinction comes from the individual’s willingness to put themselves on display.

Creating content on OnlyFans can be degrading, but for many OnlyFans creators, the work is empowering and uplifting while also being lucrative.

And that’s not even taking into account literally hundreds of OnlyFans creators who do not make or promote material that’s not safe for work. Seeing it as a more reliably controlled monetization alternative to Instagram or TikTok, many influencers have flocked to OnlyFans to promote their entertainment, fashion, beauty, cooking, and fitness careers.

The Risks vs. Rewards

OnlyFans creators may experience sexual and bodily empowerment, along with impressive financial gains, but this type of work also comes with inherent risks. While there are ways to mitigate the risks of being an OnlyFans creator, the only guaranteed way to avoid the associated dangers is not to use the platform.

Many OnlyFans creators, although not ashamed of what they do, prefer their work not to be seen by certain people in their lives. Some OnlyFans creators go to great lengths to conceal their identity to prevent their family members, friends, employers, and sometimes their significant others from discovering their OnlyFans account. Operating an OnlyFans account can lead to real-world consequences, such as losing a job, significant other, or family support.

Aside from the fear of being doxxed or discovered, OnlyFans creators also risk reaching unstable individuals who may become obsessed with them, leading to harassment or stalking. The familiar communication between creators and customers, discussed above, is a driving force in this problem.

Even creators who do their best to conceal their faces and not mention any personal details are at risk. The internet is a scary, dark place; the most determined individuals can track down creators using even the most minute information. One deranged fan broke into an OnlyFans model’s attic and lived there for days, sneaking out to take photos of her while she slept.

OnlyFans influencers can also be the victims of identity theft. When they post numerous photos and videos of themselves, it makes it easy for fraudsters to use these images on OnlyFans or other sites for their own financial gain or twisted game. People will use OnlyFans influencers’ images to create profiles and accounts on sites such as Tinder, Hinge, or Fansly. Not only is this dangerous for the creators, but it leads to scams that target users.

The risks for OnlyFans creators are significant, but their customers also face the danger of being targeted by OnlyFans scams. There are romance scams, phishing scams, money request scams, and guilt-tripping scams, in addition to identity theft scams. Users also risk their credit card information being stolen via the site.

While the site can have many benefits for creators and users, it can also be sinister and dangerous when abused.

A Nation of Perverts or a Sex-Positive Society?

Sex positivity and perversion are by no means synonymous. As a society, sex has always been a layered and complex topic. Intercourse is an inherent aspect of the human experience, but for centuries, groups have rejected open conversations surrounding sex.

To say that society is woefully perverted because of the success of sites like OnlyFans implies that there is something inherently wrong and immoral about sex.

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 6% to 8% of American adults could be considered sex addicts, so perhaps society is moving toward an unhealthy attachment to sex. However, the line between sex positivity and sex addiction is blurry, and sex addiction recovery can even be considered a form of sex positivity.

Whether or not society is becoming perverted depends on the current attitude toward sex, which is constantly evolving and changing. The answers vary, depending entirely on who’s being asked.

What is undeniable is the importance of sex positivity, as it creates a safer world. Sex positivity challenges the restrictive attitudes toward sex set out by the patriarchy, destigmatizes sex work, educates and emphasizes the concept of consent and communication, encourages sex education, and normalizes the LGBTQ+ community.

While OnlyFans may make some uncomfortable, causing them to label participants as perverts, the platform represents society’s growing acceptance and openness surrounding the topic of sex.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.