For The Fans
We talked to a content creator about putting themselves out there online
We’ve never had more access to sexy content than ever before in human history - it's always just a swipe, tap or click away.
With that has come the move away from a studio-driven (and historically exploitative) industry, to individual creators dealing directly with audiences. We’re now being given a little window straight into the homes (and holes) of people we find sexy.
What does this shift look like for the creators who’re putting their bodies online for our pleasure?
We wanted to find out more, so we did some research and chatted to an OnlyFans content creator to see behind the scenes.
We've likely all seen this journey play out online in recent years: You notice a cute guy is starting to get a bit more love on their thirstier Twitter pics, then all of a sudden there's a new, sexier account (with a familiar-looking bod and no face pics) popping up - and that account has a bio link to a freshly created OnlyFans.
More power to them - if they can post some naughty content and make some doolahs on the side, then we say go for it. This is exactly how our friend, let's call him Anon, got their start and they're having a blast so far.
"I followed a few guys on Twitter that were successful [on OnlyFans] and I needed the extra money at the time, so I started one up after gaining a larger following on Twitter myself. I’ve always posted some naughty stuff and this gave me an opportunity to make a little cash on the side too.
"I love it, it's freeing being able to post whatever I want and not being judged for it. People are excited to see what I post and I know that fans enjoy it," he says.
How much money are we talking about here?
Could someone realistically fill their savings while filling their holes on camera?
Turns out, maybe!
Obviously, people's earnings will differ based on a variety of factors, including how much time is being dedicated to creating content - but Anon let us know that they can bring in $1,000 US (around $1,400 NZ) from their OnlyFans in a month.
As the name suggests, fans are a big part of the equation. They're the viewers, the bankrollers and the critics all wrapped into one. We wanted to know what this symbiotic relationship with fans looks like and how it affects content creators - Anon gave us a little peek behind the curtain.
"People are very vocal about what they want and what they’re into, which can be surprising at times but it all comes with the role/content produced! Also, people are paying for a service so I feel like it’s up to me to provide or they just won’t pay - supply and demand 101!
"I do wish people knew that making content isn't the only thing I do - I can't just be filming stuff 24/7 and replying to messages all the time, because I already have a full-time job," he says.
With internet fame in such a small community, there is the added reality of having only 2-degrees of separation here in Aotearoa. So, keep that in mind if you're thinking of getting in front of the webcam. Anon told us that one time a fan recognised him and contacted his real-life workplace to ask about his online work!
"I try not to put my face into too many shots (no pun intended) anymore. Someone has contacted my full-time workplace about filming before and it scared me into being a little more careful about filming.
"If I’m alone I don’t mind saying, 'Hi' [to fans] but I don’t want to talk about [my content]. It’s all online, so let’s keep it there. If I’m with other people I definitely wouldn’t want a fan to come up and speak to me because it's still on the DL, mostly."
That brings us neatly to safety.
What does safety look like for creators and streamers online?
If you are thinking about getting into online sex work, it's a good idea to know your rights and where to find advice about staying safe on the web. Netsafe put out lots of info on your right to safety online, preventing doxing/information theft, what you can do if you are getting harassed or trolled and where you can find support.
Next up is your identity. Are you comfortable being the "face" of your content? One of the few things we should probably be bringing over from the Studio industry is using an alias. You'll want to be super sure you're ready for your identity to be out there if you do use your real name - and even then, it gives the yuckier side of the web more info to potentially dox or track you down, so it's not recommended. Plus, who doesn't want a delightfully punny porn name?
Keeping your content safe is another aspect. Watermarks are a must - OnlyFans looks after that for you if you use their platform - as they make it easier to track down where content may have been stolen from. Then you can get it removed if some gross thief tries to take your hard-on work and share it themselves. We don't want any "Robin Hoods" when it comes to content - pay for your porn.
If you are performing with others, obviously keep HIV and STI prevention in the mix. You should all be testing regularly and figuring out what tools are going to work best for you in a scene - PrEP, condoms or U=U.
This also leads to an interesting point. Is stigma around online sex work fading? Anon feels that in queer circles it is, but it's different for hetero folks.
"My personal opinion is that gay men are more open (again, pun not intended) to anything sex-related because we have broken out of the conditioning that religion/society has put in place about sex being 'bad'.
"More people I know are becoming more sex-positive, and I find that the more conversations I have about sex, the more open people are about talking about it - it’s just about making it through the first hurdle where the other person is usually shocked to be talking about it in a non-dirty way or just keeping it hushed."
Whether this sounds like something you might want to pursue yourself, or maybe you are one of the fans sending some of your paychecks their way, the key is respect and safety for everyone involved.
Sexy content seems to have been changed forever but if there's one more thing Anon could see change again during their career, they want it to be this:
"Online sex work should be on the same level as any other work, and it will take lots of time and hard conversations to change people’s minds but I know that those conversations are worth having to remove all this negative perception around sex and sex workers."