the good, the bad, the unfiltered truth from a non-explicit OF girl
Just over a week ago I jumped head first into the deep end of a world I really knew nothing about, OnlyFans.com. If you know what this site is then i'm sure there was already a slew of opinions and thoughts that ran through your head the moment you got to the period of my first sentence. If you don't know anything about it, OnlyFans is a subscription based content creation platform that made a huge splash in pop culture because of its ties to nudity and explicit content. Right off the bat, this is one of the most controversial platforms that exist in our world today. So just as any other rebellious millennial, I of course had to press the "red button" and join. Its been one week, and I've learned more and accumulated better stories than the last 10 years of instagram and facebook combined.
OnlyFans isn't unique in their concept of creators making money from posting or for charging a subscription fee, other sites like Patreon and Twitch have similar concepts. But let's be real with each other, suggesting one of those sites is usually a response to shield someone from the backlash of being on OnlyFans and not because it is the better financial opportunity. The porn industry holds more power than people will credit and or even realize, even with that incognito window open, the numbers don't lie. Since it's mostly made up of private firms, no one can confirm how much money the industry is bringing in economically, but what most news sources can confirm; it's definitely a multi billion dollar industry, most likely around 15 billion. That means it has a higher economic impact in the US than companies like Netflix, NBA, & even the NFL. Kinda mind blowing right?
Most of the articles available on the first page of a google search show you stats and data from around 2016. When we stop and even consider the digital and internet developments we've seen in the last four years, the increase of talent and content quality, the competition between platforms and networks, the ease of ability to spend money online, and then add a global pandemic that locked everyone at home. It's pretty safe to assume that the porn industry is sitting on quite a few pretty pennies. So if theres billions of dollars up for grab, why are more people not joining in and normalizing this type of work?
Ah, yes. I think I have a possible answer. Super simple, nothing fancy, no drawn out explanation or sales pitch. It comes down to shame.
Currently right now, there are countless of creators that exist on sites like OnlyFans, with no explicit content. However, those people, like myself, still receive degrading comments, backhanded compliments, disrespectful remarks, and so much more. So where does that come from? If the content isn't explicit, why are we still being shamed? Do we have perhaps have different definitions of explicit?
The cool thing about growing up in the US, is the whole the land of the free thing; free to express yourself as you choose, as long as it doesn't harm yourself, anyone else, or impinge on anyones rights. I think the perfect slang for this is "no harm, no foul" (well that was supposed to be the idea.. right?). The really uncool thing about growing up in the US, is that the standards of beauty, achievement, success, failure, respect, appropriate behavior, life path benchmarks, EVERYTHING is subjective, and EVERYONE has an opinion. As a kid this can be wildly conflicting. For example, I was a gymnast who spent most days in and out of the gym in a leotard for the first two decades of my life, it was never considered risque, until one day I was 12 years old walking down the street I lived on, when I was catcalled by a much older man. I did the first rational thing I could think of and asked the nearest adult to me why that was happening, the response?
"well if you're going to dress like that in public, then you're going to have to expect some comments, just ignore it."
I was 12 years old.
There was nothing different about my choices from 3 years old to that exact moment. I just woke up one day and the world treated me a little differently and I was completely unprepared. You see, theres no guide book for when we start puberty about all the "unspoken" societal rules, norms, expectations, and what could potentially happen to you when you walk outside. Depending on your home life, religious affiliation/upbringing, or environment period, these rules change and vary. Someone who grew up in a predominantly religious household may have clothing rules established in their religious text that is upheld by the family, church, and community. Those rules look a lot different than someone who grew up in a house without the same religious influence and a more progressive outlook on women and society. Either way, women were taught from the first moment possible that society says the way they dress is a visual representation of respect and they are entirely responsible for it.
Fast forward to a long story short moment, what i've learned thus far in my twenty something years, is that modesty does not equate to respect and to say otherwise is a load of bullshit. Most of my life after puberty hit has been a constant battle of figuring out how to carry myself in the world. I spent all of my schooling being deathly afraid of violating the school dress code. The thought of going home to my parents to tell them I got in trouble for wearing something inappropriate was supercharged with shame. Not that my parents ever even cared, my violations were usually regarding spaghetti straps or showing too much shoulder. (yup. thats right, too much shoulder. pausing to roll my own eyes into the back of my head). An authority figure in one of the most developmentally important parts someones life was telling them that showing shoulders was inappropriate and disrespectful, yet couldn't tell you an actual reason why outside of it being "distracting".
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO TELL ME THAT MY SHOULDERS ARE DISTRACTING.
Sorry for yelling. Well to be honest, not really. I am so fired up about this because it's absolutely absurd. We taught an entire generation of children to be afraid of showing their skin and justified horrible things like rape because we were told the boogie man is waiting for the moment he could see two inches above the knee caps or catch a glimpse of our collar bones. We have a huge issue of sex violence in this country and preventing it starts with this exact type of thing; normalize showing skin, normalize the human body especially women's, normalize sex work, normalize self expression, start holding people, including ourselves, accountable for gossip, catcalling, disrespect, degrading comments or anything along those lines and you will see an entirely different culture. The girl who's posting an instagram picture in a bikini is not taboo, sending her photo in a dm to another friend to gossip about is fueling the shame fire, and even if she was topless, who does that really effect? It's actually normal in many other countries for women to not wear tops to their bikinis. And don't even get me started on the chaos created by boudoir photos, even if the bra set covers the same amount of skin as a bikini.
To say there are double standards, doesn't begin to encompass how messy things really are. Unfortunately the burden of realizing this means that I can't sit here and wait for someone else to create change, I must be a part of the change, we all must be the change. For such a large scale problem like sex violence and cultural shame, it was overwhelming to figure out where I could possibly fit in all of it and do something that matters and then it hit me. Everyone was popping off about this site and memes about the girls on it were starting to go viral. We laughed at the girls who used this type of work to supplement income in a global pandemic that left about 13.55 million Americans unemployed. Yet somehow these girls and this site are making more money than imaginable, so it has to mean the same people fueling this shame culture, are some of the same people buying into it. I wanted to see for myself.
So here we are, one week-aversary of debuting my OnlyFans account. At first it was really challenging to get over the ownership of what I was doing and navigate how to do it. I have an instagram platform of about 14k and the intrusive thought of the gossip or commentary I would get after announcing what I was doing was enough to make me sick. The first round of messages that said "just making sure you still respect yourself and aren't selling your goodies online" were enough to send me into a full fit. Then once the burn from ripping the bandaid was gone and I settled into this new character mode I created, I was able to actually experience things and it's effing awesome to say the least.
I have spent the last two decades of my life training and perfecting my acrobatic skills and hyper focused the last ten working towards my ideal aesthetic. This week was the first time that I have ever received any real type of compensation for those skills and for all the work that goes into it. I dreamed my entire life of being a performer and in the midst of a pandemic I found a stage. Don't get me wrong, I love coaching more than almost anything in life and is my full time career, but there is nothing that compares to knowing someone thought my handstands were cool enough to pay 8 dollars to see. Even if people only subscribed to my page because they thought I was hot; one, thats a huge compliment to all the work I have put into my fitness and a round of applause for my mama, but two, i've been watching movies my entire life for the soul reason that the actor was hot. This week has truly opened my eyes to the grasp that fear (both real and imagined) has on all of us and how it can truly prevent us from some pretty awesome things in life without us even realizing. I was so unbelievably empowered by this, that here I am writing an article about it. Taking ownership of yourself, your content, and your body is one of the most empowering feelings in the entire world. I will stand here and advocate for anyone who chooses to do the same. I'll scream it from the mountain tops or maybe just the viewing deck at the Empire state, women are awesome, skin should be respected, and content creators should be paid for their work, period.
Stay tuned for next weeks update of life on Onlyfans.
All the Love🖤