Lonely men have become a lucrative source of income for webcam models on OnlyFans selling adult content. Which is surprising, given the amount of free pornography already available on the web. What is the psychology behind OnlyFans’ popularity? Let’s dive into the x-rated world of OnlyFans…
What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans allows anyone to put a paywall on their content. For a subscription fee of between 5 to 20 dollars per month, you get access to videos, photos and audio, you won’t find on any other social media. On top of that, for a small fee or tip you will get access to personalized videos, direct messaging or more revealing content. And although there are some content creators that share cooking recipes or fitness tips, the platform is dominated by adult content. Behind the paywalls of OnlyFans lies a world of exclusive x-rated content. But with so much free pornography on the internet, why would anyone give a dime on OnlyFans?
The Popularity of OnlyFans explained
Unlike social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, OnlyFans allows for explicit nudity on its platform. This makes it a popular choice for sex workers who want to generate an income online.
Compared to the traditional porn industry, OnlyFans puts more power into the hands of the webcam models. They have full control over their account and therefore more control over their body. They decide what they share, when they publish and they can set their own prices. In that sense, it is more comparable to being a freelance, independent prostitute instead of having a pimp doing your management.
The global pandemic has boosted OnlyFans’ popularity to a new height — or should I say climax? In times when everyone is stuck at home with less social interactions, people are desperately looking to be entertained.
And what do guys do when they get bored?
2020 saw a massive growth in interest, especially after many countries announced lockdowns and introduced remote work. And with PornHub recently deleting over 80 percent of its videos, following allegations of hosting child abuse content, OnlyFans saw one of its main competitors get a good spanking. This allows OnlyFans to become even more popular in 2021 and beyond.
The Mystery of OnlyFans’ Succes
The audience of OnlyFans are predominantly male. Many of these men get excitement from looking at sexy female creators who share arousing intimate videos. But compared to free adult sites like Pornhub that also host intimate videos, OnlyFans offers more.
For a small fee, you get access to exclusive content that you will not find elsewhere. To get you to pay for this content, OnlyFans borrows popular gamification elements and dopamine hooks from other social networks, games and casinos.
When you click on someone’s account on OnlyFans, you can see the number of posts and subscribers, but no further details. Once you subscribe, the posts with provocative titles become visible, but some of them are still blurred out. Paying an amount of generally $5 to $20 will unlock these videos. Your mind starts to wonder what’s behind the veil, and your imagination takes off. At some point you cannot take it anymore and you want unlimited access, and decide to pay the required amount. Once you pay for the content, you literally become more invested, also on an emotional level.
More than 2 minutes of pleasure
This is a sharp contrast with free porn sites like Pornhub, where all mystery is immediately revealed. If you want to know what is in a video, you can hover on the thumbnails and already see various explicit shots. In some videos, sexual acts are identified and labelled on the video’s timeline, so you can easily skip to the section of your liking. This makes for an efficient user experience, but also leaves little to your imagination. All tension and wonder related to sexual activity is reduced to skipping to the fun part and getting instant gratification.
It takes more effort to get the content you crave for on OnlyFans, but when you do, you value the reward more.
“The top 1% of accounts make 33% of all the money. The top 10% of accounts make 73% of all the money.”
~ Research by XSRUS
How OnlyFans girls make you fall in love
Many of the successful creators on OnlyFans, also have a huge following on Instagram or Twitch. On these platforms, they generally share more distant and less revealing pictures. And if you would slide into their DMs, it is unlikely they will respond.
But on OnlyFans, the viewer is acknowledged. In their posts they make it seem like they are talking directly to you, creating a feeling of intimacy. They respond to DMs, no matter how dull your message is. You don’t need to make yourself interesting to get attention. Give a small tip, and she will make you feel special. It is sure a lot easier than Tinder where a lot of girls would’ve simply let you on read.
Playing games with you
Additionally, many girls on OnlyFans have predominantly male interests like gaming, basketball or golf. Of course, some of these girls might be genuinely interested in these topics, but their share is significantly higher than you would see on dating apps. This makes it easier for the men to speak to her, because he can simply strike a conversation about stuff that interest him, like playing video games. It may have been hard for Sheldon to find a girl in real-life who was interested in his never-ending stories about Overwatch’s hit registration and offensive tactics. On OnlyFans Sheldon finds multiple women who not only play his favorite game, but also send him nudes and sexy videos.
He has found his perfect long-distance girlfriend. The only thing he has to offer in return is money.
Harmful Impact on Social Connections
OnlyFans offers social connections for people who would normally have a hard time striking a conversation with women. The perfect cure for loneliness in times of a global pandemic, where we already get to see less people. Whenever you feel lonely, you just open your browser and instantly get all the attention you crave for. There is no need to feel uncomfortable or risk being rejected, for a small fee that’s all gone. It takes away the challenge of relating to other people and the time it takes to invest in social relationships. Why even bother interacting with people in real-life, when this safe online environment saves you all discomfort?
This train of thought can turn out to be very harmful. Instead of striving to become a more likeable person with good character traits, you can pay a little bit of money and not change. In interviews with OnlyFans members, several users have stated that at some point they preferred to go online than interact in real life. This not only hurt their chances of walking into their soulmate at a bar of bus stop, but eventually also hurt their friendships.
Creating and maintaining genuine relationships with people will be slower and cost more effort, but is ultimately more rewarding. Trying to get close to someone you cannot get close to, will never beat a close romantic relationship. You miss out on intimacy, hugging, kissing and countless handjobs by hands other than your own. And it saves you some of your hard-earned money.
Companionship comes at a price
Many of the creators on OnlyFans create the illusion that there is personal connection with the viewer, and this is were it gets dark. Sex workers are profiting from — and in some cases intentionally preying on — lonely, unhappy and mentally unstable men. How these sex workers manipulate men into thinking there’s more than just arousing content, is detrimental to their well-being.
Lonely men are stimulated to give in to their horniness and may develop an addiction to explicit content. This argument also stands for regular porn sites, but with OnlyFans there’s also the feigned ‘personal’ connection. It is precisely this connection that bothers me the most. Lonely men on the edge of depression, might easily fall for the companionship that the models offer and substitute real connections for the ones they pay for. OnlyFans offers a form of guaranteed attention that cannot be found in real life. Some users even become obsessed with the models that are out of their reach. Creators on OnlyFans who prey on these unstable, lonely men are immoral and doing psychological harm.
Users send comments in chat that they would never utter to a girl in real-life, because they are anonymous and ‘invisible’. In turn, the girl is more likely to let it slide, because she does not want to let her following down and risk her income. In a society where women are already objectified, the absence of feedback on disgusting remarks add to perverted social standards.
The downside of exposure
OnlyFans not only has a detrimental psychological impact on its Fans, but also its creators.
Opening an OnlyFans page is a risky enterprise. Girls growing up in a conservative environment often have to spin a web of lies to keep their account undiscovered. When the word gets out that they are on OnlyFans, they start to lose people close to them. Their family generally dislike their profession and friends do not want to be seen with a ‘prostitute’. They face difficulty finding a relationship, as not many people would want to date a girl every guy already masturbated to. Once their employers find out, they might also lose the job that was paying their bills.
And also online, it is not all joyful to put your body on display. Webcam models have to endure harmful online comments and slut shaming on a daily basis.
Plus once you put your nude pictures out there, you cannot take them back. You will never regain your privacy. And there’s always the risk that someone else will leak your content for free, effectively destroying your business.
And what if people lose interest or your beauty wears off? Will it be possible to find a regular job?
With over 90 million registered users and around 200.000 new users a day, OnlyFans is growing fast. The company will generate a revenue of more than $2 billion in sales this year, according to its founder and CEO Tim Stokely. OnlyFans takes a 20% cut for hosting, payment processing and other costs, but 80% of the revenue goes to the webcam model. This share is much lower than the industry standard of about 50%, so this seems like a fair deal.
With so many users and a fair margin, starting your own OnlyFans account must be quite lucrative?
Yes, but only for a few.
Famous people who already had a large following on other social media seem to fair well. The record is held by Bella Thorne, when she earned over $1 million within 24 hours of joining the platform in August 2020 and more than $2 million in less than a week.
But before you unzip your pants and let your genitals swing in front of your webcam, you should know almost all money is made by top creators. XSRUS calculated that the median pay per creator is about $136 per month. “The top 1% of accounts make 33% of all the money. The top 10% of accounts make 73% of all the money.” So profits on OnlyFans are distributed very unequally. And in order to make content for the platform, many creators need to invest in a decent camera, microphone and lighting equipment, effectively making most accounts lose money.
The person making the most money from OnlyFans, has never uploaded any nudes:
CEO Tim Stokely.
Melody, your virtual lovemaker
There is another threat to the revenue of models on OnlyFans, because there’s a new girl in town.
Well, sort of.
Meet Melody. A virtual 3D-avatar that hosts titillating live streams. This fully animated character is voiced by a real woman and is willing to fulfill all your sexual desires.
If you doubt whether there are guys out there that would masturbate to an anime character, you are in for a surprise. On February 7, 2020, Projekt Melody hosted her first stream on OnlyFans’ competitor Chaturbate. During the three days after this stream, her Twitter following grew exponentially, from 700 to more than 20,000 followers.
Compared to her fellow human webcam models, Melody does not experience the same degree of vulnerability. The woman who voices Melody does not have to share real intimate photos, eliminating the risk of being exposed or losing face. This may sound an argument for the use of digitally rendered models, so sex workers are rendered redundant. But do we really want to contribute to an environment that caters to the desires of sexually disenfranchised men who believe that they are more likely to find sexual and emotional satisfaction in the digital world than in real life? Well, it is heading that way, whether we like it or not.
Blade Runner 2021
The concept of Projekt Melody and OnlyFans is all too reminiscent of Blade Runner 2049, where Officer K (Ryan Gosling) is in love with his AI hologram Joi. He and Joi seem to love each other, but the tragedy lies in the illusion. From an outside perspective, we can tell that their relationship is not real, but that she is programmed to love him. And Officer K knows this too, but these feelings still have meaning.
On OnlyFans, it is clear that its lonely male users find comfort in the attention given by the webcam models. There’s a kind of underlying hope that as a Fan, you are more than just a paying customer — that she likes you for more than just your money, and this all isn’t an empty fantasy. Only when we see these monetized interactions for what they are, we will realize how it undermines our ability to be invested in genuine romantic relationships.
In this documentary video, YouTuber Glink interviews OnlyFans models and fans to discover what attracts them to the platform. Only to discover there’s a dark thread tying them together.
by Charisma on Command
by The Art of Manliness
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