The downfall of Onlyfans – Better alternatives for online content

Every day, millions of men log onto the internet to view explicit content that fulfils their sexual fantasies.

Once upon a time, these men would have watched films starring famous porn stars, shot in professional studios, funded by multi-million-dollar production companies. But, in a world where everyone has a smartphone (and therefore, the ability to create their own sexy content), the game has changed.

If you haven’t heard of OnlyFans yet, you’ve probably been living under a rock.

OnlyFans is a social network that allows creators to monetise their content by selling directly to their fans for the cost of a monthly subscription. Historically, it’s been a platform primarily used by sex workers use to sell explicit content online. But, more recently, OnlyFans has crossed over into the mainstream.

Now, when browsing through OnlyFans, you won’t only find seasoned sex workers. You’ll also find ‘Instagram models’ and ‘influencers’ uploading racy pictures, while vehemently opposing the label of ‘sex worker’. OnlyFans allows influencers to directly monetise their content – after all, why would you upload bikini photos to Instagram for free, when you could get paid for them?

There is nothing wrong with this on the surface. But, when mixed with the hellfire of FOSTA-SESTA, we have a problem.

In 2018, a bill was passed in the United States, with the aim to curb online sex trafficking on websites such as Backpage. Previously, sites like Backpage could not be held responsible for content posted by their users. Now, due to FOSTA-SESTA, they can (even if you don’t live in the United States). These laws allow greater policing of these sites and opens them up to lawsuits.

And, again, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this on the surface. But we have a problem. 

The language of FOSTA-SESTA is hazy and threatens to penalise any website that ‘promotes or facilitates prostitution’. Which means that consenting sex workers (not trafficked individuals) are heavily impacted by these laws.

So, what does this have to do with OnlyFans?

Well, sex workers upload explicit content to OnlyFans. Often (but not always) these sex workers offer other services, such as in-person escorting bookings. And even if these sex workers adhere to the T&Cs of OnlyFans, and don’t promote their in-person services on their OnlyFans account, their mere existence on the platform can be contested. Sex workers are routinely kicked off the platform without notice, having their payments frozen, and their accounts deactivated. OnlyFans has told sex workers that their accounts are being deleted “due to suspicious/fraudulent activity” without specifying the activity in question.

This is FOSTA-SESTA in full play.

In contrast, when Instagram models or influencers upload content, there is nothing to contest. A raunchy bikini photo from a non-sex-worker? No problem. For OnlyFans, under FOSTA-SESTA this user is far less risk, while still allowing the platform to cash its checks.

Even for those sex workers who haven’t had their accounts deactivated, their experience in recent months has left them disillusioned. Last year, a leak of OnlyFans content prompted sex workers to become concerned about security issues. And, in response to a recent influx of sign-ups, OnlyFans cut its referral bonuses, which had been a significant source of revenue for long-time uses.

So, why do we keep using OnlyFans?

OnlyFans has appealed to sex workers as it’s ‘easier’ than building your own website to sell your content. OnlyFans has lowered the bar for sex workers to be able to profit from online content.

But there are other options out there. Options that won’t freeze your payments or deactivate your account without notice. Let’s review our options.

OnlyFans

Operates on a subscription model where users can sign up to become ‘fans’ by paying a regular monthly fee.

Services: Fanclub, messaging, tips

Commission percentage: 80%

Payout methods: OCT, ACH, SWIFT, SEPA, e-wallet – dependent on location

Payout minimum: $20-500 – dependent on payout method

Payout schedule: On-demand or automatic recurring payouts set to monthly, weekly or daily

Other things you should know:

– The minimum you can charge for your subscription is $4.99 USD per month, and the maximum is $49.99 USD per month.

– Terms of Service are unclear, though the FAQ says ‘nudity’ is allowed.

– Sex workers routinely have their payments frozen, and accounts deactivated without notice.

Shopmaker

Content management system with integrated billing that allows content creators to easily set up membership and download sites for selling electronic media like videos or images.

Services: Subscription- and download-based websites

Commission percentage: 75%

Payout minimum: €100

Payout schedule: Monthly

Payout methods: SEPA (EU only), Paypal

Other things you should know:

– Shopmaker allows you to create a customised website with unlimited storage and bandwidth.

– There are no limits on what you can charge for your content.

– Shopmaker uses Paypal, which is known not to be sex worker friendly. However, there is less risk involved in this instance, as Paypal is not being used to make a purchase of a sexual nature. Instead, Shopmaker is using Paypal to payout a performer, so they are the one dealing with chargebacks and other difficulties. 

Check out Shopmaker

Skyprivate

SkyPrivate provides technology that makes it very simple to charge for Skype shows.

Services: Skype shows, phone sex, clips, photos, tips

Commission percentage: 75-86%

Payout minimum: $40

Payout schedule: On-demand

Payout methods: Paxum, Bitcoin, ePayments, SEPA, Wire, ACH

Other things you should know:

– You can charge custom rates for each individual client, dependent on the services you provide.

– Excellent support services.

– Particularly good option for fetish models, as rates can go up to $12USD per minute.

Check out SkyPrivate

Chaturbate 

Chaturbate is a leading live-camming site that also offers the opportunity to make money from selling videos and photos, as well as through premium fanclub membership.

Services: Camming, tips, clips, photos, fanclubs

Commission: 5 cents per token

Payout minimum: $50

Payout schedule: Twice monthly Payout methods: Check, ACH, Paxum, Bitcoin

Check out Chaturbate


Below is a table of other sites and what they allow according to their T.O.S please be aware T.O.S change regularly and can sometimes be vague on purpose to cover themselves if they want to have the option of enforcing certain thing.

Photo credit @SophieLadder
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