I’m writing an article about muscular women on OnlyFans. This is not that article–that article isn’t even close to completion. I’ve started the research, though, and this post is my confused rant on why the biggest, most fast-rising popular sex work platform in the world, hosting thousands of women earning anywhere from pocket change to lifestyle-supporting salaries, makes no mention of nudity, pornography, or sex work anywhere on their website. Not only do they not mention it, they blatantly hide from it. It seems like their PR team enforces an intentional scrubbing of any controversial admission in any official statements or publications, while the platform in reality teems with both new and experienced sex workers who fully embrace the role.
The genres OnlyFans lists as available on the site are as follows:
Fitness & Sports
Teaching & Wellness
It’s shocking, really, that there’s no mention of sex work or “too hot for instagram.” Where did that slogan even come from? Before my inability to find it today I honestly thought it was a self-appointed tagline. But a little research raises questions: Does OnlyFans want to be known as a sex site? Why aren’t they participating in the empowerment of women and sex work, when such a large percentage of their earners and influences are just that: women monetizing themselves through the increasingly less stigmatized career of sex work.
Even the stock photos they use on their blog post are just that … stock as fuck. Conservatively clothed women who appear to be thinking about something mundane like their next spin class or a new salad recipe. Men in aprons gleefully salting a disappointingly asexual cut of steak. The image for the blog post “How Athletes Can Use OnlyFans” is a skateboarder for gods sake. It’s so VSCO it’s nauseating.
In an OnlyFans blog featuring Jem Wolfie, the site’s top creator in Australia, she is quoted repeatedly explaining her fans come to her because they like her personality and how much she cares about them. They like that she “listens” and respects her own boundaries. But what’s wrong with saying they like her glistening ass bent over a dumbbell rack in a thong? OnlyFans public relations and interviews like this, while providing a platform for women to reclaim their sexuality, it’s power and its earning potential, continue to further stigmatize the sex industry by hiding it behind euphemisms, conservatively stylized photography and carefully curated interviews with their top earners who ignore the elephant in the room with the coached precaution of a witness on the stand.
Thankfully, the comment section never fails to disappoint. Commenter Courtney Richards, on an OnlyFans blog about podcast availability on OnlyFans highlighting two boringly common comedy-casts that “share an amusing story from their colourful lives or discuss current events,” and “discuss the viral news of the week“ enthusiastically commented, “this is great! signing my podcast up immediately! my podcast is called “Scented Candle Revue” and it basically consists of me just stuffing candles up my bum and rating the flavour of my own farts.” Now that’s the OnlyFans content we’re here for!
The complete ignorance of sex work on the site, by the site, is eerily Stepford. Especially when we ALL KNOW what’s really going on. This would be like Tinder emphatically stating it is an app where people flock to seek and establish genuine, lifelong, spiritual friendships.
I looked everywhere on Onlyfans for some mention of sex work, pornography or even a feature of a creator who proudly earns on those premises and found nothing. I mean NOTHING. Even on the wikipedia page dedicated to the site, the only veiled mention of sex work at the tippy end of a history of the site’s ownership and revenues was one sentence that reads: “Pornography is allowed. In fact, the website is mainly used by pornographic models, both amateur and professional, but it also has a market with chefs, fitness gurus, and musicians.” Porn couldn’t even get it’s own sentence without chefs, fitness gurus and musicians marching in to temper it. Linked as a source on that one sentence was an article from Dazed Digital that likened OnlyFans as “the Patreon of Porn.” I can’t stop asking, why is there no mention of it on the actual site?
I’m interested to see what creators have to say about this glaring omission from the language their “host” uses to explain the platform and their roles on it. Is OnlyFans “vanilla-washing” their site to protect themselves from scrutiny at the expense of promoting a safe and inclusive place for entrepreneurs to destigmatize sex work and empower themselves? Or do OnlyFans creators also still stigmatize sex work to a large degree, and find themselves more inclined to do the work of a rose by any other name, should it smell as sweet.
I guess the point of this is nothing. This was all over the place. In the next month or so I should have an article coming out about muscular women getting their sea legs on OnlyFans, but I refuse to use the rhetoric of the site itself. I am sex-positive, I am pro-woman and pro-strong woman, I am pro-female empowerment through sex work, I am pro-reclaiming the power that the traditional porn industry has stolen from women. I likely won’t be answering many of my own questions in the story I tell, but I certainly won’t be ignoring or stigmatizing sex work on OnlyFans. Keep an eye out for it.