by Poppy Coburn
Friday, 20
August 2021
Spotted
15:09

OnlyFans is nothing without porn

Stopping its creators from making explicit content will be the end of the site
by Poppy Coburn
Bella Thorne joined OnlyFans to “remove the stigma behind sex”

OnlyFans announced last night that they will be removing “sexually explicit content” from their service by October, as well as enforcing measures to ensure models are over the age of 18 and fully consent to having their content shared online. The reason for the site’s decision came from their financial backers, after pressure from payment processing companies.

There has been a significant backlash in recent years against pornography sites. A New York Times piece by Nicholas Kristof revealed how Pornhub was tacitly allowing — and profiting from — videos of rape and child sexual abuse on the site caused PayPal to end its payment processing work with the site. Laila Mickelwait, founder of the ‘Traffickinghub’ campaign against Pornhub, created a change.org petition that currently sits at around 1.25 million signatures. Anti-porn sentiment is no longer confined to the fringes of the religious Right, or the Dworkinite feminist Left.

OnlyFans was able to escape most of the scrutiny directed at more established porn aggregators. Defenders have pointed out that the site operates differently from massive pornography conglomerates like MindGeek, owner of Pornhub. The site promotes itself based upon its subscription model, allowing the ‘models’ to ostensibly have more control over who can view their content. As such, the monetisation structure is a lot less opaque than that provided by the big porn studios, with creators knowing exactly where the subscription money is going.

There are plenty of high profile OnlyFans ‘success’ stories. Some content creators have amassed hundreds of thousands of fans, and millions of pounds, through the site. The number of creators who actually achieve this level of success is very small, however – the average person makes just $180 a month sharing their most intimate pictures online.

However, for every creator rocketed to superstardom, there are hundreds of women who have come away from the site far worse than before. The para-social nature of the site also encourages stalkers, feeding into their delusion that they have a genuine relationship with the girls (one man tracked a woman down to her house). The control and privacy touted by the site is mostly illusory — and by the time that creators find out it is often too late.

Creators are, sadly, also coming to the same conclusion that the ‘old school’ pornographers did. User CoconutKitty143, real name Diana Deets, achieved massive success on the site — by photoshopping her face to look more childlike. Her profile is highly disturbing, showing half-nude pictures of an adult woman’s sexualised body superimposed with the head of a pubescent teen. Deet’s explanation for why she edits her content is that, having previously ‘cam-girled’ for men online, she learned that ‘a lot of men left me for the next youngest model they could find’. She was just 22 years old.

OnlyFans positioned itself as a force for kindness in the sex industry. ‘Ethical porn’ is a pleasant, progressive narrative, but the seediness and exploitative power imbalances have always been essential to the creation of pornography. If OnlyFans is determined to clean up their act, they shouldn’t be surprised to watch their business model implode.

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James Joyce
James Joyce
10 months ago

The radical left and radical feminists have brought this on themselves. Think of a young male teen coming up–sexuality is more of a minefield than it was for previous generations, and the stakes are very real. If a girl texts a pic of her breasts and he sends it on (yes, teens do that), in the USA he could be arrested for child pornography and placed on a sex offender registry. If he tries to kiss a girl and she’s not ready or doesn’t want it, he could be guilty of a sexual assault, a potential rapist.
Isn’t it much easier to stay in the bedroom or basement and watch porn and play video games? Relations between men and women, boys and girls, have deteriorated beyond belief. There’s no longer courtship and dating rituals, replete with errors that hopefully one learns from, it’s now a blood sport with real consequences. It’s a shooting war between the sexes.
To those who say that a 15 or 16 year old girl texting a pic of her breasts is “child porn,” grow up! A pic like this, nothing more, is simply not pornography, and this is simply life for current teenagers.

Ian May
Ian May
10 months ago
Reply to  James Joyce

When I was a teen, there was no easy way to send or receive such photos, but I think it’s often natural curiosity at that age and certainly shouldn’t be seen as anything sinister. Then again, most countries have an age of consent, and for a good reason.
Again, as a teenager, the only thing I ever saw was a glimpse of such magazines as Playboy or Penthouse. Would I have looked at anything more explicit? No doubt, but while I think sex education should be available, I don’t think it’s a good idea for all the mysteries of the adult pleasure that is sexual discovery to be available to those of such a young age.
Even putting legalities aside for a moment, is it such a good idea for teens full of raging hormones to be able to spend their evenings in their bedrooms watching hours of explicit pornography that isn’t real sex at all? We can perhaps blame parents for allowing junior unbridled access to the Internet on their laptops in their bedrooms, but if it’s out there, they’re going to find it and see it somewhere. In any case, it’s accessible from any smartphone too.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian May
Ray Hall
Ray Hall
10 months ago

One aspect of the debate is that those in favour of pornography typically argue that on screen behaviour does not influence the behaviour of those who watch . But the advertising industry is predicated on the opposite case.

ralph bell
ralph bell
10 months ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

I think we have already heard a similar argument with violent videos in the 90’s.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
10 months ago
Reply to  ralph bell

Indeed & it was rubbish then too

danielhawker8
danielhawker8
10 months ago

Although this is certainly a step in the right direction, I am not hopeful about pornography’s future in society – I believe the past decade or so have engrained it too heavily into our culture to be easily eradicated.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
10 months ago

I just wish people would spend a bit more time weighing up the negative consequences of closing these places down (Churchill’s first political speech was in defence of prosti tutes after all). Less one-sided evangelizing, and more preparing to deal with the consequences of onlyfans shutting down.

That way, we can have the monogamous utopia Mary Harrington wants, having prepared for and dealt with its uglier side.

Last edited 10 months ago by Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
10 months ago

There is, I suspect, a massive correction taking place in society and not before time. Many delusions arose from post-war prosperity, accentuated by the victories of 89, including the over-confidence that leads to a collapse in moral standards and taboos. This has cratered out into a social landscape of increasing indifference, ugliness and brutality and people will naturally seek to rein things in. This must not, however, be entrusted to any of the Marxist groupuscules currently discombobulated by the shenanigans of “woke”. They are themselves every bit as mystical, extremist and intolerant as their youthful progeny and opponents. Many of them are as filled with hatred for men as the “woke” are for “whites” and will naturally seek to abolish so-called “adult” entertainment, when the most fruitful way of coping is a combination of censorship, regulation and age restriction. The lesson of the last twenty years is not “no enemies on the right”; but it is certainly, “no friends from the left”. They are corrupt, authoritarian and unreasoning.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
10 months ago

What is the exploitative power imbalance in OnlyFans?
Are you saying we are trying to protect the subscribers who are forking over their money to a girl under whose spell they have fallen? Really?
There are good arguments against OnlyFans, but it’s very hard to make out one based on power imbalances except those that acknowledge it’s the women who are the exploiters.