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The number of people sharing adult content on OnlyFans rose by a massive 42 per cent during coronavirus lockdown

Emma Powys Maurice July 15, 2020
OnlyFans: Number of creators sees massive rise during lockdown

(Getty)

The number of UK OnlyFans creators has soared by a massive 42 per cent as young people search for alternative sources of income during the coronavirus lockdown.

The subscriber-based social network exploded in popularity between March and July, with the amount of British contributors on the site reaching around 95,000. Its popularity surged further when Beyoncé name-checked the site in May, prompting a 15 percent uptick in traffic.

Some new creators are now earning thousands a month after finding flexible employment on the pay-per-view porn page that has the world hooked.

“OnlyFans paid my rent. It’s paid for food. It’s paid for my car to keep running. It has literally paid for the necessities of living,” said Mark, a performer who lost his job at a five-star resort company when lockdown hit.

“Younger people these days post everything on social media. It’s just one step further and it means you’re making money,” He told the BBC. “I think that’s appealing to a lot of people when it’s so difficult to find a job at the minute.”

Mark estimated that he’s made £1,500 over the last four months by posting semi-nude images to subscribers for a monthly fee. He has refused requests to post explicit photos or videos of sexual acts, despite the presumptions of many of his friends.

“They told me that I was selling my soul. They had assumed that I was going to be having sex with everyone and posting videos of it. My page isn’t that at all,” he said.

OnlyFans (YouTube/OnlyFans)

The increasing visibility and acceptance of online sex work isn’t relegated to OnlyFans – another UK platform, AdmireMe, saw an increase of about one-third on its usual number of sign-ups after lockdown started.

While the prospect of quick cash is a big driver for some, creators are keen to stress the amount of unpaid emotional labour involved in taking photos, getting ready, social media promotion, and responding to client requests.

“You’re basically working as a commission-only salesperson. If you don’t do the work, you don’t get paid,” said Lexi (not her real name), a 36-year-old pole dancing instructor and stripper.

Like many others she signed up to OnlyFans after losing her job during lockdown, and made about £1,000 in the first month which she used to pay her rent and bills.

While it’s been a positive experience for her, she described the emergence of adult platforms into the mainstream as a “double-edged sword” for those who are living on the breadline.

“It’s good that it’s removing the stigma by bringing it more into the public eye,” Lexi said, but added that more sellers signing up has oversaturated the market, leading customers looking to demand cheaper content.

“If you’re going to set up a subscription site for a bit of fun – please don’t. There are people who are using it to try and survive at the moment,” she said.

For those who are considering signing up, she advises: “Set your boundaries before you make your content. Remember that it is out there forever.”

 

 

More: Coronavirus, Coronavirus lockdown, lockdown, nudes, OnlyFans, Sex, sex work

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