The craze that is OnlyFans | Mildura Intimate Photography
IT'S likely you have heard of OnlyFans before - a British content service by subscription that now has creators and subscribers in every corner of the globe.
For me, I only became aware of it when former Supercars driver Renee Gracie joined, and after declaring she earned a ridiculous amount of money, the media attention was intense.
Recently an anonymous follower posted a question about OnlyFans on the Pure Beauty VIP page.
It was empowering and refreshing to see a number of members were very much in favour of females expressing themselves through means like OnlyFans, if that is what they wanted to do.
Content makers on OnlyFans has drastically spiked lately with the havoc Covid has wreaked. A quick Google search will show creators can make $100,000 a month, although $180 a month is the median.
Given its’ popularity, it is no surprise Pure Beauty was able to find a couple of local creators on the site and we spoke to them to get an insight to find out the role the website has played in their lives.
Ana* turned to OnlyFans in March after the first lockdown happened.
"I lost my job due to Covid and felt like I was desperate for money," Ana said.
"I had seen other women on social media doing similar things and I liked the idea that I could control what content I put up and would not have to do anything I was uncomfortable with."
Ana describes her content as "classy nudes", although there is a range of content available through the website from cooking to feet fetishes to pornography.
Ana's page features a bit of bondage but is primarily photos of her in lingerie.
"Sometimes I will pose nude, but never exposing myself in a way that I would be unhappy with someone that knows me coming across," she said.
"I have been very mindful that what I put on the internet is on the internet forever, and I may not get it back, so I have been very careful not to post anything I might regret later.
"I am quite a creative person, so I feel as though the content that I am posting is art in a way."
A misconception I found after speaking to the two creators, is that people think OnlyFans makes easy and quick money, when in actual fact it couldn't be further from the truth.
We will touch on that further with our second creator, but Ana said she didn't realise at first how much effort and time it takes.
She has, however, really enjoyed building her fan base, talking to fans and getting their feedback.
"Most of the time it’s a real confidence builder for me," she added.
"While it has been a fun and unique experience, I don't think I will do OnlyFans long term.
"Like anything that is exciting and fun at the start, the honeymoon period has worn off and I’m losing a bit of my drive for it after six months."
Ana said some of her family and friends are aware of her account and most were very understanding once she explained it was an art for her and she really enjoyed it.
"I enjoy being open about it to certain people," she added.
"There have been some mixed reactions, some have warned me to be careful of internet predators and others have said ‘power to you’ and they think its great.
"I think once they hear how much money I have made they seem to think it’s a great idea."
There is a portion of people who view OnlyFans as sex work, and with that comes a stigma.
However, according to Ana, that "dishonour" is becoming less and less thanks to OnlyFans becoming more and more popular.
"At the end of the day, we are all entitled to do what we wish with our own bodies and explore our sexuality freely," Ana said.
"We should be able to do so without judgment.
"As I get older I have realised that sex is not so taboo, we all have it, we all have bodies, and reproductive organs, so why be so shy about it?"
Laura* echoes Ana's sentiments.
"With age, I have become a lot less reserved about my body," she said.
"All females have boobs, we all have butts and fairies.
"And for me, the beauty of OnlyFans has been my confidence has grown immensely.
"It doesn't define me, but people pay money to view my content; to view my lingerie clad boobs or butt!"
Laura isn't as experienced as Ana with the OnlyFans game but has still enjoyed healthy takings from it.
She said she joined the website after reading about it on the news and thought she had nothing to lose by giving it a go.
"It's been a surprising experience for me, enlightening, interesting, sometimes daunting," she said, sharing she has come across a couple of interesting characters.
"I have had a couple of fans who have struggled to understand the boundaries and become obsessive somewhat, but you need to be very firm with them.
"Likewise, I've had some very interesting requests but will only ever do what I am comfortable with."
Laura finds it frustrating when she heard people refer to it as easy and quick money.
In actual fact, she said, she spends at least a couple of hours a day networking, promoting her page and trying to build her audience, on top of her day to day job.
"And that is probably on the lighter end of the scale when it comes to creators promoting themselves," she said.
"The best way is through social media and there is an endless rabbit hole of options to explore - Facebook groups, Instagram, Reddit, TikTok and Twitter.
"It's time consuming and tiring - just like any other job!"
There are a select number of Laura's family and friends that know of her presence on OnlyFans, and thankfully all of them have been accepting and encouraging.
"But there is still a stigma attached," Laura said.
"The creators, the subscribers, they are going about their business, they aren't hurting anyone so what is the big deal?
"It might not be for everyone, but no-one is forcing it on you.
"Just don't judge those who make the decision to create material or subscribe to the website."
* Not their real names
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.