Sex workers and models who have built their livelihoods on OnlyFans have spoken out to slam the website for ‘using them’ and then ‘betraying them’ after the company announced it will ban all ‘sexually explicit’ content from October 1.
The website, which is primarily known for hosting X-rated content that can generate millions of dollars in income for its most popular users, announced on Thursday that it is ‘evolving its content guidelines’ after facing pressure from its financial backers.
Its decision has prompted bitter backlash from its content creators – with some threatening to boycott the site altogether, while others have lashed out at OnlyFans for ruining their sole source of income.
One US-based creator, Camila Elle, 21, accused the site of ‘using’ its explicit creators to promote it on social media and draw in users – noting that many, including herself, have turned OnlyFans into a full-time career, abandoning other professional opportunities in order to dedicate themselves to creating the kind of risque images and videos that will soon be banned.
Backlash: Sex workers and models have slammed OnlyFans’ decision to ban sexually explicit content from October 1 – with US-based user Camila Elle accusing the site of ‘using them’
Fury: The 21-year-old college student took aim at OnlyFans, saying that ‘sex workers built the platform’ and accusing it of ‘throwing them away’
Warning: New York-based OnlyFans star Ona Artist said that it is ‘suicide’ for the site to ban sexually explicit content, insisting sex workers will find another platform
‘I feel betrayed by OnlyFans, I made it my entire livelihood, and quit my dreams of becoming a doctor to pursue a full time career on the site,’ the college student said.
‘Sex workers built this platform, it’s a business to us. We were the ones who promoted OnlyFans across social media.
‘They used us to build the site and now they’re throwing us away.’
Her comments come amid growing outrage against the increasing number of celebrities who have joined the website – and now rake in millions of dollars a month from their subscribers, with many charging top prices for images that are much more tame than the sexually explicit content many sex workers offer on the site.
Meet OnlyFans’ top 10 highest earners: How celebrities like Bella Thorne and Blac Chyna rake in MILLIONS a month on the site
OnlyFans has become a hugely lucrative endeavor for many of its users – particularly celebrities like Blac Chyna, Bella Thorne, and Mia Khalifa who are among its highest-earning creators.
Here, FEMAIL reveals the site’s top 10 earners – and their estimated monthly incomes:
1. Blac Chyna: $20 MILLION
2. Bella Thorne: $11 MILLION
3. Cardi B: $9.34 MILLION
4. Tyga: $7.69 MILLION
5. Mia Khalifa: $6.43 MILLION
6. Erica Mena: $4.49 MILLION
7. Pia Mia: $2.22 MILLION
8. Safaree Samuels: $1.91 MILLION
9. Megan Barton Hanson: $1.06 MILLION
10. Jem Wolfie: $900,000
New York-based OnlyFans star Ona Artist warned that the explicit content ban could mark the end of the site’s success because many of its creators will simply find another platform on which to sell their risque images and videos.
‘If OnlyFans does go ahead with this it’s suicide,’ she said. ‘They might claim it’s because of payment processors rules but those companies put through porn purchases all over the web.
‘Models will always find a way to share sexual content with those who want it.’
Colorado-based user Nita Marie, 45, a Christian model who rakes in an average $1.8 million a year from her nearly-one-million subscribers, also warned that the site’s explicit content ban could put sex workers at risk – because it will leave them without a ‘safe and legal’ forum through which to earn money.
‘OnlyFans helps reduce sex trafficking and illegal sex work as it’s down to the creators who choose to post content,’ she said.
‘Online sex work is verified, safe and legal and OnlyFans also offers an opportunity for the user to interact with the creator in a safe environment.
‘Changing their conditions could cause huge issues for people.’
The move is part of the UK-based company’s changes ‘to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers’.
OnlyFans says creators can continue to share content with nudity ‘as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy’.
These prohibit specific explicit content such as rape, torture, revenge porn and sex trafficking.
OnlyFans, which has 130 million users, has become synonymous with explicit and nude content, particularly during the pandemic, when many sex workers and porn stars began using the site to make money after the adult film industry shut down over fears about COVID safety.
As a result, the site’s membership has skyrocketed over the past 18 months and it now boasts more than two million creators, who have earned more than $5 billion since OnlyFans was launched in 2016.
However, the company has not disclosed how much of its revenue is generated from pornography and adult content shared by creators.
The increased popularity of the site also saw it draw in multiple celebrity creators, including Blac Chyna, Bella Thorne, Cardi B, Tyga, and Mia Khalifa – all of whom are among the top ten highest earning members of the site.
Concern: Colorado-based user Nita Marie, 45, a Christian model who rakes in an average $1.8 million a year, also warned that the site’s explicit content ban could put sex workers at risk
Fears: Nita, who has nearly one million subscribers, said that OnlyFans’ ban could leave many sex workers without a ‘safe and legal’ place to earn money
However their involvement in the site has sparked furious controversy, with many accusing OnlyFans’ A-list creators of ‘taking money away’ from the sex workers who use it as their primary source of income.
Thorne in particular has found herself at the center of a bitter backlash – with dozens of social media users now blaming her for the explicit content ban.
OnlyFans’ announcement comes one year after the former Disney star sparked outrage by joining the site and charging $200 for a single ‘naked’ image in which she wasn’t actually nude.
The 23-year-old earned $1 million on her first day on the site, a figure that she then doubled in just 48 hours – prompting OnlyFans to implement a controversial payment cap for all of its creators.
Following the backlash over Thorne’s ‘nude’ image – which she later claimed was a falsified offer that was circulated around the internet by someone other than herself – OnlyFans announced that it would be initiating a $50-per-image cap, down from its previous limit of $200, while also implementing a $100 cap on any tips.
The company also enacted a hold on payments that would make some international creators wait 30 days to receive their money – without any warning.
Following the backlash, Thorne issued an apology to sex workers, insisting in a series of tweets that she had only ever intended to normalize sex work, not financially harm those who work within the industry.
Thorne has yet to comment on the explicit content ban, however she was quickly drawn into the bitter backlash against the site on Twitter, where dozens of users accused her of ‘ruining’ the site by launching her own account in 2020.
‘I blame the OnlyFans thing on Bella Thorne,’ one person posted, while another said: ‘Bella Thorne started it all. She proved that Only Fans could make money millions off just thong shots. There was no reason to have sexual content on it.
Under fire: Some social media users have blamed former Disney star Bella Thorne for ‘ruining’ OnlyFans after she sparked furious controversy last year by joining the site
Controversy: The 23-year-old was blasted last year when she charged $200 for a ‘naked’ image in which she wasn’t actually nude – which prompted OnlyFans to implement a payment cap
Under fire: Many social media users took aim at Thorne in light of OnlyFans’ announcement, accusing the site of prioritizing celebrity creators like her over sex workers and models
‘Now banning sexual content they probably hope to lure more celebrities to post pictures of themselves in bikinis on the App.’
The user continued in a second tweet: ‘Bella Thorne is going to take a lot of heat again over Only Fans banning sexual content. She was able to make OnlyFans realize that they don’t need to host sexual content to make money off the suckers that want to pay to look at a thong covered a**. Bella has never been topless.’
One person then chimed in: ‘I have no ties to OnlyFans but I just wanna put it out there Bella Thorne f****d that app and started the downwards spiral, anyone with one I hope for success no mess!’
The site’s other celebrity users also found themselves drawn into the controversy, with several Twitter users branding A-list OnlyFans creators as ‘greedy’.
‘Celebs really came through and ruined only fans for those who were actually using it to make a living,’ one person wrote, as another tweeted: ‘I always though celebs having OnlyFans was weird.
‘They lowkey ruined the platform [by] being greedy.’
A third described the move as a ‘slap in the face’ to sex workers, writing: ‘OnlyFans banning sexual content is a slap in the face to the ones who really built the site.
‘And shoutout to all the celebs who ruined the safe space for sex workers.’
OnlyFans was launched four years ago by Timothy Stokely who is, in his own words, a ‘British entrepreneur in the adult entertainment industry’.
It is a subscription-based site that allows creators to earn a living by sharing original videos on the platform.
Fans pay creators for access to their content via a monthly subscription, which can range from $4.99 to $49.99. OnlyFans takes a 20 per cent cut of all payments.
However the company has become something of a ‘no fly zone’ for venture capital firms who have rules against investing in apps and websites that promote and host adult content.
It is for this understood that the lack of investment opportunities is the reason behind OnlyFans’ sexually explicit content ban, with a statement from the company issued on Thursday saying: ‘In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our platform, and the continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines.’
Hitting back: OnlyFans has been accused of siding with celebrities like Thorne, who rake in millions of dollars on the site by posting much tamer content than its more explicit creators
The platform’s slick PR team insists that the site was set up for all creators, ‘from fitness, dancing, DJs to music’, on the premise that if fans of influencers were really fans, they’d pay a subscription fee to see the content their idols produced.
However, much of OnlyFans’ popularity stems from its adult content that has attracted millions and even celebrities.
It has also become a safe haven for sex workers who could generate an income without meeting a client in person.
The ban on pornography changes how these individuals conduct business and may even push them back to their ‘unsafe underground conditions,’ the National Center for Lesbian Rights shared in a tweet.
Thursday’s announcement comes just a day after OnlyFans launched a new ‘suitable for work’ app that allows people to share nudity-free content about topics such as fitness, wellness and cooking.
Called OFTV, the free app has a library of more than 800 videos, including ones with its biggest stars such as Khalifa, Thorne and Holly Madison.
There are also clips from chefs, Pilates instructors and podcasters, as well as meditation videos and instructions for how to make tasty cocktails.
OFTV is available for free on all major devices, including iOS, Amazon Fire and Roku. It was launched in January but only now has the company started to promote it.
‘OFTV provides a super convenient way for fans to watch content from favorite creators,’ Stokely told Bloomberg.
‘There’s no adult content on OFTV. Because it’s not being monetized and there’s no direct impact on creators’ earnings, we are able to be in the app store.’
OnlyFans is planning to use OFTV as a marketing tool to attract a different audience. It doesn’t plan to make any profit from it, at least to begin with, and the app won’t include advertising.
Tips to Find Low Priced Luxury Holiday Package Deals Fast