OnlyFans doesn’t have a lot of fans right now — and its content creators feel screwed over.
The sexy streaming platform known for NSFW videos and nudes galore is going from X-rated to possibly PG, announcing it will prohibit users from posting “any sexually explicit content,” the very concept it was created for.
It’s all because the platform, which boasts over 130 million users, has decided sex does not indeed sell — at least when it comes to wooing mainstream advertisers.
“I’m beyond disappointed in OnlyFans’ decision — angry and betrayed would be a more accurate description,” Courtney Tillia, a “women’s life coach” who rakes in between $20,000 to $100,000 monthly on OnlyFans from her 17,000 subscribers, told The Post.
“It was really a surprise to everybody in the industry,” added Maitland Ward, the former star of the Disney Channel’s “Boy Meets World,” who is now a successful adult performer. “And they’re all really freaking out right now. It’s really cruel what they’ve done at this time in the world.”
While OnlyFans vowed to “continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans” when it relaunches in a Disney-ified capacity in October, some of the site’s finest are furious over losing a steady stream of income.
“OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually explicit conduct,” the company said in a statement. “Creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy.”
Speaking to The Post, the company declined to elaborate on what “sexually explicit” entails, which has content creators confused — and bracing for chaos.
“In the absence of clarity and direction right now, it’s creating even more stress and concern for us creators who aren’t exactly sure what’s going to happen to the following and business we’ve created on the platform,” 34-year-old Tillia, who lives in Los Angeles, said.
“It’s going to be detrimental for sex workers all over the place, especially the ones who are relying on this for their income,” added Ward, who earns a large sum monthly on the platform. While she personally has plenty of other streams of income — she stars in award-winning films for Deeper.com, has her own line of sex toys and a memoir on the way, to name a few — she’s most worried about up-and-coming adult performers working their way up.
“There were so many people who joined OnlyFans during the pandemic, to make extra money and to supplement their incomes if they couldn’t work at jobs. And now, they’re just being discarded,” she said.
However, OnlyFans did cite the reason as to “comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers” to “ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform.”
“OnlyFans seems to be having an identity crisis,” Jordan Goodwin, the CEO and founder of short-form, mobile-optimized adult site Qwki.org, told The Post. “To build a brand off of adult creators only to then throw them aside for profit is morally bankrupt. Thousands of people who rely on them for income are suddenly scrambling to survive.”
But while OnlyFans — which is slated to rake in $1.2 billion this year, according to Axios — is worrying about its long-term, the future of the creatives on the platform is uncertain.
Billy Procida, a comedian who hosts “The Manwhore Podcast: A Sex-Positive Quest,” said he luckily doesn’t rely solely on OnlyFans for income — it accounts for about 20 to 30 percent of his earnings — but said it paid the rent on his New York City apartment on multiple occasions.
“I have to now replace a really sizable chunk of my income,” he said. “It’s going to affect me but a lot of these people are going to just have the rug pulled out from under them.”
Procida found out Thursday by reading an article and is hopeful OnlyFans will communicate the changes — and what they entail — to its creators directly. But he believes it stems from a much bigger societal issue about sex.
“This is all about how people feel about sex. This is all about people feeling f–king weird about f–king. That’s always going to be the problem. So until that is fixed in society, this will keep manifesting all over the place.”
Safety is also a concern for many, who might seek alternate means of work beyond OnlyFans, which has always been lauded as a safer alternative in the adult industry.
“It definitely has made sex workers much safer and given us more power over what we do,” Tilia said, noting that this decision puts “the ones who are already the most vulnerable in jeopardy.”
“When you have people making a large amount of their money on their own and it gets pulled out from under them,” Procida added, “guess who’s a really high likelihood for being a victim of sex trafficking?”
Some OnlyFans creators say the platform might end up paying the piper for turning its back on its community that depends on it.
“Anybody who understands good business and relationships knows that you don’t betray your roots,” Tillia said. “History shows that those who did paid the price for their actions.”
Tillia also said it feels like OnlyFans is not only “alienating [its] paying customer base,” but also “betraying those who [it] built success on the backs of.” She said she’s been “approached already” by “dozens” of other competing companies, but has always “remained loyal” to OnlyFans.
“It hurts to see that they won’t show the same type of loyalty to us,” she added.
One such company ready to pounce is JustFor.fans, which falls right behind OnlyFans as number two in traffic, according to its founder, Dominic Ford, and was “founded and built by and for sex workers” with a staff comprised of only sex workers or porn industry experts.
“We are well-poised to make sure adult content creators are not abandoned,” Ford told The Post. “We welcome them all to our website. We believe we have the most innovative platform out there and are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our community.”
The same goes for Qwki.org, which allows creators to sell content à la carte as a supplement to OnlyFans. But that all changes this month: Qwki plans to offer subscriptions on the platform as it “anticipates a lot of new members,” Goodwin told The Post. In fact, new accounts on the site are already up 60 percent since Thursday.
“Creators are the heart of our business,” he said. “I want to let them know we’ll always respect and support the work they do.”
Goodwin also said that “OnlyFans had a responsibility to support their users and they have decidedly failed” by “sacrificing entire communities for ‘financial partners.’”
“This is happening under the guise of underage concerns, but really it reeks of censorship,” he said. “In 2021, I shouldn’t have to mention that sex is healthy and natural.”
Ford said that many in the adult industry are “sadly used to companies cutting their teeth on the adult market and then abandoning them once they reach critical mass,” but vows that JustFor.fans will never change.
Ward shares the same sentiment.
“Sex workers are used to always having to look for other platforms, other venues, other avenues to make money because they’re constantly being kicked out of places and just railroaded over because of mainstream coming through,” she said. And while she began in mainstream herself, she said she’s “always been a sex worker first” and stands with her community.
“They’re trying to make it a mainstream platform when it was built on the backs of sex workers,” she added, noting celebs who have joined rarely provide adult content at all.
Procida said he’s seen similar changes regarding sexual content on Patreon, which has a strict and confusing set of “absurd guidelines” for sex workers. “At the end of the day, payment processors have been doing this to the platforms over and over and over again.”
Since he uses OnlyFans to accompany his sex talk podcast, he’s waiting for more specifics but will “probably” just stop using it.
“I’ll probably just figure out money another way, which would suck,” he said. “I’m not gonna bend over backwards to figure out guidelines, while I’m also doing my other jobs of being a podcaster and being a comedian to make ends meet. It’s, like, why bother being there at that point?”
“There’s a lot of confusion about what is sexually explicit content,” Ward added. “There are so many questions and I don’t think anybody has the answers right now.”
As for Tilia, she plans to wait and see what happens since she will “ultimately be fine regardless of what happens,” thanks to her life coaching business and husband’s income. She also hopes OnlyFans will “come to their senses” and “do the right thing” because her “heart really hurts” for those with fewer options.
“It hurts to know how scared and confused they are right now.”