On OnlyFans and Who Gets to Make Money

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Those of us of a certain age remember when Tumblr had a thriving adult community. It wasn’t just porn (though there was plenty of that, too) — it was a community of people exploring and embracing their sexuality, through connecting with others, through posting explicit content, and for some, using the community to grow their adult brand.

Tumblr axed that and is now a shell of its former self. Apparently, Apple got scared and didn’t want an adult platform available on its app service. Patreon soon followed in the banning of explicit adult content, and now OnlyFans is apparently set to follow.

(Even Medium had its own recent thing, all because the payment processor didn’t want to give money to erotica authors…?)

Never mind the fact that OnlyFans pretty much built itself almost exclusively on the backs of adult content creators. I’m having trouble thinking of an OF account that’s not adult in nature.

Some will tell you this is a case of Visa and MasterCard getting skittish about that sort of content. Some will argue it’s about protecting against sex trafficking and child pornography. Some will argue it’s about laws crafted to tackle those issues, but instead have caught the innocent in their nets.

Whatever it actually is, sex workers and adult content creators have once again been shut out of a thriving community that served their needs better than mainstream outlets ever could.

OF isn’t long for this world, but that’s not the point.

This is, to put it mildly, puritanical bullshit. Never mind the fact that porn is a multi-billion dollar business annually. But there, companies are in charge. There are bottom lines and CEOs to answer to. OF creators (which include some of the same people who made their names in the “mainstream” adult studios) answer to no one, and they keep the money paid to them.

Which, apparently, we can’t have.

Make no mistake, this is a further marginalization of cis women and the LGBT community. In the name of moral good (what a crock of shit), those who have historically been held under society’s thumb are again getting squashed. As has historically been the case, they bear the brunt of society’s push for cleanliness and moral righteousness.

But I think there’s another aspect at play here; we’ve seen over the past few years (especially in the midst of the pandemic) the rise of the freelance economy. People who make extra cash — or their entire living — doing jobs in which they are not beholden to a boss or a company. Whether it’s freelance copywriting or Uber driving or DoorDash delivering or OnlyFans creating, people are making their own money on their own time and on their own terms.

Well, apparently, the moneyed elites are deciding we can’t have that. How dare we all try to make money for ourselves without also lining some corporate shithead’s pockets.

Ultimately, what’s happening to OF is yet another example of how the American dream does not exist. We cannot be and do anything we please and make it in this country, because increasingly, the options we have created for ourselves are either being taken away or having so many roadblocks put in place to make them untenable.

It’s almost like they want us all working 9-to-5s in cubicles again.

J.D. Cunegan is a self-published author and freelance editor who has written six novels (including Notna and the Jill Andersen series), the non-fiction The Art of Reading, and has had short stories published in three anthologies.

You can find his work at https://jdcuneganbooks.com.

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J.D. Cunegan is a self-published author known for his fast-paced unique brand of storytelling, an avid reader, and lover of all things creative.

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J.D. Cunegan

J.D. Cunegan

J.D. Cunegan is a self-published author known for his fast-paced unique brand of storytelling, an avid reader, and lover of all things creative.

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