ILLUSTRATION COURTESY: ISABELLA CARAPELLA/HUFFPOST. PHOTOS GETTY IMAGES

Jessica, 33 years old, was living alone in Chicago at the height of pandemic. Because her ex had reduced her child support, she was left unable to afford rent for her two-bedroom apartment with her three children.

Her income as a loan processor wasn’t enough, and she knew that her situation wasn’t sustainable. She decided to sell nude videos she had made of herself to OnlyFans. This subscription platform has become incredibly popular in recent years and is a great place to find NSFW material. Although it was scary, the hard work paid off.

“It literally doubled my income,” said Jessica, who is identified only by her first name to protect her family’s privacy. “Now I’m able to provide for my children without begging for help.”

Jessica managed to pay off all her debts even though OnlyFans claimed 20% of her earnings. She set a goal to buy a house within two years — something that had previously felt entirely out of reach. But on Thursday afternoon, the future she’d started building for her family was suddenly thrown into jeopardy.

News came out that OnlyFans was going to be banning “sexually explicit conduct”In just a few weeks. The announcement caused mass panic and uncertainty among sex workers who’d come to rely on the platform for a living — the very community whose labor helped it explode into a billion-dollar business. OnlyFans is expected to make $1.2 billion this year. It will also be making $2.5 billion in 2022. The majority owner Leo Radivinsky would receive a partial cashout. Axios reports

Jessica was one example of many employees who were able to have a job. found a lifeline in OnlyFansIn desperate times, the company abruptly disbanded. attempts to court sex-weary investors. (OnlyFans says the changes are required to “to comply with the requests of [its] banking partners and payout providers,” and declined to provide more detail.)

“I’m freaking out,” said Jessica, who now worries that she’ll have to pull her children out of day care and will no longer be able to save up for a house. “I’m terrified. I don’t know what I’m going to do moving forward, especially with such short notice.”

OnlyFans has for many years been associated almost exclusively with explicit content. This made her and the other sex workers feel abandoned and betrayed by OnlyFans. It was founded in 2016 by CEO Tim Stokely, a British entrepreneur known as the 38-year-old “king of homemade porn” who previously ran two other adult performance sites. Two years later, Radvinsky, owner of the camgirl site MyFreeCams, acquired 75% ownership of OnlyFans’ parent company, Fenix International Limited.

“Sex workers built this website. They’ve made a ton of money off us just to kick us off.”

Tori, an 28-year old OnlyFans founder from Nashville

OnlyFans told HuffPost that it will allow creators to continue sharing “content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy,” but declined to answer questions about what kinds of nude content would not be considered “sexually explicit” and therefore prohibited. The company also claimed that it would “actively support and guide our creators through this change in content guidelines,” but declined to answer how, exactly, it would do that.

The Adult Performance Artists Guild, a union representing OnlyFans creators and other sex workers, issued a statement Thursday slamming OnlyFans’ forthcoming policy change and “the financial despair and destruction this will cause our community.”

“Most content creators on OnlyFans are comprised of adult performers who make their entire living off of the platform,” the Guild continued. “Workers in our industry have families to care for, and this change will push many into potential homelessness.”

Tori, a mother-of-two living alone in Nashville, Tennessee started selling adult content to OnlyFans in October last year as an income supplement for her job as a financial analyst. She’d been living paycheck to paycheck, and the money helped her afford childcare when her kids’ school shut down due to COVID-19. When she was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in February of this year, OnlyFans helped her to pay for chemotherapy.

“I probably would have put myself in some severe debt refinancing and using credit cards” without OnlyFans, said Tori, 28, who is also identified by only her first name. “It has made a huge, huge difference.”

Tori awoke to multiple texts and Twitter DMs on Thursday alerting her to the news that “sexually explicit conduct” would no longer be allowed on OnlyFans as of Oct. 1. Her reaction was mixed emotions: she was shocked and furious.

“Sex workers built this website. They’ve made a ton of money off us just to kick us off,” she said. “I feel used. And I feel for the people who, unlike me, don’t have a full-time job — who solely rely on OnlyFans. This is a slap in the face.”

Tori is frantically trying to make her next move as she works out the details. While there may be fewer than MyFans out there, it took some time and effort to build a base of subscribers on OnlyFans. Tori worries about whether all her subscribers will switch websites with her. To reach new people, you need to promote your site on major social media platforms like Twitter. Tori stated that this can be difficult due to the online criticisms of sex workers.

“The sex work community is very, very resilient,” said Jane Lucier, a 23-year-old Canadian who earns six figures per month on OnlyFans. She has been able to share her extraordinary success with OnlyFans by giving money to advocacy groups for sex workers. However, she also knows that there are many other OnlyFans users who have far greater financial needs.

“It was already a very tough year for sex workers,” said Lucier, who is identified by her screen name. “Now they’re more vulnerable because OnlyFans was a safe place for them.”

The U.S. has no labor protections for sex workers who are a marginalized group that is often deplatformed to start over. Tumblr, Patreon and many other mainstream social media networks have also taken steps to ban NSFW content. strict rules against nudity. OnlyFans is a safety net that allows sex workers to safely perform their duties from the privacy of their home.

“I’m terrified. I don’t know what I’m going to do moving forward.”

Jessica is a Chicago-based creator of OnlyFans at 33 years old

Jordan Bundy is a OnlyFans founder in San Jose at the age of 29. The platform provides her sole source of income. Over the pandemic, she lost her job at a skincare company as a sales rep. OnlyFans saved her from financial ruin and helped her to build a financial safety network.

“I was finally ahead of rent and not behind it,” she said. “I felt like I could breathe for once in my life.”

However, her experiences with OnlyFans have been disappointing. Bundy explained that others have stolen her nude content and reposted it to Reddit, as well as an additional OnlyFans account impersonating Bundy. She was shocked to learn that OnlyFans didn’t do much when Bundy reported the abuse. She’s not surprised that the company is now turning its back on its primary user base.

“Everybody associates OnlyFans with sex work,” she said. “They used the sex work community to grow to where they are now.”

Meanwhile, as OnlyFans attempts to rebrand into a puritanical version of itself to attract outside funding, Jessica from Chicago is stressing about how she’s going to pay her bills once her savings run out.

“We all know what OnlyFans is for,” she said. “They should be proud of the fact that they’re basically a fucking porn site and that they allow all of these people to take control of their lives and financial futures, and try to find a way to make this work for us.”

Source: HuffPost.com.

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