I’m not what you think of when you think of the “OnlyFans model”. My body is strong, with big thighs, strong arms, and a doughy midsection. My hair is anything but full and much of my wardrobe is old navy chic. I have a tail – and it isn’t gigantic. Nobody sees me on the street and fantasizes about me when they come home. At least I thought so.
One of my first followers OnlyFans — who I affectionately called Foot Bitch — told me we went to college together. “I thought you were incredibly sexy and have cummed on your Facebook pics so many times!” He joined our first exchange. That was news to me; I spent my college years being surprised at every sexual interest. My body image was distorted by countless bullies who called me a “fat jerk” every day for a decade. “Foot Bitch” then tipped me for foot pics and apologized for not having more money to send. “I’m drowning in NYU debt,” he wrote. I hoped I was worth it. For many creators on “this platform,” body image is reawakening in the face of generational fatphobia, filtered social media models, and gendered expectations.
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“It’s funny. You start an OnlyFans page and everyone who wants to have sex with you follows them,” says the author Ryn Pfeuffer49. “Someone I dated in the mid ’90s crawled out of necessity. I wish I had known.” [he liked me then]!”
The rise of OnlyFans (and other independent, adult-friendly monetization platforms like Fansly, FanCentro, and LoyalFans) has led to a surge in everyday people trying their hand at homemade porn. In 2019 there should have been such 120,000 creator accounts on the website. In 2022, that number is well over 1.5 million with more than 150 million registered users. In the meantime, OnlyFans fully meets the zeitgeist many Celebrities ready to show off a nipple or a bushy root to their horniest fans. (Except Bella Thorne.)
I started an OnlyFans account in August 2020 after building a very awesome audience with it The Manwhore Podcast (Example: We watch retro porn together my Discord server every month). Like many newbies, I wanted an ego boost. Other YouTubers wanted to explore their sexuality anonymously. Many were out of work as the world ground to a halt during the pandemic lockdowns, and they turned to the heat to pay their bills.
“It’s nice to have those moments where I’m like, ‘Whoa. I’m kinda hot!’”
Haley, 26, launched her page @GetHumiliated in January 2021 to make ends meet while waiting for a new job to start. In college, she asked “guys on Twitter” for money for beers by offering nude photos, accepting their payments, and then ghosting them. But now she was ready to actually do it.
Haley has found a niche as an internet goddess specializing in the degradation of small penises (a fetish where a man Requests demeaning remarks about the size of his cheekbone). The clever humiliator earns a whopping $4,000 to $7,000 a month and is praised by betas. Mrs. Humiliation, as she calls herself, has since quit her job because she “literally lost money not being available to do interactive stuff.”
But money wasn’t the only benefit. “My mom was always trying to lose weight,” says Haley. She feels like being smaller was ingrained in her from a young age. “I’ve always had a little more belly fat.” Like me, that soft, soft midsection was her least fallen part of her body. But on OnlyFans, Haley is inundated with men worshiping her belly.
Another woman, a German YouTuber who posts at @aafricanqueeeenShe said she’d also been insecure about her stomach for years. By posting on OnlyFans, she found out, “A lot of people love Fupas!” (FUPA is an acronym for Fat Upper Pubic Area.) Each photoshoot provided an opportunity to discover new parts of her body that can be sexy — even if they aren’t fit into conventional beauty standards. For example, the 24-year-old, who loves memes and dick reviews, never liked to shave but did because of men’s expectations. After seeing the positive reactions to some unshaven content, she put the razor down entirely. “Sexuality was always associated with a boy, not with myself.” [Now I realize that] My body, just the way it is, is beautiful. I don’t have to change it.
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The body positivity movement often pushes people to “feel beautiful” and not rely on external validation. But when pop culture representation of your body type is lacking and desire for someone like you is either fetishized or admitted in hushed language, it can be delusional to look in the mirror and find yourself sexy. All accounts and endorsements feel empty when people applaud your bravery instead of openly drooling over your comments like they do for Megan Fox or Michael B. Jordan.
In college, one of my sisters told me, “If you only had a six-pack, so many of my friends would want to date you.” Shot. No wonder, roughly speaking 10 million men and boys in this country are affected by eating disorders. Being a man whose definition of “ABS” will always be more in line with “anti-lock braking system”, I have concluded that I must either get rich or make fun of myself. When I was younger I never saw on social media women openly lusting after chubby male actors without also mentioning how hilarious he was in that one movie.
Flashback to this week: One of my regulars — a married woman in her 30s from the Midwest — tips me off and tells me how much she loves my arms, chest hair, thighs and butt. And yes, my friend’s size is also the size of 15 cm.
Body image isn’t just about weight, muscles, and the shape of your boobs. For many trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people, there is just something wrong with what they see in the mirror. “It didn’t feel good to have that reminder that people saw that when they looked at me,” she shares Eliza Caseywho began filming adult content with her wife in 2016 “long before OnlyFans exploded.”
After the transition, Casey, 30, drove to the desert to do some photography for a friend’s magazine. “[My friend] I saw myself more through the lens of the camera on this photoshoot than I see myself in the mirror some days I get out of the car in the Nevada sunlight. “It’s nice to have those moments where I’m like, ‘Whoa.’ I’m kinda hot!’”
“These dollars mean only one thing: you’re hot as hell. Now pay your rent with your hotness.”
There is less ambiguity with porn metrics than with Instagram engagement. You don’t have to discuss Why People liked your thirst trap on OnlyFans. It’s not because you’re funny or brave or nice or people feel sorry for you. The tips spent and the number of views give a YouTuber an idea of how many orgasms they have caused. Those dollars mean only one thing: you’re doomed hot. Now pay your rent with your beauty.
For trans people, whose sexuality unfortunately inspires both shame and violence, selling nudes can be an affirmation. “It definitely helps to show people like me that they’re wanted and take control of their pleasure,” admits Casey. Meanwhile, older YouTubers like Pfeuffer, who makes $1,000 a week with OnlyFans, are hoping to challenge the notion that there’s a “social expiration date for your body.”
In my first month at OnlyFans, I made $1,020 – that’s $30 less than rent! I did more over the next month. As a stranger comedian A reasonably successful dating podcast has made me tens of thousands of dollars posting thirst traps and selling videos of my body in various sexual scenarios. It was immediately clear to me that I can hate my body if I want to – but I have to respect it. Because this body paid some bills. If I’m making between $500 and $2,000 a month, I had to accept: I have a hot body.
“OnlyFans helped me see that people love different things,” recalls Haley. “There’s something about me that I hate that someone else might think is the most beautiful thing in the world.”
This article was first published in 2022 and republished in 2023.