Welcome to “Ask a Top,” where we ask tops to weigh in on the big issues.
This week? We’re talking to Matt, i.e. @teninchlondon of OnlyFans and JustForFans about what the hell is going on with this OnlyFans about-face. What’s happening? Can we trust the platform anymore? Is Mastercard pissed? What’s the tea?!
Read on to find out.
First off, why the quick reversal?
I’m sure it was because of the backlash, and I’m not surprised at all. Seeing the news online about OnlyFans banning explicit content felt like the rug was being pulled out underneath our feet. I’m surprised OnlyFans didn’t have the foresight to recognize it in advance, but I’m sure they quickly realized just the sheer size that sex workers comprise of their audience based off of the backlash on Twitter.
What do you think this will mean for folks on the site? Has their trust been betrayed enough for them to make a mass exodus?
I don’t think there will be a mass exodus per se, but I think for so many performers, OnlyFans had exclusivity previously—it was the only fan site we used, myself included, and I think that will change now because our trust has been broken. I think the majority of performers will use JustForFans and other rival fan sites too, alongside OnlyFans, which for the moment still holds the market share in terms of fan sites.
If OnlyFans had continued with their decision to ban explicit content, performers might be forced to return to dangerous environments to make up the money that they had lost, and that’s just not right.
What do you see happening in light of all this?
I hope this brings about more recognition of sex worker rights and job security for performers in terms of fan sites. Ultimately, if OnlyFans had continued with their decision to ban explicit content, performers might be forced to return to dangerous environments to make up the money that they had lost, and that’s just not right – their working environment would have quite literally changed overnight.
Do you think legal/compliance stuff will still find its way into the OnlyFans business model somehow and derail peoples’ ability to make money?
I really hope not – we all need to work hard to break the stigma around sex work, and make sure that banks—and other parties involved—don’t see any issue in processing payments for fan sites, or that fan sites don’t feel the need to back down to these pressures, and can instead actually use their platform and huge following to stand up for sex workers.
What do you see happening once the pandemic subsides a bit more? Will OnlyFans still retain significance for sex workers?
Yes, absolutely. Fan sites have provided sex workers with a safe environment to do their job, tapping into niches that audiences love, and I can’t see that disappearing once the pandemic starts to subside. Whether that’s on OnlyFans specifically or other fan sites, I think the platforms are here to stay.♦