OnlyFans Review: Sex Work Revolution or Total Scam?

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Founded way, way, way back in 2016, but with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic—and vast numbers of adult entertainers subsequently cut off from their usual, perform-in-public revenue streams—OnlyFans has exploded in popularity.

So much so that, depending on who you ask, it’s currently holding fast as the top content subscription platform in the world, with the current CEO, Tim Stokely, claiming they’re receiving 200,000 new users a day—and in the same amount of time 8,000 content creators joining up.

But despite its inarguable popularity with fans and with social media influencers, musicians, or—which is what we’re all here for—sexually explicit performers reporting they’re making tons and tons of bucks with it, is OnlyFans honestly that great for camgirls?

Getting started with OnlyFans

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Initially, signing up was remarkably simple: requiring only a verifiable email, contact info, banking info, and a few other details.

Last year, in 2019, though, OnlyFans added an extra step where performers also have to submit a headshot to be compared against the pic on their official government ID to verify their identity.

Why this was done has to do with growing and frequently troubling reports that the platform has been lax in monitoring who signs up and what was being offered to fans. Despite this change, however, in April of 2020, the BBC released a documentary stating that OnlyFans appeared to be still a notable amount of hosting underage content.

We’ll get into these and other concerns later on, but first, more about the intricacies of their sign-up process. As with other sites, for camgirls and the like, OnlyFans offers first-timers multiple ways to get their performances going, such as gaining access through a pre-existing Twitter account, Google, or register with OnlyFans directly. Facebook isn’t listed, which should come as no surprise considering that social media’s negative attitude towards sexual content.

It’s interesting that while we mentioned those previous changes to verifying a performer’s identity, that doesn’t seem to be in place if you use Twitter or Google. Not bad, just interesting as it’s pretty apparent that when someone signs up with either, they already get these social media giants’ stamps of approval.

After registering, performers will be greeted by, frankly, not very much: only a blank and somewhat intimidating almost-blank screen with four headers, a search bar, and a profile info button that, when clicked, allows for profile editing, creating a user name, bookmarking, lists, overall settings, how to link your Spotify account to share music with your fans, and where to add banking information.

If you’re worried about keeping your OnlyFans account secure, by the way, under Advanced Settings here, you can also add in two-step verification.

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There shouldn’t isn’t any big surprises here for anyone already familiar with social media, though what’s interesting is that OnlyFans doesn’t delineate all that much between a performer and … well, a fan in that while there are two money-based sections here: one where those hosting on shows or posting content can get paid while the other is for credit card information to pay other performers.

Also, don’t expect a lot of guidance here, as OnlyFans kind of hides their help feature at the bottom of this profile page. However, they do have a blog that we found to be more comprehensive and easier to navigate—we just wish they hadn’t made it so hard to find.

  • Home works like other social media platforms in if performers you decide to follow post new content, this is where you’ll see it.
  • Notifications are where you’ll be alerted to likes, subscriptions to your feed if you’ve received a tip, and so forth.
  • Create is where, as a content creator, you’ll be doing your content-creating thing. We won’t get too much into that yet, saving everything-you-need-to-know about it for our upcoming How does OnlyFans work? Section.
  • Chats is the area where you’ll converse with users or your fellow performers. Needless to say, this has a report or block feature if anyone should get out of hand.

Perhaps in their favor or maybe not, OnlyFans doesn’t bring anything innovative or unique to the social media or content subscription service table.

On the perhaps side of the coin, if you tend to feel intimidated by more elaborate arrangements and features, their simplicity could be a welcome breath of fresh air.

Flipping that over, anyone looking for greater options, more cutting-edge technology will probably see their set up as perhaps not.

Does OnlyFans cost money?

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OnlyFans does and doesn’t cost anything—or you could also say it is and isn’t free. What we mean is while it’s free to use, requiring no upfront fees or similar, they do take 20% of whatever performers using the site rake in.

Not to sound like we’re trying to dodge the issue, but it’s gosh-darned tough to say if the OnlyFans model is decisively superior compared to other camgirl sites.

The reason is that OnlyFans is primarily subscription-based, which, at the risk of being criminally simplistic, can sort-of be described as akin to how Patreon operates, with performers able to offer access to their content for a certain monthly amount.

But there’s also the option to forgo this and, instead, post content—like private shows or special events—for a one-time, flat fee.

How you can make money here, we’ll get into more detail in a few. In the meantime, the straight answer to this section’s question is that it’s free, but, like everything else in life, there’s still a cost.

How does OnlyFans work?

Now onto the nuts and bolts of how to use OnlyFans. More precisely, how to post content to it.

As with its overall site, it’s all quite simple. Get the ball rolling by clicking that Create section at the top of the page, marked by the neat little plus symbol, which will take you to a kind-of Twitter looking screen.

There you have two—and only two—choices: to create a poll (that can be handy to see what your fans might be interested in) or upload an image, audio clip, text, or video.

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Beginners will definitely be confused at this point as, until they set up how their OnlyFans account is going to work—pricing for fans, banking and payment info, and all those other nitty-gritty details they don’t tell you about—then posting options will remain this limited.

After you do go through the process, however, you’ll be able to put a time limit on how long a post will stay visible, how much you want to charge to access it, share it to your story—that works very much like the same feature on Instagram.

What you share is up to you, as OnlyFans has no problem with explicit content, though be aware that users have the option to report inappropriate content—and if you’re taking money for what you aren’t delivering.

This gets us to a few essential points involving your possible audience. Above all else, OnlyFans is a social platform and, as such, requires a considerable amount of dedication to getting and then retaining a happy subscription base.

Successful performers often talk about the necessity to post frequently throughout the day, in addition to energetically engaging with potential or already-established subscribers.

This might include responding to questions, asking for opinions, rewarding them for positive comments (and tips), offering advice, sharing (within reason) personal details, or networking with other cam-performers—all while continuing the same with your other social media accounts.

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A handy maxim towards this is the old stand-by of “treat others the way you’d like to be treated” over anything like “take them for everything they’ve got and don’t look back.” Social, remember? And nothing will sink a performer’s reputation faster than treating your fans like dirt—or as a bottomless wallet.

You don’t necessarily have to give them a glass of warm milk while tucking them in for the night, but putting in the work to make them want to come back to your OnlyFans page—and pay to see more—will always pay off in the end.

If all this makes you scratch your head in confusion, as with every other site, there is, or ever will be, keep in mind that there’s an inherent learning process, along with a fair amount of swearing directed at your computer, until you get your ah-ha movement of how OnlyFans works—and how you can get it to be best for you.

How much money do OnlyFans models make?

Here’s where we get back on stage and do a little more tap-dancing around the issue. Our reasons, though, are good as when you talk about maybes, could-bes, and possibilities around OnlyFans, there’s practically an insurmountable difference between what performers have made and what you might.

The case of Disney channel actress, Bella Thorne, is an excellent illustration of how ridiculously massive amounts of money can be made with OnlyFans—and how to utterly screw up your presence there.

First, we need to bring up that though it remains popular with camgirls and sexually-explicit performers, OnlyFans has never been exclusively about this kind of content. In fact, everyone from musicians to chefs continues to use it—as well as experts on this or that other subjects who employ it as a teaching platform.

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Still, OnlyFans has a reputation, you could say, for racier stuff. So much so that when a celebrity announces they’re going to post tantalizing content for their paying fans, there’s going to be expectations it won’t just be a few modest swimsuit shots.

This is exactly what happened with Bella Thorne, who shook OnlyFans to its core by breaking every previous record by taking in a whopping one million bucks in a single day.

But who also, a large contingent of camgirls are saying, ruined the site for them. It goes like this: despite all that money, many of her paying fans were far from happy with what she ended up posting.

This, in turn, caused OnlyFans to change their payment structure completely, putting limits on how much performers can charge, how quickly they’re able to cash out, and more: turning the site from a friendly and reliable, and much needed during the current pandemic, source of income for adult performers to anything but.

How do you get paid on OnlyFans?

Currently, camgirls and the like have several ways to generate income. As we touched on, there’s using the site’s subscription model.

Here, you set a monthly fee that users have to pay to access your current or previous posts, with the minimum set at $4.99 and $49.99 for the max.

Either, or an amount between the two, is in the hands of the performer. Determining what’s going to get the most bucks for your bangs can be challenging, extra-so for first-timers as you won’t yet have a lot of sexy stuff to show off and haven’t, however, fully ramped up your PR engine to bring them to you.

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It also depends on not only what you offer but who you are, with celebrities, like Bella Thorne able to bank on their fame and so charge whatever they damned well feel like—and get their fans to pay for it.

According to some OnlyFans performers, the site works best as a kind of pay-to-play adjunct to those who are somewhat already established. The good news in this is that if you’ve spent time on other social media platforms like Twitter, putting up an OnlyFans page where your followers can get more of you is a kind of a no-brainer.

The bad, alas, is if you’re not just new to OnlyFans but every other platform, meaning you have a lot—and we mean a lot—of work to do to get the word out about how sexy you are and why anyone should pay money to see more of you.

OnlyFans suggests making two accounts: a freebie that anyone can check out without paying a cent to generate interest—perhaps, as we’ll discuss in a second using pay-to-view posts—and then a premium account for the hot stuff for your monthly subscribers.

Subscriptions aren’t the only way for camgirls and the like to make money with OnlyFans, though, as you’ll also be able to receive tips or charge for private messages.

Though they deny any connection, post-Bella Thorne OnlyFans now has limits for all this stuff: $100 for messages, versus $200 previously; $50 rather than $200 for posts by providers who’d prefer not use the monthly-subscription thing; and tips can’t exceed $100 for an account’s first four months—up to $200 after that.

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Paying out has also changed, though only for residents of Venezuela, Mexico, Belize, and the Dominican Republic, who now have to wait 21 days rather than the site’s typical seven days to get their money.

How to get paid is not excessively complicated, though before entering your bank information, you’ll have to add a header image to your profile and complete the “about me” write-up.

After that, in seven to ten days, you’ll receive whatever you’ve earned—however, your choice of a bank could affect how fast or slow this might happen.

Services OnlyFans offers

Along with its streamlined interface and ease-of-use, a typical rave in its favor is how well it works with other social media platforms. Notably, Twitter and Instagram, where it’s now a kind of standard for adult performers on these platforms.

It’s a two-way street, for Twitter at least, as well for camgirls and adult performers willing to adjust their settings to give one platform to work with the other. Once done, when posting to OnlyFans, you’ll have an option to share the same with Twitter—which has the two-fold possibility of teasing folx from there to where you’ll have even more sexy content. For a price, of course.

Additional OnlyFans benefits and features

Type in “benefits OnlyFans,” and a good portion of the top results will herald the site’s nearly anything goes regarding what content can be posted.

This is a notable blessing for camgirls or adult content providers with concerns about the unexpected and/or unwarranted banhammer slamming down on them.

However, this doesn’t mean that every type of content is welcomed on OnlyFans as there’s mounting pressure—as we noted about that BBC documentary—for the site’s owners to drop much of this laissez-faire attitude and put at least some definite and more stringently-enforced content limits.

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Another perk to choosing OnlyFans if you’re a camgirl is its immense popularity, working in your favor by removing the lion’s share of the skepticism fans have when facing an unknown, and therefore unproven site.

In this way, it’s kind of like—and stay with us here—Amazon in that it may not be a fantastic option it’s so well established it feels safe.

Pros

OnlyFans is the camming roster leader for an excessive number of well-deserved reasons, the tip-top that it’s managed to survive—and grow and grow and grow some more—to where it’s fast approaching practically the only game in town.

Aside from that, it’s mostly hassle-free when managing how to use or share content, minimizing undue frustration for newcomers or old hands alike. Add to this that posts can be one or more still images, video clips, chats, polls, text, and so forth, and it’s safe to say that it’ll do the job no matter what kind of show, or content, you want to offer your audience.

Cons

Buckle up; this is gonna be one hellava bumpy ride. Small-ish things first: you’re outta luck if you’re looking for an OnlyFans smartphone app as Apple and Google, with their Android, both do not support one. That may or may not change, but, for now, the site’s browser-exclusive.

Onto the big: while founded by Tim Stokely in 2015, five years later, the owner of MyFreeCams, Leonid Radvinsky, gained control of the company. Though a relatively reclusive figure, what is known about him and his business practices are raising eyebrows.

This includes too-many-too-ignore reports of OnlyFan’s seizing accounts and then refusing to pay out what’d been rightfully earned by performers. Making matters worse, when pressed to explain, the company has either answered with a pat, generic message or didn’t respond at all.

Coupled with their poor decision to spontaneously restructure their payment system we touched on previously, OnlyFans are beginning to lose its luster, particularly for camgirls needing a way to stay financially afloat during the pandemic.

It doesn’t stop there, as Radvinsky similarly has been criticized regarding the site’s ongoing inability—or worse, disinterest—in policing for inappropriate posts, including notable cases of revenge porn, identity theft, and underage content as an ongoing problem.

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The verdict

OnlyFans is big—maybe the largest content subscription platform there is—and like that, if camgirls or adult performers play their cards right and stick with it long enough, the odds are in their favor for them to make serious cashola with it.

But is the biggest the best-est for them? Looking at the site’s good points and the bad, we have to say that though it’s at least worth trying out because it may well be just what you’re looking for, we honestly can’t recommend it.

Our reasoning hinges on many things, including but not limited to their extremely troubling management, like banning accounts, blocking payments, altering their payment system without considering how it may affect their content providers, and, most of all, their ongoing failure to responsibly check what’s going up, but in the end, because we simply feel performers can do better elsewhere.

Since OnlyFans rocketed skyward, there’s been an equally significant rise in sites built for, and sometimes by, camgirls and other performers. We’ll be discussing many of these, and what might make them ideal for explicit streamers in the future but from the get-go, they already have what OnlyFans doesn’t.

That is a focus: though OnlyFans is okay with adult content and makes a lot of money off it, it’s not what the site’s specifically about and, as such, isn’t set up to handle—or doesn’t respect—the needs of the industry.

Please don’t let us sway you from giving OnlyFans a whirl as, like we just said, it could very well fit the bill for you but don’t let that stop you from investigating their rivals.

Particularly those that are proudly upfront about what they are, any benefits they offer, and that they are there to help their adult content performers—and not merely make money off them.

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