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“The world is collapsing”: the ban on porn on Onlyfans despairs the performers

[Reportage] Onlyfans announced that pornographic content would be banned on its platform as of October 1, before finally backing down and putting the decision on hold. Between uncertainty and anger, the creators of the site say they are helpless.

Onlyfans finally decided to reverse their decision. After abruptly announcing on August 20 that effective October 1, pornography would be banned on Onlyfans, the site said on August 25 that it ” suspended ” measures. Announced laconically each time in a press release or on Twitter, the successive news has shocked the creators of content, who do not really know what to expect.

Although Onlyfans never highlighted the fact that many sex workers were on its platform, the site has been known for the past year as a ” Sex instagram “. The official communications of the company may have praised the cooking classes of top chefs or the special training provided by the sports coaches registered on the platform, Onlyfans was synonymous with pornography.

For all the so-called “X” content creators, the announcement of the porn ban was seen as an upheaval. Even though Onlyfans has since chosen to back down, the creators are not reassured. And many are wondering how they are going to continue their profession.

“How do I feed my daughter?” “

For me the world is falling apart », Explains Liza with annoyance. ” The first thing I said to myself when I heard the news was ‘how do I feed my daughter in October?’ It’s gonna be financial shit “. On Onlyfans since 2017, she derives all of her income from the platform. For her, more than losing her job, banning porn means insecurity.

Like many, Liza started out by viewing the income she earned from Onlyfans as a bonus, in addition to her full-time job. But as her success and income grew, she decided to devote herself to it full time. ” It has become my main income, but it was my mistake, in fact: not having a plan B. People do not have in mind the fact that it brings real security and that it allows them to have projects », She explains, citing the example of a friend who relied on Onlyfans to finance her studies.

I really live it a betrayal, and I am very angry, while feeling helpless… », Abounds Shamandalilie. However, she expected such a decision from Onlyfans: ” I was dreading it, but I saw it coming. Since June, Onlyfans has been trying to attract new investors and launch a fundraiser in order to obtain a valuation of more than a billion dollars. And for this, the platform had already sought to erase its NSFW sides (not safe for work, editor’s note). Despite the warning signs, many did not want to believe it. ” Some designers were in denial, until we received the official email from Onlyfan », Says Indriya, also a performer on the platform.

A woman behind a computer // Source: piqsels / public domain

” The end of an era “

In addition to the fear of losing their income, there is a lot of uncertainty. ” I hope our subscribers and fans will follow us on the new platforms, but it’s complicated, people are not going to migrate so easily. My subscribers tell me that some platforms are not good, that there are a lot of bugs », Explains Liza. From the announcement of Onlyfans, she spoke at length with her community. ” There is a lot of misunderstanding on their side too, a lot of sadness… Some people write to me every day to tell me that it is the end of an era.

Where to go, then, if Onlyfans were to really stay in this position? This is the big question. Between the French sites Mym and Swame, or the American platforms, the choice may seem vast, but it is not always easy to make a choice. ” Mym is not up to the task, there are a lot of technical problems, it is not ergonomic, the messaging system is the cross and the banner to use it, my fans don’t like to use it », Notes Liza. Others do not offer the option of streaming live video, and others only accept Paypal, which is a drag for some. ” Leave us 3 months to make the change, it’s brutal. We don’t have time to rebuild a community », She regrets.

In this environment as in other professions, you must always have a plan B. Even, a plan C », Explains Indriya. ” I always have my back, so I already had a Fansly account ready to take over. And now I’m going to plan another site in case Fansly does the same.

Having already experienced a change of platform, I know how difficult it is, and I’m tired of starting over again », Explains Shamandalie. ” But the difference is that today it happens to all of us at the same time, and it is very publicized, so I am hopeful that our subscribers will take the step to follow us. In our groups, we are also extremely motivated to support each other and make it work. So it is reassuring.

The Tumblr example

This is not the first time that sex workers have been kicked out of the sites they use – and yet have contributed to the success of. And today we feel a lot of weariness. ” This isn’t the first time that a site has rejected porn in an attempt to scale up and boost its image », Indriya says. The first example that comes to mind is from Tumblr, which banned all nudity completely in 2018.

The platform, which until then housed a large community of amateurs and professionals, has decided to no longer allow nudity photos – officially to fight against the sharing of child pornography. The ban had left the entire community bewildered – and had contributed to a huge drop in traffic to the site.

Before Tumblr, it was the crowdfunding site Patreon that cracked down on explicitly sexual content. ” I experienced this in 2018 », Remembers Shamandalilie,« At the time, I was only doing nude, but they ruled that it was pornographic and asked me to delete everything. As I was forced to delete my monthly paid post, I deleted my income at the same time. It was after that that I switched to Onlyfans. It was they who contacted me to join them, telling me that unlike Patreon, they would not kick me out. She explains, well aware of the irony of the situation.

An “uncertain” future

But this repetition also raises fears for the future: after Tumblr, Patreon and Onlyfans, the sites which will take over will they not also come under pressure from the banks? Rumors are already circulating about Mym, confide some creators, who would think of following in the footsteps of Onlyfans soon. ” For now the future is uncertain Liza sighs. ” We are always at the mercy of these sites. And it’s unthinkable to create a personal site, you need a webmaster, a server, and there would always be the same problem of payment. », She regrets.

Same echo from Shamandalilie’s side. ” I’m afraid other sites will follow suit. We’ll see. For now, I’m trying not to think about it too much, I’m already under a lot of stress for the months to come. “

Indriya shows herself rather confident: « Onlyfans are going to get bought out of their way, because the site will have become unpopular. Other fansites rub their hands “. She also explains that she is looking forward to the next release of the Cumrocket fan site. ” It’s a platform where you can already buy naughty NFTs She says, which is based on her own cryptocurrency, the Cummies. ” With the growing restrictions of payment processors, crypto is the future of porn.

To everyone’s surprise, five days after its original announcement, Onlyfans finally reversed its decision. In a short tweet, the site claimed to have ” suspended the changes scheduled for October 1 “, And have succeeded in obtaining” the necessary insurance to support the community of creators “. No other details have yet been released, and many questions remain unanswered.

But the damage is done, despite Onlyfans’ attempt at redress. ” I think the site has lost the trust of sex workers. It is not by informing us by tweets of 250 characters that they will make amends », Judge Indriya. Nevertheless, some are partly reassured: “ It gives time to find a plan B, and it is already a lot », Explains Liza.

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