Is OnlyFans Really Running Away From Porn? Not So Fast …

The wildly popular X-rated app provoked an uproar last week after it announced that it was cleaning up its act. But it turns out that’s just half the story.
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OnlyFans, the popular subscription-based content company known for providing direct-to-consumer porn that creators can charge for, caused a major ruckus last week after announcing that it would no longer allow sexually explicit conduct on its app. Fired-up adult film stars and amateur content creators quickly took to Twitter to denounce the company’s stunning decision, but it now seems the uproar may be premature.

“Effective October 1, OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually explicit conduct,” the company declared in a surprise post on Twitter on Thursday. “Creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy.” The reversal inflamed many of the site’s X-rated content creators, who felt used and discarded by the company. While creators have always been able to upload all kinds of content, many established adult film stars lent early legitimacy and publicity to OnlyFans with their pornographic channels. Now, those sex workers are feeling left in the lurch as OnlyFans shifts to more family-friendly fare.

But according to a screenshot ––which has since been taken down–– shared Friday morning by a Twitter user who had contacted OnlyFans’ customer service, OnlyFans.com will “always allow explicit content.” Only the new app, slated for release in October, will be Safe For Work, while the original website will remain as NSFW as ever. The quiet clarification has throngs of confused users wondering why the company didn’t publicly specify the difference despite the widespread panic and backlash. Does OnlyFans want to have its cake and eat it too?

One possible explanation for Only Fans modest turn may be simple self-preservation: According to some reports, the company has had serious trouble finding investors and was pressured into cleaning up its act by “banking partners and payout providers.” Launched in 2016, OnlyFans was lauded for enabling sex workers to safely earn a living without a middle man. The website blew up in 2020 when actress Bella Thorne earned $1 million in 24 hours after creating her channel. She, too, angered sex workers on the platform who mistakenly believed she would be posting nude photos. Instead, all the revenue she generated was for clothed content only, something she claims she made clear from the start. (It wasn’t clear to the hundreds of subscribers who demanded refunds for not getting to see any T & A.) But the app’s popularity really exploded during the pandemic, when much of the world sat inside, glued to their phones without human contact.

On Only Fans—like in high school—creators who put out still see most of the action, but the company’s Twitter account has recently been hyping its less salacious creators,  encouraging users to subscribe to video channels by lower-wattage celebrities like Larsa Pippen, and Victoria Larsen from The Bachelor. It’s also taken to promoting DJs, stylists, personal trainers, and musicians who want to share/sell their tips and tricks to success—a strange melding of MasterClass and TikTok.

But happily, no one will be left out in the cold: Old-school desktop owners can still enjoy fan-favorites like the stripper triplets from Burbank, while iOs and Android users can content themselves with more wholesome offerings. Or something like that.  Immediately after the OnlyFans press release, Rachel Dolezal, the white, former NAACP leader who insists she is Black, announced that she was gearing up to launch her own channel on the app. Talk about arousing content.


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