There is nothing empowering about ‘OnlyFans’ – Conservative Article
Businesses have always been monetising male desire. From prostitutes to OnlyFans, women have been able to profit off of their bodies for centuries. Although prostitution is typically morally frowned upon, OnlyFans (OF) has been praised as being ’empowering’ to women.
With over 17.5 million subscribers and 70,000 ‘content creators’ across the world, OF has made millions.
Content providers keep 80% of their earnings, and in total creators have made over £460 million since its launch in 2016. After years of free streaming on sites such as Pornhub, creating explicit content can finally be a legitimate moneymaker for women.
The New York Times has commended OF, stating that it “has put X-rated entertainment in the hands of its entertainers, and means content creators perform fewer sex acts.” By using this site, women are choosing the ‘pro-feminist’ route. They are taking back control of their own bodies.
However, to me, this seems contradictory.
The amount of money women are able to make on OnlyFans has been highly publicised, with creators such as Bella Thorne making over $1million on her first day. This marketing deliberately targets young, broke and vulnerable women. These women are drawn in by this clean and safer version of porn, as it is highly endorsed by feminist icons and labelled as ’empowering’. OF has cleverly marketed their porn site as pro-women. It isn’t. It is just another platform where men can treat women as their own personalised sex toys.
Similarly, the power isn’t with the creators. It is stupid to believe this. Any image or video you place online is completely out of your control. There is evidence of this happening on OF. It is not a safe space. Men are able to download, share, and screenshot any image they see on the site. This can be a very degrading experience for women.
OF is, realistically, no better than any other porn site. Women are being asked to dress like underaged school girls and to choke themselves. It amazes me that we live in a world where this is considered pro-women!
I completely agree that women have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. I just do not think the dangers of sites such as OF are being advertised nearly enough.
By normalising women creating OF accounts, society is simultaneously taking more girls out of education and legitimate, sustainable career paths.
One girl from Lancashire admitted that she dropped out of her degree course in order to continue selling naked pictures and videos of herself on OF. She is currently making around £30,000 a month.
How can people complain that there aren’t enough female doctors or CEOs, and then praise sites such as OF which are literally normalising these regarding careers for women? We should be encouraging women to become doctors, not porn stars!
It is dangerous to claim that OF is safe. Not only can it cause devastating emotional and psychological effects on women who have effectively been bought by men, but it is also very damaging to women on the whole.
There have been numerous studies done analysing the dangerous psychological effects digesting porn can have on men. There are direct correlations between porn consumption and violence and sexual abuse against women, along with increased discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
This is not empowering! Women need to take this power away from men. Stop giving them access to control you through the use of money and sites like OF.
Finally, celebrities such as Cardi B and Bella Thorne need to stop glamorising this lifestyle. It is having a direct and damaging effect on younger girls being brought up in today’s society.
Written by Senior Conservative Writer, Ellie Roberts
Point of Information
OnlyFans takes advantage of women AND men – A Liberal Response
I firstly want to say I am somewhat pleasantly surprised by Ellie on this topic. There are parts I disagree with of course, and I hope the Labour response will cover that for me. But actually, in a lot of ways, she makes sense. She notes how OnlyFans does take advantage of underprivileged women and gives them the illusion of control when it comes to their image, which I think when it comes to OnlyFans, it doesn’t.
However, OnlyFans does not only take advantage of women, it takes advantage of men. There are of course men who sell content and women who buy. But it is mainly men buying content, and it is men with mental health issues who are being taken advantage of.
Paying for porn addiction has increased drastically in the last couple of years, mainly due to increased opportunity and privacy provided by sites like OnlyFans. Although it sounds crazy to say, but paying for porn is an unhealthy channel for people to deal with their mental health issues just like gambling, alcohol or drug addiction.
However, it is also more dangerous than porn addiction. Paying for porn creates a ‘fantasy’ world for people where they could feel normal. They are talking to someone and without them knowing, unhealthily dealing with a problem that they might not even realise they have! Problems with parents, a feeling of not belonging, a job where they feel trapped; Onlyfans is an escape. Especially if people have problems with the opposite sex due to childhood trauma; it makes them easy targets to be taken advantage of.
However, it is not the escape they need and it is being used and abused by women who have one goal in mind. They create this fantasy world and manipulate people who are very lonely to their end goal; money. We also have to realise this is very different from the Wolf of Wall Street lifestyle and very different people using it. Its privacy means it could be literally anyone.
There is a reason women can happily quit studies and earn $30,000 a month off OnlyFans. They are taking advantage of unhappy, lonely men who are seriously missing something from there life that Onlyfans shouldn’t fill.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t make a quick £10 maybe £20 off the odd person, that’s fine. But that doesn’t pay for a $30,000 a month lifestyle. It is people who are spending hundreds and thousands of pounds on OnlyFans or Babestation or any other pay to play platform, which they really can’t afford. Even if they can, that’s not the price they should pay to feel accepted.
It makes me sick we celebrate taking advantage of mental health issues and we turn a blind eye to them because? Well, you know why, because of how you see them. It is time we grow up and realise that these ARE people. They need help, support, guidance and acceptance, not to be shunned and forgotten.
Written by Senior Liberal Writer, Max Anderson
We get it, sex work is ‘dirty’ – A Labour Response
I’m not going to lie, I was really disappointed reading this article. This article managed to do two things which I really was saddened and worried by. It:
- Reduced women to braindead playthings or victims, incapable of independent thought and critical thinking.
- Demonised and invalidated sex work.
Straight up, I was confused. One minute, you’re shocked that a woman taking ownership of her sexuality “is considered pro-women”. But you “completely agree that women have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies”. Which one is it?
It was pretty disheartening to read such dehumanising and objectifying language in regard to these OnlyFan content creators. Calling them “personalised sex toys” “who have effectively been bought by men”. Since when was a woman’s identity only comprised of pictures of her body? Thought we were past such Neanderthal thinking to tie someone’s worth to their sexual status.
Such rhetoric highlights the prevalence of the stigma that surrounds sex work. Many to this day do not consider sex work to be legitimate work, but why? OnlyFan content creators consensually and professionally provide a service for money… isn’t that the definition of a job? As long as every party within a transaction feels one hundred per cent comfortable, then all I see is a motivated worker.
Whilst sex work can be empowering, I totally acknowledge that it is an industry in which disgusting abuse and exploitation can, and does, occur. Yes, admittedly, the platform is far from perfect. OnlyFans definitely needs to implement greater safety precautions and security measures to protect its users. Better reassurances for legal prosecution against leaks should be put in place.
But rather than condemn the vulnerable, shouldn’t we be questioning why better support and rights aren’t in place? Shouldn’t this be motivation to make such environments safer? Greater legislation and policing regarding pornographic sites would allow empowerment for sex workers.
Safety is one of OnlyFans’ greatest appeal for many of its content creators. As all interactions take place online, it takes out the middleman of pervy filmmakers, sketchy porno scenes and meet-ups in person. It negates the potential for rape, physical abuse or STDs; an incredibly important aspect within a justice system which has a tendency to blame the sexually liberated woman.
A similar app is the creation of German app Peppr, acting as a go-between for sex workers and clientele. Many find it safer because, by advertising online, they don’t have to stay out on the streets. Also, prostitutes can warn colleagues of potentially dangerous or dodgy clients. So, what we’re seeing right now is simply the next step in the evolution of sex work. Yes, it’s not perfect. But hopefully, they will help the process of destigmatisation of sex work, whether it be online or in person.
Really, the implication that a woman supposedly can’t apparently be a doctor or a CEO and a sex worker says all I need to know. Look at Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion and the hate they received for the extremely explicit ‘WAP’. They are two extremely successful rap artists, who also profit off being sexually provocative. As soon as any sense of a woman capitalising off her own sexuality is felt, heckles rise. Just say you hate women making money off sex and go.
Written by Senior Labour Writer, Abi Smuts
I am currently in my second year of reading Politics at the University of Exeter. My first interaction with politics was at the tender age of four years old.
Hi, I’m Abi, a final year at Uni of Exeter studying International Relations and English. To me, it was only in A Levels that I realised how important politics was, when I was stuck in my male-only, extremely conservative Politics class having to constantly justify and defend my opinions to them.