OnlyFans: How South Africans are using racy website to spend and earn money
South Africans are making (and spending) cash via this content subscription service.
OnlyFans has a racy reputation but is, in essence, an opportunity for individuals to paywall content, from tasteful nudes to yoga or cooking tips. Here’s how South Africans are spending and earning through the website.
Sarah was lying awake one evening thinking about the extra money she needed to make to visit her children, who live elsewhere, when she started an OnlyFans account on a whim. Since April this year she has built up a steady stream of subscribers who pay from around $10 (R150) monthly to view her timeline of tasteful nudes, or pay extra for personalised content.
“Every single person who has subscribed to my profile bar two have been very respectful,” she says. For her, this has been a space to control and nurture her content and the way she interacts with people.
Lindiwe Rasekoala, a sexual wellness coach and content creator on OnlyFans and YouTube, says she was posting nudes on social media and kept being asked why she wasn’t making money from this.
“Initially, I was a bit hesitant, because I thought the moment money is attached to something it becomes a job and is no longer empowering.” Yet, in the past two years of running her account, she says it has been a way to express herself.
Rasekoala says she makes a minimum of around $1,000 (R16,000) a month, and uses the money to pay her bills and to fund her business. “So, that’s what I use my OnlyFans money for, as an investment back into myself.”
Amy has been on OnlyFans for about a year and has made around R45,000 in total, which she uses as additional income and savings. While the income motivated her to consider OnlyFans, she says “once I explored the platform and other creators, I also realised that it could serve as a great way for me to celebrate my body.”
“I’ve only had positive reactions,” Amy says. “The more open-minded people are about sensuality and sexuality, the more supportive they are about this kind of work.”
The platform takes about a 20% cut and taxes are deducted.
Supporting content creators
Duncan has been subscribing to OnlyFans Creators since 2019, because he says he is a big advocate of paying for porn, and sees this as a way to support content creators in this space directly. He spends around R900 to R1,000 a month.
“These days I pretty much only sub to local amateurs or creators that I know and want to support,” he says. “
I found it to be far more enjoyable and personally intimate rather than creators with very large followings.”
During the Covid-19 lockdowns in early 2020, Joe was a bit bored and noticed that a woman he had a crush on had created an OnlyFans account.
“I only subscribe to people I have a huge crush on and tip them more for them to give tailored content to me,” he says. He now spends around R3,500 a month.
While it has been going well, Rasekoala doesn’t see this as something she will be doing long term, because of the time and energy it takes.
Sarah encourages those considering opening an account, but cautions that it does require a lot of dedication and that uptake can start very slowly. DM168
Some people’s names have been changed to protect their identity.
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest stockist, please click here.
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