Meet the OnlyFans models making a killing in lockdown

Photographer Ottilie Landmark shoots Denise Dame, Tasha Black, NoireKitten, Daddy Bears and Love Bailey, five OnlyFans performers who believe the platform has revolutionised online sex work.

by Ottilie Landmark and Ryan White
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14 July 2020, 4:05pm

Back in January, OnlyFans model Kaylen Ward -- better known now as The Naked Philanthropist -- raised over a million dollars by her estimation for the Australian Bush fires by exchanging nude photos for a $10 donation to charity. By the end of March, Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion had released “Savage (Remix)”, a coronavirus relief charity single which quickly ascended to No. 1 and with it immortalised the platform in history with its line “On that Demon Time, she might start a OnlyFans”. Come April and The Guardian asked “Can one site change what a porn star is supposed to look like?”

Despite launching in 2016, it seems this was the year OnlyFans broke the mainstream.

Inconspicuous in its design, OnlyFans is not inherently a platform for pornography. Users subscribe to a performer -- be it a comedian, chef, fitness instructor, or in most cases, an adult performer -- and pay a monthly fee between £5 and £20 to access a private feed of content. In an age of crowdsourcing financial support with GoFundMes, Patreons and Venmos, OnlyFans -- with its 80/20 profit split -- seems the logical conclusion of a complete remodel in the value of online content.

Explicit videos, invariably, have become its most popular theme amongst its 24 million active users. For perspective, PornHub reported 42 billion views in 2019. But, as OnlyFans model Tasha Black puts it, classic porn sites act “merely as shelves to put videos on.”

Photographer Ottilie Landmark became interested in the platform earlier this year. “I started noticing that a few people I follow on Instagram also used the platform,” she says. “I wasn’t familiar until about spring, after my friend showed me the interface.” She soon became interested in photographing a handful of users at an interesting moment. For OnlyFans performers, outside the economy is stalling, unemployment is rising, but so are subscribers. “I thought it would be interesting to look into what it’s like for the performers in a time where everyone turns to the internet to get their sexual desire fulfilled.”

Identifying five performers who strive to create meaningful connections with their subscribers and ensure their content is worth every penny of the monthly subscription fee, Ottilie shot each performer via webcam. “I’ve always been curious and eager to learn so that’s how this project started. My camera allows me to be a ‘voyeur’ and -- although shooting via my computer has its limitations no doubt -- it made it possible for me to work with people who live across the world from me.”

DENISE DAME ONLYFANS

Denise Dame

Pronouns: She. Location: London. Number of subscribers: Top 3.5%. Years active on OnlyFans: One year. Is OnlyFans your main income source? Only during the lockdown. Number of hours a day spent on OnlyFans content: From one to a few hours.

When did you first hear about Only Fans and what was your first impression?
My close friend introduced me to the page and suggested it, since I already have a really big following back in my home country Slovenia as a well-known Youtuber.

How long before you began taking it seriously?
I’ve had my Instagram account removed repeatedly for ‘nudity’. It was really tough having years and years of hard work instantly deleted, but the community on OnlyFans is way more welcoming. It wasn’t until the lockdown was in full swing that I realised this is my full-time job now and I have to take it seriously.

Prior to this, had sex work, virtual or offline, been a part of your life?
I had my first sugar daddy experience back in 2016. I immediately got hooked on the lavish lifestyle and fancy trips that came along with the allowance of course. I have been sugar dating ever since, I honestly can’t imagine stopping at any point, and I cannot wait until the lockdown is over and I can plan more trips with daddies.

What is the best gift you have received from a subscriber?
Christian Louboutin heels from a submissive guy that really enjoys women in high heels. I sent him a video of me wearing them back. He enjoyed it so much he bought me another pair a few months later.

With the accessibility that Only Fans brings, do you feel you need to be more available for your customers? How do you keep the right balance?
I am active and available as much as I can, I am sure my fans understand that I have many projects outside the page, as well as a personal life. As there are many fans who want to keep in touch I am trying to answer everyone equally and I am happy to provide additional services on request such as custom content or more in depth chat for those who want more than what the basic subscription includes.

How has lockdown affected your Only Fans business?
My income has tripled since the lockdown, but I am not sure if that’s because of the lockdown itself or me putting more work and effort in it. Or both. Either ways, I enjoy my work and love keeping my fans happy and making their days brighter in these difficult times.

Onlyfans: onlyfans.com/thedame Instagram: @theofficialdenisedame Youtube: youtube.com/denisedame

TASHA BLACK ONLYFANS

Tasha Black

Pronoun: She/her/they. Location: New York and Los Angeles. Number of Subscribers: 150. Years active on OnlyFans: One year. Is OnlyFans your main income source? No. Number of hours a day spent on OnlyFans content: 3+ hours.

When did you first hear about Only Fans and what was your first impression?
I can’t remember who directed me to OnlyFans. Perhaps when one of my Dominatrix Mentors, Ariana Chevalier, discussed it with me off-hours at her dungeon. Either way I thought it made perfect sense, “Why post valuable, painstakingly-produced content for free?” At the time I was told that the most dommes were making off the platform was $2000 monthly. Back then I thought it was amazing. But now I make even more.

Prior to this, had sex work, virtual or offline, been a part of your life?
Yes, I’ve been involved in the sex industry in some form or another since 2016. All my sex work has been in-person -- as a sugar baby, stripper, and dominatrix. A lot of my former co-workers and colleagues have been starving right now because of their dependence on in-person sex work. Shifting my business online has been a transformative and rewarding endeavour in that it’s allowed me to stay relevant while staying at home.

How would you describe your Only Fans channel?
A lot of pegging, oftentimes in public. $1000 lingerie sets elegantly layering my teasing body. Female dominance in its most seductive form. All artfully done, featuring the curly-haired Black Goddess of strap-on sex.

You have to manage multiple different areas, from filming and photographing, to social media marketing, to communicating with your clients. How much work behind the scenes goes into creating a single upload?
OMG more work than I can quantify! Because I post such high quality content I use a whole team of people to gather all the lingerie sets, slaves, and photographers necessary to get one shoot down. It takes so much work to produce a single post. I know a lot of performers don’t put in as much effort as I do, but I want to create an experience that is special, sexy, and uniquely tantalising for my audience.

Do you use other platforms other than OnlyFans?
Yes, I do! I post videos on IWantClips and have recently opened a video store on my website, thetashablack.com. IWantClips is different from Only Fans in that it doesn’t offer as many opportunities for audience engagement as Only Fans does. I think that’s what makes Only Fans so special. Fans want to feel connected to their favourite performers and OnlyFans provides a welcoming, intimate platform for that. There’s so many opportunities for engagement, including features we already know and love like going ‘Live’ and creating ‘Stories’. It really deepens the client-content creator bond and increases our earnings as well.

What do you think it is about Only Fans that meant it’s become one of the most widely-known adult subscription services online in the past year?
I don’t think any other platform like it existed before. Clip stores like IWantClips, Clips4Sale, and ManyVids have always been welcoming to alternative adult performers but they acted merely as shelves to put videos on. They’re also somewhat exclusive to the sex work community. OnlyFans encourages everyday engagement and appeals to mainstream content creators; picking the best out of individuals that understand social media but weren’t already producing adult content.

What is the best gift you have received from a subscriber?
An apartment.

How has lockdown affected your Only Fans business?
My OnlyFans started flourishing during lockdown. I’m not sure if the two things are related, as I mentioned earlier I made a drastic shift in my content in February/March that I would assume to be the culprit. But, if anything, that simply attests to the fact that any creator can be successful on OnlyFans at any time. It just requires a careful consideration of your audience, their likes and dislikes, and how you can best fulfil and monetise that niche. What makes an Only Fans Creator successful isn’t guarded information or hard to understand -- it’s just how you do business.

OnlyFans: onlyfans.com/tashablack Instagram: @thetashablack Website: thetashablack.com Twitter: @thetashablack

NOIRE KITTEN ONLYFANS

NoireKitten

Pronoun: She/her. Location: Colorado, USA. Number of subscribers: 125. Months active on OnlyFans: 3 months. Is OnlyFans your main income source: Yes. Number of hours a day spent on OnlyFans content: 10+ hours.

When did you first hear about OnlyFans and what was your first impression?
I first heard about OnlyFans this year and had no clue it’d be this fun! I wish I started making content with OnlyFans sooner.

Prior to this, had sex work, virtual or offline, been a part of your life?
I used to cam when I was 18 but took a four year break. I’ve also been a sugar baby for a bit during my time away from camming.

How would you describe your Only Fans channel?
My OnlyFans offers a variety of media. I have sexy GIFs, extra naughty long videos, and high quality jaw-dropping photos. I put effort in all my looks. My OnlyFans is nothing like the others as I have a diverse selection that suits all kinks and fantasies. I am open to making all types of content which helps me connect with my fans and I offer fan of the month promos, as well as games and weekly deals. I love getting sexy on cam.

What is the best gift you have received from a subscriber?
My best gift is my squirting dildo vibrator! It's so powerful and did I mention it squirts?!

What is the strangest request you've had?
I wouldn’t say it was strange as I’m sure it happens often but I had a guy offer me $300 to meet in person. AS IF! My sugar daddies would laugh at the lowballing going on!

Does the nature of the service subscriptions compel you to make your content increasingly explicit?
Not necessarily, as I have people subscribe who never buy content. They just lurk, like those guys who pay to get in the club but never contribute to the artists. I make sure I’m not overselling myself and pay extra attention to those who actually take the time to appreciate my content.

How has lockdown affected your Only Fans business?
I guess it helped boost my subs because people have more time on their hands!

OnlyFans: onlyfans.com/noirekitten Instagram: @ebonyzombi

Daddybears onlyfans

Daddy Bears

Pronoun: She. Location: London. Months/Years active on OnlyFans: 8 months. Is OnlyFans your main income source? No. Number of hours a day spent on OnlyFans content: 2 hours.

How did you get started using the platform and how long before you began taking it seriously?
Friends had urged me to get it after seeing how many almost-nudes I was posting on Instagram for free. I finally decided to listen to them and saw how easy it was to use the site but didn’t really expect to make any money off it. I think after my first month or so I realised it was really financially helpful and I enjoyed it so began to take it more and more seriously, trying to beat my previous month’s earnings.

Prior to this, had sex work, virtual or offline, been a part of your life?
Not really, I’d been selling a few nudes through Instagram and used underwear on Craigslist a few years ago but that’s it. It’s always been something I’ve considered and I think maybe I was waiting for something like OnlyFans to come along and make it slightly easier and safer.

What do you think it is about Only Fans that meant it’s become one of the most widely-known adult subscription services online in the past year?
The social interaction aspect of the website seems to play a big part in how it could easily be compared to other ‘non-sex work’ platforms, it’s maybe the first adult subscription website that has the potential to be normalised.

What has OnlyFans enabled you to do in your life that wouldn’t have been possible without it?
Get out of my overdraft without leaving my house.

What is the best gift you have received from a subscriber?
A glow in the dark bong.

What is the strangest experience or request you have had?
One fan sent me a proposal for a screenplay they’d written in which I was a young girl who was kidnapped by an incel, taken back to his lair and then, by the time the police arrived, I’d somehow fallen in love with my captor.

Does the nature of the service subscriptions compel you to make your content increasingly explicit?
I think lots of things factor into why you might feel like this. There’s a point sometimes where if you haven’t shown ‘everything,’ when do you? Or do you just limit your main OnlyFans content to being less explicit and make paid for content separate? It can be difficult to make these kinds of decisions because at the end of the day you’re making a business out of yourself and even attempting to become a business lady. Understanding what kind of thing is going to bring in the most profit versus what you feel comfortable with is pretty difficult sometimes. Making the separation between those things can be hard when you’re in a desperate position financially, like most of us are right now. The main thing, though, is that you are completely in control of what you do or don’t do.

How has lockdown affected your Only Fans business?
It’s been great in terms of having more time to focus on making content and interacting with fans. And of course you have more of a captive audience where everyone is home more and maybe looking at the internet even more... and everyone’s naturally hornier. It’s been so good to find myself with new subscribers who maybe wouldn’t have thought about it before.

OnlyFans: onlyfans.com/daddybares_ Instagram: @_daddybears_

love bailey onlyfans

Love Bailey

Pronoun: Goddess. Location: Transmecula, California. Number of subscribers: 300. Months active on OnlyFans: 3 months. Is OnlyFans your main income source? No.

How did you get started using the platform and how long before you began taking it seriously?
I started OnlyFans the moment a deadly virus began gripping all of humanity. All of my jobs were cancelled and it was time to rethink my finances.

Prior to this, had sex work, virtual or offline, been a part of your life?
My last single available on iTunes is called “Hollywood Hooker”. Does that count?

Do you use other platforms other than OF, and if so, how are they different?
Instagram and TikTok. They drain my resources and give nothing back. At least OnlyFans is a way of my financial self-empowerment.

What is the best gift you have received from a subscriber?
A white lace lingerie bustier set from Honey Bridgette.

Does the nature of the service subscriptions compel you to make your content increasingly explicit?
Most of my viewers want to see my Shenis. Of course, they have to pay extra for that.

How does your artistic practice relate to your OnlyFans content?
I’m a sexually free spirit. The music and dances I create celebrate my freedom. Most of the videos I upload to OnlyFans are of me dancing to my favourite music, living my daily fantasies on the ranch, feeling my oats. If you are a viewer looking for a plain white backdrop of a timid trans girl stroking her Shenis, Bailey’s Boudoir is probably not the best place for you.

OnlyFans: onlyfans.com/baileysboudoir. Instagram: @loveisbailey GoFundMe: gofundme.com/f/savage-ranch-artist-residency. Website: savageranch.us is a safe space for LGBTQ and POC marginalised artists run by Bailey.

Credits


Photography Ottilie Landmark

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