The urge for sex in the era of social distancing has caused a, well, uprising in all things frisky. Maybe you've tuned into musician Tory Lanez's "Quarantine Radio" twerk competitions (you wouldn't be alone — the broadcast reportedly broke Instagram Live's record for most viewers, with 310,000 tuning in on Mar. 31.) And if Beyoncé's on "demon time," then damn it, we should be too. But beauty tutorials on OnlyFans, the subscription-based social media platform otherwise known for pornography, are spiking just as much as the NSFW content. The platform isn't just for consenting partners, sex workers, and peeping Toms willing to pay. Fitness instructors, chefs, and musicians use it too... along with your new favorite makeup artists and estheticians.
Created in 2016 by Timothy Stokely, a British tech entrepreneur and investor, OnlyFans was conceived with the intention of giving influencers and entrepreneurs the opportunity to make money off of their talents and content. On the website, creators have the option to charge a monthly subscription fee for their followers — those fees range from $4.99 to $49.99 — or they can have open pages, charging solely for specific content. It's become widely known to many as a porn website, with no rules or stipulations against nudity or pornography, and with the vast majority of its accounts run by sex workers, according to the brand. The platform has received an uptick of new users since quarantine began (with a 15 percent increase after Bey's namedrop in Meg Thee Stallion's "Savage" Remix, according to the brand). Despite its reputation, it's not just the nudity guidelines that draw content creators to OnlyFans in lieu of other platforms like YouTube. Most notably, the content posted is tremendously more secure, decreasing the risk of redistribution, and protecting the identity of those consuming the content. In addition, the revenue split is a bit fairer. To contrast, YouTube subtracts 45% of an ad sale on a video, leaving 55% to the creator, whereas OnlyFans only subtracts 20% of earnings.
As the world remains at a standstill amidst the pandemic, OnlyFans' content continues to evolve. Prior to the health crisis, the site saw an increase in interest towards accounts that had nothing to do with sex. "With the shutdowns, creators across all industries, including beauty, have become even more aware of the potential that the platform offers for them due to OnlyFans' progressive policies towards content creation without discrimination," OnlyFans tells The Zoe Report exclusively. "As the beauty industry adapts to new social distancing measures with public spaces reopening, there is great opportunity for beauty industry professionals to utilize OnlyFans, for example, for at-home service tutorials as well as personalized expert tips on product applications where individuals may have previously relied on a makeup counter."
And while the work of sex workers and estheticians may bare no resemblance, they've turned to OnlyFans for the same reason: they're sick of their talents being monopolized for no financial gain. As websites such as PornHub and XVideos had long made paying for porn non-existent, and social media made skincare advice a free market, both audiences have seen their talents taken for granted. "When sex workers began using OnlyFans, they were taking back their autonomy to create content that served them and their audience, but mostly them," Joi Lin Tynes, licensed esthetician and wax specialist in Westchester, NY who has a skincare-dedicated account with OnlyFans says. "I would see social media users talking about estheticians, and they were seemingly acting very entitled to skincare tips. Ironically, it's the same content they wanted for free that we've spent years cultivating and learning." Those sentiments are echoed across the skincare community, even in completely opposite ends of the country. Hope Conley, a licensed esthetician at Elite Esthetics in Jackson, Tennessee was always open to giving complimentary advice to those on social media, but conflicting opinions made it difficult. "I follow a lot of other estheticians," she tells TZR. "If I didn't have the same views on skincare [as them], those looking on would become angry, as if skincare isn't a personalized experience, and all of us have different training. Eventually, I figured if no one wants to take my free advice, why not make money from a paying client who does? So if anyone wants to get information from me about skincare, they have to pay for it."
Conley's account features personalized skin consultations and at-home facial tutorials available at $7.99 per month. In the two weeks that she's had her account, she's already nabbed subscribers who generously tip her for her services. And due to the lax nudity guidelines, OnlyFans makes it possible for Conley to show off her intimate waxing practices, too. "I tend to have people that report my Brazilian waxes on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook because they're not comfortable with people's vagina on their pages," she says. "So now, with my clients' consent, I post their before and afters without having to worry about my content being flagged." Tynes agrees, saying that estheticians can finally talk about the taboo topics of skincare without being penalized. "I'm shifting almost fully to intimate skincare content," she shares. Hot topics include hyperpigmentation of the pubic area, FAQs about ingrown hairs... "all the things that still seem very taboo," she notes. "Some people don't like to talk about it, but I'm here to do it. It's normal and it happens, especially with Black skin."
Nonetheless, there's still the stigma attached to OnlyFans that has kept some estheticians away from it in the first place. Nyssa G., a professional skin therapist in Ontario, CAN, has been tempted to start an OnlyFans account for months, but due to perception, she's been wary of doing so. "Like most, the way OnlyFans was presented to me was through sex work," she says. "That's wonderful, but in my line of work, I was fearful that me saying I had an OnlyFans would garner negative opinions, so I decided against it." However, the influx of accounts not focused on pornography have her ready to join, preparing to make an account of her own. "Now I'm feeling more confident in my decision to create an account," she says. "I know my stuff, and I know I can help, and I deserve to be monetizing that knowledge, as do other estheticians."
And it seems that sex workers are discovering just how multifaceted their content is as well, finding that their skincare routines are also in high demand. Take Ndivero, for instance, a sought-after sex worker on OnlyFans whose pornographic posts have garnered hundreds of comments on Twitter inquiring on the skincare routine for her Brazilian area. And while she hasn't addressed her routine yet, she has in turn directed commenters to her OnlyFans account. There's also @mascfeme, who affectionately refers to himself as "OnlyFans Gay," whose near-flawless hind parts have made him the topic of interviews focusing solely on his rear end.
Hopefully, the budding OnlyFans beauty community will open minds and garner respect for the crafts of sex workers and beauty experts alike — without stigma involved. "When you say you have an OnlyFans people will look at you a certain way," Tynes says. "But really, it's just content creators who want to provide for themselves, and take back what they're actually entitled to."
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