By Becca Cowie
Working full-time at my £6.15 an hour retail job was barely covering my rent and bills, and by now SAAS was but a whimsical memory. The nights were still light, it was warm, and all I wanted was to enjoy a nice cold pint in a beer garden with my friends without putting any more strain on my overdraft.
It was an idea that had been in the back of my mind for months, but never one that I dared act upon – until last August. In half an hour my URL was decided upon and my OnlyFans account was pending approval. There it lay dormant for a few days until I finally gathered the guts to post the link on Twitter and tentatively share my first photo, clad in a lacy pink Primark bodysuit.
My initial expectations were low; I was worried that I would be inundated with creepy men, all desperate to make me talk to them or share more than I was comfortable with. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Since that first photo, I haven’t had a negative experience from anyone who subscribes to me. Everyone has been nothing but respectful and complimentary – something I wish could be said for everyone else who has an opinion about OnlyFans and girls who make money from the platform.
OnlyFans has perhaps been the most divisive topic on Twitter in the past year; “might just become a stripper” tweets have been replaced by “might just make an OnlyFans account” (most of you wouldn’t have the upper body strength or coordination for pole dancing anyway!). Most of these tweets are fuelled by instances where girls with tens of thousands of followers claim to make thousands of pounds a week from their OnlyFans accounts. Earlier this week, Scottish OnlyFans star Gemma McCourt published her e-book Making a Million, full of tips and tricks on how she made over a million pounds in two years. Twitter users of all genders have taken to the social media platform to express either their utter disdain for girls like me who capitalise from their bodies, or their respect for those who take advantage of their large following and have the confidence to make a bit of extra money in this way.
For perspective, I have made $1500 since September and am in the top 37% of all OnlyFans content creators. OnlyFans takes a whopping 20% of my earnings, leaving me with $1200 – just shy of £1000, averaging around £200 per month. The majority of this comes from subscribers paying a subscription fee of $8 per month to access my page. I’ve also received around $200 in tips. While this has been an invaluable source of income for me in the last few months, it doesn’t quite live up to the picture presented by women who make enough from the platform to give up their “real” jobs and live off their OnlyFans income. It is relatively easy money, but it is still work. Gaining fans depends solely on self-promotion through social media like Twitter, and in order to maintain subscribers posting regularly is a must – most accounts will post at least once a day. The scheduling posts feature on the platform helps, but it can be difficult to stay consistent and post a variety of interesting and engaging content during times when you’re struggling with body image or have impending assignment deadlines.
It’s also not something that’s not done without repercussions. I have around 2500 followers on Twitter – not a massively impressive number, but one that encompasses colleagues, friends, family, and strangers, all of whom can see my tweets promoting my content and have opinions about what I post. I’ve had men I once considered close friends subscribe to my profile to satisfy their own curiosity. I’ve had quite a lot of unsolicited comments, not just from strangers but from friends; for example, I’ve been told that what I’m doing is “sad as fuck” and that if I’m having money problems I should “get a second job like most normal people” (as a side note, the man who said this got a job with his dad’s business straight out of college and drives a brand new Mercedes with a personalised reg plate at the age of 22).
As far as I’m concerned, the money I earn from the platform is worth the relatively small amount of backlash I’ve received. It’s not something I plan on stopping anytime soon and I’ve had a lot of positive reactions regarding my OnlyFans from people who realise that what I choose to post is, in fact, none of their business.