It looks as though OnlyFans is going to go down the same plughole as Tumblr… and various other corners of the Interweb that previously gave sex workers and porn creators a chance to earn a living and express themselves on their own terms. I have never seriously contemplated setting up an OnlyFans account myself, but that doesn’t mean I am not furious on behalf of those who have found it worthwhile.
I’m not, in fact, furious with the people who set up OnlyFans. They are at the mercy of the finance companies who are in turn at the mercy of governments riddled, as always, with sexually-dysfunctional, puritanical bullies. It’s less a matter of them having made their money from porn and then deciding to shy away from it than a matter of having to decide whether to submit and survive a bit longer – though not much longer, as the people who were happily paying to see porn will not be as keen to pay similar money for cookery ideas and influencer-lifestyle stuff, given that they can get all the vanilla mainstream content they want elsewhere.
Thing is, if this platform disappears, those who owned it might be disappointed – though not half as disappointed as those who were using their OnlyFans earnings to pay the rent – but the problem is about more than one website. It’s about the power of a couple of finance companies to destroy people’s art, self-expression and livelihoods, on a whim or because of pressure from raging arseholes.
Too many people revert to ‘Waa, but sex trafficking, waa’ when anyone tries to point out that porn is not a problem that needs solving, just like ‘Waa, but virus, waa’ was all too often the response to any questioning of the UK government’s corruption and authoritarianism. Crackdowns on ‘porn’ are always really about cracking down on free expression.