OnlyFans Creators Decry NSFW Ban: This Will Ruin Lives

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Last week, news broke that OnlyFans is banning almost all NSFW content from what was previously a massive adult media subscription platform.

The ban was more restrictive than anyone suspected, depriving sex workers of almost all of the content options that the site once hosted.

The changes stemmed from MasterCard's new rules, which were themselves spurred by lobbying by anti-sex worker hate groups.

Content creators who have used this site to house and feed themselves and their families are spelling out exactly how this is ruining and, in some cases, endangering their lives.

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Last week, we reported on the ban and the immediate reaction of social media.

Once the jokes about this being Bella Thorne's fault died down, the grim reality set in.

OnlyFans used its creators for years, becoming a financial behemoth. $2 billion in transactions later, it's throwing most of them to the wolves.

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Allegedly, this is all just an effort to "crack down" on any "illegal" content hosted on the site.

OnlyFans already has strict policies of identity verification for anyone appearing on the platform, and has all along.

These new rules, prompted by demands from payment processors, permit mild nudity but ban even simple masturbation.

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Groups like Exodus Cry and NCOSE, both characterized as anti-sex-worker hate groups, have been lobbying for this for years.

This is a victory for them and for their fellow Christian dominionist organizations that want to enshrine their religious beliefs in law.

In fact, the only drawback -- from their perspective -- is the intense backlash, with the vast majority of press coverage siding with sex workers (you know, the victims).

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Strippers, cam workers, OnlyFans models, porn stars, and full service workers are all types of sex workers, and that is not an exhaustive list.

So many of them used OnlyFans as a means of generating revenue for to help pay bills and make ends meet, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, some -- particularly disabled, trans, and otherwise marginalized creators -- even found that they made more at this job and began doing it full time.

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"This is something the anti-porn and anti-trafficking organizations have been pushing for," veteran adult movie actress Alana Evans tells Axios.

As president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild, she predicts: "But I think it's going to create more trafficking situations.

Alana warns: "I have models telling me they think they have no choice but to move into full-service sex work." Even before the pandemic, that came with dangers.

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Courtney Tillia is a model and life coach as well as a 34-year-old mother of four who was blindsided by the ban.

Speaking to People, she describes the ban as "shocking," as "sudden," and as disturbingly "vague."

"It also leaves us feeling not so great," she admits, "because we were the ones who built that platform and made it into what it is today."

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Courtney, who taught special education for years before depression drove her to a new career, had supported her family on her OnlyFans earnings.

"We made it a brand that people know, and to go back on the people who built it, it's pretty awful," she remarks.

"I fell in love with it," Courtney adds. "I fell in love with being liberated and being able to share myself in different ways."

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"I started this for my own expression," Courtney details.

"I had no idea there was so much money to be made in it as there is," she adds.

And she, of course, is not alone.

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Erin Ashford has been one of OnlyFans' top models, earning thousands of subscribers in her two years on the platform.

She tells Axios that the decision to unceremoniously dump content creators was "earth-shattering."

Erin worked various jobs in Arizona before finding her way to OnlyFans, which has enabled to build a majestic new life for herself.

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"I’m not the only one who will be affected by a change in my income," Erin warns, referring to the farmland on which she now lives.

"There are six families depending on the paycheck I give them every other week," she explains.

"It seems so easy for OnlyFans to turn their back on me and other adult content creators with such little thought as to the thousands of families that will be affected by this," Erin laments.

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Maya Morena, a college student who is another OnlyFans creator, spoke to CNN.

"During COVID, I just stopped [full-service sex work] completely because it became too dangerous," she explains.

"This was the best month I've had on OnlyFans," Morena says of her most recent earnings, "and now it is basically ruined."

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Crystal Jackson and her husband, Chris Jackson, are parents in California who have been making $150,000 per month on OnlyFans.

Posting suggestive photos, their income skyrocketed to $500,000 in August, before this grim news broke.

"If you were to get half a million dollars a month for an hour of work a day, would you do it?" Chris posed. "Yeah, you would."

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Crystal describes her OnlyFans brand as "modest and reserved, real-neighbor mom."

Because her content is so tame, she does not expect to be banned directly by the horrible new policy.

However, for both lack of interest and for moral reasons, many subscribers are fleeing OnlyFans to more inclusive platforms.

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There are many factors behind this, from corporate greed to hateful ideological lobbying to the ill-advised and inexcusable passage of FOSTA/SESTA.

The broader culprit may be how our society treats sex workers, devaluing them and their labor -- and in some cases, making their jobs illegal.

OnlyFans creators don't need to "get real jobs." They have real jobs, and they have just received what's essentially news of massive layoffs. It's shameful.

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