SAN ANTONIO — A local single mom says she juggles multiple jobs to raise her teenage daughter but when the pandemic hit, she was faced with very few choices.
“Work just came to a halt. Bills still needed to be paid, you know, Wi-Fi needed to be on so that my daughter could still go to school,” Emily said.
Emily wants to hide her identity because what she did next, to make ends meet, she does not want her family to know.
“It has come to this point where I have to do this to survive, because I was raised religiously and it would be frowned upon. But as a single mother, you do what you got to do to support your baby.”
Emily says she decided to try OnlyFans “but only selling pictures of my feet and I would sell panties that I would wear. Some people requested socks that I would wear for days. “
Emily says she was averaging a few hundred dollars a month but the must could be much, much bigger.
“My first month, I made over 12 grand before taxes.“
Some of Emily’s competition on OnlyFans are women and men, like Justin, who’s willing to bare it all for cash. Justin also wanted to hide his identity. He signed on after he was laid off from his job.
“I didn't have to worry about paying rent or any of my bills.”
These days there are a lot of job openings, but that wasn’t the case at the start of 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the permanent closure of hundreds of thousands of establishments. During that time, it was challenging to find work, which created a new craze for side gigs like OnlyFans.
KENS 5 spoke with UTSA Digital Marketing Professor Wendy Gratereaux, who said even though the company was started in 2016, it didn’t take off until the pandemic.
In fact, she says the company continues to attract people by the masses saying OnlyFans had its highest traffic and search August 2021.
“Businesses are open. People can go back to work and this is the work that they chose to stay with. It's really fascinating the mindset of the employee today who potentially want to be in control of their own destiny, regardless of how they make the money or not,“ Gratereaux said.
She says OnlyFans is a game changer and not just for its adult content.
The subscription-based service is just as popular with celebrities and every day people looking to showcase their creative work.
“I think that the ability for a content creator to go to a marketplace and charge whatever they want for the type of content they're producing is fascinating,” Gratereaux said. “I think it was the way that as an individual, I could immediately see my market value, and I didn't have to wait for third party advertisers or that platform to monetize me. If you are on YouTube or another monetization platform, you would have to wait until you hit a critical mass and then you only got a certain percentage of the video views.”
The price is tempting, but, as Gratereaux puts it, if you’re not careful it could also end up costing you.
“If you are ever wanting to do something different in your career or life, having that kind of content out there about you could prohibit your ability to expand into different areas. “
She says it’s not unusual for people to record things or screen grab things adding with a quick search, you can see that there's leaked fans only content all the time.
“Even if you do try to mask your true identity, there could potentially be a way that they can find you regardless.”
It can be risky business, but people like Emily, more fans means more money.
”This pandemic has been hard for everybody, you know, I'm not alone, I'm pretty sure there's lots of people out there struggling the way I am. But I would do anything for my daughter. “