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Up-and-coming adult actor shares how stressful the porn industry is. This is how OnlyFans helps

By Yair Oded

Nov 22, 2019

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Over the past three years, a silent yet growing revolution has rattled the porn industry with the advent of OnlyFans—a website offering a monthly subscription service to self-made adult content in a way that mimics the culture and interface of social media. Praised for putting the power in the hands of content creators, as opposed to studios, and granting viewers a more intimate look into the lives of performers, OnlyFans seems to be on a trajectory to change the landscape of the porn industry forever.

The platform was launched in 2016 by British tech entrepreneur Timothy Stokely. After founding Customs4U, a fetish website where users could order customised adult content, Stokely went on to create OnlyFans. While the website is not a porn platform per se, as it was officially created in order to grant viewers a look into the behind-the-scenes of influencers’ lives, it has nonetheless been used primarily for sharing of and monetising on adult content.

The layout of OnlyFans resembles a typical social media feed, only the content uploaded on it typically reveals more than a bikini shot or six-pack abs. Performers upload content regularly (some on a daily or semi-daily basis) for a monthly subscription fee that normally ranges from $10 to $20. At the request of fans, some performers choose to create special content tailored specifically to the user’s request, which is sent directly to their inbox for an additional payment. Currently, the platform has over 12 million registered users and over 70,000 content creators who, combined, generate an average of over $150 million a year. Some of the most successful performers on the platform have reportedly raked in tens of thousands of dollars a month.

As many adult film actors are underpaid by studios and offered less-than-desirable working conditions, a considerable number of them have been migrating to OnlyFans, where they get to keep 80 per cent of their profits, have control over their schedule and content, and be their own boss.

It isn’t only established adult film actors who flock en masse to OnlyFans, however, but also influencers and bloggers who had never before entertained the notion of joining the porn industry. As a matter of fact, that was the primary goal of Stokely when he established the platform—enabling influencers to monetise directly on their content, without the intervention of a third partner or having to win the graces of a brand, all the while satiating the public’s thirst for a more ‘intimate’ gaze into the lives of social media personas.

Screen Shot spoke to Ty London XXX, a fairly recent recruit to OnlyFans who has been thriving on the platform. “With OnlyFans you are able to provide your own content, you can do it at your own pace, you can control it,” Ty said, “it also opened a door for me to collaborate with a production studio, which I’m excited to do.”

Ty referred to a certain freedom that OnlyFans encourages by giving a platform to people of all body types, gender expressions and backgrounds, thus shattering some of the conventions perpetuated by the porn industry. “Social media at the moment is becoming a lot more queer, and you see a lot of people [being] very comfortable with their bodies. And I thought, well, why not bring my queer self into it and be fun and keep pushing boundaries within porn.”

The rapid growth of OnlyFans has sent shivers down the spines of porn studios, who are declining in popularity and were already facing a massive loss in revenue since the emergence of websites like Xvideos that offer free streaming of porn. But even such streaming services appear to be threatened by OnlyFans’ unique appeal, and many of them have reached out to OnlyFans performers, asking them to make exclusive content for their websites.

But the platform still poses considerable challenges to performers. Just like on any other social media platforms, it’s hard to keep people engaged—especially when it comes to sexual interest and particularly when a fee is involved. “Just from doing it for the last few months, mental health is something that popped up for me because I’ve had a few dips where I’ve been like—there’s such a demand to post and you’ve got a lot of people to please, money to make, and you need to keep the same amount of fans on your page for the next month and the month after that. It becomes quite stressful at times. You’re like ‘I’ve run out of things to post and people will get bored and I’ll be losing fans’,” said Ty. “Also, there are lots of times when you’re not feeling sexual and force yourself to do it. It’s really difficult. It’s tricky,” he added.

Yet Ty believes there is a way to deal with the stress that comes with the job, partly due to features offered by the platform. “Take a day off, away from the phone. On OnlyFans you can write things, you can do polls. There’s a lot of changes that they’ve been introducing so there are ways of not having to post.”

It makes perfect sense that more and more people turn to OnlyFans as their source of sexual pleasure. Many view it as the next phase in the evolution of influencer culture. From a porn perspective, people aren’t interested in manicured actors performing trite and badly acted scenes. We long for closeness. Intimacy. We want to feel a connection with the objects of our fantasy and admiration. And with influencers morphing into friends and OnlyFans performers offering a peek into their bedrooms—this becomes more of a possibility. Through a screen, that is. And for a monthly fee.

Up-and-coming adult actor shares how stressful the porn industry is. This is how OnlyFans helps


By Yair Oded

Nov 22, 2019

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Opinion

7 ways deepnudes could change the way we wank

By Iris Rosindo-Chalangeas

Sep 19, 2019

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The Future

Sep 19, 2019

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In the past century, the online sex industry has prospered—from ASCII porn, to Twitch streamers and tech dommes, camgirls have reached new heights but also new lows. With the recent emergence of deepfakes, many people are asking themselves what the future of porn, internet security and fake news will look like, and so do I. What measures must we now put into place to mediate this new form of content creation? I decided to venture into the universe of deepfakes, and research its repercussions on the inherently digital realm of cam girls, to see just how much it could change in the coming years.

For the newbies out there, neural networks use algorithms to generate deepfakes that then create imagery based on images they’ve been fed beforehand. Information flows through a neural network in two steps. When it’s learning or operating normally, patterns of information are fed into the network via the input units, which trigger the layers of hidden units, and these, in turn, arrive at the output units.

These algorithms have been used in the past to conjure up fake faces or even infinitely create death metal music based on an album by Archspire.

In this case, these neural networks are being used to accurately replace a person’s face with another, leading to incredibly realistic fake videos. It has become so rampant that there is now a whole category on Pornhub dedicated to falsified content of a plethora of celebrities. While deepnudes don’t affect celebrities that much, as these can easily be found and disproven, they will affect industries where the lines are more blurred, such as camgirling.

My predictions aim to be optimistic, but also acknowledge the potential setbacks of such emotionally detached imagery. From ideas of self-sufficiency to incel uprisings and computer-generated cam girl agencies, let’s have a look at what the rise of deepfakes could mean for the cam girl industry.

1. Camgirls will be able to do everything and anything

As any sex worker will tell you—everyone has their limits as to what they’re ok and not ok with. So what if they could still perform the acts they refuse to do without the physical and emotional labour? Being able to recycle content already online and fulfilling the client’s fantasy could be the answer to many performers wishing to keep a competitive edge. If you didn’t know your camgirl was faking this content, wouldn’t it be a win-win situation?

2. A constant stream of content

Being a camgirl is a full-time job, and the possibility of providing a steady stream of content to your fans could revolutionise the way they make their income. Will we reach an age where your favourite camgirl is always online? And could developments within emotional AI aid not only creating infinite content, but content tailored to you.

3. To use deepnude is also to detect deepnude

Another key aspect of the new deepnudes software is its ability to detect a deepnude, thus also serving as a means for sex workers to counteract content spread using their likeness against their will. This characteristic could potentially aid the mediation of this new software and, hopefully, give back control to those being unrightfully exploited in these images. The software could even hypothetically be integrated into websites where this content might be spread (ex: Pornhub), and limit its unlawful effects.

4. Tech Domme 2.0

Within the tech domme realm, anything that can make the sub/dom experience more vivid and interactive is celebrated. This new software could improve the relationship between tech dommes and clients, offering up new ways to please the submissive slave. This could manifest itself as videos utilizing their face and the dominatrixes’ tactics, bridging the gap between the virtual sphere and reality.

5. Uncanny valley

For some, deepnudes are a way to engage in intimacy without the complexities of human emotion. With the share of men under 30 who haven’t had sex in the past year having tripled, this seems like it could hinder society’s current efforts to combat incel culture and the increasing disdain our generation has towards sex. Will deepnudes steer us toward more automated and primal experiences regarding sex?

6. Computer-generated cam girl agencies

Since Lil Miquela, Imma, Bermuda, and Blawko, the idea of accepting virtual characters into our real lives, seems more legitimate than ever. Computer-generated cam girls could be the next step in the porn industry.

7. Rent my face

Finally, representing the ultimate convergence between infinite post-biological profession and technology, is the concept of patenting your own identity. As we now increasingly value our faces as currency, could we see people selling their rights to their own face to these camgirl agencies? And, will we see retired pornstars such as Jenna Jameson or even Linda Lovelace, making a return to our computer screens?

While these things explore the ability for deepnudes to be used, I stand by the idea that, in a similar way to books, people will still seek out human connections. Rather than the industry becoming obsolete, it will evolve and provide a whole new realm of possibilities for creators and consumers alike. However, just like anything in the rapidly evolving digital realm, the most pressing issue is to have laws and procedures in place so that software can be used respectfully.

7 ways deepnudes could change the way we wank


By Iris Rosindo-Chalangeas

Sep 19, 2019

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