With inflation at record highs, many people are opting to get a little creative to make ends meet. For 20-year-old “Alexia Woods” (not her actual name) in the UK, making extra money included posting provocative photos on a number of websites, including OnlyFans.
Early on, she even made the conscious decision not to show her face – at least until it turned into more of a full-time career. Even now, Ms. Woods is careful about what she reveals – at least when it comes to her personal details.
“I will never tag any locations that I’m still at, nor will I upload any content with any identifiable features,” she explained via an email. “When working from my home I ensure that I angle the photos so that you can’t see the outside of my property or any of the surrounding area. I also use a VPN that helps to hide my IP address.”
Woods added that posing for OnlyFans and similar services isn’t for everyone and that it is a misconception that it is quick or easy money.
“It involves setting up multiple accounts across different social media platforms to promote and build your fan base and network with other creators,” said Woods. “You’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there and take all the unwanted tips and criticism.”
She now spends up to 16 hours a day managing her platform, and said she was drawn to the service as it provided her the opportunity to be her own boss. Even as Woods has been able to become successful using OnlyFans – and was recently even profiled by the BBC, which has likely helped draw in an audience – it should be noted that appearing on such platforms can be a problem for some.
There have been a number of stories of individuals being fired for appearing on the adult’s only subscription service. A Royal Navy officer, even sunk her career after she was found to have been filming “porn to order” with her seaman lover inside a secret British nuclear base.
Employers Won‘t Likely Approve
It isn’t surprising that some employers might not be happy to hear about those making money on the side by taking it off.
“You’re expected to hold yourself in a respectable way when in employment,” said James Blackwell, recruitment and online coach at The Agency Blueprint.
“Whether you realize it or not, you represent the company that you work for, even when you’re off the clock,” Blackwell explained.
Even if the content is meant to be at least “semi-private,” adult photographs and explicit materials all too often have a way of getting around the Internet, and Blackwell noted, “Images end up leaking.”
Influencers Drawn In
There has also been an uptick in those who used to promote products via social media, turning to sites such as OnlyFans as an alternative way to increase their cash flow.
“Many influencers are not making as much money as they used to because of the amount of competition and the drop in audience engagement across major social channels such as Instagram,” said Assil Dayri, multiple agency owner & director of the AMD Consulting Group.
“They turn to OnlyFans as a way to maintain or increase their lifestyle, however, this puts their original audience at risk as they might not be aligned with the new activities,” Dayri added.
That may not actually help with their influence and could push some loyal followers away.
“Think about the impact on image or personal brand; many women have been fighting to be respected, valued, and promoted in the workspace. Starting OnlyFans would not empower them in their professional life as it might even prevent them from reaching professional goals,” Dayri continued, suggesting it is really a short-term solution to a larger financial problem.
For influencers it could actually diminish their influence, and for many others simply looking for added income, OnlyFans and other sites might be a career killer.
“I understand that there are many people out there struggling to make ends meet right now,” Blackwell added, “but trying to grab the low-hanging fruit of adult sites is likely to breach your employment contract.”