Onlyfans has almost 170 million users. It’s a million dollar deal that hides a dark reality. Indeed, its content creators put their mental health at risk in many ways.
OnlyFans is a crowdsourced amateur pornography platform. Subscribers pay to view adult content and creators are free to expose themselves as they see fit. In effect, it means that sex work has acquired an extra layer of sophistication to continue as a business. However, this 21st century voyeurism has its price. In this case, it is the fact that Onlyfans affects the mental health of both its content creators and subscribers.
Many young people have found in Onlyfans a profitable way to earn money without leaving home. All they need is an internet connection and a computer with a camera. But, selling explicit content through these mechanisms is not harmless. There is always a dark side to the porn industry. And many of them are related to psychological well-being.
But what is the reality like for these anonymous content creators? Also, what effects does Onlyfans have on its subscribers? You can find out in this article.
Onlyfans content creators suffer recurring bad experiences with subscribers. These put a strain on their mental health.
The psychological effects of Onlyfans on content creators
No one can deny it, With the advent of the internet, the world of pornography has discovered its best platform. The newspaper, Technology in society highlights this issue, as well as how digital technologies have boosted the buying and selling of sexual services. Onlyfans is the clear result of this leap in quality.
We were at the point of normalization of digital pornography. Indeed, the pandemic has made OnlyFans a highly relevant platform and large numbers of men and women have found it a useful way to earn income. Today, the subscription service has at least 170 million users.
However, some creators, over time, end up abandoning this way of working. Indeed, far from being easy money, it is a task that often has consequences for their mental health. These effects are constantly being analysed.
Humiliating prejudice against women
It’s not the same to be a female content creator as a man. As a rule, women who expose themselves on Onlyfans experience higher levels of harassment, contempt and prejudice than men. The University of New South Wales (Australia) has conducted a study which confirms this fact.
Sex workers tend to carry the brunt of society’s stigma and violent narratives. It matters little that, on this occasion, they expose themselves in front of a camera and sell amateur pornographic content. The objectification and criticism they receive are the same. Nothing has changed.
Content creators often interact with their users. This can be psychologically exhausting. They tend to perceive themselves as mere dehumanized objects.
The solitude of the creators
Some people assume that working on Onlyfans is a quick and easy way to earn money. But, many do not realize that creating pornography is a lonely and psychologically destructive experience. It is not a pleasant or sophisticated task. Plus, over time, it can become humiliating.
Many girls internalize the stigma associated with sex work. It gradually undermines their self-esteem and self-concept. Moreover, some of them do the work without the knowledge of those around them, thus increasing their own feelings of loneliness, shame, and emotional distress. An article published in Sexuality and culture refers to these psychological effects.
The burden of loneliness associated with sex work leads, in many cases, to the onset of mood disorders such as depression. Therefore, it is a topic that should not be overlooked.
The harassment and the uncontrollable effect of the materials created
Onlyfans allows interaction between content creators and users. Indeed, the transactional element is the most important of this particular platform. Unfortunately, it has clear implications for the mental health of those exposed.
- Many of the Onlyfans content creators experience harassment from their followers.
- The content is not protected. Therefore, it repeatedly ends up on other digital platforms.
- Users can become demanding and demand certain actions that cross the boundaries of the creators.
- Onlyfans makes it easy to form parasocial relationships. For example, subscribers may feel affection, admiration, or obsession with content creators. Some of them go from feelings of lust to love, shaping uncomfortable situations.
- In 2021, The Avery Center released a report on Onlyfans. According to the document, 30 percent of those who view themselves on this platform have been threatened with deletion of their profile if they don’t create new content. Indeed, the pressure exerted on them by developers in this space often conditions them to produce more explicit content. This encourages the feeling of prostitution.
It is common for material from platforms to end up being distributed by Telegram. This is a clear violation of its creators, who are publicly exposed, with all that that entails.
The consequences of Onlyfans on the mental health of users
A study conducted by Cleveland State University (USA) states that many Onlyfans users are white married men. It could also be said that this platform is a stage for many people who feel lonely and dissatisfied. Or, for those who are simply curious.
This is a new field that requires more research to understand its implications and significance. However, it is yet another form of pornography, which has had a great impact on society for decades. Next, we’ll look at the effects of pornography.
Changes in sexual behavior
Frequent consumption of pornography changes the sexual behavior of those exposed to it. It is common for those who are used to seeing this type of adult content to exhibit more violent sexual behavior towards women, as confirmed in a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire (USA).
This is something that significantly mediates the way adolescents construct their sexual-affective relationships. In the case of Onlyfans, in many cases, users ask creators for increasingly explicit and violent content.
On the other hand, excessive consumption of this material could cause sexual dysfunction on a daily basis. This is because, when subscribers are with their regular partners, they don’t feel the same excitement as when they watch Onlyfans.
Porn addiction is a mental health consequence of using Onlyfans
As reported in a study conducted by the University of Salamanca (Spain), the DSM-V (Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders) and the APA already recognize pornography addiction as a type of behavioral addiction. This condition is increasingly frequent and reinforced by online content, such as the Onlyfans platform.
The Onlyfans space it feeds the sexual fantasies of the users. It’s a way for them to find stimulation that they can’t find in their real life. Over time, this situation has consequences. Here are the indicators of porn addiction:
- Social isolation.
- Collection of pornographic material.
- Irritability when the individual cannot view pornographic content.
- Spending a large amount of money on porn.
- Preferring to masturbate in front of pornographic content, rather than have real physical encounters.
- They spend most of their time consuming porn, to the point of neglecting their work and social life.
- Progressive mental breakdown. Symptoms of anxiety and depression appear along with the risk of addictions, such as alcohol.
Onlyfans and the care of our mental health
While it is true that more analysis and studies are needed to understand the reach of Onlyfans in terms of mental health, one thing is clear. Technology has done nothing but augment an old social reality that is, in one way or another, constantly it brings suffering at the cost of great economic gains.
Preventing the unintended consequences of these types of platforms requires two things. First, those who use them should have high levels of awareness, respect and empathy and understand their motivations. Second, they must understand that there are certain intrapersonal boundaries that must not be crossed. This means no one will get hurt and everyone will end up getting what they want.
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