Hulu Explores Why Americans Are Stripping Down on OnlyFans
The ABC News Original documentary on Hulu explores how the sex-worker-friendly subscription service boomed during the pandemic.
OnlyFans seemed to explode when the country was rocked by the pandemic last March. As businesses closed and entire industries were forced to undergo layoffs, the subscription-based service had sex workers, performers, influencers, and everyday men and women signing up to see if they could make some extra cash.
It didn’t take long to find out they absolutely could. In March, the company had 3.5 million new signups, with 60,000 being creators.
Now, nearly a year after the 75% jump in business, ABC News Original premiered OnlyFans: Selling Sexy on Hulu Wednesday, which takes a look at the rise of the platform and the lives of its creators, with insight from public figures, sex experts, and journalists.
Amateur creators Tyson Dayley, Kirsten Vaughn, and Wynter Mosely take viewers into their homes to show how they use OnlyFans to make a living.
Dayley, a male model who charges $10 a month for his content, admits he’s acting out a caricature of himself. Self-described as the “Booty King,” Dayley is seen stripping down to red Versace briefs that he purposefully matched to the kitchen’s red fridge for his “erotic art.”
Hailing from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Vaughn said she was fired from her job at a car repair shop when her boss learned she was on OnlyFans to supplement her income. She estimates she has made around $75,000 from her $15 a month subscription for content that includes X-rated videos with her boyfriend.
Mosely, 24, quit her job in February when she hit her goal of making $10,000 a month on the platform, but admitted she was worried the pandemic would negatively impact her earnings. She smirks as she admits she once made $13,000 in one day.
Pro adult entertainers Silvia Saige and Griffin Barrows also chime in to explain how they feel more in control of their finances and the scenes they perform thanks to OnlyFans. “I used to have to grin and bear it. Now I have the ability to say no,” Saige said.
While the documentary highlights each amateur creator’s journey into the industry and the differences in how they operate, it doesn’t go much deeper than that.
It only briefly touches on the hateful comments, dealing with creepy coworkers, and the body and slut-shaming they have to endure almost daily. “It sucks but at this point it’s normal,” Mosley says.
But what’s really missing is the conversation on how OnlyFans not only provides its creators with cash (after taking its 20% cut) but empowers them to have ownership of a business they run every day. It quickly skims over how Mosley uses the platform’s analytical tools to determine how successfully she marketed a new video on social media.
Instead, the documentary spends a good portion of the special focusing on how celebrities helped “legitimize” OnlyFans, pointing out how Cardi B used it to show behind-the-scenes footage from her music video “WAP” and Beyonce name-dropped it in the remix of “Savage” with Megan Thee Stallion.
Of course, Bella Thorne was central to the conversation, as comedian Nikki Glaser
credited the former Disney child star for making it a near household name when she sent the internet into a frenzy by joining in August.
In case you forgot, Thorne reportedly banked $1 million in a day when she announced the news, perhaps even causing a change in rules on tip amounts. After much backlash from other creators on the site, Thorne clarified that even with a $20 per month subscription fee, there would be no nudity on her page.
Overall, OnlyFans may be relatively new, but in under five years it has disrupted an industry by creating a new space for performers that allows them to operate on their own terms and create a livelihood during a time of so much instability and uncertainty.