What is OnlyFans Used For? A Guide to OnlyFans Users & How to Maximize Your Earnings
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A lot of people have heard of OnlyFans, and at least understand the concept of the online platform. But they might not really know what OnlyFans is used for.
Why does it exist when there are plenty of other alternative options out there, where users can enjoy adult entertainment without having to pay for it?
If you're a creator, it's essential that you understand this – because the success of your OnlyFans account depends on it.
How Does OnlyFans Work?
Before we get into it, let's start with the real basics – how does OnlyFans actually work?
You might already know this, but it's useful to go over it again, even if you consider yourself to be an experienced creator.
OnlyFans – and the websites that work like OnlyFans (there are many), work by letting users pay money to access content from their favorite creators, and to interact with them.
There are various ways that fans can pay for content – through monthly subscription fees, or tips, or paying one-off fees for exclusive content.
But ultimately, it's a transactional platform. People pay money, and they expect some form of content in return.
However – most people don't realize what the content is that they're REALLY paying for. And that's what we'll get into.
NSFW vs Safe For Work OnlyFans Accounts
Before we get into the real purpose of sites like OnlyFans, it's also important to reiterate that OnlyFans is not just for the sale of sexually explicit content. Sure, sexual content makes up the vast majority of the site, but there are other creators using the service too.
This can include such content as made by fitness trainers, or chefs, or even comedians.
These sites allow anyone to become a content creator, and then create content based on what they think their audience want to consume.
So while yes, there are many adult content creators using OnlyFans, it's not just a porn site.
OnlyFans vs Free Adult Content
Now that we've re-established the basics of sites like OnlyFans, now let's get into the real question. Why do people REALLY use a platform such as OnlyFans to get nude photos of people, when there is plenty of sexually explicit content available to find online freely.
What draws people to join a subscription-based platform and pay regular money to support sex workers? It's not even like you need to find some dodgy streaming site to enjoy porn now – sites like Pornhub have become almost mainstream for their popularity.
There are several reasons.
Firstly, free pornographic content tends to be littered with adverts and phishing scams. Joining OnlyFans is a way of getting to the explicit material faster, without having to navigate past pre-rolls and banner ads which can be really frustrating.
Secondly, many porn websites are littered with child sexual abuse material or child porn created by underage users. Even websites as big as Pornhub have had serious allegations made against it, due to its poor controls to prevent sexually explicit material of minors from being added.
At least with a site like OnlyFans, you have to undergo a verification process before you can upload videos, and you can't just use fake IDs to get around it. This helps to make sure that any pornographic creators using OnlyFans are of a suitable age.
But there is one reason that trumps both of those – people aren't using OnlyFans because they want to see explicit videos. They're using OnlyFans because the content they actually want is engagement from real people.
What we mean by that is, people use OnlyFans and other platforms like it because they want to interact with creators and feel like they have a relationship with them – not to be in a relationship, but to have some form of bond.
People are willing to pay for your subscription tiers because they want to get to know you – and that bond is vital to how you can earn the big bucks through your account.
The Psychology of an OnlyFans User
The psychology of OnlyFans users is important to understand because they often have lots of different motivations for using the site.
All of them link back to that two-way relationship though. This is not about watching a video of some random guy or girl, but it's about enjoying content made by someone they can then talk to, understand, and get to know.
Here are some of those reasons that can draw people to use OnlyFans:
A lot of the time, people just want to feel like they have a personal connection with someone. They may not have that connection in real life, or their relationship with their partner has stagnated, and they are missing a sense of intimacy.
By subscribing to creators on OnlyFans, they can then create that personal connection through direct messages, or even just by reading the updates that you put on your profile. They start to understand more about your life (even though, you should only be sharing select updates about your ‘persona'), and so they feel like they have that bond with you.
That personal connection doesn't have to become extremely deep – it just means that they know that they're enjoying content from a real person. Adult performers in porn are almost faceless – they could be anyone. By paying a monthly fee to get to see someone they feel like they ‘know' sharing adult content, they enjoy a more meaningful interaction.
Sometimes, the reason someone wants to pay you to enjoy your content could be as simple as you're a person who can cater to their specific kinks or interests. Believe it or not, while there is a ton of porn on the internet, not everything is available freely.
And that could be where you come in. By having a bit of a relationship with the user, you can tailor your sexual activity in your videos or photos to suit their niche. Many creators make a good living by targeting a very specific and narrow type of pornographic interest.
There are also some kinds of sexual kinks that only work when there's an element of interaction to them. Findom – financial domination – only works when the user can talk to the creator. It's the same with someone who can only get off to content that addresses them directly by name.
You can't meet those needs on a random porn website, but you can through a platform like OnlyFans.
Some users develop a deeper emotional connection to the adult content they consume when they feel like they are supporting the person who made it, and so they're willing to pay for it.
Those people want to be seen as supportive. You're actually addressing their emotional need to be seen as a supportive person. These are the kinds of people who often are into findom, but not always – sometimes they just want to be acknowledged as a ‘good' person because they are financially supportive of sex workers and adult content creators.
They feel like you deserve to earn money for the work you provide, and so they want to pay you. A fair deal.
There are some serious horror stories about the adult entertainment industry, and how sex trafficking is rife. So a lot of people – often young people, who have only recently come of legal age to access pornography – believe it is more ethical to use a platform like OnlyFans since you're able to help sex workers directly, and you aren't at risk of funding an exploitative group.
Platforms like OnlyFans are becoming increasingly popular because the content is always owned by the creator, and not by a third-party company. Users are paying the person who is doing the sex work, and not some intermediary business. Sure, OnlyFans will take a cut, but that's fair – it's not like the platform is a pimp that controls all the money.
For some people, it goes deeper than just needing a personal connection to the content creator. They want to feel special – like they're an important person in the life of the creator.
And you can use your OnlyFans account to make them feel special, by being available for them to message and chat to, and by telling them just how much you enjoy talking to them and getting to know them, as much as creating content for them to enjoy.
Of course, you need to be careful with these users, because they're the kind that can become obsessive. More on that later.
Just like with any kind of content (adult and safe-for-work), users are often just looking for a bit of escapism from real life. And by having a real person to talk to, they can engage in that escapism more.
Going to a porn website and spending five minutes (or less…) watching a video is a lot less of a distraction from work stress or other daily life issues than it would be to have a good conversation with someone on OnlyFans, or browse updates about their day.
Some people treat OnlyFans as a social media platform – just one with more nudity. They get updates from several creators they're following, whilst also benefitting from some spicy images and videos.
It's just a way of escaping the mundane or stressful parts of regular life. And you can capitalize on that, responsibly.
How to Use OnlyFans Effectively as a Creator
By now, hopefully, you're understanding why millions of people prefer to use platforms like OnlyFans and pay for content and interactions, rather than just using free explicit content.
But, how does this impact you as a content creator?
The most important thing is to always keep this concept at the front of your mind while you're working. You aren't just shooting porn, you're making content for people that you want to cultivate a connection with.
Having these connections is what will lead to improved earnings for you – but how do you cultivate them?
One of the worst things you can do as a creator on OnlyFans is to treat your timeline like some kind of file dump.
Whenever you upload a new video or photo, you should be adding content around it to help bring it to life.
That content can be something as simple as explaining how horny you're feeling, and how you just had to shoot something to help get a release.
Or you can make more of it, by talking about how much planning went into the shoot, where the idea came from, and (most importantly) how much fun you had in making it, and how you couldn't wait to share it will all your fans.
By adding an emotional slant and some backstory to your content, you're giving your fans a little peek into who you are – and that makes it so much more interesting for them to consume.
It's fairly obvious, but one of the best ways to build a rapport with subscribers is to just talk to them.
And this can be a powerful earner for you as well since once you've established a relationship, you can start charging for messages. People will want to talk to you and will be willing to pay for the privilege.
If you struggle with holding a conversation, particularly one that's tailored around explicit content, then don't just try to muddle through.
Instead, focus on being genuine. If you're a bit shy, play up to that – that's OK, and the authenticity will probably be beneficial to you since you'll create a deeper bond with your paying customers.
But also, don't be scared to seek help from other creators or maybe even from AI platforms on how you can improve your responses to messages, and the kind of questions and topics you can use to keep people engaged with you for longer.
Nobody is the perfect creator from day one, and everyone has to build up their skills and confidence in different areas. If messaging is something you find hard, work on it.
And this isn't just about building relationships on sites like OnlyFans as well. You should be taking these same lessons into your social media promotion. By getting to know people for free on Instagram, TikTok and others, you can then set them up to desire more, and then hit them with a link to your paid profile.
Free Can Be Powerful
You absolutely should be saving your best hot content for the users who are willing to pay for it.
But, think about everything this guide has taught you – there is free porn out there as an alternative anyway, so ‘giving it away' isn't necessarily counter-productive.
What we mean is – consider maybe using a little bit of your sexiest content as a teaser to encourage people to get to know you and to sign up for a paying subscription.
You have to be careful where you do this – you can't go posting nudes on any social media platform you like. You're likely to get banned.
But some risque underwear content might be OK, and then consider a secondary free OnlyFans where you mainly post underwear/swimwear content, but tease a bit of nudity very occasionally.
The important thing is to make sure you don't neglect those who are paying. So try to time your free nude photo alongside a really special piece of paid content. That way, your subscribers know they're still getting value.
Safe Boundaries With Your Audience
One crucial thing to remember is that you need to maintain a safe boundary with your fans – for your safety, but also for theirs.
Building up relationships with fans can be lucrative, but you can easily get suckered into spending too much time with them, being at their beck-and-call for messages.
Set boundaries on your time, because you need to have a good work/life balance too. It's up to you how much you work, but don't let your relationships with your fans take over your whole life, just because you're chasing the next dollar.
Also, set boundaries on the relationship. While you want to make people feel special, they need to know that they aren't your real boyfriend or girlfriend. Keep it healthy, and you'll be much safer online.
Finally, be careful about how much information you reveal about yourself. While you want to give an insight into who you are, don't reveal personal info that could lead to someone stalking you in real life.
This is why it's best to have some form of persona if you're comfortable with that. You don't need to pretend to be someone else entirely, but put some level of barrier up so that you aren't exposing your entire personality and lifestyle to strangers on the internet.
Handling Trolls & Bad Users
Even if you are careful, you may sometimes encounter trolls and users who won't respect your boundaries, or that expect too much from you.
Don't let these relationships drag on – they might be paying you a lot of money, but they typically aren't worth the stress.
As soon as someone starts acting too attached, or is behaving toxic towards you, just report them to the platform and block them.