We have been living in tough times. Covid 19 has pushed governments and exposed how fragile we are as a species. More importantly, it has laid the social divides bare as millions of people face an uncertain future losing their loved ones and their livelihoods. Australia’s adult entertainers are facing unprecedented hardship in an industry that does not provide security. However, some opportunities have come out of people living in isolation or quarantine. Strippers have gone to social media to recover their incomes. One site that has exploded over the last couple of months is OnlyFans.
As millions of men and wen filed for unemployment and hundreds of adult entertainment venues faced bankruptcy and foreclosure, OnlyFans was taking on 75% more signups. It is believed that over 150,000 new accounts were being created on a daily basis.
This content sharing site was launched in 2016. It began attracting adult entertainers earlier on because they were being shut out of the usual platforms like Instagram, Tumblr and Patreon.
OnlyFans does not have tight content restrictions instead, it allows content creators to queue up images behind paywalls and engage only with paying subscribers. OnlyFans takes a 20% cut which is half what a lot of cam sites take.
In the past, podcasters used Patreon with revenue generating ads. YouTube gamers moved to Twitch, Viners moved to TikTok and so it will go depending on the changing whims of the investors who put their money in these start-ups. If or when OnlyFans tanks, it will be to lose out to some other thing that serves the needs of people better.
One harsh reality about the rise of Only Fans is that this might be the end of the “influencer” era. If no one can travel, travel influencers can’t make money. Fashion influencers can’t get free clothes to show off if they have nowhere to wear them to. The downturn in the economy has caused companies to cut back on the money they spend on sponsoring content. In a situation like a global disaster, people crave authenticity over a curated “picture-perfect” life.
With Covid 19 and the lockdowns that came with it, people have been craving human interaction. We have been shut in and although sites like OnlyFans fill a gap, they cannot fulfill our need to physically see and be seen. Human beings need visual and physical contact. In that regard, social media will always fall short.
When restrictions were relaxed and clubs allowed to open, people were lining up outside just for a chance to enjoy a real performance. After all, strip clubs offer more than just naked dancing girls. The food, the music, the drinks the actual interior of the club itself are part of the experience.
Millions of Australians lost their revenue streams because of COVID-19, so one can understand why digital platforms that allow strippers to monetize content have been in the news. These are people who might be ineligible for government stimulus programs.
There is a silver lining. Most cities have lifted their restrictions and strip clubs opening up. It might take some time for people to get over health concerns but the digital world is no closer to replacing strip clubs. We are tactile beings, we need physical closeness and it’s good to know that when this is all over, places like strip clubs will still be there.
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