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OnlyFans logo.svg
Available inEnglish
FoundedSeptember 2016; 4 years ago (2016-09)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
OwnerFenix International Limited
Current statusActive

OnlyFans is a content subscription service based in London, England.[3][4] Content creators can earn money from users who subscribe to their content—the "fans".[5] It allows content creators to receive funding directly from their fans on a monthly basis as well as one-time tips and the pay-per-view (PPV) feature.[6]

The service is popular with and commonly associated with sex workers[7] but it also hosts the work of other content creators, such as physical fitness experts, musicians and other creators who post regularly online.[8] The highest-paid earners on OnlyFans are women.[9]


OnlyFans was launched in 2016[10] as a platform for performers to provide clips and photos to followers for a monthly subscription fee. The parent company is Fenix International Limited.[7] Two years later, Leonid Radvinsky, owner of MyFreeCams, acquired 75% ownership of Fenix and became its director.[11][7] In 2019, OnlyFans introduced an extra safeguard into the account verification process so that a creator now has to provide a selfie headshot with their ID in the image in order to prove that the ID provided belongs to the account holder.[12] The site has over 24 million registered users and claims to have paid out US$725 million to its 450,000 content creators.[13]

After the site was mentioned by Beyoncé in the song "Savage" in April 2020, CEO Tim Stokely claimed OnlyFans was "seeing about 200,000 new users every 24 hours and 7,000 to 8,000 new creators joining every day."[14] In the same line, Savage also mentioned Demon Time, a social media show, and shortly after the release of that song, OnlyFans announced a partnership with Demon Time to create a monetized virtual night club using the site's dual-screen live feature.[15]

In January 2020, 20-year-old American Kaylen Ward raised more than US$1 million in contributions to charity during the wild bushfires in Australia. OnlyFans teamed with her for their first partnership for a charitable cause.[16] This started a trend with some OnlyFans creators who have been raising money through their accounts.[17]

As of June 2021, top OnlyFans creators Jem Wolfie, an Australian fitness model, and Mia Malkova, an American pornographic actress, reportedly earn over $7 million per month in subscription income through the platform.[18]


A BBC Three documentary alleged that a third of Twitter profiles globally advertising 'nudes4sale' (or similar) belong to underage individuals, many of whom used OnlyFans to share their content.[19][12]

Bella Thorne earned $1 million in a day, sparking controversy

In July 2020, Sky News reported that OnlyFans had not paid value-added tax the previous three years, and could face heavy penalties from tax authorities.[20]

In August 2020, Forensic News reported that the company is facing multiple allegations of fraud and theft after content creators and users said they had money stolen from their accounts.[21] Forensic News later reported that Radvinsky's previous business ventures had been flagged by banks for indicators of money laundering.[22]

Following the platform's rapid growth, many scam videos appeared on sites like YouTube, promising "free" content and purporting to show viewers how to hack creators' accounts. Several videos garnered over a million views before being removed from YouTube. None provided the alleged "premium" service but rather aimed to increase traffic on apps unrelated to OnlyFans.[23] Around the same time, a massive supposed content leak occurred, though OnlyFans "found no evidence of any breach of our systems".[24] OnlyFans material has been reposted for free on third-party websites where creators receive no compensation.[7]

There have been conflicting reports on the safety of the OnlyFans site in terms of personal safety and economic security. Creators have been stalked and harassed by clients, sometimes resulting in the leaking of the creator’s personal information.[9] Contributors to the site are hypothetically able to choose when and what they post and who receives it; however, the spike in users has caused competition and has forced contributors to post content that may be outside of their comfort zone to compete with others.[25]

Bella Thorne set a new OnlyFans record when she earned over $1 million within 24 hours of joining the platform in August 2020 and more than $2 million in less than a week.[26] Her activities on OnlyFans sparked controversy after she allegedly promised nude photos for $200 but instead provided lingerie-clad photographs, leading to a slew of chargebacks. Following the debacle, new restrictions were introduced that limited the amount that other creators on the platform could charge and how quickly they could get paid,[27][28] though OnlyFans stated the restrictions were unrelated to Thorne but rather part of "an evolving process".[29] Thorne's actions caused backlash among sex workers who felt Thorne had selfishly appropriated their profession.[30][31]

Bhad Bhabie broke Thorne's OnlyFans record in April 2021 by earning over $1 million in the first 6 hours.[32] This event sparked criticism on social media about her subscribers given that she had turned 18 the previous week.[33]

In May 2021 the BBC reported that OnlyFans was "failing to prevent underage users from selling and appearing in explicit videos" after an investigation. This included reports from UK Police, schools and Childline.[34]

Content genres[edit]

As pornography is allowed on OnlyFans, the website is mainly used by pornographic models,[7][35] both amateur and professional, but it also has a market with chefs, fitness enthusiasts, and musicians.[36] Users must be at least 18 years old to register, regardless of the content consumed. In March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of OnlyFans content creators increased by 40%, and the number of users on the site increased from 7.5 million to 85 million.[25][37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is OnlyFans, who uses it, and how does it work?". Pocket-lint. 19 August 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  2. ^ Ankel, Sophia. "Bella Thorne apologizes to OnlyFans creators after she banks $2 million in a week from erotic site". Insider. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  3. ^ OnlyFans bills describing itself as a content-subscription service
  4. ^ "FENIX INTERNATIONAL LIMITED - company report". Dun & Bradstreet.
  5. ^ Arceneaux, Michael (2020). I Don't Want to Die Poor: Essays. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-9821-2930-9. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  6. ^ Jankowicz, Mia. "We spoke to a woman earning more than $100,000 a year selling explicit content on OnlyFans — this is exactly how she makes her money". Business Insider. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e Bernstein, Jacob (9 February 2019). "How OnlyFans Changed Sex Work Forever". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Former Chef Becomes Millionaire By Sharing Fitness Photos On Instagram". LAD Bible. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b Bindel, Julie (15 April 2020). "There's nothing 'empowering' about the sex work on OnlyFans". The Spectator.
  10. ^ Ryan, Paul (2019). Male Sex Work in the Digital Age: Curated Lives. Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-11797-9. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  11. ^ "FENIX INTERNATIONAL LIMITED - Filing history (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  12. ^ a b de Gallier, Thea (7 April 2020). "I make over £20k a month selling nudes online". BBC Three. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  13. ^ "English: OnlyFans brand deck". 8 November 2019.[full citation needed]
  14. ^ Steadman, Otillia (14 May 2020). "Everyone Is Making Porn At Home Now. Will The Porn Industry Survive?". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  15. ^ "Demon Time and OnlyFans Launch New Virtual Night Club". Complex. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  16. ^ Nguyen, Terry (8 January 2020). "Nude photos raised over $1 million for the Australia fires". VOX. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Donate $10 to Australia, Get a Nude Photo". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Top OnlyFans Earners of 2021". Ready Set Cam. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  19. ^ Morgan, Jessica. "This Documentary Reveals The Dark Side Of OnlyFans". Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  20. ^ Martin, Alexander (6 July 2020). "OnlyFans could be hit with bill for more than three years' worth of unpaid taxes". Sky News. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  21. ^ Stedman, Scott; Pierce, Sophie (13 August 2020). "OnlyFans Faces Allegations of Fraud, Theft". Forensic News. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  22. ^ Stedman, Scott; Parnas, Aaron (3 March 2021). "Banks Flagged OnlyFans Owner and His Businesses for Potential Money Laundering, Underage Activity". Forensic News. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  23. ^ Cole, Samantha (28 May 2020). "YouTube Is Full Of Scams Promising Free OnlyFans Content". Vice News. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  24. ^ Cole, Samantha (27 February 2020). "An OnlyFans Leak Isn't Anything New". Vice News. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  25. ^ a b Martinez Dy, Angela (7 August 2020). "Bios, mythoi and women entrepreneurs: A Wynterian analysis of the intersectional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on self-employed women and women-owned businesses". International Small Business Journal. 38: 391–403 – via Sage Journals.
  26. ^ Spangler, Todd (26 August 2020). "Bella Thorne Breaks OnlyFans Record, Earning Over $1 Million in First 24 Hours". Variety. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  27. ^ Donaldson, Kaleigh. "Bella Thorne OnlyFans Controversy Explained". Screen Rant. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  28. ^ Noor, Poppy (31 August 2020). "A Thorne in the site: the Bella Thorne and OnlyFans controversy explained". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  29. ^ Carman, Ashley (1 September 2020). "OnlyFans confirms new caps on tips and pay-per-view content, but says the changes are unrelated to Bella Thorne". The Verge. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  30. ^ Clark-Flory, Tracy (1 September 2020). "Sex Workers Are Furious About Bella Thorne's Self-Serving OnlyFans 'Tourism'". Jezebel. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  31. ^ Russon, Mary-Ann (1 September 2020). "OnlyFans is ripping me off by capping prices". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  32. ^ "Cash Her Online: Bhad Bhabie Breaks OnlyFans Record, Earning $1M in 6 Hours". Billboard. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  33. ^ "Bhad Bhabie Broke OnlyFans Record By Making $1 Million in 6 Hours". PAPER. 3 April 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  34. ^ Titheradge, Noel; Croxford, Rianna (26 May 2021). "The children selling explicit videos on OnlyFans". Additional reporting by Chris Bell. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  35. ^ "OnlyFans is the site where porn is more intimate than ever". Dazed. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  36. ^ "Porn app OnlyFans and platform JustFor.Fans stars share personal stories, paid sexual content creation, and the online adult entertainment marketplace". Esquire SG. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  37. ^ "'Everyone and their mum is on it': OnlyFans booms in popularity during the pandemic". The Guardian. 22 December 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2021.

External links[edit]