Disciplinarian, model and all-round kinkster Miss Matthews sings the praises of owning the means of production and doing it for yourself on the popular fansite.
I had a bash at OnlyFans a couple of years ago. Photographers like taking pretty pictures of me: I thought it might be a fun way to monetise their urge. I had a reasonable-ish Twitter following, about 3000 I think, and I was fairly well known as a longstanding stripper/domme/pornstar/model/
But I did it all wrong, I now realise. I posted said pretty pictures without any story or explanation, often just a one-word caption. (“Pensive”, I said, a lot. Of those photos where I was staring vaguely, sorrowfully, into the middle distance, or out of a window, fingers delicately holding aloft a lace curtain, casting shadow on face and tits: photographers go bats for that shit.)
Pensive. Well, that’s not very interesting, is it? Now, tits and vag between women vary considerably, but on the same woman, honestly, not much. Once you’ve seen the baps and the bush, there’s not much else to offer. Pink bra or blue, on a bed, or in a forest; pensive, thoughtful, horny: yeah, so what? I got about nine fans, struggled to reach the minimum $200 payout, and having got there, completely lost interest. Bastard Twitter took down my account for no good reason and it all vanished anyway.
Then some prick ate a bat and my vanilla work vanished. I had to make OnlyFans pay. Other girls do. The number of women trying to make money via the platform skyrocketed during lockdown, as indeed did the number of subscribers. Onlyfans has about 450000 creators now and 30 million subscribers. I’m clever, creative, and there are thousands of photos of me in existence. Surely if some of them were scraping a living I could too. After a tussle, I set up a new OnlyFans and linked it to my new Twitter (@MissMatthews123, for God’s sake follow me, I need validation more than air). Four months on I’m earning more from OnlyFans than I did from vanillaland.
Here’s what I’ve learnt.
They’re not buying viewing rights to your tits. Tits are everywhere. In particular, you don’t have to look very hard to find my tits. If I ever meet a man who hasn’t seen them I’ll apologise and shake his hand. Even minge isn’t all that interesting really. Once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. I’ve worked in sales, a bit, and recall that whatever you purport to be selling, it’s actually your personality they’re buying. Let them. Tell them how a shoot felt, how the photographer behaved or misbehaved. That stuff is funny and interesting. The man who insisted on being in a picture, then taking off his trousers, because they weren’t suitably attractive; then his pants, since they clashed with my basque; then suggesting I give his meaty cock a squeeze, for the “resultant angularity of the image”. The girl who found me on Instagram, bought me a bun in a Tesco cafe and explained she wanted to be my cat, complete with ears, paws, heavy chain collar and lead, then pose at my feet sucking cream from my toes. Yeah, you can see the results of that shoot if you subscribe. Rude not to agree after being bought a bun. The chap who wanted me to crouch in his bath and pee in a Tupperware box, before he took pictures of the pee while completely ignoring me. The one who insisted on using a pussy pump on me so vigorously I feared my uterus might slide straight out and splatter his shiny white kitchen floor. The darling who told me his life story over so many doughnuts and mugs of tea there was barely time to get my knickers off: his wife had developed dementia, this would be his last ever shoot, and he wanted to reminisce, not create. Screw Covid: we hugged for hours.
Your subscribers want a narrative, with a hero, character development, plot. This is where it helps to be a writer. I know how words work, and words are what entice people to your OnlyFans, not images. I can weave a narrative around my life, create a more interesting version of me. That’s all I do when I write, and all I do on OnlyFans too. And it works. The only real difference between my literary career and my sex work is the second has kept me financially afloat through lockdown. Inevitably the rise of OnlyFans has resulted in some moral outrage. Teenage girls make money from selfies and texting shocker! For as we know, teenage girls simply hate staring at their phones all day, almost as much as they hate making money, the poor exploited saps.
My son has a friend working on a zero-hours contract for Sports Direct. If it’s not busy, they send her home. If it is busy, she’s on her feet for twelve hours a day with a 30-minute break, selling trainers made by tiny foreign children, to parents who can’t afford them, in a bid to prevent their own children getting beaten up. Sometimes the mothers cry when they see the price label, but then again, the children cry if they don’t get the trainers. She earns £4.50 an hour for this privilege, or £54 for a 12-hour shift. Could you live on that, or with that? I couldn’t.
The OnlyFans worker, in contrast, is, I would argue, living the Marxist dream. The sole proprietor of the means of production (phone, tits), working from home, engaging brain and talent to make what they possess pay. No chance of alienation when you yourself are the product, and the whole of you (brain, charm, wit, talent, character, fizzog, physique) is required to turn a profit. You get to be creative and play, all day long. “Let’s get together and create some content!” is all I ever hear from my kinky friends. I’m a creative sort, and the idea that you can make money simply by being a creative is staggering. All my theatrical friends have to beg the Arts Council for assistance, which is a sight more humiliating than getting your tits out, and 80% of the time they refuse to pay for your time and degradation, after making you endure months of it. With OnlyFans they cough up first, then you get to choose what you’ll make.
Bliss. Dress up, play, write, explore, chat with some, collaborate with others, stare at your phone all day, pose, pout, earn.
Turns out sexualised imagery isn’t a tool of male oppression: it’s actually bloody good fun and extremely profitable. Gee, I wonder what it is about the idea of women enjoying and earning from their sexuality that a capitalist society might find so frightening?