Nothing new about a platform building itself on the backs of sex workers’ labor only to TOS them off the site when… https://t.co/oORwnABRHr
— Melissa Gira Grant (on book leave) (@Melissa Gira Grant (on book leave))1629397839.0
In an email shared with MTL Blog, OnlyFans said the changes are being made because of requests from banking partners and payout providers. Nudity, it said, will still be allowed if it's consistent with the Acceptable Use Policy.
But OnlyFans is facing backlash on Twitter where people are accusing the platform of building itself on the backs of sex workers only to kick them to the curb.
"Building a platform on the backs of sex workers and then leaving said sex workers high and dry- it's a tale as old as time," said Michelle Shnaidman, CEO and founder of Bellesa, in a statement. "We at Bellesa are deeply dedicated to both the empowerment of content creators and the destigmatization of sex work."
Bellesa's Creators Platform is set to launch on Bellesa Plus this fall. Content creators will be able to earn money and tips from subscribers, which Bellesa said places "the power in the hands of creators."
Boudreau recently told Narcity Québec that sex work comes with getting "bashed" and "ridiculed," which is "hard on morale." But a new Instagram post throws shade at her haters, as she documents her journey from sleeping on a mattress on the floor to becoming a millionaire who owns two triplexes — all in the span of one year.
"First they laughed at me, but now they ask how i did this? " wrote Boudreau in the post. She also included photos of both versions of herself — one from a year ago and herself today.
"This one single picture I have in my hands changed my life drastically," Boudreau said, referencing her UQAM grad photo.
"Here's why: never in my existence I would've believed you if you had told me 1 year ago that I would be a millionaire before my 30th. [...] Exactly ONE YEAR AGO I was living in a colocation with my friend. I had just one mattress and a few boxes of clothes."
Boudreau went on to say she is now the "proud owner" of three triplexes — six units — valued at $3 million. She shared photos of the properties with the post.
"Believe me… in just one year your life can change for the very best. I believe in hard work but what's better than working hard, you may ask? Working smarter. That's the key to success," she said.
"Believe in yourself & you're halfway there. So cheesy but so goddamn true. Special thank you at my university and to all my clients you are the real mvp."
Last week, Boudreau told MTL Blog she was in a "very stressful situation" since her main source of income is OnlyFans. She also said she didn't put in an offer on a converted church she was considering buying in case she didn't have a job in a few months' time.
So how is Boudreau feeling about OnlyFans and the state of the sex work industry now?
Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard.
We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse cr… https://t.co/B0cm6Fz4AM
While Boudreau no longer has to worry about losing 95% of her monthly income, she told Narcity Québec that sex workers are left with the lingering feeling of being "used" by OnlyFans.
"I was very shocked that they were banning porn because that's what made them famous and made them rich. They made a lot of money off of us and now they're telling us, 'Bye, we don't need you anymore,'" Boudreau said.
"After three days, they tell us 'No, we want you, come.' We feel really used. We feel like they are laughing at us. It's completely ridiculous because this is our job. [...] It is not done. We feel we are being manipulated and then we feel like going elsewhere."
Boudreau said she believes OnlyFans suspended the planned changes after seeing how many sex workers spoke out about leaving the platform or creating their own platforms. She said OnlyFans likely saw how much money they'd lose with creators closing their accounts due to the news.
"It's like if Lay's announces they're not selling chips anymore and everyone says, "Come on, what are you going to sell us?" Lay's announces they're just selling us the empty bag. Everyone is like, "But we're buying Lay's because we want the chips and not the bag," Boudreau said.
She said she's learned that you can't rely on platforms — OnlyFans or otherwise. That's why, she said, she has Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and more "as backups because you never know if OnlyFans is going to close overnight."
"It's hard enough being in sex work. We get bashed, ridiculed, judged and our own platform kicks us out. It's really hard on morale sometimes," Boudreau said.
"Even if OnlyFans bans us, even if we lose our Instagram or our Facebook, porn and sex are still going to exist. I don't see why every platform is fighting to erase us. [...] The world buys our content, so we're not the ones to blame. It's supply and demand."
"Effective 1 October, 2021, OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually-explicit conduct," said OnlyFans in an email shared with MTL Blog. "To ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines."
Nude content will still be allowed, it said, as long it's in line with the company's Acceptable Use Policy.
While cooking, fitness, self-care and more exist on OnlyFans, the platform is best known for its sexual content, with fans paying sex workers a monthly fee to access their content.
OnlyFans has not yet specified what "sexually explicit conduct" entails, so it's still not entirely clear what these changes mean for content creators. The emailed statement said the company would be sharing more details in the coming days.
Meanwhile, sex workers like Boudreau are bracing themselves for what comes next.
How do you feel about the news that OnlyFans will no longer allow 'sexually explicit' content?
"When I heard the news, I was a bit confused and worried. But I knew I would find an alternative if OnlyFans closed down permanently or we couldn't post explicit images. I'm lucky enough to have saved a lot of money and have several other income streams, such as the MYM platform or webcamming with Jerkmate," Boudreau said.
"[But] it's for sure that OnlyFans is my main source of income so it's a very stressful situation."
How will this change impact your career?
Boudreau said if OnlyFans is no longer an option, she's considering creating her own website where people could pay to access videos and photos she's posted using a credit card and PayPal system.
"Otherwise, Brazzers contacted me yesterday and [asked if] I might have thought of going for 'traditional' porn. But I have to admit that with OnlyFans, I'm fine like this," she said.
What are your plans now? Do you think you will move to a different platform?
For the moment, Boudreau said she has no plans to change platforms "because they [haven't confirmed] clearly that they will remove nudity and porn videos/photos."
Whatever happens next, Boudreau said she'll be prepared.
"I am a woman who loves challenges and can cope with any change of situation that life brings me! I think my bachelor's degree prepared me very well for challenges. I don't think that after four years of university there is anything that scares me more than school," she said.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
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