OnlyFans

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8min2400

How far are you willing to go to gain followers? There’s a constant inclination on social media engagement and online activity – online digital media has indefinitely replaced traditional media. Brands and corporates are putting in a lot of money in online marketing collaborative brand partnerships and this has people desperate for followers.

Online viral video content creators and social media influencers are the go to for paid partnerships and advertising. Viral content has become a currency to this generation. The number of followers one has and things such as online presence are factors which play a key role in convergence and metrics such as pay per click (PPC), cost per click (CPC) and cost per view (CPV) determine how much money one could make. Social media influencers rely on clout to attract followers and they use these metrics to lure brand partnership deals and monetize.

The stakes are getting higher, social media is a billion dollar industry and its dominance is spreading at a rampant speed “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company plans to pay out $1 billion through 2022 to users who create content for its Facebook and Instagram social networks. It’s one way the company hopes to attract influencers to create content for its platforms as it competes with other popular services, such as TikTok” (Salvador Rodriguez, CNBC, July 2021).

influencer. Photo by Pixabay
influencer. Photo by Pixabay

Controversy has become more appealing than telling compelling narratives, and this has got kids messed up. I could equate this to how gangster rap had black youths thinking guns and drugs are cool. It’s one and the same thing, the youth is willing to do anything to trend even if it means negatively exposing themselves to the world. Oh, and don’t get me started with social media self-proclaimed scholars who believe their opinions are set in stone. Everyone likes to believe their ideas to be omniscient and omnipotent – it seems as if everyone has Phd of some sort and they are experts and therefore have better acumen than everyone else. There’s no room for constructive open dialogues, things always get out of hand and messages get lost in translation.

Hyper sexualism, antagonism, controversy, hate speech, mockery and trolling have become a part of our lives via social media. Influencers are willing to break an arm and a leg for the sake of relevancy. Just think about the viral video of the young school pupil from Limpopo, Mbilwi secondary school who committed suicide after she was bullied and violated by another pupil on camera. Not only was she abused and violated, it happened in front of the world to see and her perpetrator was cheered by other pupils. What about the recent passing of South African legendary actor Patrick Shai who committed suicide after a social media escapade. The culture of trolling and the hyper sexualization of women is appealing to the masses.

social Media world. Photo from Pixabay
social Media world. Photo from Pixabay

A few weeks ago, a South African young lady posted a picture of her private parts on Twitter and the picture went viral. Unmistakably, her strategy worked, she gained more followers. OnlyFans has become an online brothel of some sort, with users selling nudes and adult explicit content. “OnlyFans is a social media content sharing platform with statistics showing that there are more than 170 million registered subscribers and over 1.5 million content creators around the world. Let’s take a look at some OnlyFans statistics that might surprise you” (Jason Wise, EarthWeb, February 15, 2022).

Often too many times what trends is vile content and sad enough it has become a normality.

I have a love and hate relationship with social media, I acknowledge how it has created a platform for content creators, businesses, marketers and people to connect with the world. Take for example how it has accelerated the growth of Amapiano as a new genre and thus setting it to the world in a short space. Or how entrepreneurs market their businesses and people get jobs via social media. A couple of celebrities also do buy school uniforms and groceries for the needy and giveaway bursaries and or education aid via social media. I love the positive and empowering aspect of social media, what I have a qualm with its negativity.

mobile-phone. Photo from Pixabay
mobile-phone. Photo from Pixabay
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14min9420

To Zodwa Wabantu nudity is liberation and most likely an act of taking authority of her body as a black woman. While Adolf Hitler saw it as undignified and an error of taste- the disparity in opinion on the subject of nudity in society, is glaring as the difference between Zodwa and Hitler.

BEING NAKED…

There are those who cringe at any mention of being naked so much that even being bare in their lone self is daunting owing to battles with self-image. You know, the kind who are more comfortable with the lights off during coitus who dread showering with others. ┬áThen there’s a section in society which gets aroused at the sight of breastfeeding nipples, a melancholy shlong, defiant thighs or innocent buttocks. This pack, which a lot of us gents belong to, has been socialised to translate the state of undress as sexuality.

It’s this group of guys which nudist Nombulelo’Lelo’ Asiya has gotten used to fending off in her DMs. “I can’t even just randomly open an image from someone I don’t really know, because I know there’s an 80% chance it’s a dick pick which I honestly find disgusting. In as much as I’m open about sex and everything, I actually find penises to be the most vulgar things out there, like yo put it away hey,” says Lelo.

The 25 year-old describes herself as a free-spirit, who has always had a fondness for showing some skin. “I don’t know what inspired my nudity, I’ve always liked skimpy or barely there clothing, I’ve always hated underwear and loved being barefoot,” she says. But a 2018 relationship breakup presented an opportunity for something she’s always desired, but wasn’t free to indulge in because of the partners in her life.

ALONE AT SEA: One of Lelo's shots at the the beach. Photo by Gifdick
BACK TO THE BEACH: One of Lelo’s shots at the the beach. Photo by Gifdick

“I’ve always been in relationships where my significant other has never really been comfortable with me showing my body to the world. Every guy that I have dated has seen my body as a private thing, something they could only enjoy; they always thought that if I was showing myself I was doing [it] to attract attention from guys. So in 2018 when I became single I just came out (literally, I became nude and bisexual at the same time), and I’ve been single and nude ever since,” declares Lelo.

“In all honesty if I had dated a man who was secure within himself to allow me to be my full self, I probably would’ve been nude long before 2018, probably around 2015/2016 when I first came to Durban.” Lelo is originally from Kimberly but moved to KwaZulu-Natal to study and then eventually work in the province. Having spent five years in KZN, she moved back home in 2021.

Lelo says her DMs gradually became dark and twisted as she posted more nudes. “The more open I became with my sexuality and sex in a general sense, the more brave men became in my DMs.”

The first ‘dirty’ photo she shared on Instagram was after getting a tattoo of a flower, which someone later reported to her family. “My mother knows of the nude content that I take, uhm I went viral on twitter around October last year and my sister snitched on me on that and my called and we had a conversation about it all and she’s cool honestly. She says as long as I am not prostituting myself, it’s my body my life and I can do with it as I please.”

THE INFAMOUS FLOWER TAT: Lelo posing for the camera in her bed.Photo by Panda @iamkingpvnda
STAYING IN: Lelo posing for the camera in bed.Photo by Panda @iamkingpvnda

MONETIZING THEM NUDES…

The audacity of men in DMs, has fast tracked the prominence of the direct exchange between the nudists who wants to monetize her nakedness and the thirst-trapped fan willing to pay for them nudes. A platform such as OnlyFans, which was not created to be an alternative erotic sites when it launched in 2016, has become an industry leader. Followers of the content creator pay a subscription fee to access the most sought-after images and videos.

Some of the biggest names on OnlyFans are people who stumbled into it after being cautioned many times by Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to refrain from posting raunchy content. Actress Rami Chuene was all over the headlines two years ago when she came out in full support of her daughter Nthateng’s OnlyFans account.

FROM ALL ANGLES: A shot of Lelo taken by friends.
NIPPED IN ALL ANGLES: A shot of Lelo taken by friends.

DM action is the norm on such platforms, where content creators take requests from their fans to perform a myriad of sexual or non-sexual acts. The growth of this sub-genre has disrupted the pornographic industry with actors now having direct ownership of their content, it has seen simple nudists turn into porn stars and has also evinced that a lot of men are satisfied with pleasuring themselves after paying a random damsel to act-out their desires.

Lelo has also began making money from her nudes a few months through the website ManyVids. “I do sometimes take request or curate special content but all of this depends on the type of request. I have strict rules on what I will and will not do. Yes I post nude pictures, but it’s not sexual content necessarily. I am more artistic with my nude content, so if there is a request come along those lines, I’d be happy to oblige, all for a fee of cause.” She uses ManyVids due to OnlyFans’ refusal to verify her account because she doesn’t have a smart ID card or a passport.

NO SHAME IN IT…

ALONE AT THE BEACH. Photo by SNZstudios
ALONE AT THE BEACH. Photo by SNZstudios

Lelo does not see this as glorified prostitution. “If I am going to be blatantly honest, it’s the same thing as sending your boyfriend a nude picture of yourself when you’re trying to be spicy in your relationship, the only difference is I get paid to do what I do, or you have to pay money to view my content. When I was doing it for free on Instagram, I would get so many DMs from men telling me that they are going to take my pictures and go masturbate to them,” she says.

“So I thought to myself, listen if they are doing this for free best they’ll pay for it so I moved my content to a paying platform. I do not regret doing that, men have even become more respectful towards me now that they have to pay for the images because they understand I have to work hard to maintain the quality of my content.”

“These aren’t random nude selfies, its actual production, professional photographers, lighting, steam; so much goes into my work. And can we stop this negative connotation people have towards sex workers. It’s a job just like everything else, it’s an important job as well. In all honesty, just think about it, if there were no prostitutes or online girlfriends, I genuinely think rape would be at a way more higher rate than it is right now. People like me, cam girls, strippers, prostitutes, online girlfriends etc, make it ok for people to be themselves. Doing what I do, I have seen people be their most authentic selves, no pretence, because they know with me I won’t judge them by their desires, I judge them by who they are as a person.”

An image of Lelo. Photo by Panda @iamkingpvnda
RED HOTT:An image of Lelo by Panda @iamkingpvnda

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