I started an OnlyFans account mere days ago, but I had actually been pondering it for some time.
Here’s how that went in various conversations with friends:
*Jokingly* “Maybe I’ll start an OF account, haha. Ha.” 👀
*Jokingly* “LOL, that could be the name of my OF account… heh heh….”
*Semi-serious* “But actually…”
*Serious* “I’m really thinking of starting one, can I talk through the internal dilemma I’m facing and the pros/cons with you?”
Where did the initial hesitancy come from?
Well, fear of judgement TBH. I’m very fortunate and very grateful to have amazing friends who are very non-judgemental and open and so, so accepting.
BUT, there’s still that fear that I’ll somehow become a pariah and ostracized (stemming from how society tends to respond to these things).
And my family…they worry.
It can be hard to hear and feel those worries and still decide to go against them.
I did it anyway, because…
It comes down to two things: Censorship on most platforms and my own desire to create without limits (self-imposed or external).
There are tons of Instagram accounts that share (censored) photos with nudity, and on the surface, it seems like creators can get away with quite a bit.
But more and more, I see those same accounts sharing about how they can’t post for a week, or are losing certain features because of posts they’ve shared.
I don’t want to spend time and energy trying to navigate the ins and outs and what’s really allowed or not. When really, anyone could report a post and my account would be at risk.
That really puts a damper on creativity.
Now, I could create and not share anything. I could create without limits and keep it all hidden away.
But, yeah, I don’t want to do that. Part of the creative urge is to release it into the world, regardless of how many people actually see it. It craves release. And I crave releasing it.
So, if Instagram isn’t the place to fulfill that creative need, I had to look elsewhere.
I also don’t understand why discovery, exploration, and self-expression (and therefore visual content) related to bodies are so restricted.
I know the reasons people give and the long, long history of how we got here, but it doesn’t make sense to me (more on that in this post).
But also, can we talk about how weird it is to see breasts without nipples? Because the acceptability of many photos (on IG) apparently hinges on the presence or absence of female-presenting nipples…
What are we teaching people when the “acceptable” form of a woman’s body is one without nipples? What are we telling people about how to relate to their own bodies? What are we internalizing as people who see these images?
The focus of my OnlyFans account
I’m using my account to share photos from my self-portrait sessions that would be considered “explicit.” They’ might be described as “artful” or “fine art” nudes (though not every photo contains nudity).
For me, this is all part of the exploration of the self, and leaning into body/self-love and confidence. And it’s also a bit of a rebellion – against limits. Against the censorship and control of women’s bodies.
But it’s also creatively and technically challenging in a really rewarding way.
It’s easy to get the angles and perspective when you’re behind the camera and able to move about on a whim.
It’s much harder when the camera has to be set up in advance and is totally stationary.
And more conceptually (/philosophically), it’s fun to ask myself, “How would I like to see myself? How do I want to feel? How can I capture that in an image?”
I’ll still share images on my Instagram (and now Twitter) account, but I won’t be able to share everything there because of the limits on what counts as acceptable content.
I’m excited to see what comes out of these explorations now that I’m able to remove those limits for myself.
It’s hard to put into words just how creatively liberating this feels.
Psst! It took me YEARS to feel confident to (a) admit I wanted to take sensual self-portraits, (b) actually do it, and (c) tell the world and publish the link.
It’s been a wild journey of (re)discovering my SELF and learning how to express myself fully. I created a free, 4-day course to introduce you to using self-portraits to liberate you full expression.