19 year-old Ramona Plowher has recently retired from OnlyFans. She believes that for a site that markets itself as a vehicle of empowerment it does little to sustain and protect its workers.
Plowher makes it clear she still supports sex work and believes there are rewarding experiences you can gain from it.
“I do want to say that when I speak negatively on sex work, it’s not because I don’t want people to do it,” Plowher explained.
For Plowher, it was simply too much to handle on top of taking care of herself. It wasn’t the experience of being a sex worker itself, but the enviroment created by her followers and by OnlyFans as a platform.
OnlyFans markets itself as a safer alternative to mainstram pornography. Members are subjected to subscribers who can send messages with abusive and hurtful language. Although creators can report or remove these subscribers, this could be avoided with an effective screening process.
Additionally, the income split for content creators is usually less than what people need to support themselves without massive effort.
“[Quitting] felt easier than trying to set boundaries,” Plowher explained.
She described an environment where she was incentivized to present an infantile hyper feminine persona in order to attract men to her content. The money wasn’t enough to pay bills or make up for the mental cost of being an object of fetishization.
Plowher’s recount of her experiences with the platform and sex work in general began on unsure footing. She began uploading to OnlyFans and Reddit, another platform where explicit content is accepted, when she was in the throes of an eating disorder. Followers’ comments ended up feeding into it.
She remembered being told by followers “you’re perfect, you’re tiny. I like how little you are, I love that I can see your bones.”
Rather than feeling validated, her thoughts spiraled. She felt tired of the situation.
Ramona Plowher’s typical day involved waking up and answering messages from her page’s subscribers. She would then spend the entirety of her day making content before going to bed. It was a slog.
The flip side to all the hard work she put in was that consumers of her content became accustomed, entitled even, to her work.
Plowher recounts instances of dealing with backlash from followers after taking a break.
“It flips the attention that I loved, on its head because all of a sudden, instead of getting positive attention, these people are telling me it’s my fault that they feel bad,” Plowher explained.
She didn’t need the added stress.
Plowher lived with an abusive partner during a large part of her stint as an OnlyFans creator.
When she finally decided to remove herself from the situation and seek legal help things only got worse.
While being questioned by police she had a panic attack recounting her abuse and had to be restrained; she ended up being charged as a result.
“It made me feel pretty dumb for trying … I know he still lives in my old apartment,” she said.
On her lawyers advice she stopped posting to help her chances for the upcoming case.
This was the beginning of the end of her career as a sex worker. In the aftermath she took a 10 month break before deciding to quit outright.
Now Plowher lives with a new, more supportive partner. She currently works at a call center and focuses on her passion: music.