Life in quarantine means the singles crowd is facing down a cataclysmic sexual drought.
But for the horny and socially isolated, there’s a way to satisfy the urge: the social media site OnlyFans. In March, it announced a 75% jump in new signups.
Think of OnlyFans as Instagram’s racy cousin.
For a monthly fee, subscribers get access to a performer’s personal feed, featuring photos and videos that are too hot even for the ‘gram. There’s nudity, yes, but posts can also be more mild, like wearing a certain color underwear or lingerie based on requests from followers.
Welcome to the new age of horniness
Across the board, these are boom times for the sexual wellness biz:
- Sex toy sales are going through the roof, and online shops like Unbound Babes are seeing double their average orders.
- Pornhub is reveling in an 18% traffic bump since March 24 when it announced a free month of its premium service.
But the biggest innovations are happening in the performance space. As one escort put it to New York magazine: “Everyone’s camming now.”
- CamSoda performer signups shot up 37% in March compared to last year, and ManyVids reported a 69% increase.
Many performers are turning to Instagram’s roving strip clubs, where they enter live feeds and dance for several minutes with their CashApp usernames hovering in the foreground.
Some of these strip clubs have amassed as many as 60k viewers — and, in rare cases, enormous tips for dancers. One performer told The New York Times that she has made $18k from Instagram Live during quarantine.
Sex workers don’t have other options
The leap to livestreaming is a matter of survival. With the country sheltering in place, their usual sources of income have dried up, and they don’t have the labor protections offered to other professionals.
The coronavirus relief package for small businesses explicitly blocks anyone who does “live performances of a prurient sexual nature” from applying for aid.
But making a living off of sites like OnlyFans is a lot of work: Performers spend up to 80 hours a week thinking up content, coordinating with followers, and promoting their pages — all in exchange for $5 to $10 monthly subscriptions.