Violet has been posting on OnlyFans for almost a year, both for extra cash to supplement the wage from her full time job and out of enjoyment.

What is your typical client profile? 

Normally it’s the kind of guy that tries very hard to impress a girl that he will never meet and lives very far away. All of that nice guy facade is very manipulative. They buy my OnlyFans and then have certain expectations… 

Do you have any direct communication with your subscribers? 

I do to a degree; it depends on the customer. Some message me on Snapchat and buy content through Snapchat- that’s actually where most of my traffic comes from. There are some clients that I message fairly regularly and others never at all. People can expect too much and it’s hard to put boundaries up without feeling rude or ungrateful, but good customer service shouldn’t come at the cost of sanity or mental well being. It’s always important to set boundaries. 

Do you feel any pressure to push your boundaries and post more of yourself or more intense content? 

It’s a weird feeling, because you are completely in control of your content but you have an audience that have standards of what they expect you to post. I’ve felt the pressure sometimes. Once you’ve pushed the boundaries by a centimetre, why not by an inch? You always have to remind yourself that it’s your platform, and you need to post only what you’re comfortable with. 

Is there any pressure to look or behave a certain way?

To a degree. I don’t look or act any different to how I have always behaved or looked. But there are those clients that are paying you and you don’t want to let them down. They’re going to have a conscious or subconscious standard of what they expect from you, so it can feel like playing a role sometimes.

Have you received any abuse? 

I’ve had my content threatened to be leaked multiple times and it’s a horrible, gut wrenching feeling. One guy subscribed and listed names of my family members to me, like my mum’s full name. That’s probably the worst thing I’ve had. 

How did that resolve? 

I apologised to him. I thought that if I apologised and made it out that I came across badly then he would feel like he owed me and wouldn’t leak it. To my knowledge none of my posts have been leaked- fingers crossed! You kind of get used to this sort of behaviour but it’s very stressful. 

What are your thoughts on OnlyFans being empowering? 

It’s empowering as you are taking something that has always benefitted men; you’re turning the sexualisation and objectification of women on its head and profiting from it. It feels very powerful and validating especially as a trans-women; not only am I hot enough to do this, I am hot enough to make money from it. But at the same time it’s hard because I have a tiny Margaret Attwood in my head which is telling me that I’m performing femininity. It’s still benefiting men. I’m still giving pleasure to men by looking a certain way. It is always going to be a hard one to justify in your own head. 

Society both fetishises trans people and is very transphobic, what are your experiences like? 

It’s a weird one. I do have this suspicion that a lot of transphobes do fetishise trans people. I’ve never felt up until recently the need to be vocal about being trans; it felt kind of unnecessary. I’m a woman, why put another word in front of that? On my page I don’t talk about being trans and if you look at most of my content you wouldn’t necessarily know. But then I have certain customers that want specific content- basically trans porn. I had a customer the other day that wanted some specific trans content and as soon as he had it he unsubscribed, so I think that for some people it’s like a shame thing.It’s their fetish but they’re ashamed so try to cover their tracks. 

How do you feel when people ask for more trans content? 

Now, I’ve gotten used to it, but it used to be such a horrible feeling as I wasn’t really out-out. All of the effort that I put in to hiding myself I can now put into something that is more useful for me. The fetishisation of trans people is quite untapped and it’s definitely a way to make more money. It benefits me even if it made me a little uncomfortable at first. 

Do you have more fears over your safety on the platform because you’re trans?

Completely. If something got leaked off my main OnlyFans, it’s not completely naked, but if something leaked that someone had bought specifically which is naked, that’s so much worse. I’d just feel so vulnerable and on show, like my whole life had been turned inside out for everyone to see. The trans dynamic makes me worry for my safety because people are prejudiced and it’s a side of me that I don’t really want the whole world to see.

How do you feel about employers potentially finding out about your sex work?

I worry every day that I’ll walk into work and someone will know. I worry about my current job and future employers. I can’t put the link in my Instagram bio as my colleagues might see. No ‘adult’ person in my life can ever know about this because my life would be f*cked. If an employer knew, they might find a reason to fire me, and I don’t know what my family would think.

What’s it like promoting on social media?

I never want to bother or annoy anyone. It’s weird because I’m weighing up two sides. I want as many customers as possible, but I also don’t want the wrong people to find out. Someone the other day screenshot my story when I was promoting my OnlyFans, and it’s happened a couple other times, and I just think it’s so incredibly suspicious when people say they screenshot by mistake. Whenever I put stuff out there, it is stressful. I try to think of the money I am going to make, and it makes it worth it. 

How do you choose what to post? 

It’s a continuation of what I’m already into. If there are things I’m interested in, I assume that there will be other people who are too. It’s easier to do  what I already find appealing or sexy and market that to my audience. There’s a lot of fun in it!

How do you decide prices? 

Prices are difficult as people will always want something for nothing, and you have to remind yourself that these are your prices and you need to be assertive with that- it’s my body and my content. The 20% commission from OnlyFans feels a little high sometimes but as a platform it works so well. If any of my stuff got leaked, they would provide legal protection so that I can sue. It makes me feel a little less worried because at least I could sue and get justice, even though a leak would end my world. It works as a deterrent because the risk of leaking is too high. 

How does seeing discourse about sex work feel? 

It feels personal to a degree. Generally, when people are criticising women who do sex work it’s just an extension of how they view women so I try not to take it too personally but it’s difficult. Anything negative is always going to be an attack on a group of people that I belong to. If the only reason you don’t respect a woman is because she is doing sex work then you are already viewing women as object who aren’t worthy of respect and you’re just looking for an excuse. There is nothing wrong with saying you wouldn’t date a girl on OnlyFans; it’s okay to have preferences. But if you can’t see her as funny or smart with lots of attributes and interests because she does sex work then you are the problem not her. 

Do you see a future in OnlyFans or potentially going into porn?

I’m not entirely sure. Only fans works for me, and I’m not sure that I would go into full on porn because it is that much of a wider market, but I would never say never. If I somehow wrangled myself a contract, I don’t know if I would turn it down. I have a nice situation set up, and I would like to keep it going as long as possible.

Meg Hopkins

When not doing her degree, Meg (she/her) can probably be found procrastinating with her pet cat Pablo. She loves reading, particularly Terry Pratchett and trying to avoid getting lost in Welsh mountains.