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How to support your friends on OnlyFans without masturbating to them


May is National Masturbation Month, and we’re celebrating with Feeling Yourself, a series exploring the finer points of self-pleasure.


Taylor, a 32-year-old in Los Angeles, created an OnlyFans account in January 2021 to post some of her more risqué pole dancing routines. It was a great way, she thought, to make a bit more money while she waited for her day job as a makeup artist for TV and film to start back up post-pandemic. Her videos were “pretty scandalous, but they weren’t full nudity.”

“It was a really fun way to express myself in this way,” Taylor, who asked that we not use her last name to protect her privacy, told Mashable. “I am a very sexual person and when I do dance for, say, Instagram, I know I’ve got cousins on my Instagram, I’ve got my boyfriend’s family, all of his parents follow me, so I’m a little bit more reserved in the way that I dance. But once I started the OnlyFans, I was like, ‘Oh, this feels so good. Just being unabashedly sexy.'”

She said she enjoyed being on OnlyFans, in part, because it gave her more control over who saw her more scandalous photos and dances than on more public platforms like Instagram. But it wasn’t long before she felt like she started losing some of that control. People from her high school and college started following her with anonymous accounts without first checking in with her to see if it was okay. One man, in particular, knew intimate details about her life, and began making her feel wildly uncomfortable. She slowly stopped posted as often. Then, more recently, she shut down her account entirely.

She said she didn’t stop posting because someone who knew her outside of OnlyFans had joined and started looking at her posts. Instead, she said, it was the way he went about it. He did not make his presence known or ask her if it was okay that he was there, two options she says can make all the difference. For instance, another of Taylor’s friends from high school became a fan of her page and made his presence known immediately.


“He tipped me $100, and said ‘Oh my God, this is so incredible. I hope it’s not weird that I’m here. I just want to support you.'”

“He tipped me $100, and said ‘Oh my God, this is so incredible. I hope it’s not weird that I’m here. I just want to support you,'” Taylor said of what was a “nice” experience. “And he was only there for a month, to support me, and we had a little chat and that was it. He was like, ‘You’re such a great dancer. I’m so proud of you.’ So that was really cool.”

Taylor joined OnlyFans — and later quit it — during the pandemic, as part of an explosion of creators on the app. A spokeswoman for OnlyFans told Guardian Australia in December that the platform had grown from 7.5 million users in November 2019 to a a whopping 85 million. There are more than 1 million creators worldwide who were paid, collectively, more than $2 billion in 2020.

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When that boom took place, one of my best friends, a 25-year-old from Arizona, also became a creator on the app. She posted a few photos to her Instagram stories, and asked people to follow the link in her bio to support her new endeavor. I was excited for her! But I didn’t know how exactly to support her, because I didn’t necessarily want to see the content she was creating.

The bottom line, I have discovered, is that it’s probably best to just ask your friend. Communication is important, not only for my friend and Taylor for their comfort and privacy, but for other creators who are more public with their work. Take Tazrin Choudhury, a 25-year-old creator in Chicago who worked as an in-person yoga instructor before the pandemic. Now, she posts her yoga videos on OnlyFans, and encourages all of her friends to subscribe — so much so that some of her friends are on the platform now, too.


“I’ve inspired a lot of people to start their own journey and they haven’t looked back ever since, which is very fulfilling for me.”

“I’m blessed to have very supportive friends and a lot of them are actually on OnlyFans right now because of me, because of my experience that really inspired them because I think happiness rubs off on people,” Choudhury told Mashable. “And when someone is doing well and feels very happy with what they’re doing in their life, people obviously want to learn more and basically I’ve inspired a lot of people to start their own journey and they haven’t looked back ever since, which is very fulfilling for me.”

I wasn’t quite ready to take that leap, so my friend told me that there were a few things that could help her: Subscribe and don’t look, share her information to my friends and on my own social media, or just be a support system for her emotionally. She also said I could send her gift cards for lingerie or find ways to support her financially without using the app.

“I think probably just asking about how it’s going, like opening up that space for people to talk, because they might not necessarily want to just bring it up or if they’re having an issue,” Taylor recommended for people trying to support their friends on OnlyFans. “There’s also issues about self-worth and body issues… You just start to feel shitty about yourself if you’re having a bad week and it’s a really deep seated insecurity that I think we all have from middle school… So I think it was just really helpful to have a few friends who were checking in on me.”

Related Video: How influencers are ruining OnlyFans for sex workers

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