OnlyFans: Why SA is considering amateur porn as a side hustle

The existence of a paid subscription social media site has had Mzansi thinking about taking it all off, and more, for cash.

Living in Cyril’s economy is expensive. So expensive, in fact, that South Africans are considering turning to amateur porn as way to bring in an additional source of income.

As modern-day urban legends go, there has been a tweet doing the rounds claiming that social media users who send amateur submissions to global adult site PornHub can make around $3,500 (R53,000) for their content.

As a result, many have joked about doing just that as a way of earning some extra bucks, but the jokes seem to have turned into strong considerations after vlogger, influencer, adult shop owner and Twitter user @OddeOmontle shared how much she had earned in a day from subscriptions to her account.

*Please note: The following tweet contains explicit language.

@OddeOmontle, who also goes by the name Cindy, was subsequently inundated with queries about how to open an account as well as how the site works.

What is OnlyFans? 

It is a social media platform launched in 2016 that allows account owners to monetise their content in a way that is similar to YouTube. Where the two platforms differ, however, is that followers on OnlyFans pay a subscription fee that gives them access to your content, which remains locked and therefore closed to non-paying outsiders.

Because of this, social media users who post adult content, as well as adult film stars, favour using OnlyFans to share their content. In layman’s terms, you can sell your nudes, and photos of pretty much anything on your body, for money.

The site also allows followers to tip the content creator or direct message them and request personalised content at an additional fee.

The revenue split is currently on an 80-20 basis and content creators have their revenue deposited directly into their accounts once OnlyFans has deducted its commission.

The site currently functions as a web page only but they plan to launch apps soon.

The site is owned by a parent company called Fenix International Limited. According to The New York Times, Fenix is run by a man who goes by the name Mr Stokely and he works alongside his father, Guy Stokely.

How much could I earn? 

At the moment, the site suggests setting a minimum subscription fee of $4.99 (R75,66) but content creators can determine how much they wish to charge.

So, for example, if you had 10 subscribers who paid $6 (R90,97) each per month, you as a South African creator could stand to take home just over R800 after deductions.

Because of the aforementioned promise of earnings on OnlyFans, the website found itself trending on South African social media on Wednesday.

What could go wrong? 

There are tax implications to such a venture as well as the danger of reputational damage in the event that the content of someone who wishes to operate on the site gets leaked.

In addition to the built-in screenshot and screen-recording features on most newer-model phones, there are various forums and tutorials instructing would-be leakers on how to “rip” someone’s OnlyFans content for the purposes of reposting it elsewhere on the internet or “saving” it to a collection.

“It will be deemed as an income and taxed as such,” explains chartered accountant Thupedi Lamola, who goes on to state that it is unlawful not to declare any additional income. If Sars does an audit into the earnings of creators, they could face heavy sanctions.

Director of Wingman Accounting Adriaan Basson echoed Lamola’s sentiments, adding that “if you’re a South African based company or person making earnings, you’re taxed on a worldwide income,” and that “there is no funny exemption from that.”

He advised against trying to declare one’s earnings as a gift as that would constitute tax evasion.

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