MelRose Michaels
MelRose Michaels, a popular sex worker with accounts on FanCentro and OnlyFans, is one of many high-profile creators using multiple platforms to extend her reach.

This year, as stay-at-home measures across the country led to a surge in traffic to adult entertainment websites, the rising popularity of the subscription-platform OnlyFans brought a fresh wave of criticism to the site.

Sex workers, who are largely responsible for OnlyFans’ rise in prominence, told Rolling Stone that the platform has mistreated them, mishandled their money, and sometimes kicked them off inexplicably. As OnlyFans’ burgeoning popularity attracted celebrities, sex workers complained to The New Statesman that the site they had made famous was now abandoning them to cater to its newly joined, more influential creators.

In the wake of this growing animosity, a number of OnlyFans competitors have gained traction. Like OnlyFans, these sites use a subscription model and similar payout rates, meaning creators can profit directly off their content. Some even offer components that make their pages feel more like social media, such as stories and the ability to “follow” creators without subscribing to them, features that OnlyFans lacks.

They also differ from OnlyFans in another important way: They champion their sex workers and broadcast their committment to giving them a platform.

“The main reason I decided to leave was because I have read articles and seen people talking on Twitter about how OnlyFans has been deleting sex workers’ accounts with no reason and no warning, and sometimes people have lost thousands of dollars,” said sex worker Jamie Zella in a YouTube video.

Still, with more than 70 million registered users, OnlyFans remains the most popular of these subscription-based sex-work platforms, meaning the site’s network effects make it hard to quit; creators flock to where the traffic is, no matter their misgivings. To accomodate this reality, creators like MelRose Michaels have accounts on more than one platform.

Nonetheless, many of these OnlyFans competitors see the site’s dismissive treatment of their core users as a clear business opportunity. If OnlyFans won’t appreciate their sex workers, these sites will. Below is a list of OnlyFans competitors that employ similar business models but more openly support their sex-work creators. Read the rest of this entry »