A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The OnlyFans creators get 80% of the money their subscriptions bring in. This obviously lures them to them platform, but it also gives them more control over their livelihood than they would have through other adult content distributors. Creators and experts discuss becoming gradually desensitized and moving their content to the next level to make more money. Only one of the creators, a male model who relocated to Utah from New York City during the pandemic, draws a bright line on the limits of his nudes (he won't show his penis), saying, "I want to have a life after modeling."
Positive Role Models
There's a lot of body positivity on display here; as one sex educator comments, OnlyFans "promoted a lot more bodies as worthy of being looked at and not just worthy, but being a valuable investment to look at." On the other hand, we see one creator go through breast enhancement in part because she knows she'll make more money.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
OnlyFans is a subscription platform where content creators post a range of images and videos, many of which are nudes or sex. It's described as the "Instagram of porn." Buttocks are seen in this short documentary, while breasts and genitals are blurred out. No sexual acts are shown, but they're mentioned (threesomes, for example).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Though this is an ABC News production, it's rated TV-MA and participants use coarse and sexual language, including "d--k," "f--k" "t--ties," "p---y," "ass," "whore," and "boobs."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The primary goal for the content creators on OnlyFans is making money -- there's a lot of talk of how much they make monthly, how the money changes their lives and goals, and what the money can buy. Lingerie makes a lot of appearances, as do the cell phones that are the cameras for much of the content.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that OnlyFans: Selling Sexy is a primer about the online site where subscribers pay content creators to see their pictures and videos and have a personal connection. It's been called "Instagram for porn" and celebrity involvement is compared to appearing in Playboy in decades past. In the short documentary, we meet a few creators who came from diverse backgrounds -- one young woman is a car mechanic, another had an office job, another was a comedian and adult film star. Two men, a model/fitness buff and an adult film actor, are also profiled. Across the board, the creators talk about how much money they make and hope to make -- they are considered entrepreneurs. Buttocks are seen in this short documentary, while breasts and genitals are blurred out. No sexual acts are shown, but they're mentioned (threesomes, for example). Much coarse and sexual language is used ("d--k," "f--k" "t--ties," "p---y," "ass," "whore," "boobs").
Is It Any Good?
It's not news that people are willing to pay to see sex and nudity; the fascinating aspect of this five-year-old "Instagram of porn" is how much control the content creators have over their business. A year ago, most parents probably hadn't heard about OnlyFans, but when pop stars and a former Disney Channel star associated their names with a platform, people paid attention. The documentary does a cursory but decent job of covering the history and 2020 breakout of OnlyFans, and the five creators featured are clear that they earn good money and like being entrepreneurs who have to be their own CEO, CFO, marketing department, and talent.
The ABC News documentary is less than an hour long and doesn't dive deeply enough into the OnlyFans world. The five creators profiled are all successful adults, and most concede with a shrug that their boundaries keep moving to make more money. Another documentary, #Nudes4Sale from the BBC in 2020, paints a darker picture. Research conducted by the BBC looked at 7,728 profiles advertising "nudes4sale" or similar on various platforms, not just OnlyFans -- a third of Twitter profiles appeared to belong to an underage individual and many of those used OnlyFans to share their content. It would be illuminating for ABC News to follow up in a year to see how the platform and the creators have evolved.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Kids' Books About Social Media and Digital Life
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate