This post has been co-written. I (Sultan H. Khane II) and Fitzpatrick contributed to this article.
This is part of our new joint-series called Listen to Him (this will eventually become a Podcast). Listen to Him dives deep into social; community, and persistent issues that we face as gay black men in the world in which we live in. This series exclusively focuses on gay black issues.
In our first piece for this series, we’ve dove deep into a growing issue on social media. The idea that our bodies; looks, and the mere idea that we partake in such a human act (like pleasing ourselves) automatically must be uploaded to the internet. And in certain cases… without the knowing consent of the other person.
It’s all part of a growing trend connected to adult film sites like Onlyfans.com.
What is Onlyfans.com?
Onlyfans.com is an online video platform with a focus on membership based video pages whereas users can very much make a living based on whatever they actually upload. The site boasts likely millions of users, but, often goes unnoticed when it comes to the sheer number of ungodly things they’ve allowed their users to get away with.
How does it work?
For example — let’s say someone is interested in sharing their adult home movies. In this instance, the user would be able to confirm their government-issued I.D and then be able to pretty much make their own version of Pornhub. Some people have reported making upwards of 6 figures a month.
Problem #1: There are quite a number of gay-adult oriented Onlyfans.com pages that feature stolen content; unauthorized videos, and the content that should’ve never been released, to begin with.
What’s the issue?
With the growth of the popular video platform, uh, came the idea that the gay community at large had now become a part of the “I do videos, let’s make one” culture. There’s this mantra that the hotter a guy is — some way or another certain gay dude will find a way to secretly record a person.
But the question remains that at what cost are people attempting to forcibly monetize someone elses’ most intimate moments? A simple browse through “Freak Twitter” (as it is affectionately known) turns up numerous tweets that begin with the “Hit me up for his file. I have vids; pics, and other stuff. DM or sub to my Only fans”.
The most common signs…
In today’s gay community — it is pretty obvious when a dude is secretly or is trying to record you. But let us make it very clear this is unsafe; not cool, and entirely not okay. If you have not sought the permission of someone to upload a video or picture of them yourself — do not do it. This is against the law and you can serve time in jail for uploading someone else’ pictures and videos. In most cases, this is legally considered revenge porn.
Pornhub (of all places) was the first place I looked for this piece. On top of really alarming videos titled “Stealthed this twink”, there sat videos “Secretly recorded for my Onlyfans” or “I’m nutting in this nigga on camera and he doesn’t even know it”.
It’s a fad that has become common and it has to stop. Jeopardizing someone else’ future and life without their permission or explicit consent is viciously wrong.
I spoke to one Dallas man who shared his story with The Fix about how he learned about Only fans and how it affected his life.
“I went through that period of life where I just wanted to have fun and explore myself sexually. There were some things that I had wanted to try but didn’t really trust anybody because of the things that I had heard. I met this guy in 17′ at a bar in Dallas. He was hot; funny, and buff all of the usual stuff. The problem? After having gone home with him — I had no idea that he had a secret camera in his television stand that was about the size of a quarter. It had to have been about the size of a laptop webcam because it was never obviously noticeable.
But when I realized what had happened I had obviously put two and two together. He had secretly recorded me giving him oral sex and then proceeding to engage in anal sex. I figured it out a week or so after we hooked up, two of my friends hit me up talking about it was urgent and that they needed to see me asap.
I was stunned. On their laptops… sat videos and photos of me hooking up with the man from the bar. Bare naked; shocking quality, in the flesh. I felt so violated and honestly I had contemplated suicide several times. I had never really done things like that before and thought that he seemed pretty nice so I trusted him enough to hook up with him.
It really taught me a lesson” said Jevon, 25, from Dallas. Jevon recalled in that instance that his friends had shown him Onlyfans.com and a page belonging to the man. On that page sat several videos annd several compromising photos that Jevon never agreed to and didn’t even know existed.
Like Jevon others exist. And it is a startling problem. Peoples’ privacy is out here being sold for $19.99 a month to however many subscribers one can get too sign up to their page. But the company itself has largely remained silent.
Based in the United Kingdom it is almost virtually unknown who owns the website.