Former Teacher and College Student Join OnlyFans Creators Speaking Out on Pornography Ban
Warning: This post contains content that some readers might find offensive.
OnlyFans creators are continuing to grapple with their uncertain future in the days following the platform's controversial decision to ban "sexually explicit conduct."
Model and life coach Courtney Tillia tells PEOPLE she is one of the creators who was blindsided by the new ban, which is expected to go into effect in October.
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A 34-year-old mother of four, Tillia says she taught special education for six years before her battle with depression led her to transition into a modeling and fitness career. Two and half years ago, she launched her OnlyFans page and says she's now earning a six-figure salary.
"It was shocking," Tillia says of the ban announcement, which she found "very sudden" and "vague."
"It also leaves us feeling not so great," she adds, "because we were the ones who built that platform and made it into what it is today."
"We made it a brand that people know, and to go back on the people who built it, it's pretty awful," she continues.
@Thisiseames Courtney Tillia
Since its launch in 2016, OnlyFans has become a prominent platform for users looking to offer subscription-based posts. Like Tillia, many of the creators make a living publishing sexually explicit content on their channels.
"I fell in love with it," explains Tillia. "I fell in love with being liberated and being able to share myself in different ways. I started this for my own expression. I had no idea there was so much money to be made in it as there is."
Tillia — who first spoke with TMZ — notes that the money she's made from the platform has allowed her to buy a house, provide for her children, and travel extensively.
A fellow OnlyFans creator known as Maya Morena told CNN that she is a college student and has also been able to make a living thanks to her fanbase on the platform.
"During COVID, I just stopped [full-service sex work] completely because it became too dangerous," Morena told the outlet. "This was the best month I've had on OnlyFans... and now it is basically ruined."
"If you were to get half a million dollars a month for an hour of work a day, would you do it?" Chris asked. "Yeah, you would."
Crystal describes her OnlyFans image as a "modest and reserved, real-neighbor mom" who doesn't produce X-rated content, and thus, she doesn't expect to be hindered by the new policy.
Crystal Jackson Crystal Jackson
In a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, OnlyFans said the decision was reached "to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform."
"Creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy," OnlyFans said, in part.
OnlyFans said the move was meant to comply with requests from banking and payout partners.
"We remain dedicated to our community of 130 million users and over 2 million creators that have earned over $5 billion on our platform," the company added. "OnlyFans remains committed to the highest levels of safety and content moderation of any social platform. All creators are verified prior to being able to upload any content to OnlyFans, and all uploaded content is checked by automated systems and human moderators."
According to The Verge, the new acceptable use policy prohibits creators and users from uploading or publishing content that features actual or simulated intercourse, actual or stimulated masturbation, actual or simulated bodily fluids and the exhibition of genitals.
However, "Content containing nudity will continue to be allowed as long as it is consistent with the policy," and posts can feature body parts as long as they're not explicit or zoomed in too closely, the new policy states, per The Verge.
Posts can feature body parts as long as they're not explicit or zoomed in too closely, The Verge reported.
Any content currently on the platform that features "sexually explicit conduct" must be removed before Dec. 1, and any breach moving forward "may lead to your account being suspended or terminated, and access to your earnings being revoked," OnlyFans' new policy states, per The Verge.
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Even with change on the horizon, the Jacksons already know they will remain on OnlyFans.
"We want to stay here for a while," Crystal previously told PEOPLE of her and her husband's plans. "It's our fun little thing."
Others like Morena are certain that they'll be looking elsewhere to promote their content.
"Every time I lose platforms, I lose a significant amount of money but also my connection to my follower base, and I lose so much of my work," Morena told CNN. "It is not easy to leave the industry. Usually, an exit plan takes several years ... Do I want to become more sanitized, or am I just going to find a different platform where I can make the same content?"
A creator known as Siri Dahl is also plotting a move. She told CNN that she worked in the adult film industry before joining OnlyFans in late 2019 and was making most of her income from the platform by early 2020.
"Come October, I will be offering my explicit content elsewhere," Dahl told the network. "[My OnlyFans] page will just become like a slightly more risqué Instagram account."
As for Tillia, she is certain that she will continue to post content — whether it's on OnlyFans or elsewhere.
"I'm not in a rush to jump ship. I'm really trying to figure out, what does it mean for me? What does it mean for all my customers and all my content?" she says. "And that's where it's really frustrating because it's been so vague. What does no porn exactly mean?"
"I'm weighing out my options right now before I figure out what I do... it's so confusing," she continues. "I'm not worried about it, just because I know I have a fanbase and a following. And I have a mindset that no matter what, it'll work out... I know that I'll be okay."
"And the truth is this is my life," she adds. "I'm not just gonna stop expressing myself or being an entrepreneur. I'm continuing with this, whether it's in this same form or shifting."