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Only Fans, unlocked (for men)

OF is the personification of pornography. The empty promise is to offer its clients a space for interaction with women they desire, in the vague hope that they will not only get pleasure but also virtual companionship and intimacy.

FEATURES AUTOR 415/Jeniffer_Diaz 11 DE JUNIO DE 2024 17:47 h
Frame from the film 'Blade Runner 2049' / Screenshot, Netflix

The development of technology today and the new apparition of new social media platformshas changed the way we relate to members of the opposite sex. The platform Only Fans has much to say about that.



One of the great challenges that the new generations will have to face is the plague of pornography, that hedonistic giant that increasingly conquers the minds and drags the will of many young people.



It is well known that the consumption of this type of content begins at an increasingly younger age, between 9 and 11 years old [1], and that it is no longer a habit exclusively for men, although they are still the main consumers of this type of content [2].



Much has already been written about the dangers and risks of pornography consumption, so I would rather analyse the Only Fans (OF) phenomenon to find out what is behind this controversial business.



 



Virtual drug



Only fans (OF) is a social platform of adult content, where users can subscribe for a monthly fee and choose the content of their choice, whether it is part of the material, photos, videos or live presentations.



It is designed to allow chat interaction with users.



Although the platform promoted adult content since 2016, it has never been more popular than it is today, in part due to the 2020 pandemic that shut millions of people at home and saw a dramatic increase in the consumption of this content [3].



OF has positioned itself as a social media network with a growing number of subscribers who are willing to pay between $4.99 and $49.99 per month to access the platform's content.



It is striking that so many men are willing to commit financially to a monthly membership on OF, when it is well known that there are similar platforms that offer the same content for free.



In times of virtual eroticism, when sexuality is promoted and sold as just another skill, almost comparable to selling cooking or design services, what makes OF different from all the other platforms?



 



Exclusivity and intimacy



OF owes its success to two key concepts: intimacy and exclusivity.



I was browsing through several blogs to see what men who have subscribed to OF have to say about their motivations and these were some of the responses:



(1) The morbid curiosity of seeing a friend or colleague uploading content on this platform. (2) Exclusivity and interaction. (3) Being able to choose to see photos of someone you like. (4) The satisfaction of belonging to a group. (5) Being able to interact with very beautiful women with whom it would be impossible in real life.



Similar to a social media site where you can choose who to follow, who to comment on, who has access to your information and content, OF provides the same false sense of exclusivity, as men can choose what they really want to see.



We are talking about the personification of pornography: those women are there to fulfil the weirdest fetishes of their users, and the amount of money is the key that unlocks the doors to increasingly "exclusive" content.



According to the most recent data, "daily spending by fans cannot exceed $500 for new users, but if they have been using the social network steadily for some time, this limit increases" [4].



Young men are the ones who consume and maintain life on the social network the most, between the ages of 18 and 34 [5], wasting their future on the virtual drug, as the following graph shows:





[photo_footer] Percentage of Only Fans users in the world, by age group / Statista[/photo_footer]


The platform has an army of at least 170 million users. OF was designed to feed its users' feelings of grandiosity and promote narcissistic behaviour, making them feel important and dominant over women who sadly sell themselves to the highest bidder.



Another key concept that engages thousands in OF is that of intimacy.



The loneliness of metaverse, as some sociologists have called it, shows us that the more connected we are, the lonelier we feel.



The empty promise of OF is to offer its clients a space for interaction with those women they desire, in the vague hope that they will not only get pleasure from them, but also virtual companionship and intimacy, facilitated by the chat, which, of course if you want to access it, you will have to pay a good amount of money for.



This design facilitates parasocial relationships, defined as false relationships that are developed around a public person or television star.



OF deceives users into believing that they are building meaningful relationships with unattainable women, but in reality they are only the potential client of the day. This is evidenced by the case of a woman on OF who charges up to ten thousand dollars a night just to be seen sleeping by her subscribers [6].



There is a deep sense of loneliness and despair that especially the younger male generation tries to silence with virtual placebos. OF works as a substitute, much like the soma that Huxley mentions in his book Brave New World (1932).



The soma that is pornography numbs the sensibilities of men, keeping them in a barely human state in which they require increasingly higher doses of the drug to experience what they experienced at the beginning. They ignore that the placebo only has pleasurable effects for a few minutes, but the negative consequences remain in the long term.



 



Artificial relationships



In the film Blade Runner 2049,agent K is in a relationship with Joi, who is an Artificial Intelligence programmed to satisfy K's needs and desires.



In her role as a virtual girlfriend, she can transform herself into whatever K requires, be it an indulgent girlfriend, a housewife who makes dinner, or a comforting friend. Her style and attire can also change according to the needs of her client. Does it look a bit like the reality to you?



The fake intimacy that OF promises is the hook for many young men who have turned their smartphones into people.



Sadly, interpersonal relationships have devolved into mere virtual interactions, with a level of interest measured in likes and success measured in followers.



Those kinds of freelance relationships warn us that technology could soon become the replacement of real relationships.



In this virtual world of no-strings-attached relationships, many men may remain anonymous, delay commitment to a real woman or replace the one they already have with a "cyberwoman".



Revent figures reveal that "23% of adults said they had not had sex in the last twelve months, a percentage that has doubled in the last 10 years" [7].



This is not for the reasons we as Christians would like (commitment to a gospel understanding of sexuality), but a problem not just for singles, but for married couples. In Japan, "almost half of all married couples have not had sex for a month".



This virtual drug is producing more men without masculinity than ever before, single men lacking affective responsibility or with zero ability to approach a woman beyond a screen, married men infected by feminine idealisations with which the wife cannot and should not compete.



When we look around us we see a completely emasculated masculinity, because pornography does not make men more virile, but on the contrary, it reduces God's design to mere animal instinct.



This is what C.S. Lewis warned us about years ago:



"To me, the real evil of pornography is that it leads a man to the prison of the self, where he builds a harem of imaginary concubines. And this harem prevents him from being able to go out and truly unite with a real woman, because the harem is always accessible, always servile, demands no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions that no real woman can compete with.



Among those shady concubines, they always adore him, he is always the perfect lover: no one points out his selfishness, his vanity suffers no mortification whatsoever. At the end, they simply become the means through which he worships himself more and more. And it is not only the capacity to love that is sterilised, repressed upon itself, but also the capacity of the imagination." [9]



 



Beyond lust



According to Lewis, beyond lust hides the ego. Many men prefer to be indulged by a paid harem, where they are always obeyed and adored.



Beyond lust lurks hedonism, the pursuit of one's own pleasure at any cost.



There are many factors that lead men to the consumption of pornography, and it should be taken into account that many of them are involuntarily exposed to it for the first time due to the forced advertising that invades everything we see, and once they are caught, users cannot help but fall at some point into the prison of the ego.



At first, they think they will be served, but pornography thrives only if it gets slaves, so they become its servants.



We would like to think that this reality is alien to the church, but many teenage of young adult male who passes through our premises have or have had an addiction to pornography.



Only Fans is not only about pornography, it goes beyond pleasure, it is a new form of commodification of human relationships, relationships that God established as the core and foundation of society through the family.



It is precisely in that divine model that the enlightened husband appears as a type of Christ, who must care for, love and look after the welfare of the bride.



Jesus is contrary to the ego, because even though he was God he did not demand the adoration he deserved while he walked among us, for he did not come to be served but to serve.



There is grace for the addict and freedom for the hedonist. There is hope for the one who hides behind his smartphone. There is real and true life beyond the screens and that is the abundant life that Jesus gives, to those who humbly recognise that they have lived for themselves in bondage, but who long for the freedom that only being slaves to Christ can bring.



As evil goes on and the love of many grows cold, it is my hope that, as evangelical Christians, we become a counter-cultural people who, with discernment and wisdom, know how to navigate the evils of each generation. Pornography is not greater than the one who lives in us.



Jennifer Díaz, publicist and theology student in Spain.



Endnotes



[1] First contact with pornography



[2] Percentage of Only Fans users by gender



[3] Pornography consumption during the pandemic



[4] What is Only Fans



[5] Only Fans worldwide users



[6] Woman charges to be seen sleeping



[7] Why men are having less sex



[8] Less sex in couples



[9] Paraphrase of Letters from the Devil to his Nephew. C.S. Lewis.


 

 


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