The OnlyFans Millionaire Story Doesn’t Add Up

A staple tabloid story in recent times has been the Only Fans rags to riches yarn, wherein our plucky heroine, often a former cubicle drone or till girl at the supermarket, packs in her life of drudgery for the freedom of posting saucy pics on Only Fans, and instantly reaps lottery cheque money.

However, these almost weekly tales of smut instamillionaires simply don’t add up, despite the ubiquitous pics of lasses in their smalls posing in mcmansions or draped over luxury cars. In fact, the OnlyFans millionaire story is one of the great alternative histories of our times. Or to put it another words, more fake news.

OnlyFans, like most things in the attention economy, functions on a hockey stick graph. A very small number of users make nearly all the money, in other words.

This latest yarn may be a tad more honest than most, claiming to be in the top 2% of earners on the site (as do they all) but only stating an income of approx £1,000 a week, far below the usual footballer salaries claimed by her peers. Interestingly, her testimony matches the analysis done by TSNFA as we can see on the graph.

If this one is remotely correct, we can assume that almost no one other than established porn stars or former Hollywood people are making six figures annually. There have been a few macroeconomics analyses of OnlyFans which seem to concur with this. Here’s the latest.

Which suggests in turn that most of those cubicle-to-camgirls are bringing in a few hundred a week at most, but are prepared to amplify their income a hundredfold if it gets them a mention in the redtops, which they hope in turn might bring in a few more punters. In fact, if TSNFA’s version of the OnlyFans hockey graph is correct (above) then about 95% of OnlyFans users are making less than $1,000 a month.

Also, there’s likely a certain amount of ego protection in this too. If you strip for cameras, you’d like to think that it was worth more than the market may necessarily provide. But you can salve that ego by ‘faking it till you make it’, claiming the money you want to be making in the hope that somehow the headlines make it true. This is somewhere between cosmic wishing and casting spells in terms of career strategy, but doesn’t make it any less prevalent.

All in, I’m unconvinced about the morality of this. It’s just page three without payment. And it’s selling a dream of financial freedom which pretty much doesn’t exist. Journalists ought to be doing their due diligence and demanding to see bank statements before publishing such claims.

Talking Turkey about Hyperinflation

The British currency, the pound sterling, takes its name from the fact that, when it first issued, it was redeemable for a pound of silver. That was somewhen in the late 8th century Anglo-Saxon period.

If we do the maths, based on today’s silver spot price, that means that the pound today is worth approximately 1/210th of what it was worth nearly 13 centuries ago.By contrast, the French managed to devalue their currency by more in just 18 months during the early 1790s, as did Germany in less than a year during the Weimar period.

The worst affected ever were the poor Hungarians in the immediate post-war period in 1945. They suffered that level of devaluation in under 6 days at peak. Armenia, Zimbabwe and Argentina have experienced similar horrors.

Tour di 2 giorni in Cappadocia da Side
Beautiful country, beautiful people, ugly economic policies.

Why do I mention this? Because it still happens today. Last semester, in Turkey, I saw my wages collapse by more than half in two months. My colleagues there are still living through this. They suffer daily price hikes in fuel and food costs, with static wages. The Turkish people, like the Armenians, Zimbabweans, Argentinians, or the Hungarians, Germans and French of former times, have done nothing wrong. But they were the ones to suffer.

Hyperinflation is caused by only one thing – shitty governments implementing shitty policies. It destroys savings, commerce, and most importantly, lives. We don’t always think too much about Turkey in the West, but we should. Here is a country suffering a preposterously stupid government and massive devaluation of their economy, yet still accommodates 3.6 MILLION refugees.

It was a salutory lesson for me in macro-economics, and in human decency, to spend last semester in Turkey. My heart remains with them in their plight, and I hope to see them in better times soon. It is a beautiful nation with a beautiful people who deserve better.

A caveat: I am not, never have been and never will be an economist. But it doesn’t take a Harvard MBA to understand money.