Paige earns £15,000 to £20,000 a month uploading sexy videos and pictures to OnlyFans. It's because of high earners like her that, during lockdown, a time in which many are newly low on money, lots of us have had the thought: 'Might start selling photos of my feet online.'
Given that Paige has over two years of experience on the platform, I ask if she has any advice for those starting out. "You're honestly working 24/7," she says. "You're working, like, seven jobs at once. You're a photographer, lighting coordinator, set designer, editor, admin assistant, promoter, accountant. Sometimes you might forget to sleep. Sometimes you might forget to eat."
While Paige hasn't experienced an increase in competition since coronavirus lockdown began, she thinks the case will be different for new girls and guys who are yet to become established on the site. "They're all in competition with each other for new subscribers. But once you get them on board, people tend to stay loyal."
Tommy Rose, who makes about £1,200 a month on OnlyFans, has noticed a change in the sort of content her fans are looking for since the lockdown was put in place. "A lot of consumers genuinely just want to talk," she says. "A lot of us are now stuck indoors alone with very little communication, and the general idea of intimacy is so close yet so far. Being able to just sext with someone or have them send you nudes in a girlfriend-experience type way has definitely rocketed for me."
I ask Tommy if she has any advice for beginners. "There is no going back," she says. "Sex work lasts forever, and I think a lot of people don't realise that it can impact their other jobs when going back to work, your future, and how your family and friends see you. There is so much stigma around the sex worker community, and I'm glad it's finally getting its 'break', as it were, but people need to consider that there are consequences for actions if people aren't supportive, and you need to be able to deal with that mentally before embarking on this."
Tommy also recommends setting boundaries so that you can avoid feeling pushed into creating content you might not want to make: "If you want to do some cute lingerie pics, there are people that will pay! If you want to do slightly more explicit stuff further down the line, you can! But don't be pushed into supplying things you're not comfortable with just for the sake of a bit of extra money."
To see how viable an option OnlyFans is for those struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic, I asked three newbies how they've been getting on since the start of lockdown.
JAMES AND ETHAN OF @JETLONDON
VICE: What made you start an OnlyFans account?
James: Like most people, our financial situation was deteriorating, so we started it as a way of keeping ourselves afloat. I work freelance as a dancer, so a lot of the work I had planned has been cancelled.
Ethan: I was working at a gym, but now, because of the pandemic, I've been furloughed, so 80 percent of my former wages have to cover all of our costs – and we live in London, so life is quite expensive.
How's it been going so far?
James: Since we started the account in mid-April we've got over 300 paying subscribers, and they pay $9.99 (£8.03) a month to see our content. We started the account on the 27th of March, and in four days we made $1,500 (£1,205). From mid-April to now we made another $1,000 (£803). That's just what we get after OnlyFans takes a commission of 20 percent. All together we've made nearly $3,000 (£2,411) in less than three weeks.
Ethan: I was on a decent wage before at the gym, but if you consider the hours I was working before I'm definitely earning more than what I would in my normal job.
James: You can do a lot less for the same pay. It's the easiest money I've ever made.
What sort of content do you guys make?
James: It's quite an oversaturated market, so you have to try to offer people something a bit different.
Ethan: A lot of it is sort of a "come be a fly on the wall inside of our sex life" type thing, because it's less common for people to do OnlyFans as a couple. But we also go off what our subscribers are asking for.
James: We've said no to a couple of requests because they just really weren't our thing. A lot of people asked for foot pictures and someone wanted us to jump up and down. Nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't for us.
How much time do you guys spend on this?
James: When we decided to do it we made quite a bit of content so that we would have a bit of a head-start. So far we've been uploading pictures daily, sometimes a short clip, and then every Friday we upload a video.
Ethan: The actual content side of it doesn't take that much time. Most of the work is spent marketing our page. For about one or two hours, five days a week, we sit together on our phones tagging other people on Twitter in our pictures, following people, posting updates.
What's the best advice you would give to someone thinking of starting an OnlyFans now?
James: Big OnlyFans people will share referral codes for people wanting to make an account. All it basically means is that, rather than OnlyFans taking 20 percent of your commission, they take 10 percent and the person who gave you the referral code takes the other 10. It's a good thing to do because then this big OnlyFans influencer has a stake in how well you do.
Ethan: So we used the referral code of this gay porn star, and now because he gets 10 percent of what we make, he keeps telling his Twitter followers to subscribe to us.
James: In general we've found people are really willing to help you get your name out there. If you tag someone on Twitter saying that you're following them, chances are they will do the same back.
Ethan: We launched the Twitter account a couple of days before we set up the OnlyFans, and we've managed to get about 2,000 followers in less than three weeks.
Is it difficult as a couple being in the house together constantly and then also having to work?
Ethan: Absolutely not. James is my best friend, so for me this is my absolute dream. Before, I was working 40 hours a week and I'd get upset in the morning when I had to leave. And then sometimes we'd be on such different schedules, like James might be working at shows in the nighttime when I was off, or he might have to be at certain events for long hours. It's so nice to be able to catch up on all this time together.
MISS JUNE OF @MISSJUNE93
What made you start an OnlyFans account?
Miss June: I was worried about money, about paying off my mortgage, bills and stuff. Before lockdown I was looking after animals – pet dogs, mainly. But because it's an independent business my boss can't pay me until she gets her grant from the government. She says she can give me some money to tide me over, but I don't really want to ask. At the minute I'm living off savings. OnlyFans seemed like the easiest option because I used to have an account a while back. I deleted it because some people were leaving nasty comments about my weight and I just wasn't uploading enough, so people were unsubscribing.
What sort of content do you make?
I do a lot of fetish stuff: feet, nylon tights, high heels, things like that. I don't do full nudes, but I don't mind going topless. A lot of people like lips – not labia, I mean on your mouth – so I take pictures of mine. Smoking is popular too.
Since reopening your account, have you noticed a difference in what it's like making a living from OnlyFans?
It's got harder, actually. People have a lot more time on their hands, so I find that I'm getting badgered more. I get messages like, "When are you going to be uploading more content? Are you going to post videos?" I've messaged a couple of old subscribers asking if they want to go onto my account again, and they've asked if they can see some free content to get an idea of what they're paying for, or just said they can't afford it. Everyone's so skint at the minute, it's difficult. I've found, though, that the fans I have this time around are a lot more loyal and supportive.
What have you been doing to try and get more subscribers?
I'm putting on a lot more promotions. I never used to do that before, and I've dropped the price for the next ten members that sign up, and things like that.
How much money are you making on OnlyFans at the minute?
Last month I made about $250 (£201). When I had an account last time I was earning about double that, so it's quite a substantial cut.
How much content are you uploading?
I'm posting about five to ten pictures every day at the moment, which is more than I did before. I tend to post when I get up in the morning. It's difficult to find interesting material at the moment because I'm confined to the house. I can't just get naked in the middle of nowhere, although I have done that before. Everything is so tedious, my inspiration is getting low. I also don't have the money to buy new underwear at the minute.
DEAN OF @DEXNLEET
What made you start an OnlyFans account?
Dean: I'm just curious to see if I can make a bit of money out of this. There's also the social side of it as well. It can get so lonely being in your house all day. I've not got a big following or anything, but people on OnlyFans are so friendly and helpful. I only have one subscriber at the minute, but that's still cool, because that means one person wants to see what you're up to. You know what I mean? For me personally, it's about confidence.
What about the money side of things?
I got furloughed from my retail job at Office shoes. It would be nice to make some money through this, but also it can be harder as a guy. The women on OnlyFans tend to make a lot more money.
What sort of content are you planning on making?
It's going to have to be solo stuff, because obviously we can't invite someone over at the minute. A lot of people have been giving advice on Twitter about what they would like to see. One woman said it would be nice to watch men moan, because a lot of the time men are really quiet, I guess because they want to appear dominant. And I know this sounds quite lame, but I'd like to make it quite arty. I don't mean throwing paint on yourself, but just like aesthetically pleasing.
What do you spend most of your time doing with your work?
People like consistency. They want to feel like they can hear from you whenever they want. So I'm trying to be really active on Twitter. It's been so nice how welcoming the OnlyFans community is, like I have a personal Twitter and I don't post on there that much because people are judgmental, but when I put pictures up on my OnlyFans account everyone is really complementary and it's boosted my self-esteem a lot.