How Bundaberg women are making a living from adult content
IT'S been labelled the "paywall of porn".
In an increasingly digital world, one where many have found themselves isolated at home in Covid-19 lockdown, men are finding companionship on OnlyFans, a website that links models with fans.
The predominantly straight, male audience pays a fee to subscribe to their model of choice - charges often vary from about $5 to $20 a month, sometimes more.
In return, they receive racy images and videos, and can request content more personalised than other adult websites.
It is an industry thriving in Bundaberg.
Bundaberg local Milly, as she wishes to be known, dedicates much of her time to her audience.
She says there's a type of relationship with her fans where there are days she could receive up to 40 messages a day checking in on her if she hasn't posted in a while.
"I have hundreds of subscribers and most of them are locals," she said.
"I started my account in September 2019, just before Covid hit.
"I post frequently about how grateful I am, as I couldn't have gotten to where I am without my followers."
The event of the global Covid-19 pandemic saw a 75 per cent increase in use of the website.
The young Bundaberg woman said she had followed a natural interest in the sex work industry and bondage that led her to offering her risque images and videos online.
"I've always been a highly sexualised person, ever since I turned 18," she said.
"I've always had a high interest in the sex work industry, more so the BDSM side.
"I started experimenting in my bedroom with rope and posted a few pics up on Instagram of my shibari ties in lingerie, the feedback I got was overwhelmingly positive so I started posting more."
Milly said she soon set up an OnlyFans account that was originally by inviation only, but it became so popular she made her profile public.
She's now listed in the top two per cent of popular OnlyFans accounts.
"It's been a snowball effect ever since I made my account," Milly said.
There are hundreds of thousands of accounts on the London-based website, that launched in 2016 as a platform for social media performers to share exclusive subscriber content.
Some of Milly's publicly available photos and videos feature lingerie, rope and various other adult items. Her subscriber account features more.
The petite brunette explains there are many Bundaberg girls modelling on the website, and says she likes to help others achieve success in addition to her own.
"I personally have helped over 10 girls start their accounts and have watched their growth," she said.
Milly has no time for critics.
"I don't often say anything to those who criticise because I see no need to defend myself or what I do," she said.
"My quality of life has improved drasitcally since starting this, I live comfortably with my earnings, I have savings, I am confident in my skin, I receive love and support on a daily basis, I have met so many beautiful people in this industry."
Milly says people in the industry are cut from a different cloth, and she wouldn't expect everyone to understand the models' line of work or the fans' needs to turn to the internet.
She admits to being a perfectionist online.
"I post twice daily, once randomly and then every single night at 8pm," she said.
"I actually upload more videos than I do photos, and videos require a bit more time," she said.
"I usually put in about half an hour to an hour's effort every second or third day.
"It's honestly the quickest way to make money I have ever come across."
It's Milly's full-time job.
"It only requires a few hours of effort each week, however, those hours can be extremely physically and mentally draining," she said.
But the effort is worth it, she says.
"...I can genuinely say I finally found a job that I love every single day, whether it be a Monday or a Saturday.
"Every single day I wake up to new fans and it just makes my heart swell every day."
Safety tips for anyone selling personal content online involves not revealing personal information including phone numbers.
Online models should also avoid sharing the same photos on their private and professional accounts in case of reverse image searches.