The straight men doing gay for pay on OnlyFans and JustForFans

The straight men doing gay for pay on OnlyFans and JustForFans

The popularity of the exclusive, X-rated content-hosting fan sites has seen a new generation of heterosexual men making soft porn accounts for gay audiences, and detoxifying masculinity on the way

In , 26-year-old Ryan Yule had a “fuck it sort of moment” and joined OnlyFans, the platform that allows him to charge people $15 a month for access to pornographic photos and videos of himself. He had left the military in February and was “tired of being skint”, so began to upload – among other things – videos of himself masturbating. He makes a strong business case for doing so: “I used to have a wank and wouldn’t get paid for it, and now, I get paid for it.”

Ryan is one of an increasing number of heterosexual men uploading explicit content for their mostly gay subscribers – Ryan tells me that he estimates his subscribers to be “97 per cent” men. Many of the straight men doing so sit between ‘top-lad’ and ‘apex-lad’ – meaning, they perform heterosexuality to its most aesthetic extremes. Their watches are large, swollen biceps tattooed with crying Geishas, and for some reason, they photograph themselves sitting on the bonnets of cars. However, these adult content creators – the OnlyFans lads if you will – are redefining a brand of heterosexuality so fragile that it’s proven, in part, by its deliberate distance from anything faintly gay.

These OnlyFans lads depend on using their very public Twitter and Instagram accounts to entice gay men to subscribe to their soft porn account. Of his 250 regular OnlyFans subscribers, Ryan thinks that most were as a result of his Instagram account. He regularly posts to his 24k (87 per cent male) Instagram followers; often images of himself in his underwear, or more recently of him showering in his briefs with two other men. His Instagram account is followed by friends and family, but he isn’t concerned that his content will impinge the way they perceive his heterosexuality. He explains: “If someone’s going to get on at me and say ‘that’s gay as fuck’, what are you doing? I don’t care, it’s done.”

The straight men doing gay for pay on OnlyFans and JustForFans

His content purposefully appeals to gay men, and he is aware that, invariably, some people will question his sexuality. “Some of the stuff I’ve done in photoshoots and video, from a straight perspective, you’d think, ‘oh aye, this guy is gay’, but, I’m not – I’m appealing to my target market”. Why is he comfortable publicly acting gay without fear he will be seen to be gay? Well, take note, lads: “I’m totally comfortable with my sexuality.”

We shouldn’t be surprised that heterosexual men are now increasingly comfortable appealing to a gay audience. As John Mercer, professor of gender and sexuality at Birmingham City University explains to me: “Many younger men have been raised in a cultural and educational context in which homophobia is not tolerated so the fear of gayness as the other is at a commonplace level, less prevalent.”

And while there has been a decrease in homophobic attitudes in young men, there has been an increase in young men sharing images of their bodies online. As Professor Mercer put it: “among a specific segment of young men, image-making and sharing is part of their construction of their social (and sexual) identities and bodies, especially sexualised bodies are important commodities with value”. The men who were being admired online or on the street for liettualainen naiset avioliittoon their appearance realised that their bodies could be put to better use than for likes on Instagram.

“Some of the stuff I’ve done in photoshoots and video, from a straight perspective, you’d think, ‘oh aye, this guy is gay’, but, I’m not – I’m appealing to my target market” – Ryan Yule, OnlyFans performer