This article shall cover two key areas, first how the dating process has changed over the last century, and also how the advent of social media and television has changed how we view ourselves. The way I see it, the explosion and acceptance of Only Fans is but a symptom of the systematic destruction of the courtship process over the last 100 years.
It is a mutated way of having a relationship with the opposite sex, straddling the line between a relationship and mere prostitution, with many content producers seeking to be liked by their clients and fully believing that they are worthy of love.
OnlyFans is not a shameful practice carried out by the unfortunate and the trafficked in back alleys, separated from a society that has shunned such behaviour as shady and immoral but rather carried out by your neighbour, your sister, or even the woman you just went on a date with. The content creators want to be, and very often are, accepted by society, being considered empowered role models for selling themselves for the price of a cheeseburger. The advent of Only Fans is yet another malignant force in the chronic decay of our society, and its flourishing serves to illustrate how far the rot has seeped.
The turn of the 20th century can be seen as a turning point for dating, granted gradually at first. In the 19th century and prior, parents almost entirely controlled the process which took into account a man’s social status and wealth, and a woman’s reputation and agreeableness. The ‘getting to know you’ process involved time around friends and family, as opposed to significant amounts of time alone, as is the norm nowadays.
At first, it was simply that couples began to go out together in public unsupervised, but importantly the topic of marriage was still at the forefront of people’s minds. This would then lead to the introduction of the gentleman caller. The idea was that the man would go by the house of a woman he liked and hopefully get invited into the parlour. If things went well, he would come back at times specified by her parents to spend more time together.
As the 20th century progressed, this would soon be replaced, as author, Beth L. Bailey writes in her book From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth Century America: “Dating had almost completely replaced the old system of calling by the mid-1920s — and, in so doing, had transformed American courtship.”
This new system entailed that couples went out on dates, and so needed a way to pay for those dates. By design, this responsibility would fall on men. In turn, this would shift relationship dynamics, whereby under the old system women ultimately determined the nature of a visit, but now under a dating system, men who held financial responsibility held that ability.
The difference between courtship and dating is freedom. Courtship involved rules, rituals, and structure, and was viewed as a fundamental part of a well-structured society. On the other hand, as dating evolved, it became more personalised, less structured, and less restricted.
As the century progressed, we would see women entering universities and the workplace, giving them more freedom and independence, and less time under their parent’s watchful eyes. In step, dating evolved into having fun, as opposed to strictly determining whether someone was marriage material. This shift did not lead to immediate degeneracy, however, it can very much be seen as the start of male-female relationships being open to personal interpretation, rather than needing to conform to the good of society and the wisdom of the ancestors. Basically, the emotion of love was now more important than a good match, in contrast to the past, where love could come after marriage. Now it was necessary to love someone before you committed.
This concept explained in depth in The Oxford Companion to United States History, goes, “By the early nineteenth century, couples began to consider romantic love a prerequisite for marriage and based their unions on companionship. The era’s fiction frequently drew on love themes, while articles, essays, and public orations stressed mutual respect, reciprocity, and romance as ingredients of good marriages. Young courting couples chose their own partners, and their letters focused on romance rather than on the practical matters that had dominated the correspondence of earlier generations.”
By the 1950s dating had transformed into an element of youth culture rather than family expectations. The phrase ‘going steady’ was used to indicate a couple in an exclusive relationship. By this time, sex was less of a private thing for married couples, and in keeping with the trend of favouring pleasure and fun over structure and purpose, dating now involved a lot more physical interactions. According to the Oxford Companion to United States History: “The terms ‘necking’ and ‘petting’ — the former referring to kisses and caresses above the neck, the latter to the same below it — entered public discussion, giving names to previously unspoken private activities.”
I do not want to go into too great depth about the sexual revolution of the 1960s as it has been covered by others in great detail already. Basically, young people were destroying many things of the past, including dating and sexual norms. The birth control pill was now a thing, giving women control over their fertility, and ‘free love’ had become an actively used term. This was arguably the largest change in our Western societies. Sex went from being seen as private and restricted to public and hedonistic. Of course; these young people still had the good morals and ethics of their parents and grandparents and so things did not go bad right away. Often the bad decisions of one generation are not felt by them, but by their children or grandchildren.
By 1995, the internet had become widely available and the advent of dating sites quickly followed suit. Fast forward 20 years to now, and we have hookup culture, a decline in sex and birthrates, general misery and unhappiness, and depression in young people in regards to finding and keeping a relationship.
But this is the history of male-female relationships, what does this have to do with OnlyFans you may ask? Let me explain: Only-Fans is about commodifying your body and showing it off. Things which were very different 100 years ago.
In the 1950s Playboy was published with its nude centrefold. By this time nudity and pornography were in advertisements and on television and started to become more commonplace. Playboy has legitimately well-researched articles on a wide variety of topics and then added a naked woman to the middle of them. I use the Playboy mag as an example of taking the private, which is what nudity and sexuality are, and making it public, but not only making it public, making it in equal importance as other topics such as the weather forecast, a product being advertised for house cleaning, or an article on politics or the economy. This very private matter was now becoming a public one.
In addition movies and videos, which could be viewed more frequently, especially with televisions in the home, the behaviours and lives of the actors and actresses became of interest to the public. Not only were people being influenced by the behaviours and actions of the actors on the screens in their own homes, but also the actors’ lives off-screen too. There was once a time when acting was not a decent profession, but now it was not only accepted but also glorified, despite the degenerate lives that many led. People act like those they look up to and idolise and so the behaviour of actors was now bleeding into everyday life, both on and off screen. There were much more stringent censoring bodies back then, however, the smut and degeneracy were continually pushed for by film-makers.
Reality television would come along by the end of the 1990s, showing the trials and tribulations of the everyday person, but it really came into its own in early 2000. It really became a hit as it seemed that people found it more relatable. Furthermore, as there was a small chance that any normal person could go on there, it connected more to them than posh and slightly inhuman celebrities. These shows became highly influential on people and their actions. There were a lot of trashy reality TV shows back in the early 2000s. One I distinctly remember was called Play It Straight. The woman would choose from 14 men, only 5 of whom were straight. If she chose a straight guy they both got half a million, but if she chose a gay guy, he got a whole million and she got nothing. This show and the many others like it thoroughly demeaned the idea of dating, turning it into some kind of sick game. Married by America was another show in a similar ilk where a couple went through a short courtship period and then viewers voted on whether they should marry or not. These are only two examples but there are many more out there that were shown in many Western countries and I believe the prevalence of this shows commodification and gamification of the dating process. Once again, people are influenced by what they watch, and if it’s degeneracy piped into your living room you are going to be influenced by it.
Then came social media, with Facebook first launching in 2004. With it came the normalisation of things like sharing far too much personal info online. Once again making the personal a public thing. Facebook wanted your personal information and so encouraged the sharing of as much of it as possible. Later Instagram would come along, with its focus on pictures. With Instagram, people often get sponsored by brands, making money out of what is essentially softcore porn. These same images are then seen by all the young women on these sites and much like before, proliferation leads to normalisation. Social media companies will promote these types of degenerate content because it gets them more traffic and so more money, and so the cycle of incentives continues. This move made your private life an option to make money from.
Social media was now a part of everyone’s lives, as important as using the toilet and as much an expected aspect of everyone’s lives as clipping your toenails.
I do want to make a quick note of dating sites. There are two-fold issues, one is moving the personal online, and once again making it public. And the other is how this is a reflection of people not meeting up outside of the internet. It demonstrates how far social interactions in real-time have fallen. People now have smaller social circles than in the past and so turn to online dating more and more in order to meet members of the opposite sex. Internet dating has been around for a long time, but got more popular in the early 2000s, however, it seems that just after 2010 was when the last vestiges of reserve fell and online dating became fully acceptable. It has only gotten more popular since.
One of the biggest things about all of this information I have mentioned so far is the removal of private matters from your bedroom or your family’s private matters and onto the screen, social media, and most importantly, into the public sphere. When the private is public and monetisable, anything can happen.
The key difference between digital prostitution and traditional prostitution is that in the former one does not have to physically interact with their clientele. Furthermore, a wider audience can be reached online. As such, it is not surprising that so many see it as somehow better than the red light district and easier to get into. This makes it more palatable and also more accessible.
The Covid situation certainly did exacerbate the issue, with people being forcibly reduced from human interaction thus seeking it out more online. Many people being made jobless did not help either. This could have acted as an instigator of many women looking into content creation and men seeking out a human connection with women online.
As OF is in fact pornography, we will briefly look over how porn evolved. At the start, it was very hush-hush. It was not something that decent people looked at as degenerate. Of course, pornographic images have been around for centuries, but it was not till the 1950s that it began to become easy to get a hold of, and the barriers of social disgust began to crumble. It was after all in the 1960s that the sexual revolution took place. And once again, it was the early 1990s when the internet became popular in people’s homes that porn usage went up, and has been going up ever since.
So Only Fans seemingly became the outlet for a lot of different factors converging in the early years of the 2020s. There were other things like finances and social isolation, that had an influence more broadly from the outside, along with more internal factors.
The normalization that many underage girls underwent with consistently being on social media sites led to them not having normal feelings of privacy towards these things that, in the past, a young woman would have had. Everywhere more and more girls and young women saw the sexual poses, the nudity, and the degeneracy and it thus became normal to them, especially since they were young and did not know any better.
The consequences to the family structure of the sexual revolution and related matters like divorce law mean that a young woman does not always have a good family background. Her parents may never have been in a relationship, or she is a child of sperm donation or raised by a single mother or there could be a difficult divorce that she has been through. This leads to the family not being a stable and secure thing and instead being a moldable piece of clay that is either bent to her own will or ripped in half in front of her.
From their perspective, it is okay to post these photos online and get attention from them, possibly making money from brands for sponsorships, then it is inevitable the sale of the images will follow. After all, if you can send nudes for free to random people, then why not make money out of them?
When women use social media, it is often to ease their mental health issues or fill legitimate human needs, such as the need for attention and validation, or if they have low self-esteem. Validation of the self is important. The problem is that social media will never solve these problems, and the habit forms quickly. I am sure you have heard people say social media is a drug. So Only-Fans can also be seen as an outlet for these women’s mental health issues.
Some sites, particularly TikTok, promote good-looking content and so having a presence on the site requires the promotion of an attractive image, and often that means nudity and smut. To a large degree, these websites themselves are pushing women to post this kind of thing.
More people these days are drawn to smut with all the normalization of porn and so on, and so they will engage in this type of thing. This creates a vicious cycle. Then we have the problem of traditional prostitution itself, with the woke feminist movement outright promoting prostitution as real work. Doing things like getting your breasts out on ‘slutwalks’ in order to get one over on the patriarchy. All the body positivity promotes and encourages women to do whatever they want with their bodies regardless of the consequences. All of this has accumulated to the point where the normal woman uses Only-Fans.
Normal women who are not raised by drug addicts, abused as children, have fallen on hard times, or any of the other things that tend to push women into traditional forms of prostitution. These women also seem to have no regard for any of the consequences, even though there are many stories out there of women on Only-Fans being fired from their jobs, having their partners leave them, or their kids being bullied at school. No regard for anything other than the here and now. Put bluntly, the commercialization of women is reaching its final stage.
Anti-porn feminists and other concerned parties have been against the turning of women’s bodies and sexualities into consumable products for decades, to no avail it would seem. This is the consumption of the everyday woman, turning the normal woman into a prostitute and making the male/female interactions entirely mercantile.
If men do not want to marry women who have been on Only-Fans but then also have a casual attitude towards e-prostitution, the only end result will be the shrinkage of the dating pool. There will simply be fewer women who are eligible for men to date. Regardless of whether or not you think men are being reasonable or not in this standard, the fact that it is such a strong preference with such a large swath of men means that it should not be ignored. This brings us to the dilemma of men’s standards versus women’s rights.
I always push for women to contribute to the upkeep of society and not just be overly individualistic and do what they want, when they want, and have no regard for how this impacts others and the rest of society as a whole. The problems of modern dating stem from people being too separate from each other, and so considering how we can form closer connections and care more about each other would go a long way in helping to solve such problems. It would seem that the men who deem a woman to be public property in one way or another also do not want to invest in said women. If marriage is a priority for society, then encouraging one half of the arrangement to outright do that which lowers their appeal in the eyes of the other, seems to be outright sabotage.
The history of dating and social media shows us that when you stray a little from the straight and narrow, immediate collapse does not occur. We change a tiny bit as it suits us, and we do not face immediate consequences. However, as we give in to our hedonistic nature and new generations come to accept our deviations as normal, things continue to snowball until they collapse under their own weight. We are now, in the 2020s, only 100 years after the change from courting to dating in the 1920s, and society is diving deep into that collapse.
Relationships today are mercantile, they are undefined, they are hedonistic, and in many cases, they are simply not happening at all.