Lucie Bee woke up this morning to the shock news that one of her main forms of income might just disappear, with almost no further information.

Bee is pregnant, renting, and in the process of moving house. She’s also an OnlyFans creator, and it’s believed her content will be banned by October when the platform updates its terms of service.

“If I see another person on Twitter post a McDonald’s application form, I’m going to say some very unkind things to them,” the Brisbane-based creator told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

Bloomberg broke the news on Friday morning, reporting that the platform was set to ban “sexually explicit content” in order to attract more investors. That would mean getting rid of the porn and other adult content that made the website’s owners rich.

Later in the day, the BBC reported that the move was in response to its own investigation which claimed illegal content wasn’t being moderated closely or harshly enough. That’s a different kettle of fish altogether.

The website itself released a vague statement on the matter, which is set to impact roughly two million creators and over 130 million users.

“Effective 1 October, 2021, OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually-explicit conduct,” the statement read.

“In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines.

“Creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our acceptable use policy.”

Nobody really knows what’s going on, and we’ll have to wait until we can get our hands on OnlyFans’ updated terms of service to fully understand just how many people the changes will affect.

Melbourne-based creator Comfy Daddy has a day job, but he’s using OnlyFans to save up for a house in the city’s notoriously inaccessible real estate market.

“[The OnlyFans announcement] came during a time when other aspects of the conversation around sex work being legitimate work are starting to progress,” he told P.TV, pointing to the recent news that Victoria is  finally set to legalise sex work.

“Of all for the times to actually lob this out there, now feels like a very inopportune moment.”

@comfydaddy

Alas…

♬ original sound – Comfy Daddy????

That’s why this situation is so shit. It caught the roughly two million sex workers around the world who use the platform completely off-guard and poses a serious threat to their livelihoods.

Before the pandemic, Lucie Bee had worked as an escort for roughly a decade. Lockdown made her pivot to OnlyFans, and on top of applying for more mainstream jobs, she had been rebuilding the online porn platform as her primary source of income ever since.

The sudden news was like reliving early 2020 all over again.

Her partner, who works as a personal trainer and was therefore also affected by the pandemic, has an OnlyFans account too.

“We thought we were going to be alright. And now we’re like, ‘oh, here we go again’, having to rebuild,” she said.

“It’s so demoralising.”

While there are alternative platforms, OnlyFans has long dominated the sector and it makes it relatively easy to cash out compared to its competitors. Some of these other websites also come with their own downsides.

OnlyFans has also become somewhat of a creative outlet with a strong sense of community for queer people, Comfy Daddy added.

“You’ll notice in the queer community OnlyFans is a thing that lots of gay and bisexual men use because it’s sort of enjoyable – the income is only one part of that aspect,” he said.

“It’s used differently. That, to me, is sad to lose.”

Both creators P.TV spoke to compared the whole situation to when porn was suddenly banned from Tumblr, which effectively killed the site. There’s no shortage of demand for porn, and people already get, say, their fitness or cooking content elsewhere.

“It’s hard work, and when we’re all dealing with the sort of malaise that we have at the moment because of the pandemic, the demand for that content is more there and the demand from people is also more there – the interactions people want with you because people are lonely and struggling,” Bee said.

Scarlet Alliance has been raising money to support sex workers who aren’t eligible for government payments during lockdown. 100% of donations will go towards keeping impacted sex workers safe, housed and fed.

For longer than any other job has even existed, sex workers have always bounced back. But they shouldn’t have to be this resilient all the time just to survive.

Image: Getty Images / NurPhoto | Instagram / @theluciebee