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Gay Porn Stars Share OnlyFans Tradecraft

Gay Porn Stars Share OnlyFans Tradecraft

For the past year, OnlyFans has taken the adult industry by storm, drawing hundreds of performers who create and upload their own content and make it available solely to those who subscribe to view it. At the XBIZ L.A. trade show in West Hollywood this past January, opinion was divided among studio owners and content providers about whether OnlyFans was a threat to their bottom line, a sterling marketing opportunity or both at once. XBIZ spoke to three top performers in all-male adult with recently launched OnlyFans accounts, who have found success despite an increasingly crowded market.

Bennett Anthony, Jaxton Wheeler and Trenton Ducati have experienced a few bumps — the internet is a beast that must constantly be fed — but they all feel OnlyFans and similar platforms empower performers by allowing them to monetize the interests of both casual and hardcore fans directly. “The days of waiting for the phone to ring for someone to hire you are done,” Ducati said. “Go out there and make your money.”

The days of waiting by the phone for someone to hire you are past. Get out there and make your money.

Trenton Ducati

The fan-favorite model, activist and entrepreneur has branched out into production with newly launched megasite TrentonDucati.com, as well as NastyDaddy.com and GentlemensCloset.com, and he now considers his OnlyFans profile page “a fourth site” and a key component of his portfolio that allows him to explore new erotic avenues (which he describes as “gonzo-style private hook-ups”) and monetize them more directly.

“I’ve been in the industry awhile and I think it’s really great that models are able to create their own income and pay their bills creating their own content. This new platform teaches models how to make their own money,” he said. “And if they want to take it to the next level, they become producers, since they’re already producing their own content, and start learning (about) the other side.”

He noted that kind of skill set can be invaluable. “If they like (producing) they can branch off into any other aspect of the industry — editing, photography. This gives them the ability to be paid to learn and they can start making money immediately. As a model, it’s what we’ve been waiting for. The days of just uploading free naked pictures in the hopes of getting a job are over. I think it’s brilliant.”

Ducati has observed that random guys who launch an OnlyFans profile can start making money, but the platform works most effectively in conjunction with an existing fan base. However, he cites recently signed Falcon Studios exclusive Alam Wernick as an example of an aspiring performer with social media savvy — to complement his photogenic good looks — who used OnlyFans to springboard into studio-produced porn. Ducati expects Wermick to be among the first of many examples of studios who use OnlyFans and similar platforms as a no-risk testing ground for future stars.

He says OnlyFans “incentivizes people to (build) their social media followings” and also has the potential to teach models about marketing and publicity and other nuts-and-bolts aspects of production. “I’m a model and a producer and it’s a lot of work. And now our boys see exactly what work goes into it. Now they understand! And I’m so appreciative of the great companies like Falcon for allowing me to build my name” that, in turn, allows him to promote his OnlyFans content to a fervent fan base.

Ducati also believes that the explosive success of OnlyFans and similar platforms puts to rest the canard that “nobody pays for porn.” Customers are happy to shell out, he said. “They’re paying for the kind of porn they want to watch. Our job is to find out exactly what they want to see” and how they want to see it. “I think it’s exciting that everybody is trying to figure out how to (tap into) this revenue stream. Everybody’s trying to figure it out and make money. ‘Nobody’s buying porn, it’s all being ripped off, it’s over!’ That’s not what I’m hearing (anymore). I’m hearing, ‘How do we figure it out? What do we do? What’s our new approach?’ All these new concepts.”

He cites models he has personally discovered through OnlyFans as “bringing new energy” to the performer talent pool. “It’s awesome for new models. Create an OnlyFans (profile). Any kind of (content) that’s X-rated should be released through there and they should be paid. That stuff shouldn’t be given away for free. Sitting around waiting for the phone to ring every month to see if you’re going to be hired is awful. It’s awful for the models, it’s awful for the studios, it’s a lot of pressure on both sides. Well, right now there’s a platform where you can make your own money. The models have the control right now.”

Bennett Anthony

Anthony, an XBIZ Awards nominee for Gay Performer of the Year, observed the success of fellow performers who had begun creating and selling clips to other platforms. “I realized OnlyFans was probably a better speed for me. It’s my own thing,” he observed. “It’s getting money for stuff you’re already doing. I set it up and within seven days, I was getting deposits in my bank account.” He appreciates the traffic breakdown provided by OnlyFans that tracks the growth of his profile and cites “four figures” recurring monthly, less than six months after launching. “You can’t fucking argue when you’re letting someone suck your dick (anyway) for free if you record it and put it on your fan page and make 80 bucks the next day. That’s pretty fucking dope.”

Anthony has mainly drawn from his circle of friends and fellow models to create content. He’s found variable success with guys from hookup apps. “I pretty much just stick to my friends because I feel like the people I’ve done my videos with have had experience. Also, that very first kiss when you’re kissing someone who thinks they want to do porn for the very first time is so awkward. With guys in the biz, it’s more professional.”

Anthony will typically film a scene running roughly 20 minutes, utilizing two or three cameras and multiple angles, and post pieces of it over a week’s time to tease out the surprises. “I’ve learned the formula,” he said, having observed the filmmaking process on dozens of professional porn sets. “I know the things that Raging Stallion Studios and Men.com have done. It’s obviously working and I take notes.” For example, he said, “I always take photos. I’ve learned that posting photos to promote (content) works better.” He devotes most of one or two days a week to managing his profile and doesn’t typically shoot non-explicit content. “I don’t think I have many fans who give a fuck what I do during the day. That’s what Instagram is for,” he said. “I don’t think that’s what my fans follow me for. I don’t think they follow me to see what concerts I go to or what I’m eating at night.”

He also uses his OnlyFans page to explore different sexual avenues that aren’t typically available to him in studio-produced projects, such as a recent scene with a trans woman. “The fact that I can do it on my own and make my own money from it is fun,” he said. “Who am I to discriminate? If she wants to get down and she’s willing to help me out and make some money from it, she should be able to.” The financial rewards aside, Anthony views OnlyFans as an artistic outlet. “When I show up on set, I don’t give my two cents. I go in with an open mind and let the director tell me how he wants things to go. But with OnlyFans, it’s more my thing. I take charge.”

Anthony feels platforms like OnlyFans only increase the hunger of his fan base and don’t pose a challenge to studio-produced content. “Yeah, I have (thousands) of followers on Twitter, but I haven’t had people send me messages like they do when they pay ten bucks a month to watch me. You actually start to become a bigger value in their life.”

Jaxton Wheeler

Wheeler launched his OnlyFans profile in September 2017 after dabbling with other platforms. “You’re running it by yourself. You can’t plug in efficiently to all the faucets that are available to use,” he said. “So I narrowed it down to things that work together: Instagram connects to Facebook connects to Tumblr connects to Twitter. Twitter is where everybody is.” He feels OnlyFans has exploded in popularity because it empowers performers. “Models are the grunts of the industry. You go in there and you make your money. But if I own my own content I can spin it however I want, sell it to multiple people. The shelf life of my content depends on my salesmanship. So you have a lot of people who were given a platform that gives them eighty-percent of their earnings. That’s a huge thing.”

Wheeler has discovered a level of creative control that has invigorated his career. “I’m an independent model. I’m my own manager, my own lawyer, my own negotiator. So I take full advantage of what I can do for myself.” Platforms like OnlyFans allow Wheeler to control his own image, at his own pace. “You create your own following, right? I’m in full control of who I talk to at all times (and) how I let people talk to me. So my OnlyFans is more calculated than just posting stuff for people to look at.” Instead, he cultivates a fan base that is attracted to his preferred lifestyle. “I’m more of a dom-alpha type, the protector-guardian type. I’m the dom to them and they’re my subs.”

Wheeler urges studios to embrace the revolutionary change brought about by OnlyFans and collaborate with models to “further promote their own goddamn content to the fans of the models who are already on the site. That’s the whole reason models are so successful on social media. I only need fans that like me, that want to see me. I’m that model that’s worked with trans models, that’s worked with females, that does gay, I’ve done it all. (Studios) need to look for models who are attracting a unique fan base (they’re) not tapping yet. And grab a percentage of what’s out there and convert those faces into sales.”

Although Wheeler is empowered by the opportunities presented by OnlyFans, he emphasizes that it requires serious commitment. “There has to be some sort of interaction every day to make sure this machine spins the right way.” That’s the kind of dedication required, he said, “if you really want to do this the right way, and you really want to make it blow up. Porn is everywhere, it’s so impersonal. People want a connection.” With OnlyFans, “you’re one step closer to the fantasy.”

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