In the lockdown, millions of people have signed up for Internet services to see adult models and porn stars

The state media authority in North Rhine-Westphalia therefore demands age restrictions.

More and more influencers who have grown up on Instagram or Tiktok are luring their followers to the Onlyfans payment platform. Pornographic content is also offered there.

"We are registering OnlyFans, that increasingly attracting erotic providers, (eg. sexworkers, escort girls) and influencers, and we will take care of it," said Tobias Schmid, Director of the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia and Chairman of the Association of National Media Regulations in Europe.

With brothels and erotic workplaces closing down, men who want to exploit young women are turning their attention to OnlyFans. According to Schmid, it is about the protection of minors. “In the end, the core of our legal position for these services is the same as for the porn platforms. That means: no customers under the age of 18.”

The site is perceived as a safe, consequence-free way of selling sex (adult photos and videos) and home-grown porn that empowers women. Content providers keep 80 per cent of their income, while the company takes the remaining 20 per cent. Unsurprisingly, OnlyFans attracted many new users during the lockdown.

An erotic platform for all gender and sexual preferences

While the focus on classic erotic platforms is on female models, and men as solo acts only become interesting again for queer audiences, OnlyFans offers content for all gender and (sexual) preferences. 

The website founders Guy and Tim Stokely like to emphasize that OnlyFans is not an explicit erotic platform, but that comedians, fitness models and Youtubers also hang around there. 

According to Schmid, it is above all the sex workers themselves that have an obligation. His authority will “intensely remind the ladies and gentlemen who sell pornographic services on their accounts that they are obliged to use a permissible system for the protection of minors.”

In the past few months, the number of users of such services, which are used on a large scale by porn stars and erotic models, has exploded.