Desperate young Venezuelans have flocked to adult site OnlyFans to survive the country’s crippling economic crisis.
Valery Lopez, 20, revealed how she was desperate to leave the country after its corrupt socialist rulers drove it to the brink of collapse – but now makes up to $1,000 per month posting adult content to her followers.
‘I was desperate to go because I wasn’t living well,’ said Lopez. ‘Now I want to stay in Venezuela thanks to OnlyFans.’
Valery Lopez, 20, (pictured) revealed how she was desperate to leave the country after its corrupt socialist rulers drove it to the brink of collapse – but now makes up to $1,000 per month posting adult content to her followers
Lopez’s channel has more than 50 subscribers and each one pays $10 a month – six times the minimum salary in Venezuela
OnlyFans began as an online platform meant for celebrities and ‘influencers’ but has morphed into a hub for adult content.
Launched in Britain in 2016, OnlyFans is a subscription service that pays 80 percent commission to its content creators.
Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy, once the largest in South America, has since been driven into the ground by President Nicolás Maduro’s corrupt regime.
The leader and several of his key aides were indicted on charges of narcoterrorism in March last year, the US State Department said, accused of conspiring with FARC guerrillas to sell cocaine in America.
Nicolas Maduro, the leader of Venezuela, has run the country’s economy into the ground amid widespread allegations of corruption – worsened by the coronavirus pandemic
Ensuing US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic have further deepened the country’s woes.
Amid the country’s crippling economic crisis, for Lopez, the OnlyFans platform was an attractive potential source of income.
‘I can pay for my teeth (and) buy clothes,’ she said, referring to dental work.
‘Who else is earning $500 or $1,000 a month right now? No one.’
Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation levels, it’s been in recession for seven years and has regular shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine.
Amid the country’s crippling economic crisis, for Lopez (pictured), the OnlyFans platform was an attractive potential source of income.
Lopez’s channel has more than 50 subscribers – mostly foreigners. Each one pays $10 a month – a figure six times the minimum salary in Venezuela, where the currency is constantly depreciating.
It’s a point highlighted by psychologist Abel Saraiba, who is also the coordinator of a non-governmental group focusing on the rights of children and teenagers.
‘In other countries where there isn’t a humanitarian emergency there has been an increase in consumption’ on platforms such as OnlyFans, said Sarabia.
‘But in our context we can give them an extra dimension … To what extent would someone adopt such a risky (line of work) if they had other work options?’
For Lopez, (right) everything began with a ‘totally’ naked photo on Instagram that generated so much interest that she realized there was a business opportunity there. Her boyfriend of three years Roberto Gonzalez, an architect, (left) helped her set up her OnlyFans account
For Lopez, everything began with a ‘totally’ naked photo on Instagram that generated so much interest that she realized there was a business opportunity there.
Her boyfriend of three years Roberto Gonzalez, an architect, helped her set up her OnlyFans account.
‘The truth is I like it (posing for adult content) and I like the money more, it’s a good combination,’ Lopez said.
Often, though, her fans think she’s underage. ‘They think I’m a girl, they think I’m lying,’ chuckled the green-eyed Lopez, who stands just 1.5 meters tall (about five foot) and sometimes paints freckles on her face.
Brandon Mena, 20, had to put his education on hold because he couldn’t afford his private university fees any more
While not the case for Lopez, a BBC documentary that aired last year claimed minors were illegally selling content on the website, which it said had seen its users grow tenfold during the pandemic.
It has 90 million subscribers and more than one million content creators, OnlyFans said.
In April, the site’s founder Thomas Stokely told BuzzFeed that half of its content creators were producing adult material.
‘It seems to be a way to generate more secure income than other more risky ways such as prostitution,’ said Saraiba.
‘But effectively they don’t realize that once they’ve published content … they can lose control, that others can seize it.’
The BBC, in fact, highlighted the risks to a person’s ‘digital footprint’ should they use such websites.
Already, videos from OnlyFans have been found on platforms such as YouTube.
Brandon Mena, 20, had to put his education on hold because he couldn’t afford his private university fees any more.
His income as a nightclub waiter dried up during the pandemic.
‘I worked in restaurants, clubs … but the pandemic hit us hard in the wallet and I had to look for other alternatives,’ said the softly spoken Mena.
Dressed in a pair of jeans and a grey sweater, he looked very different to the content he provides to the OnlyFans website.
Unlike Lopez, though, his OnlyFans account hasn’t taken off.
‘Venezuela is going to remain the same, I can’t see myself staying,’ Mena said.
Source: Daily Mail