The Internet is proving profitable for an emerging number of queer Nigerians who are turning to OnlyFans to post and profit off of explicit content, culture platform Huck reports.
Nigerian users like Azi,* who told Huck, “I thought since people love my body, why don’t I make money from it?”, could face severe ramifications according to the country’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, which imposes a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organization” or “supports” the activities of such organizations, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Punishment ranges from 10 to 14 years in prison.
HRW reported of the 2014 attack in the Nigerian village of Abuja in which a large group armed with weapons pummeled 14 men suspected of being gay. More recently, it was a close call for 47 men charged “public displays of affection with members of same sex” when prosecutors failed to appear in court, the New York Times reports.
“Nigeria is very conservative and religious. A site like OnlyFans can be screengrabbed or recorded,” Edafe Okporo, a Nigerian LGBTQ activist and author, told Huck. “This spells trouble for the average Nigerian nude going viral.”
Azi chooses to perform solo to mitigate risk, saying there’s really no difference between straight and gay content if there’s no engagement with another party. But other performers, like Ezuedo*, are more daring.
“Being in the adult industry and creating content is fun, but very risky,” the 24-year-old creator told Huck. “The people I want to work with are aware of the risks, so sometimes it is hard to get them to work with me because they are afraid of getting caught.”
Nigerians from all walks of life struggle to make a living. Borgen Magazine named the country the poverty capital of the world, citing that 50 percent of its population lives in severe poverty due to corruption, unemployment and inequality.
OnlyFans is emerging as a go-to platform not only for those struggling to survive but also for celebrities looking to capitalize on the phenomenon while the entertainment industry suffers due to the pandemic. “Teen Wolf” star Tyler Posey welcomes subscribers for $7.50 per month to watch the actor eat shrimp tacos or play the guitar naked, while Australian model Alec Nysten (thehoneybadgerx) has picked up thousands of fans since the pandemic, gaining so much popularity that his account was hacked.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.