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Ireland’s X Rated Irish mum-of-four says OnlyFans work is mentally draining but also 'very empowering'

'To be my age, when you have your own house and four kids and you decide at this age to go into porn, that’s what people find shocking'

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Sinead Connell, who earns a living by providing content on OnlyFans, pictured at the Virgin Media Television launch for the upcoming season of entertainment. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Sinead Connell, who earns a living by providing content on OnlyFans, pictured at the Virgin Media Television launch for the upcoming season of entertainment. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Sinead Connell, who earns a living by providing content on OnlyFans, pictured at the Virgin Media Television launch for the upcoming season of entertainment. Photo: Brian McEvoy

A one-off documentary about the OnlyFans website will be released by Virgin Media Television in early September as part of its new season of viewing.

Ireland’s X Rated will delve into the lives of Irish people who make a living on this much talked-about site.

OnlyFans is a subscription-based platform where content creators can earn money from users who subscribe to their exclusive content.

Content creator Sinead Connell said she is proud to be part of Ireland’s sex industry.

The 41-year-old was previously a competitive body builder and when the pandemic hit, she decided to join the platform.

“I’ve always had an interest in doing something like this,” she said. “I thought it’s now or never, I wanted to try something new and it’s such a close-knit community. I didn’t think it would kick off so well. I didn’t think I’d be getting such a big income from it, but I ended up loving it.

“When the gyms closed, I had to get used to a whole new body I had. I wasn’t competing, so I felt uncomfortable with my new body for a while. I started doing OnlyFans and it’s so good – I’m getting paid for how I look now.

"It’s very empowering. It’s given me a lot more self-respect since I’ve started doing porn. Guys are paying me to text them now. For me, I can only find positives and I’ve met such lovely girls doing it.”

Ms Connell said she wants to change perceptions toward sex workers.

“The reason why I call it porn and sex work is because I really think that it needs to be more accepted as a job. This is a job you can earn a lot of money from. I should not be treated any differently by anyone because I choose to do sex work. It’s a legitimate job.

“If more families were supportive about their daughter or son doing OnlyFans and sex work, these girls wouldn’t be getting themselves into bad situations or getting taken advantage of.”

She described receiving hate online for being on OnlyFans.

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“It’s hard mentally. It’s draining. I think OnlyFans is very acceptable for the younger generation to do, it’s a lot more acceptable to be in your 20s. But to be my age, when you have your own house and four kids and you decide at this age to go into porn, that’s what people find shocking.”

Subscribers can sign up with a fake username, but in order to set up an OnlyFans account users need to provide a passport for verification along with a photo for identification.

Content creator Lauren Teeling said joining OnlyFans made her feel more confident.

The 24-year-old earns up to €20,000 per month on the platform.

“I still treat myself like I’m on minimum wage,” she said. “I’ve never been the type of person to go out and get myself expensive stuff. I’ve never been rich, so I’d rather keep my money and save and get myself a house, because money doesn’t last forever.”

OnlyFans announced last week that it would ban “sexually explicit” images and videos from October – however, that have since rolled back on the decision. Ms Teeling described the impact this will have on content creators.

“We’re all very upset with OnlyFans. Obviously, when you think of OnlyFans you think sex work, but there is a lot of other content like cooking, skills, and fitness. But no one thinks of that when it comes to the platform. I don’t see a lot of people wanting to join the platform after this.”

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