Gently flickering her fingers in front of the camera and running her acrylic nails through her light brown hair, Dani ASMR repeats exactly what she sees on her phone screen. “She’s basically bent over on the bed on all fours, and the camera is right behind her ass,” the YouTuber whispers next to her ultra-sensitive microphone in the gentlest North Carolina accent possible. “She’s wearing a tiny little thong. You can’t see her full lips, but they’re kind of coming out the sides. You just get a whole lot of Jen’s big juicy ass.”
Dani, a popular ASMR creator, is describing the OnlyFans content of popular Instagram PAWG Jen Brett, lulling her viewers into a state of tingly relaxation by detailing her photos and videos with soft tones, tongue clicks and delicate hand movements. But while her videos are unique in their use of ASMR to describe sensual content in a way that’s pretty sensual itself, they’re also part of a much broader trend: reviewing hard-to-access OnlyFans accounts on YouTube.
When it comes to OnlyFans creators and the content they make, it’s the mystery around them that draws subscribers in. Whether driven by horniness or pure curiosity, viewers often simply want to know what someone looks like naked, and OnlyFans offers them the opportunity to find out… if they’re willing to pay. Because OnlyFans offers no way of previewing content and it’s usually paywalled behind subscriptions that cost an average of $5 to $20 a month, fans can be dissuaded from buying in. With no way to know what they’re paying for and no ability to search for what they want — OnlyFans only lets you search by username — potential subscribers are left confused about who to follow and what they’re paying for. That’s where OnlyFans reviews come in: They can help customers preview a creator’s content and decide whether or not it’s worth the price.
This, ostensibly, is the goal of a genre of YouTube review videos titled “I Bought [Insert Name]’s OnlyFans So You Don’t Have To.” There are hundreds of videos in this style, with some of the most popular having several million views (though, not all of them include ASMR). While there’s a review of just about every semi-famous person available, a small selection of creators dominate as the subjects. Among the most popular OnlyFans accounts to review are Trisha Paytas, Tana Mongeau and Niko Avocado, all of who are YouTube stars themselves. There are also reviews of bigger-name celebrities like Aaron Carter, Cardi B, Tyga and Bella Thorne.
YouTuber Rey Rahimi, better known as Hot Tea, has become a pioneer of the genre. “Before I started my OnlyFans reaction series, I had made a similar video on Trisha Paytas’ Patreon,” she writes via email. “When I saw the overwhelmingly positive audience response and the huge spike in the growth of OnlyFans a couple months later, I decided to remake that video, only about her OnlyFans instead.”
Immediately, the video she recorded on Paytas’ OnlyFans and another on Niko Avocado’s went semi-viral — the former currently has just under a million views, while the latter has 1.7 million. After that, she started receiving more requests from viewers to continue the series. “I would certainly say my videos encourage people to subscribe to the creators I make videos on,” says Rahimi. “I’ve heard back from several creators saying these reaction style videos help grow their OnlyFans subscriber base, and I’ve also gotten requests from many OnlyFans creators to react to their accounts as well.”
Notably, many of the reviews are conducted by people who wouldn’t ordinarily subscribe to the creator. For example, it’s common for straight women like Rahimi to review content made by other straight women or gay men. By that measure, the reviews aren’t usually intended as a genuine analysis of the quality or eroticism of what the creators post, but a means of capitalizing upon the work as a voyeuristic spectacle.
In the case of creators who defy conventional beauty standards in some way, it can also breed toxicity. Case in point: When discussing Avocado, many reviewers emphasize a sense of disgust for he and his husband’s larger body types and for gay sex in general. In doing so, YouTubers are furthering an agenda of body-shaming and anti-sex worker rhetoric while discouraging others from buying from the creator. In many ways, they’re suggesting that if you’re attracted to someone like Niko Avocado, you’re gross, too.
That said, there are some YouTubers who offer reviews that more honestly assess why viewers might want to subscribe to an OnlyFans creator, as is the case with Dani. Rather than titling her videos as “I Bought [Insert Name]’s OnlyFans So You Don’t Have To,” she names them things like, “I Bought [Insert Name]’s OnlyFans… Why You Might Want To Buy It, Too.”
She also has an OnlyFans herself. In the beginning of her videos, she explains how she will only be discussing the subject in a way that’s positive toward sex work and the body. “If you are looking for HATE or BODY SHAMING or SHAMING SEX WORKERS or anything hateful at all… YOU ARE ON THE WRONG CHANNEL,” she writes in the description of her review of Jen Brett. “This will be nothing but nice, respectful, uplifting and body positivity.”
More so than many other OnlyFans review videos that rely upon the “So You Don’t Have To” framing, Dani’s comments section often has viewers explaining that her videos have helped them decide whether they want to subscribe to the subject. Still, such videos — whether a genuine review or just an overview of a creator’s OnlyFans presence — are probably best viewed as entertainment. After all, nothing beats seeing something for yourself.