There are few things worse than being broken up with via text. Opening a long message that starts with, “Hey, we need to talk,” or “Sorry I’ve been so quiet recently,” can feel spiritless and cold, and can prevent the person on the receiving end from finding closure. That is, unless you happen to be an OnlyFans creator and the breakup text is coming from one of your subscribers — in that case, getting dumped over DM can feel pretty damn good.
Many sex workers have found themselves in this situation, particularly on OnlyFans. “Hey, I don’t wanna hurt your feelings, but unfortunately I’m unsubscribing and getting out of the OnlyFans game entirely,” reads a recent message from one of Arizona-based creator Sarah Luther’s subscribers (she recently shared it via a screenshot on Twitter with the caption, “No way I got broken up with on OnlyFans”). “I actually am a lucky man,” the fan continued. “I started seeing someone recently, so I don’t need to fantasize or look at any other women. Anyways, I just thought it was stand-up that you responded to me at all, and I never had any ill will or hard feelings towards you for doing what is best for yourself. I hope you continue to earn from this platform and feel confident and beautiful about yourself and your sensuous body. If anything changes, I’ll gladly follow you back again.”
Unsurprisingly, these kinds of messages have become more commonplace as subscription sites give fans the chance to get closer than ever to their favorite porn stars, enabling them to privately chat with creators and pay for content specifically catered to them. Luther says that the person from the message above was a long-time subscriber who’d been following her since the beginning of her OnlyFans journey in 2020. “I thought his message was sweet,” she explains. “It’s funny and cute that they give me an explanation — the entire interaction feels pure.”
With all her subscribers, Luther makes sure to respond to requests and messages because it often gives them a more personal experience than traditional porn. “What a sweetheart,” she responded to the above message. “Thank you, love. People like you mean the most… genuinely.”
This is also how OnlyFans creator Rebecca (a pseudonym) likes to work. She says her “sweet and considerate” attitude — as opposed to always being strictly sexual — sets the tone for how her subscribers repond to her. Recalling a time when she was “broken up” with by a fan via DM, Rebecca says, “He was a virgin when he subscribed, and he felt pretty insecure about it — he was worried it would be a problem that would fuck up his future relationships. We talked a while about it, and I reassured him that being concerned about doing well in bed would ultimately be what matters most, rather than having to fuck a [certain] number of people to ‘learn.’”
A few months later, her fan got a girlfriend, lost his virginity and fell in love — that’s when he sent her the breakup message. In the text, he thanked her for talking with him about his worries. “It was a really sweet experience,” she says.
But what might start off as a sweet message can sometimes end up in the subscriber crossing a line. Luther shared further texts from her “breakup” with me via DM, which showed her reply, alongside another message from the fan. Three weeks later, the subscriber replied, writing: “Back on your subscriber list for better or worse. Unfortunately my relationship went south… Anyways, [I can resume being] your friend! Appreciate the content, [and], as always, would love to see you in AZ [some] time.”
The line about meeting up made Luther nervous. “Although subscribers are drawn toward the direct communication they can have with OnlyFans creators [because] it makes us feel attainable to them, [it also] comes with complications,” she says. And despite OnlyFans having banned words like “meet” and “meet up” from its DMs, Luther says there are still loopholes that let fans push the limits. “One of my most common messages from fans is asking, ‘How much for in-person?,’ saying ‘Let’s go on a date’ or even asking about my location, which can be very draining and scary. It’s led me to feel mentally exhausted and objectified.”
She adds that it’s hard to keep posting and promoting happily when subscribers feel that she’s more attainable than she really is. “The line is blurred for some people,” Luther continues. “They think that OnlyFans girls will do anything for money.” But she says, she doesn’t blame this subscriber for sending such a message. “He doesn’t know how many messages I get that are similar, and he may feel like he’s complimenting me,” she concedes.
Still, when these breakup messages aren’t followed up by a request to meet, Rebecca says they’re a breath of fresh air from the harassment or weird DMs she gets. “It was a cute little blessing to just talk someone through a hard time,” she says.
MelRose Michaels, an OnlyFans creator and the founder of Sex Work CEO, an educational platform for sex workers, has been “broken up” with by fans multiple times — some of whom frequently come and go between relationships because they feel the subscriptions are “disrespectful or disloyal.” Michaels says she views this quite fondly, particularly when fans credit her for actually improving their sex life within their marriage or relationship. “Fantasy play gets them worked up, and they get the courage from expressing their sexuality safely with me in a no-judgment zone so that they gain the confidence to go home and ask for what they want or make the first move,” she says. She finds it interesting when fans consider OnlyFans to be cheating, though, as she sees her work as more of an “interactive type of porn.”
But without any untoward date requests, these “breakup” messages seem to mostly be viewed positively by sex workers. As Luther says, “It makes me happy that they feel close enough with me to explain themselves.”
If only real-life breakups could be so pure.