There are several reasons why someone might want to be secretive about subscribing to another person’s OnlyFans. Maybe they have a partner who considers it cheating; maybe they have a particular fetish that they don’t want anyone to find out about; maybe they got banned for whatever reason; or, god forbid, maybe they’re the father of the creator. Of course, you can subscribe to someone’s page fairly anonymously (unless you want to be a true OnlyFans king), but you can’t so easily hide bank transactions. This is where “middlemen” come in.
Middlemen are people — or possibly small organizations — who create OnlyFans accounts for others, subscribe to chosen creators and then share the account details with the intended user. Although OnlyFans itself is already a middleman of sorts — the platform takes a 20 percent cut of creators’ earnings — these middlemen are less conspicuous, usually running an informal, underground business.
Twenty-one-year-old Eli from California is one of them. He runs an aptly named subreddit called r/OnlyFansMiddleman, where he advertises his work and liaises with clients. The group — which was created in August 2020 and currently has 1,400 members — describes Eli as “the fastest, most trusted buyer for OnlyFans purchases,” and says his services are for people whose “card doesn’t work” or who “want to remain as anonymous as possible.” While it’s not the only group of its kind on Reddit (the self-explanatory r/signupsforpay subreddit has over 71,000 members), Eli’s appears to be one of a small number of OnlyFans-specific ones — which is exactly the reason he set up the community in the first place.
“I got into it because I saw people on various subreddits looking for others to buy subscriptions for them,” he tells me. “I wanted to help these people because no one else was offering such a service.” Eli charges a flat fee of $3 per transaction, which clients pay on top of however much their chosen OnlyFans subscriptions or PPV photos/videos cost. But, he adds, “clients often return for more purchases and even send more money as a tip.” All in all, Eli says he’s making roughly $300 to $500 a month.
As a student, it’s easy for Eli to factor his middleman work into his flexible schedule. “Whenever I receive a message from someone interested in me purchasing content for them, I drop what I’m doing and reply instantly — unless I’m sleeping,” he explains. “It takes about five to 10 minutes to create the OnlyFans account for the client and then pay for the content. I’ve helped a few hundred clients, and about 30 percent of those return for more purchases.”
Eli believes that people come to him because they want to support independent creators while remaining as anonymous as possible online and says he provides a way for them to do so. However, clients appear to enlist him for a variety of more practical reasons, too. One person posted in the group that their account had been banned. “Either I’d need to use yours temporarily, and you can change the password after a month,” they said. “Or I would need a brand new account created for me with my subscription. The [subscription] cost $20 and I will send you $10 for doing it, so $30 total.” Another person needed help because their card wasn’t being accepted by OnlyFans. Many of those posting offer Eli an amount significantly higher than his $3 flat rate, suggesting that his services are rare and much-needed, albeit for a minority of people.
This minority can also be found in other OnlyFans subscription subreddits — for example, r/OnlyFans_Subscribe, which has nearly 500 members, was created over a year after Eli’s group, and uses the same header photo. When I ask Eli if the groups are in any way related, he tells me that it’s actually a “copycat” of his. “They stole my cover image to use as theirs,” he adds.
Like the recently unearthed E-Pimps of OnlyFans — who run accounts for creators and chat to subscribers as if they were the model themselves — middlemen are another example of third parties profiting off the ever-increasing domination of OnlyFans. Unlike the ghost-run accounts, which deceive subscribers, the middleman’s work kind of deceives creators. In most instances, this could be harmless — users are often anonymous to the creator, anyway, and they’re still getting the subscription money — but it also opens the door for users who may have been blocked by the creator to gain access to their account again, but under a different username. Though, they could arguably do this themselves anyway.
Although Eli says he doesn’t vet his clients, as he wants to “preserve their anonymity,” he does admit that people could use his service to resubscribe to a creator who’d previously blocked them. “But if they got blocked again from the account I made, then I wouldn’t make a new account for them,” he explains. “I haven’t had someone ask this, though, so I don’t think it’s too much of an issue.”
It’s hard to find just how many self-proclaimed “OnlyFans middlemen” are out there, but there’s almost certainly more than just Eli’s subreddit catering to the demand. To be fair, as it seems there’s no end to what horny guys will do for porn, why not capitalize off it?