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The Mystery of the OnlyFans 1 Percent

Everyone and their mother seems to be a top-ranking OnlyFans star. Thing is, no one’s actually sure what these rankings mean.

If you’ve ever been on Reddit, Twitter or another site where people advertise their OnlyFans, you’ve probably noticed that they like to flaunt their rankings:

  • “Like what you see? Top 1.6%”
  • “New anal creampie video posted today! Top 0.8%”
  • “Top 1.2%. Average mom doing naughty stuff you can’t even imagine!”

Low numbers mean high rankings, and the platform is militant about letting performers know where they stand. Figures are updated daily and displayed on a model’s “toolbox,” in a part of their account only they can see. If their ranking is high — say, lower than 10 percent — they often embed it into their social media handle, tack it onto a post title or pepper it throughout their promos as a not-so-subtle hint that people do, in fact, enjoy their cosplay dick ratings.

If you’ve picked up on this much out in the wild, you’ve probably noticed that there’s something peculiar about these rankings, too: As many models and fans have pointed out, seemingly everyone and their mother is in the top 1 percent (or, at the very least, top 10).

This makes little sense. On a site with more than 450,000 content creators — most of whom only make $180 a month — how can so many people be top-ranking Internet Sex Lords? Or more to the point, what are OnlyFans rankings, what do they mean, how accurate are they, and most importantly, do consumers actually care?

To answer these, it would be helpful to know what the OnlyFans 1 percent is. Fat chance, though! OnlyFans is opaque about how they calculate a performer’s percentage, and everyone from porn experts to performers are confused about what factors into rankings. There are even entire Reddit threads where befuddled creators toss around theories about what’s behind the mysterious calculus of their rating. Is it earnings? Subscriber count? Likes? Rebills? Posting consistency? Being Cardi B?

No one knows, least of all me — as is customary, OnlyFans declined my three requests for comment.

One thing’s for sure, though: There’s definitely money involved. Phoebe, a 20-year-old OnlyFans model and moderator of the subreddit r/OnlyFans101, says OnlyFans rankings are likely just a function of income — the more money a performer makes on the site, the higher their ranking becomes. “If you’re in the top 1 percent, it means you’re making more money than the remaining 99 percent of OnlyFans creators,” she explains. “Keep in mind that the majority of OnlyFans creators make barely any money — if you make $100+ monthly, you’ll already make more than the majority of creators.”

Phoebe’s premium account is in the top 0.43 percent — which earns her a monthly income of $18,000 — but she estimates that the top 1 percent earn at least $5,000 a month. However, TouchMyBurrito, another OnlyFans creator and r/OnlyFans101 moderator, says he thinks it’s closer to $9,000. He’s in the top 15 percent, and rakes in $500 a month. Both performers do unclothed sex stuff.

Whatever the real numbers are, the ranking system doesn’t seem to be linear. As far as anyone can tell, there’s no standard income bracket that separates the 2 percent from the 1 percent, and performers in the 0.01 percent make exponentially more than their 1 percent underlings. Subscriber count is a curious variable, too. As one redditor points out, there are free OnlyFans accounts with 10,000 subscribers who aren’t even in the top 90 percent because no one’s paying them for content. The influx of celebrities like Bella Thorne, Safaree Samuels and Aaron Carter seems to decrease everyone’s ratings, but by how much is unknown.

Even with all this uncertainty, Phoebe says reaching the top 1 percent isn’t that hard — performers just have to know how to advertise. Personally, she keeps up presences on social media sites like Reddit, TikTok, Instagram, Discord, YouTube and Twitch, but she doesn’t directly promote her OnlyFans on any of them — obvious ads can turn people off. Instead, she focuses on making good content for each platform, then slips her OnlyFans link in her profile descriptions on the sly. If people like her look and personality, they’ll seek her out.

This is a common tactic, and it’s probably why so many accomplished high rankers are flitting about; more and more people have figured out how to game the system, and thanks to the multiverse of OnlyFans support and advice forums, there are more people available than ever to help them do so. High-ranking performers are also more likely to advertise their numbers. While there are vastly more creators who rank in the lower percentiles, few would benefit from announcing they’ve breached the top 75 or 85 percent. Thus, the fabled 1 percent might look more prevalent than it actually is.

That, or some performers are making it up.

Because creators are the only people who can see their rankings, there’s not much stopping them from fudging their numbers, especially when they dip below brag-worthy levels. Some models post verifying screenshots of their percentages to avoid this, but even then, there’s no way for consumers to know if they’re real. As sex worker and journalist Jake Hall points out, it’s easy to lift screenshots from other creators. Thankfully, they’ve seen less of this lately, possibly because “people have realized how easy it would be to fake.”

It’s impossible to say how often numbers are faked — or if they are at all — but it’s easy to see why someone would try. Because OnlyFans forces creators to do 100 percent of their own promotion in incredibly saturated spaces like Reddit and Twitter, models have to use whatever tools they can to stand out (like cooking and eating their own cum, for instance). In a sea of other hot naked people offering dick ratings, butt photos and jerk-off instructions for near-identical prices, a better ranking might be the only way.

Likewise, while high rankings may not guarantee new followers, they can hint at quality. This is clutch, because better numbers can build confidence in a product consumers can’t preview — or even search for — before they buy. (OnlyFans doesn’t have an internal search function, and unless a model’s account is free, you can’t see any of their content without paying a monthly fee.) “Knowing your favorite model is in the OnlyFans top 1 percent tells you her subscribers probably ain’t too disappointed by what’s behind the paywall,” explains porn expert Geoffery Celen. “If 10,000 other dudes are shaking their dicks at [them], maybe it’s worth a tug or two of your own time.”

Yet, as any porn watcher knows, the perceived popularity of a performer, video or genre has little to do with how much it turns you on. You could be watching the highest-ranking performer perform the highest-ranking sex act in front of the largest possible audience and feel nothing down there. If it doesn’t click, it doesn’t click, and no numerical ranking will change that. Meanwhile, the grainiest, lowest-rated amateur video might melt your face off, and you might pay good money to watch it again and again.

Hall, for one, “truly [doesn’t] care” what a model’s ranking is. “For me, the appeal of sites like OnlyFans is that you get to see hot, amateur solos in all their shaky, awkward glory, so I quite like to see relatively unknown creators showing hole for the first time with no concern for polish,” they say. “In my mind, cracking the top 1 percent means making content worthy of a professional porn studio, and that’s not what I want to see — plus, the more fans a creator has, the less chance there is of any one-to-one interaction.”

In other words, a model might work themselves to the bone to get to the top 1 percent, but no amount of smart advertising and curated content can overwhelm the power of personal desire. As Celen says, it’s “blood rushing to a person’s genitals” that makes people empty their wallets, not some arbitrary number concocted by a mysterious source. That should be good news for the scores of creators who absolutely hate the OnlyFans rankings. As one redditor complains, they “nurture negativity,” and it’s “rude and tone-deaf” to constantly boast when yours are good. Another points out that it can make you a bigger target for scammers and hackers before putting it more bluntly: “They make other girls feel like shit.”

Predictably, there will always be a small faction of consumers who love the OnlyFans rankings and feel it helps them cherrypick the good stuff out of the massive pile of bad. Twitter is full of (mostly) dudes LOL-ing about how women are ranking themselves for them, and the insane culture of face, body and dick rating that’s taking over the internet has only been growing. But for every person ready to judge a person’s content or worth by some obtuse numerical value, there’s another one who simply doesn’t care. “Give me some creative kink, no matter the ranking, and I’ll happily buy it,” says Hall. Pixelated public med-fetish be damned.

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