Since its inception, TikTok has unwittingly shaped the online adult industry. By propelling everyday people into internet infamy, the app is responsible for a new crop of entertainers who’ve pivoted their followings into major OnlyFans accounts. The TikTok-OnlyFans connection has been especially collaborative of late, with TikTokers meeting up, filming themselves with and without clothes and posting the results to their respective platforms.
In September, a group of well-known TikTokers convened in a shared rental cabin for a weekend of porn production, dubbing the event #OrigamiCamp. At first, it seemed to be a success, with the hashtag garnering millions of views on TikTok. But this week, more than a month after #OrigamiCamp ended, a flood of drama and doxxing has overwhelmed the hashtag. What originally seemed to be a positive conversation around online sex work and social media has again grown toxic, and now, the people involved could be in danger.
As Mashable reported in the days following OrigamiCamp, the weekend was organized by @hawkhatesyou and @the_gothbaby, both of whom have been on OnlyFans for around two years. There were at least 20 other TikTokers present, and the weekend was promoted as an inclusive, sex-work-positive way to create fresh content while cross-promoting each other on TikTok and OnlyFans. Throughout the weekend, fun TikToks of all the creators joking around, cuddling and showing off what a great time they were having were posted. In one, a couple of them laughed about how you’re not supposed to fall in love with your coworkers while looking on as two others held each other in their arms. In another, @demonspit walked through the house repeating “top of the morning” (a popular TikTok trend) to various cheerful OrigamiCampers, some of whom were wrapped in blankets to cover their naked bodies.
All that soured quickly following a number of accusations surrounding Auntie Tyler, a Black non-binary creator. The precise timeline and details are hard to follow and verify, but as the story goes, a few creators were shooting porn when they noticed Auntie Tyler watching them. It made them uncomfortable, so they asked them to leave. Allegedly, Auntie Tyler continued to watch through a window, and were asked to stop a second time. Later, when they were confronted about it, they laughed it off, which made the people creating the adult content feel, as one TikTok explainer put it, “invalidated.”
In response, Auntie Tyler created a since-deleted TikTok stating that they had felt threatened by the event taking place in a “sundown town,” that the other creators there were “fakes” and “pussies” for feeling uncomfortable and that their identity as a Black person was essentially used for diversity clout. They later released @hawkhatesyou and other performers’ legal names to the public.
Obviously, this presents a complicated conundrum. On the one hand, Auntie Tyler’s experience of anti-Blackness and feeling isolated due to their race and body echoes themes numerous other creators have expressed toward the adult industry. And while claims that the event took place in a “sundown town” have been refuted, that doesn’t negate the fact that Auntie Tyler may still have felt threatened being there.
On the other hand, as many of the fellow Origami Camp creators have since discussed, being a sex worker is never itself a statement of consent, nor does it exclude you from feeling uncomfortable or having your boundaries violated. More than that, intentionally revealing a creator’s legal name — one that had been intentionally secret — can be a legitimate threat to their safety. Sex workers have previously reported being stalked and harassed as the result of clients doxxing them, and in many cases, they hide their legal names not only to protect themselves, but also their families (@hawkhatesyou, for example, had kept her legal name private in order to protect the identity of her daughter).
Still, there’s been a strange silver lining to all of this: Most of TikTok and Twitter seem to have banded together in support of sex workers writ large. Namely, the conversation has moved far beyond the typical narratives regarding sex work — i.e., should it even exist and its constant (incorrect) conflation with trafficking — and instead, centered around how all performers deserve to be able to pursue their careers with privacy, dignity and respect, regardless of the circumstances.
That’s not to say the Origami Camp discourse has been perfect. At the very least, though, people are forcing the conversation, which is especially important given that TikTok doesn’t allow creators to discuss OnlyFans explicitly. Both performers and fans, however, have continuously found ways to work around such censorship to ensure that sex workers can have their say, too. Perhaps everyone is primarily interested in the drama, but it’s the rare occasion in which sex workers are able to shape the narrative themselves.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another Origami Camp to keep everyone talking.