Take a look at the most scandalous stupid-tabloid stories of the last few weeks. “We just found out we’re siblings — but we’re still dating,” a New York Post article reads. “Teacher pregnant by student, is keeping the baby,” says another. “Grandma, 61, and younger husband, 24, are ready to have a baby,” reads a third.
They all sound like episodes of Jerry Springer — the type of contrived, outrageous scenarios that make perfect fodder for television with zero substance other than shock. They have something else in common, too, though: They’re all advertisements for OnlyFans.
Several times a week, the New York Post and similar publications share these ludicrous human-interest stories that have no real value in informing the public beyond being clickbaity. As with Springer, Maury, The Steve Wilkos Show and other daytime talk shows of this nature, such stories get spread mostly because people want their 15 minutes of fame. Why else did talk-show guests air their extremely dirty laundry for millions of viewers at home if not to enjoy the momentary attention it brought? But now, the majority of those pursuing this shock-based clout seem to have a new motivation: a boost to their OnlyFans revenue.
Take, for example, that first headline above about the two siblings who are “dating.” The story actually centers around a lesbian couple, who shared on TikTok that they’d allegedly learned that their mothers each slept with the same man around the time they were conceived and could therefore possibly be half-siblings. They recently made a followup video showing them taking a 23&Me DNA test, and are “still awaiting results.”
According to both the Post and the links in their TikTok bio, the couple shares an OnlyFans account called “NotYourAverageSisterz.” The original video is one designed entirely for virality — the women do look alike, and we have absolutely no means of knowing whether or not their claim is true.
Being a conservative tabloid, it’s unclear how well the Post fact-checks these stories. Not that it really matters either way. Whether there’s truth to the story or not, the women have surely pivoted their brief fame into a significant uptick in their OnlyFans subscriber count, and can now sell the narrative of them being like sisters (even if their DNA test says otherwise) in perpetuity. As their OnlyFans username already suggests, their sister-like appearance is part of their shtick.
Similarly, with the story surrounding the teacher who was impregnated by a student, we don’t know whether it was fact-checked to confirm if it was anything more than a publicity stunt. All we have is the claim by an OnlyFans model that she had a one-night stand with a former student who’s now a legal adult, and that she’s currently carrying his baby. Regardless, she can now make bank on pregnancy-centric content.
It is notable, though, that her story was originally published by NeedToKnow, which almost exclusively publishes wild articles of this nature. And to bolster the never-ending cycle of new stories to peddle, there are also PR news agencies like Jam Press that specialize in working with creators and influencers to garner press around such narratives for the purpose of gaining more followers, too.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with performers making up these stories for the sake of selling fantasies. It’s what porn has always done. And there are plenty of stories, like the recent one surrounding Denise Richards joining OnlyFans to support her daughter doing the same, that don’t so much stretch credulity, but rather make for good PR ahead of the launch. Yet, as with the questionable “reality” behind shows like Springer, we ought to at least take all of these tales with a grain of salt. They’re meant to scandalize us; to become the sort of thing we’re so shocked about that we can’t look away. If OnlyFans had existed throughout the nearly three decades Springer was on the air, surely viewers would have been so curious about many of its guests as to look for them there, too.
This is essentially what’s happening now with these headlines. For some, subscribing to such OnlyFans’ accounts may be out of genuine attraction; for others, it’s just morbid curiosity. Either way, it sells.