In Venezuela, selling suggestive content on the internet to survive

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Like many other Venezuelans, Valery Lopez has long been tempted by exile. But today, the young woman has found a way to survive the economic crisis: she sells the images of her naked body on an adult website.

“I absolutely wanted to leave (the country), because I did not live well here (…) Now I want to stay in Venezuela thanks to Onlyfans!”, Tells AFP this 20-year-old woman, who claims to love to reveal face camera its forms.

On her profile, the girl has more than 50 subscribers, mostly foreigners. In order to receive exclusive content, everyone pays $ 10, six times the minimum wage in Venezuela.

Launched in Great Britain in 2016, OnlyFans is a platform that gives 80% of subscriptions received to the content creator and keeps the remaining 20%. The site was originally intended for celebrities and “influencers”, but quickly turned into a hub for sharing content for adults.

Thanks to his new income, Valery Lopez says he can afford his “dental care and clothes”. “Who can make between $ 500 and $ 1,000 a month here right now? Nobody!” she says blatantly.

Psychologist Abel Saraiba, also coordinator of an NGO dealing with the rights of children and adolescents in Venezuela, says he understands the path leading many young people to use their bodies to earn money.

“Would they venture down such risky paths if they had other choices to earn money?” He wonders.

If he considers that this is less risky than prostitution, he warns young Venezuelans. “They don’t realize that once they publish content, they can lose control of it and others can take it.”

Already, OnlyFans videos have been found on platforms available to the general public.

– Minor –

For Valery Lopez, it all started with a photo where she appeared “totally” naked on Instagram. Given the number of “Likes” and messages, she saw it as an opportunity to make some money.

Her boyfriend, Roberto Gonzalez, an architect she has lived with for three years, helped her open an account on OnlyFans.

“I like that, I especially like to win money, it’s a perfect combination,” says Valery.

Her success also stems from the fact that her “fans” believe she is underage.

“They think I’m lying about my age,” laughs the green-eyed girl, who is only five feet tall and sometimes has freckles on her face. “They like to see me with my youthful face …”.

While this is not the case with Valery Lopez, a BBC documentary aired last year claimed that minors were illegally selling content on the platform which had seen the number of its users increase tenfold during the Covid-19 pandemic.

OnlyFans told AFP today it has 90 million subscribers and more than one million content creators.

In April, the site’s founder, Thomas Stokely, admitted to media outlet BuzzFeed that half of its creators produced adult content.

But not all get richer.

Brandon Mena, an athletic 20-year-old Venezuelan, had to interrupt his studies because he could no longer pay his private university fees.

Until then he paid them by working as a waiter “in restaurants and nightclubs”.

The pandemic forced him to “look for alternative solutions,” said the young man, in jeans and gray sweater, looking very different from the content he provides on OnlyFans.

But, unlike Valery Lopez, the number of its subscribers has not taken off.

“Venezuela is not going to change. I do not see myself staying,” he finally blurted out.

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