Women unwilling to date OnlyFans users

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
March 18, 2024, 10:21 AM GMT+0

Attitudes to a potential partner who subscribes to OnlyFans is significantly more negative than watching pornography in general, and comparable to having paid for sex

Our recent survey on attitudes to sex workers showed that the large majority of Britons would not be willing to date or enter into a relationship with a sex worker.

As the survey showed, there is clearly a stigma against sex workers. But sex work takes two: a provider and a customer. So do people hold similar attitudes to those who consume sex work as those who provide it?

As part of that same survey, we asked Britons if they would be willing to date someone who had ever had sex with a prostitute, who used OnlyFans (both interacting and not interacting with the models), and who watched pornography.

Overall, 18% of Britons say they would be willing to date someone who had previously paid to have sex with a prostitute or escort. This is similar to the 14% who would be willing to date a former prostitute or escort.

Six in ten Britons (61%) say they would be unwilling to date someone who had paid for sex, with women substantially more reluctant to do so than men (75% versus 47%).

Britons are even more reluctant to date someone who subscribes to an pornographic content creator’s account on a service like OnlyFans, particularly if they interact with the creator. Almost two thirds say they would be unwilling to date someone subscribed to such an account (64%), rising to 74% if they are interacting with the creator.

Again, women are much more put off by this behaviour (79-88%) than men (48-59%).

By contrast, a partner who watches pornography in general is much more tolerated – although the wider public are still split 44% willing to date to 42% unwilling to date.

Here the genders take opposing views, with men willing to date a porn-watcher by 59% to 25%, while women are unwilling by 29% to 57%.

Older women are particularly unwilling to date someone who has paid for sex

Age also plays a role in attitudes, particularly among women. The older women are, the more likely they are to say they would be unwilling to date or be in a relationship with someone who had engaged with any of the forms of sex work listed.

For instance, while 86% of women aged 70 and above say they wouldn’t date someone who they knew had previously paid to have sex with a prostitute, this falls to 65% of 18-29 year old women (and while 70% of the former group would be “very” unwilling, only 40% of the latter group would be).

The gap is especially large when it comes to watching pornography – while only 36% of the youngest women see that as a dealbreaker, fully 88% of the oldest women do.

That younger women have less negative attitudes to porn makes the distinction between pornography and OnlyFans particularly stark; fully 69% of 18-29 year old women are unwilling to date an OnlyFans subscriber, rising to 81% for subscribers who interact with creators.

Among men, the trends are less clear. While it is still true that older men (those in their 60s and older) are the most unwilling to date someone who has paid for sex, uses OnlyFans or watches porn, it is men in their 40s who are the most willing to do so.

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