By HK Sloan
Source: @Petite_Polaroid on OnlyFans
Porn — no matter how automated and artificial it may have become in recent years — is still driven by human connection. And with technology evolving faster than we can say “dial-up,” we might question if we’ve even had time to think about what we want.
Do I want a horny Asian woman in Denver? Wait. Am I a horny Asian woman in Denver?
In a world of Fleshlights and virtual reality foursomes, we are left to chase the next impossible orgasm — often alone. We have to wonder: could the rise of technology be responsible for stripping the human touch from our most primal instinct? Or is the popularity of platforms such as OnlyFans a signal for a more personal and real sexual experience?
I get down and dirty with Aimée, 29, who goes by Petite_Polaroid on OnlyFans. She tells us how *not* to be an asshole online, along with sharing some of her best angles.
* * *
Aimée scowls and a gloved hand, emerald green, shoots out toward me. The fringe from her glove plays in my lap as she rearranges my face. Her hair, just a shade lighter than the emerald gloves, swirls like candy around her face; the green cloud eventually settles on top of her camera as she stills herself behind it. She’s wearing a sheer pink top. A nipple pops out from beneath the tulle and frills.
She’s got me in the bathtub.
This shitty motel. This cramped room, bathed in indistinct slivers of moving light as the disco ball churns. The mechanical ticking, louder than the music. I suck in my belly.
The shutter clicks, then — the sound. A hiss, like an animal baring its teeth.
“Oh, shit, my face,” I say, already embarrassed.
She’s nonplussed. She doesn’t have time for formalities, pleasantries, fluff. She’s on the floor now, closer to my asshole. Now I’m sitting on the side of the tub, like I’m getting in. Hands in lap sweetly, looking back towards the bathroom door. My neck is killing me. My face is straddling the line between come hither and don’t look I’m taking a shit! If you can’t tell, I’m not a model.
Aimèe’s face is obscured by the camera. A long pointed nail, neon yellow, presses down on the shutter with finality. I need a drink.
“Arch your back. Yeah. More like that.”
She’s slithering on the bathroom floor now — on her stomach, elbows propped up, neck crooked at an impossible angle. I have to admit, her ass looks great. Next to her acrobatics, I’m fatally underwhelming. I try to meet her halfway and push my ass out. She comes closer.
* * *
Aimée is used to taking photos of assholes, and well…she’s good at it. As an instant film photographer and longtime smutmaker, she’s no newcomer at getting people naked — or being naked herself. Her subjects are often girl friends, sometimes male lovers, sometimes herself; but they are always vulnerable, soft. Perhaps even more important than her skill in capturing her subject is her ability to produce an atmosphere. Her stern directions — “Chin up!” “Arch your back!” and “Part your lips, just a little…” — set the stage for the dreamscape. This alternate world of pubic hair pushing through pink mesh, set against a backdrop of gold tinsel. Chipped white paint on a dollhouse.
She’s the model, photographer, creative director, and producer all stuffed into one tiny corset. It makes sense that the natural next step would be to monetize her self-sufficiency. Since the beginning of quarantine, Aimée has been relying on OnlyFans as her main source of income, under the name Petite_Polaroid.
For those unfamiliar with OnlyFans, it’s a platform that allows users to subscribe to their favorite “performers.” This allows users to see their favorite performer’s timeline, much like Facebook, with the goal of funneling them into buying premium content. Performers can be anyone. A fitness guru can share her workouts, an artist can charge for previously unreleased content, or a chef can offer recipes behind a subscription paywall. While OnlyFans is home to a plethora of creators and performers, only one line of work is responsible for putting OnlyFans on the map. And that’s sex work.
And while Aimée says there’s a fair share of prejudice against sex workers even within the platform, she’s not going anywhere. That may also be true of consumers as the world faces a new normal. More staying at home, more screen time, more content. And with all the new ways to get our fix at our fingertips comes a responsibility in how we source and react to porn.
It feels better when you pay for it
I had actually never heard of people paying for porn — I mean, normal people — before a couple of years ago. I know, I’m a Neanderthal. Why would you pay for something that is so…free? But within an hour of subscribing to Petite_Polaroid for her special price of $6.66, I can already feel the benefits of paying for porn. Personally, when it comes to porn, I’m a scroller. I could be scrolling for hours. I know what I like — that’s not the problem. The problem, like with everything on the internet, is oversaturation and low-quality content. We can’t see the sex through the sea of tits and ass. There’s so much tailored to me, yet why is there nothing for me?
As the world adapts to a new norm amid social distancing, technology is bridging the gap in human connection. Recent years have seen a rise in social media platforms that grant autonomy to the user in terms of how they market and sell their products. In this case, OnlyFans serves to normalize sex work, give ownership to sex workers, and allow for the consumer to get exactly what they want in a simple monetary exchange. They’ve streamlined the demand for personal kink, consolidating the power into the click of a button. If I want something just for me, all I have to do is ask. And by ask, I mean tip.
I know women who have gone on dates they otherwise wouldn’t have because the dude paid for porn. Regardless of how skewed that logic is, I can sympathize because it makes sense. Following logic, he’s gotta be a good guy. Loves his mama, opens doors, etc. People that pay for their porn come off as respectful, sensitive, and woke. Amidst the chatter, these guys always rise above the rest; they’re a different animal altogether. Although the jury’s still out on whether that’s a solid strategy to weed out your future partner.
You don’t have to feel dirty and guilty when you look at porn. When you pay for your porn, you’re supporting a living wage for all workers. You’re saying with your dollar that sex workers are valuable, contributing members of society as they perform the oldest — and arguably the most essential — service. And by personalizing my porn, I’m probably saving myself from years of scrolling.
Take it from me: it feels better when you pay for it.
A subscription does not entitle you to an endless buffet of ass
After I subscribed to Petite_Polaroid’s OnlyFans under the name KratomBob, I started my scroll. I guess deep down I’m a 47-year-old man with a sage stick in the woods of Northern California. Petite_Polaroid’s account is dotted with artsy Polaroids and sexy selfies, not unlike what you might find on her photography Instagram. Then there are videos of her taking a bath, playing with buttplugs, writhing under hot wax, spitting on dildos. A clip of her making out with her best friend. There’s a Polaroid of Aimée fully decked out in literal cowgirl riding a naked man through her kitchen, his ballsack tucked like a tail between his legs. There’s a close-up shot of a fine-tooth comb wound up in her bush.
While it may seem like an endless buffet, it’s not.
PP (Petite_Polaroid): This is a common misconception. People new to OnlyFans think that when they buy your subscription, they automatically have access to all of your content. The price of my monthly subscription is usually $10, so it doesn’t make sense for me to give away all of my content for that low price. When you subscribe to me, you have access to my timeline. Full-frontal nudity, masturbation…it’s there. But there’s also short videos and clips that I post as a preview of other content you can purchase. I’ve had people get mad and say, “That was only a 30-second video! I have to pay more to see the full thing?” or “You’re going to charge for that?” and I tell them, “Yes. This is a preview. You can buy the whole video at this link.” They either do or they don’t.
If they don’t, they still have plenty of quality content to drool over. As I continue sifting, I find myself surprised that some users demand even more from Petite_Polaroid, even with the library of content she produces. But that’s the beauty of a platform such as OnlyFans, a business model in which both buyers and sellers have control — if I want more, oh baby, there’s more. Conversely, if Petite_Polaroid wants to make more money, in theory, all she has to do is produce more content.
Within minutes of becoming KratomBob, I got a private message that read:
“Let me know if you’d like any custom content. I am kink-friendly and will try to accommodate your specific preferences if I can. I’m here to make your fantasies come true!”
My interest piqued, I went back to Petite_Polaroid’s profile where her bio reassured me that this was a safe space.
“I want this to be a place for you to come and feel free, comfortable, and turned on. There’s still so much stigma around sex, porn, and talking about what kinks or preferences one might have. Just know that I will never judge you for what you like, and I will do my best to create something just for you.”
Sure, you can get porn for free. It’s everywhere — scroll through hours of stepsister anal if you dare. Casting couches, realtors taking their tits out. But in a world of specialized and carefully curated content, why wouldn’t you want your porn the same way?
So no, buying a subscription does not entitle you to an endless buffet of ass — not quite. But I would argue there’s definitely a full meal there. No buffet, but it gets you in the club.
Now that you’re in, what do you want?
Read the room
For all her generosity, Petite_Polaroid does have her limits. She’s aware that as a content creator, it’s always more effective to stay within her niche.
PP: Yes, I make porn. I’ll ask you what you want. I want to accommodate you. But come on — read the room! Users will ask for a video of me being DP’ed. And while that’s cool and all, I have to remind them that I’m not a pornstar. I put a lot into the production, but I’m still just a girl and her phone.
OnlyFans thrives on supply and demand —mostly demand — but before you go around demanding, read the room. Don’t order a burger at the seafood place, man.
It’s not all eating chocolates on the couch, Marie-Antionette style
That’s a kink all on its own. It’s too bad; she’s got an incredible couch. Periwinkle blue, adorned with flowers. Those thin, hard cushions from the 70s.
PP: Despite the fact that’s the aesthetic I’m going for, I’m not actually reclining with a bundle of grapes. Online sex work is exactly that: work. Since the pandemic, this is my main source of income. With that comes the pressure to constantly be creating. Between creating looks and editing, it sometimes requires a 12 hour day. Working at home is still working, just like anyone else. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing it. It’s draining; I spend hours and hours in front of a computer screen.
PP: Even when I’m not working, I find myself “working” on my phone; editing, brainstorming, marketing myself on social media. It never stops. Especially because for me, my work is integrated with my personal art. Sometimes by the time I’m finished working I don’t have any energy to work on anything else. But I’m grateful to have control over my body and my art and to be able to see how they influence each other.
Consent is still cool
You would think that by now we wouldn’t have to say this. But consent is still very much a thing. Yes, even with sex workers. Sticking with the concept of OnlyFans, when a user subscribes to a performer, they have a pretty good idea of what they’re getting into. In our case, KratomBob is signing up to see Petite_Polaroid’s dongles and dangles. But that’s not a two-way transaction.
We know you love your dick (or whatever body part) in all its glory. When you send dick pics, it’s a gift. But if you’re thinking about sending a dick pic — to anyone — ask first. It’s amazing how far this formality will take you. Online consent is a simple concept, yet perhaps the most muddled. So if you’re just dying to send a tribute to your favorite online sex worker, ask first. Then tip.
There’s room for favorites — those subscribers that choose the ‘Renew Monthly’ Option
PP: One of the main things that brought me to OnlyFans is how interactive and personalized the experience can be. Part of that is getting to know my audience. When someone subscribes to me, they have the option of monthly packages at various discounts, and they have the option to subscribe to my content indefinitely. Those are my favorites. My regular subs — I see you and I love you. This is how I pay my bills, so when they hit the Renew option, they are supporting me. And plus, it’s always nice to know that you’re appreciated.
HK: Are you able to tell who your subscribers and regulars are or is it anonymous?
PP: I am curious about who is subscribing to me. I mean, I get off on this. I enjoy being watched. Most usernames are pretty anonymous, but if it’s a fun interaction I like to play detective and see if I know them. But it’s pretty private; if I know who a subscriber is, it’s usually because they told me. I have had people I went to high school tell me that they subscribe to me.
HK: Your aesthetic is very soft, almost virginal. Or I guess I’m thinking The Virgin Suicides. But I would say that it’s female-friendly porn. Do you know how many women subscribe to you?
PP: I’m not really sure of my demographic. I know there are a couple of women that subscribe to me, but it seems to be mostly men making the requests.
Sure, you can get porn for free. But in a world of specialized and carefully curated content, why wouldn’t you want your porn the same way?
If you’re not sure if you can commit to anything, much less an indefinite subscription, fear not: you can still work your way up in Petite_Polaroid’s good graces. Differentiate yourself from the pack of drooling wolves by making a personal request and tip well. It’s sort of like sitting at a bar — if you take care of the bartender, she’ll take care of you.
All sex work is created equal
A hoe’s a hoe’s a hoe! (Not my words.)
PP: Sadly there’s a stigma even within the confines of sex work. You can’t be okay with one kind of sex work and not be okay with another kind. A content creator or camgirl isn’t any better than a stripper or hooker, and vice versa. We all know that sex work is the oldest profession there is, and we also know that just because something’s illegal doesn’t make it wrong.
Even with the stigma around sex work, Aimee admits she’s pretty lucky. Unlike some, she’s surrounded by supportive friends, along with an open-minded partner. When asked if sex work had ever gotten in the way of her personal life, Aimee laughs.
PP: The fact that I have to share this information isn’t a burden. The burden is people’s reactions to what I do. Sure, society is evolving, but at a glacial pace. Sex work is being normalized, yet sex workers face prejudices every day. Even within the platform, sex workers are being taken advantage of and our concerns dismissed — ironic considering most of OnlyFans traffic comes from online sex work.
It’s not unheard of to have your account flagged and deleted; and with that, all of your uncashed earnings. Aimee says that its common knowledge that banks sometimes freeze OnlyFans payments since it’s associated with sex work. Aimée mainly markets herself on Instagram, where she says she’ll write one character different in typing “OnlyFans” when advertising on her stories so that her post isn’t flagged. TikTok, another popular social media platform, confirmed last month that OnlyFans direct links are banned.
Earlier this year, former Disney star Bella Thorne “broke” the platform, raking in $1 million the first day she offered subscriptions. OnlyFans immediately changed its policies to reflect smaller tip amounts and a monthly payout system as opposed to weekly, which understandably angered many performers. Amid the backlash, Thorne revealed she was doing “research” for an upcoming movie about sex workers.
Yes, you read that right. A celebrity came in, played sex worker for a day, and then went back to her life while negatively affecting thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of sex workers. As of May 2020, OnlyFans had almost half a million “performers” or “content creators,” the biggest chunk being sex workers.
PP: In addition to OnlyFans facilitating prejudice within the community, the larger systems are still failing us too. There’s FOSTA-SESTA, recent legislation that’s a thinly-veiled attempt to eradicate sex work.
FOSTA-SESTA began in 2018 as a crackdown on the websites that promote trafficking, but sex workers say that it’s ripped their livelihood out from under them. When their online communities are torn down, they lose everything: the ability to make money, network, even screen clients. When sex workers are forced to work under the radar, they are forced into less regulated — and more dangerous — situations.
Sex is here to stay
A universal truth: sex feels good. But somewhere buried, long forgotten, is the rare propensity to be good to people. And Petite_Polaroid excels at it — you can tell she genuinely wants to accommodate you. And in doing so, she somehow reminds you how essential human connection is, how crucial those connecting fibers are.
HK: What’s next? Do you ever see yourself going back to your previous life?
PP: I’m here to stay. Everything I got out of doing hair, I get out of doing this — posing nude, getting people off. I’m making people happy. Hopefully giving people a place to be completely open and themselves. What I loved about doing hair was a client telling me they were pregnant, even before they told their husband…or just people telling you things knowing they wouldn’t be judged. It’s the same. Something you got shamed for, you can come to me and I’ll say, “F*ck, yeah, that’s hot.”
F*ck yeah, that’s hot — a rallying cry for sex workers everywhere. Even with bills like FOSTA-SESTA, the voices of sex workers have only grown louder in recent years, perhaps even in spite of FOSTA-SESTA. The push to decriminalize sex work has snowballed into a grassroots movement. Sex workers tell us what they’ve been telling us for years: criminalizing public sex platforms such as Backpages and Craigslist personals forces them to work on the fringes of society and puts them in harm’s way.
But if we decriminalize sex work, it makes sex workers less vulnerable, both to police brutality and violence from clients. If we decriminalize, sex workers can make their healthcare a priority. Not only do sex workers have no health insurance, but when sex work is illegal it means that police can use condoms against sex workers as “evidence of intent,” a practice that forces some sex workers to go without protection so as not to risk arrest. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, transgender people and LGBTQ people of color are more likely to be sex workers, and more likely to be incarcerated as a thus, only further marginalizing them.
“Sex workers deserve the same legal protections as any other people. They should be able to maintain their livelihood without fear of violence or arrest, and with access to health care to protect themselves. We can bring sex workers out of the dangerous margins and into the light where people are protected — not targeted — by the law.” — ACLU
What can we do to help normalize sex work and protect sex workers?
Well, even using the term “sex work” is a step in the right direction — the phrase was coined by activist Carol Leigh in 1978. She says, “It acknowledges the work that we do rather than define us by our status.”
“The fact that I have to share this information isn’t a burden. The burden is people’s reactions to what I do.” — Petite_Polaroid
As of recent, decriminalization of sex work has become a hot topic on the campaign trail, even garnering support from Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris earlier this year. As we sit on the cusp of change, show your support with your vote. As Angel Castillo said, “Full decriminalization is a feminist issue, a prison abolitionist issue, and a labor issue.”
Support full decriminalization. Support sex workers.
I asked Aimée who her favorite asshole was. I mean, whose asshole was her favorite. Who owned her favorite asshole, etc. I had to. I mean, she had been so up close and personal with mine.
Sad to say, mine didn’t make her list. As Aimée described her ideal asshole with a dreamy look, “it’s clean and a little curly.”
She may be referring to her own. But hey —taking sexy nudes can boost confidence, and it can pay the bills.
* * *
Subscribe to @Petite_Polaroid on OnlyFans if you’d like to see more of her work.
And if you’d like to show your support for marginalized sex workers, consider donating to The Solutions Not Punishment Coalition, a black, trans, and queer-led organization that invests in the political power of their communities in the fight to end violence against sex workers.