sex

'I look nothing like a typical porn star. Last year I made $400,000 on OnlyFans.'

Just three years ago, Lucy Banks was living the perfect Stepford wife existence. Married with two young children and working in a stable, full-time job in banking, she looked - from the outside at least - happy.

Yet she admits she felt so unfulfilled.

"I was surrounded by friends that were kind of like your stereotypical fake friends. Everything was keeping up appearances and just being suburban mums and who could get the best Instagram brands for their kids... And I just thought, I can't do this anymore. This is not for me," Lucy tells Mamamia.

"By that time, I'd separated from my husband. I was on my own with two kids. And I just happened to have a friend from high school that was doing OnlyFans. I messaged her and said, 'Babe, what is this? I don't really understand it'. She explained it to me and I thought, 'I'm gonna go for it'. I was just in such a transitional period of my life and it just cropped up. So I went for it."

While she may sound a little blasé about the decision to join the subscription-based social media platform which primarily houses adult content, Lucy did have reservations at the beginning.

"At first, I thought, I can't go on OnlyFans. I'm newly divorced, I'm so insecure, I'm in my 30s, I haven't been single since I was 20 years old. I've had two kids and my body reflects that," she says.

"My biggest worry was about my mental health. Putting myself and my body out there for people to talk about was really, really scary for me. I didn't want to end up with mental health issues or to feel bad about my body. That was my biggest concern."

She needn't have worried. In fact, becoming a content creator on OnlyFans gave Lucy a boost of confidence that she didn't even realise she needed.

"I feel sexier than I did when I was 18 and a size 6, toned and fit. I feel so attractive. It just skyrocketed my self-confidence. I'm so much more comfortable in my skin now since doing it, which I think is amazing. It was the complete opposite to what I thought it would be."

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Lucy believes that the rise of OnlyFans is due to less people getting satisfaction and connection from traditional porn.

"OnlyFans is about real connections. You're talking to real people, not an unattainable porn star who you never get to actually talk to," she explains.

"My page is very much about a real and authentic experience. Sometimes subscribers might message me and they're like, 'What are you up to today?' And I tell them, 'I'm actually just about to a grocery shop', or 'I'm in bed and I'm having a play'... it just depends. They're real conversations. I think what equates to success for a lot of pages, not everyone, but a lot of pages, is essentially being in online relationships with these guys."

One of the biggest upsides to joining the platform has been time. Lucy used to work 60-hour weeks at the bank and miss out on many of her kids' activities and events. Now, if the children have a school assembly or a medical appointment, she is always there.

"I arrange my life around the kids and I feel so grateful to be able to do that," she says. "As a parent, to be able to have the gift of being fully present in their lives is just... I couldn't ask for anything more. I'm so grateful."

Aside from more time to spend with her children, there is, of course, the monetary benefit. Lucy currently has more than 3,700 subscribers and earnings of up to $2,500 per day. In the last financial year, she made over $400,000 worth of sales.

"Obviously I have expenses as well; that's not all profit," she says with a laugh.

Still, the money is staggering and almost bewildering, even to her. "As if a 30-something year old mum, who looks like me, can sell $400,000 worth of nudes. As if that's real life! I just... it blows my mind."

Lucy is incredibly passionate about being "your authentic self" on the platform, especially as she used to hold such a negative view about her own body.

"If you're traditionally beautiful, great, you will be successful on the platform, because that's somebody's type: blonde hair, tiny frame, big boobs. I know there are men out there who, to them, that's the ideal woman. But there are also guys who do want a short, chubby brunette like me," she says, laughing.

"Or a skinny, tattooed, alternative looking girl, or a size 20. Everyone has a type. And I think the success of the platform really reflects that. Because it's not about how you look. It's about how you market yourself. The people that subscribe to you are going to be people that are interested in your type.

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"I never feel pressured to lose weight or get surgery because if I did, I would lose subscribers. Those people pay for my page because I'm what they're into."

When women message Lucy to ask her advice or talk about OnlyFans, she is only ever supportive.

"I have quite a few ladies message me and say, 'I'll do this but I have to lose five kilos first' or 'I need to go get my lashes done'. I'm like, 'Babe no, you do it now in your current form. I promise that being authentic and being yourself is the best way to be. Because it shines through when you just be yourself'," she says.

"I know it sounds so corny - just be yourself. But having that level of confidence is the sexiest thing on the planet. You know that feeling when someone says something nice to you, you're like, 'Ahh, okay!' It lifts you up from the inside out."

For Lucy, there is a huge feeling of empowerment from being on the platform. "I've got a number of girlfriends who are not traditionally beautiful. They're bigger girls; they've been teased in the past for being unattractive. And it is just so kick-ass and empowering to see these girls earning six figures with their looks because they have the confidence.

"There are girls [on the platform] that are traditionally beautiful, that are earning good money. But it is absolutely not a prerequisite at all. I love seeing the girls that have been bullied all their life take back their power, and turn it into earning all this money for themselves. It's the ultimate girl power move, I think.

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"Quite often people say, what are you teaching young girls these days? I really feel the OnlyFans community is showing a message that you know, like f**k the traditional beauty standards. I wanna be an OnlyFans model and I did it and so did all these other girls. But it translates to real life as well. Like if you want to be a mechanic and you're a female, you go do that. It's bucking trends, which I love. I love to see it."

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Lucy says that 10 or even five years ago, the typical beauty standard was a defined look. There was no room for big women, women with 'flaws' or women with disabilities. But OnlyFans is helping to change that.

"The world is finally, slowly accepting women for being whoever the hell they want to be. We still have a long way to go, but the shift is happening. I have had kids, and I used to be so self-conscious about my flabby belly; but the huge majority of comments I get about my stomach are telling me how beautiful it is and how attractive my natural body is," she says.

"I had this really good conversation with my sister the other day. She said, 'As if you would have believed this was what your life would look like three years ago'. I was like, 'I know! It's honestly everything I've ever dreamed of'. 

"And yeah, I mean, there's definitely people out there that don't like me, and don't like my decision. There's this stigma that comes with it, like 'You've got no self respect', or 'What will your kids think?' You know what - we're good. It's worth it to me.

"Thank goodness I didn't go live my life according to what other people wanted me to do. As the quote says, 'You could be the juiciest peach but there are still people that don't like peaches'."

For the most part, friends and family have been supportive of Lucy and it is something she is very grateful for.

"I'm out, I guess you would say, of the sex worker closet," she says with a laugh. "Most people were really supportive. There were definitely some people in my family that weren't thrilled about it. But I think once they realised how happy I am, and they could see how much my children benefited from it... they're in private schools, I bought a house, and I'm just available for them all the time.

"Anyone that did sort of disapprove of it has now come around to be like, 'Yeah, you've actually done a really good job. This was a really good choice'. I always say that anyone who has something bad to say is either because they don't understand it or they're jealous. There's no other reason. No one could give me another reason why someone would disapprove of it, because it just comes down to those two things.

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"As I've said, the stigma is very real. The stigma is huge. And we all face discrimination. However, I think it's important to have these conversations, and every time it's spoken about that stigma reduces bit by bit, and people realise that we're just normal people."

Despite being one of OnlyFans' biggest advocates, Lucy understands why people might think negatively of the platform and the people on it. 

"I think about myself back then - three years ago - and I just feel so sorry for that girl. I had all these great things ahead of me and I had no idea. It's so different now. I'd never even been to a strip club. I was really, really prudish. I never did anything out of the ordinary," she tells Mamamia.

"So it was such a huge backflip for me. And I definitely was one of those people that would have been judgmental if I didn't know about the industry. So it's very humbling for me to come from that, and to now be doing it. I hope that people can be a little bit more open-minded."

Feature Image: Supplied.

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