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I’m a feminist on OnlyFans: my body, my choice

Fair skinned woman in red lingerie and heels and white shirt lying seductively on ground on her back
Trudi Pavlovsky, image supplied

I am a feminist and I am proud to announce that to the world. I’m also an artistic nude, and a fashion, fitness, activewear, and fantasy model with an OnlyFans profile.

If you think the two – my deeply held feminist values, and my lifestyle choices – can’t coexist or feel confusing, I beg to differ. Honestly, how can I proclaim that I’m a feminist, supporting the rights of women to do, say, and behave as they please, without also believing wholeheartedly that it is also OK for my naked body to be viewed online, on my Only Fans profile?

Feminism is about women’s rights to choose, to be equal, and to have autonomy over how they use (and show) their bodies, among other things. And what more perfect an example of this, than a woman who loves herself and respects herself enough to be paid for that very expression?

A poseur from the start?

I have always loved posing in front of the camera. I totally own that! 

Ever since I was a little girl, every time the camera was pulled out, I would put on a smile and strike a pose. Even as a young child, I would create photo stories in my head, directing my long-suffering mum to shoot and catalogue them for me.

My siblings were less than excited to have their pictures taken but I would always smile, swing my dresses around, and excitedly wait to see the resulting pictures. 

This was back in the days of film cameras when you would wait days or even weeks on end for a film to be finished, or pictures to be processed. No digital back then! It’s hard to fathom now.

I would do pretend fashion shows with my barbies and imagine it was me with the amazing dresses being loved and adored by all.

These memories are of the pleasure that came from sharing my joy in who I was and how I could make other people feel in that moment.

As I grew older, I started doing paid modelling work here and there, but mainly it was for fun and as a form of expression. I loved creating images that went beyond ‘smile and pose’. I wanted to create energy and tell stories with my work.

I became a photographic muse at 16.

We constructed images of me in my debutante ball gown in the cemetery, cute pics down by the river, and fashion pics in church bell towers. I loved having modelling as a creative outlet, and the joy and strength that came from using my body to create stories.

I’d always loved to write, and I really felt like modelling was an extension of that. A photo of me won an award at the Melbourne Show! #proudmodelmoment! I even helped guide beginner photographers on how to pose models, demonstrating how particular lights worked best for different types of photography.

I loved it.

Confronting childhood trauma head on

Eventually, I realised I was unable to overcome my fear of fully revealing my body on film. Lingerie was fine. I was great at a sexy pout. But full-frontal nudity was a challenge. 

Having experienced sexual trauma as a child, teenager, and even in my twenties, I knew full well what underpinned my big feelings around nudity: shame, judgement, and fear. With studies suggesting that anywhere from 20-45% of all Australian women having experienced some sort of sexual trauma as children, I’m sure many of you will relate.

Being naked means, ultimately, being vulnerable, so it also means potentially setting yourself up for ridicule (something I learned the hard way when I shared a video showreel once). 

I didn’t start modelling nude until I was 45 

I know, right! Prior to that, I simply lacked the confidence I needed after what I’d experienced growing up. I had felt objectified, and been a target of men’s eyes, for so long that actually showing my skin was a terrifying ordeal.

It was as though I expected to be hurt again (probably quite a natural experience for someone who has experienced trauma of a sexual nature). Opening yourself up – being truly vulnerable – after previous experiences have shown it to be dangerous, sure pushes all your buttons. But I knew there was something for me on the other side of all of that.

So one day, with two male photographers in the room, I simply decided that the past could stay there and that my body was worthy of celebration, and in that moment of liberation, I took off my bra! 

That day was a turning point. Once I did that, I realised that I was now safe and in control of my body and my life, and everything transformed for me.

I remembered who I always was; who I’d always been, and she was an innately feminine, expressive, and cherished woman. 

So, what has OnlyFans got to do with feminism?

Some of you might believe that making my photos available on OnlyFans for people to subscribe to and view is a modern form of prostitution. ‘What a sell-out!’ you may think, ‘You’re just pandering to men’s desires to objectify women’s bodies,’ or ‘What on earth does your partner think?!’

To anyone who thinks or says things like this (and trust me, they do), I say: you’re wrong.

For years, decades, centuries even, men have seen women’s bodies as freely available commodities that they have the power – and right – to use, explore, and view on a whim.

It is an ingrained belief system that shows up in the behaviours of men across cultures and demographics. It’s behaviour that men are socially conditioned to accept from – and even encourage of – other men.  

And while the tide is certainly turning, slowly, slowly, internet dating, for all the joys it brings, can often only exacerbate the problem. How many men have paid for your meal or entertainment, then expected sex in return?

There is still much entitlement felt by men over women’s bodies. As a survivor of sexual abuse and assault by men, I’ve experienced this first hand.

Yes, that’s a generalisation, and mothers of sons may feel defensive. I know you’re raising your sons as best you can. But still, look around and you will see naked and semi-naked women in magazines, their images being used to sell products, draped in jewellery, wet, even headless. In publishing and advertising, women are still often simply reduced to parts for pleasure, rather than being depicted as ‘whole’.

I am a WHOLE woman!

So I’ve reclaimed my body, my whole self, and my childhood love of self-expression through the art of photography, and the beauty of a woman’s body.  My body.

If people want to enjoy that, they can invest. They can invest their time and money, just as I have invested mine to create the images to begin with.

You may or may not agree with this and of course, that’s OK. How I choose to show up in the reclamation of my body, my sensuality, my sexuality, and my experience of how I choose to share my energy and my joy, is mine and mine alone.

And that includes my OnlyFans profile.

I believe it’s tasteful, conversational, and fun, and that is my intention. It’s an expression of joy and mutual respect – and now it’s also an income stream. OnlyFans isn’t selling out. It’s making commercially-savvy decisions and ensuring I enjoy a 100% ROI (return on investment) for my work.  Modelling is physically demanding and time-consuming, and I am worthy of compensation for that!

As for my OnlyFans, it’s not porn. There aren’t any dildos or vibrators. But again, that’s just personal choice. If I change my mind, again, that is my choice, as it is the choice of all women operating OnlyFans profiles. It is liberation, freedom, expression, and income. 

What’s not to love with that in mind?

Curious? Why not take a peek at my OnlyFans profile and see for yourself.

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Championing the voices of midlife women by nurturing connections and leading conversations around the midlife experience.

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