Emma Rouge, using her new red Japanese bicycle, arrived in our meeting place with a big smile. She’s happy that she finally got to ride her bicycle after getting the needed upgrades and her accessories, most especially the gorgeous Wald Basket — it was her first bike ride with her new bicycle.
She bikes because this lady finds cycling pleasurable, though she admits that it’s not fun biking in Metro Manila’s busy roads because many motorists tend to be rude and disrespectful with bikes.
Aside from enjoying it, Emma added that she likes to see photos and videos of her riding a bike. She’s a content creator and she told us that OnlyFans funded her bicycles.
“Honestly, I like doing more shoots with it. Kaya ako nagpalit from road bike to this city bike kasi mas cute talaga siya i-shoot,” she said. “And I need a lot of shoots kasi may OnlyFans ako. Kailangan ko magshoot nang mag-shoot ng photos and videos.”
(Honestly, I like doing more shoots with it. That’s why I switched from a road bike to this city bike because it’s cute. And I need a lot of shoots because I have OnlyFans. I need to shoot many photos and videos.)
Another reason for abandoning the road bike is that it’s too big for Emma and it hits her body when she dismounts.
The Japanese bike that she’s using now was bought after she sold her road bike — but it was in bad shape. That’s why she and her boyfriend Brian had to change all the parts except for the red frame because Emma fell in love with it.
All of these upgrades came from her earnings as a content creator for OnlyFans. Well, her first two road bikes were also bought using the money that she got from this platform.
OnlyFans is a subscription-based website that’s known for explicit content. However, artists who sign up on this platform don’t necessarily have to be naked or do “all the way” posts. Popular celebrities who signed up here are Filipino global influencer Bretman Rock, singer Chris Brown, rapper Cardi B and actress Bella Thorne.
“You think of Instagram but people pay to see your photos. And mostly, mas kilala ‘yung OnlyFans for explicit photos and videos,” Emma said. “Pero pwede kahit sino mag-OnlyFans. Kahit anong content mo. Kung gusto mo magturo ng kanta, ng Math, or whatever.”
(And mostly, OnlyFans is known for explicit photos and videos. But anyone doing any content can sign up. If you want to teach singing or math or whatever.)
If you go to OnlyFans, you can be a fan or you can be a content creator. For Emma, she signed up to be the latter because she needed the money.
Before the pandemic hit us, she was doing well as a model. However, when most work in the photography industry was halted, she was practically jobless with bills to pay.
“I just post para lang talaga kumita ng pera. Kasi before, I didn’t want to do this. Gusto ko lang mag-shoot. Before, kinakaya naman ng shoots ko alone ‘yung bills ko. Ayun talaga ‘yung purpose ng OnlyFans para sa akin, para kumita talaga,” she told us.
(I just post so I can earn money. I didn’t want to do this before. I just want to shoot. I can pay my bills with those shoots alone. The purpose of OnlyFans for me is to earn money.)
Emma considers herself as a sex worker and admits that it’s not easy. For example, it’s not that quick to gain subscribers to her content and pay. It’s slow during the beginning, she told us.
She added that mental stability is much needed for those who’d like to take on the same work — she recalled that she would sometimes cry and question herself. Emma is just lucky that she has a good support system which includes her family.
Just like her new career, Emma took on cycling as an activity during this pandemic. Since she managed to save extra from doing content for OnlyFans, she thought of using it in getting a road bike.
Most of her rides are just around places near her house but the longest that she had biked was a 64-kilometer trip from Quezon City to Las Piñas. Basically, she’s just working at home most of the time so it’s nice to be outdoors from time to time.
When we asked her if she goes out to meet her fans, she immediately replied “no.” This lady likes that she’s doing work virtually where she can take control of her actions.
“Kapag virtual, I can show you everything but you can’t touch me. And lahat ng gagawin ko, gusto ko and may consent ko,” she said.
(If it’s virtual, I can show you everything but you can’t touch me. All of the things that I will do are things that I like and with my consent.)
With all the notions connected with her work, Emma actually feels that OnlyFans is less toxic than other popular social media platforms. She told us that she gets a lot of hate and judgy messages daily. It’s as if these people are giving her money for her to survive and pay her expenses.
“I got my bike from OnlyFans money. Basically everything that I buy,” she said.
We believe that people should not be self-righteous and that kindness is very basic. Rude words can hurt people. Emma added, “Hindi ako nao-offend, masyadong mataas yung tolerance ko. Although ina-advocate ko na sex workers are still human.
However, Emma believes that her work in subscription-based websites like OnlyFans is not forever. The number of fans would wane and since she believes that it would be hard for her to find a job, our awesome cyclist here is saving money for an investment or a future business.