New online platforms are turning everyday men into paid-for self-made porn stars, or ‘personalities’ – as former Project Runway model turned OnlyFans star, Jack Mackenroth, 49, calls them.
‘Instafamous’ gay and bisexual men, with tens of thousands of followers, are turning to platforms like the infamous OnlyFans and new competitor, JustFor.Fans, to monetize their PG-rated Instagram fame – by selling a subscription to their X-rated lives.
The HIV positive activist, and face behind the #WeAreAllClean campaign that stormed Instagram in 2015, spoke to GSN exclusively. He describes his behind the scenes life as a paid-for porn personality.
He explains he’s not who he has you believe in front of the cameras.
We spoke candidly about the mental health of the stars and consumers, PrEP and being undetectable, invisible safer sex, hypersexualisation, the financial lure and personal sacrifice.
Hi Jack! Briefly, could you tell me in your own words what OnlyFans/JustFor.Fans is?
They’re subscription sites. Anyone can subscribe to their favorite porn star, or internet personality, and receive a private feed of content anywhere between PG13 and X-rated.
It’s guys flexing, jerking off, and people like me who’ve chosen to go balls to the wall and do full on porn – which I charge $14.99 a month for.
How long have you been using OnlyFans and why did you join?
I started in January this year. Fans have always called for me to do porn, as I’ve always been sex-positive and naked on Instagram. But I really have no interest in studio porn. Then OnlyFans came out. I told my Instagram fans once I reach 100,000 followers I’ll do it.
The money is really incredible. I’m going to nursing school in the fall, so this is a means to an end for me. I charge the cost of three lattes at Starbucks a month, but people are so demanding; there’s no way I can have sex and film something everyday!
I have absolutely zero interest in being a porn personality and more notorious than I already am. But as it’s going to happen anyway, I’m interested in the money.
How much money could an OnlyFans model make in a month?
It’s several thousand dollars a month. I know people in the porn industry who have all of this content and they’re just churning it out to upwards of 5,000 fans making $40,000 a month. It’s a shit tonne of money for not sitting in a office cubicle.
OnlyFans: ‘It’s sex, it’s real, but of course you’re conscious of the cameras and phones’
OnlyFans only takes a 20% cut of the subscription fee, so if you figure I charge $14.99 a month and have close to 800 fans – you can do the math.
How much work do you put into creating content each week?
On an average week, I spend 20 hours a week doing OnlyFans related stuff.
What videos have you made that have gone outside of your usual comfort zone? There’s a six-way video on your profile, that must of been intense.
So first I did a three-way, and then I did a four-way. And then some gay porn stars invited me to join this six-way. I have no interest in group sex, I’d rather be, as an older guy, in a monogamous or semi-monogamous relationship, but it was still fun.
It’s sex, it’s real. But, of course you’re conscious of the cameras and phones, everyone filming and making themselves look good, filming the cum-shot. I wasn’t completely relaxed so even though they’re great guys, I wouldn’t do it again.
One of the videos features a trans guy. Was this your first trans sexual experience?
I’d never done it before [had sex with a trans man] and I was always really intrigued.
I’d filmed a scene with a friend of his who hooked us up when he came to LA. It was really amazing and I had a great time. He is a porn personality so it wasn’t a big deal for him.
‘If you’re undetectable, which I am, there’s no chance of transmitting HIV’
We actually planned on doing something off-camera but our schedules didn’t work out; I’m sure I’ll hang out with him again.
As a HIV activist, do you use the platform to educate?
I’ve been positive since 1989. Today, it’s a proven fact if you’re undetectable, which I am, there’s no chance of transmitting HIV.
When I started I didn’t think about it. The porn community is really well versed; most porn guys, if they’re negative, are on PrEP and if they’re positive, they’re undetectable.
However, when I started shooting scenes, some guy would tell me about people writing on their feed saying: ‘Oh, he’s famously positive – I hope you protected yourself’.
A lot of ignorances popped up. I have little chats with people and say: ‘If this happens, here’s a website you can send them to help teach them.’
It’s been a tool to educate people about PrEP and being undetectable. I didn’t go into this thinking ‘oh, this is going to be another advocacy platform’, but it follows me wherever I go.
Do you think it’s important porn models practice visible safer sex, like condoms, to promote their use in the fight against rising STD infections?
I have friends who work in the health department here [in NYC] and I know STIs are a huge problem. But they actually always have been. Going into some of the early PrEP studies, a third of the subjects already had other STIs.
I’m not anti-condom. I just think that we have to be realistic. Even before PrEP, people weren’t using condoms as an option all the time anyway. I don’t think it’s the porn community’s responsibility to wear condoms.
I think the more important message is: you can have sex without condoms and protect yourself.
Jack Mackenroth: ‘not using condoms is powerful’
Everyone I know, myself included, gets checked for other STIs every three months. We [fellow stars] have those conversations and opt out if we’re under treatment for something.
Condoms are not part of my usual regime. I have been positive for so long that I used to sero-sort and only have sex with positive guys. But in the last five years or so – with PrEP – everything’s changed.
In a weird way, the visibility of [negative] people on PrEP having sex with someone who is openly HIV positive and undetectable is educating. Not using condoms is powerful. It says we’re having protected sex without anyone being able to see it.
Do you think OnlyFans is turning ‘Instafamous’ gay men into ready made porn stars?
I’m a prime example of someone where it [making porn] was never in my lexicon at all, but then the allure of how much money you can make I think, for sure, has [made it] now.
‘Am I possibly pushing away a potential soulmate…?’
Some guys, who were not even porn-adjacent, but have massive followings [on Instagram] they can’t monetize, came to OnlyFans. It caught on like wildfire because, for example, if you only have 100 subscribers and you’re charging $10 a month, you’re getting $800 a month.
But, if I were 30 and still had a whole career ahead of me, I wouldn’t do what I’m doing.
Is there a danger stars’ mental health could suffer constantly under pressure to produce themselves?
There is an intrinsic danger to mental health, especially in an industry so stigmatized.
I’m lucky I came into this version of Jack Mackenorth later in life and I was already quite self-confident. I’m very clear this is a brand and a means to an end. I don’t internalize it beyond that, I’ve developed a bit of a “fuck it” attitude. Other people’s negative opinions don’t bother me. That being said—it is a game of fans liking you and staying engaged, but I try not to take that personally.
It’s like any job. Some people will like your work, others may not.
I do think there is more of a risk with younger guys who might put more of their self worth in their success on these platforms.
Do you think your real self suffers under the hypersexualised produced version of Jack Mackenroth?
There’s a piece of me that thinks: ‘Yeah, If I was making this much money with this little effort doing something non-sexual, I’d prefer it.’
My outward facing brand is not very true to my real personality and my real life. It seems very sexy. But actually my life’s not very exciting and I usually am in bed by 10pm watching Netflix with my dog. I’d like nothing more than a solid relationship, but ironically I’m packaging myself to push that away.
I’m hypersexualising Jack Mackenroth even more by having sex on camera. It was a question of weighing the positives and negatives: Am I possibly pushing away a potential soulmate that doesn’t think it’s cool? Yeah possibly. But, eventually I’ll have a nursing degree and this will be in the past.
Do you think consumers struggle to meet the standards set by your hypersexuality and experience issues around their own image?
I’ve never really thought about that. I just do me.
I realise that people come in all different shapes and sizes. That’s why I went out of my way to have sex with a trans guy.
We all think we don’t measure up because there’s people out there with 11-inch cocks who are just throwing all this stuff out there; it’s not just in porn, its in life.
What is the future for Jack Mackenroth on and off Only Fans/JustFor.Fans?
After my nursing degree I want to disappear from public consumption, for the most part.
I started modelling when I was 20, pre-digital, and now, at 49, I’m done. If there was no money involved now I would go off into the sunset and just be a nurse.
With JustFor.Fans, I’m going to stick to more intimate, personal stuff. In my real sexual life I’m very adventurous. There’s a bunch of people I’ve contacted I want to work with. I’ll keep doing one-on-one’s, maybe a three-way here and there.
So many guys are migrating to JustFor.Fans now, but still keeping their OnlyFans accounts – so keep a look out for new content on both.
By the way, I welcome requests too. I do personal videos, for example for one guy who was really into feet – so I did stuff with my feet.
Gay Star News encourages readers to educate themselves on the latest findings in HIV research, including undetectable=untransmittable, and sexual health and to consult a practitioner before taking part in any sexual activity deemed ‘risky’ by the health service in their respective countries.