Healthcare worker quits front line for OnlyFans after pitiful 1% pay rise

Healthcare worker quits front line for OnlyFans after pitiful 1% pay rise

James Cowe, a 23-year-old gay man, is probably shirtless as you read this.

He’s shirtless a lot. Almost all the time, actually. His tortoiseshell glasses and Apple AirPods often the closest thing to clothing he has on these days.

But on a recent Thursday, Cowe decided to get dressed.

He threw on a dark patchwork print shirt, angled his arm firmly in front of himself – making sure the light was just right – and recorded a TikTok video telling British prime minister Boris Johnson that he’s an “online whore” now.

@jambocowe##gay ##gayuk ##lgbt ##lgbtq ##loveislove♬ original sound – JamboCowe

Cowe had just quit his six-year-long job as a healthcare assistant to pursue OnlyFans full-time. No wonder, he told PinkNews, after the year he’s had.

“With the pressure from the coronavirus pandemic causing all healthcare industries huge amounts of strain, I felt unappreciated and actually insulted,” he said of the government’s proposed one per cent pay rise to nurses next year.

“I am extremely grateful to OnlyFans as I feel this is potentially the start of a life-changing experience. After struggling with such low pay in healthcare, the future is now looking much brighter.”

The future is certainly looking pretty bright for Cowe – even brighter than his teeth, in fact – as in just 22 days on OnlyFans, he made his once annual salary and then some.

Ex-healthcare worker earns more money in three days on OnlyFans than he did in a month

For James Cowe, healthcare always seemed like an inevitable career – his family’s business is a private home for dementia care.

Cowe grew up in Bournemouth, a coastal town in southern England. Flip through any brochure, and the colour blue is everywhere – in the sky, in the shores, even in the pamphlet’s font.

You’ll also find the colour blue in Cowe. His eyes, for starters, but also in his scrubs, which he once wore almost every day as he worked as a healthcare assistant since he was a teenager.

“I started working in healthcare when I was 18-years-old, originally for the family business which was a private home for dementia care where I worked as a healthcare assistant,” he explained.

“I worked there for two years before moving on to work for another private home that cared for advanced dementia and specialised in end of life care for the elderly.

“Working as a healthcare assistant in this industry is extremely rewarding at times but also comes with very high pressure and responsibility.

“I worked a total of six years in the healthcare industry and I found the workload to be increasingly demanding and exhausting for very little pay at the end of the month.”

So Cowe decided to take his top off.

He joined OnlyFans, a subscription platform where users pay for content. It’s popular among both amateur and professional adult entertainers for posting explicit content on their own terms.

“Starting OnlyFans is by far one of the best decisions I have made in my career to date,” Cowe crowed.

“I originally studied social media at Bournemouth and Poole College, which I’ve always had a passion for.

“Over the past year, I have spent hours building and creating content for my Instagram account and always liked the idea of becoming a full-time influencer.”

Charging $11.99 for a monthly subscription, Cowe said that he made more money in just three days on the platform than he once did in a month as a healthcare assistant.

He now has nearly 7,000 OnlyFans followers – placing him among the top 0.7 per cent of creators – and posts new content daily. It’s his job, after all.

With the pandemic gnawing on normality, many of us have gone fully digital. We call pals over webcams, order groceries through websites and explore our sexualities in chatrooms and social media more than ever before.

From men with very, very, very above-average penises to Teen Wolf celebs, to Cowe, it seemed like everyone was joining OnlyFans.

And they have. In the first month of the pandemic in March 2020, OnlyFans reported a 75 per cent boom in overall new sign-ups, which amounts to 3.7 million new users.

This increasingly crowded OnlyFans market seemed intimidating at first for Cowe, he said.

“The influencer industry is extremely competitive and I originally struggled to find a way to market myself, knowing I was reaching a large audience, but unsure on what to sell this audience,” Cowe admitted.


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“I noticed celebrities and other influencers were promoting their OnlyFans, so I decided to do some research.

“After discovering OnlyFans, I realised this is something I could do comfortably as I have a very supportive family.

“I made over a year’s salary in 22 days by OnlyFans.”

As much as your family knowing you have OnlyFans is the stuff of nightmares for some, Cowe wasn’t concerned about his in the slightest.

“My family have been extremely supportive which I am grateful for, and they insist as long as I am happy that they are too,” he explained.

His followers have also been fully supportive of his career swap. But with it being the internet and all, Cowe said not all reaction to him going OnlyFans full-time was positive.

“I have had mixed opinions from some of my followers and received some death threats,” he said.

“But I am able to cope with these as I am used to receiving these types of messages and feel I have grown a thick skin.”