By Evi Tsakali,
It may be rhetorically banal, but I will begin with a question dear reader; what would you do to help your country in times of crisis? If you instinctively responded “anything” (unless you are here because you read the title that you found intriguing and see where this is getting at) allow me the follow up; would you really do anything? To what extent would you provide for a good cause? If you have reached this point remaining positive, let me introduce you to Teronlyfans, the Ukrainian erotic content platform (less daring than its source of inspiration, OnlyFans) whose proceeds go to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to relocation efforts of Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons.
The idea of such a platform was born in the minds of two young women; the Ukrainian artist Anastasia Kuchmenko and Belarussian Nastya Nasko with a background in IT and marketing, both in their twenties. Nasko cannot return to Belarus since, as a traitor to the regime, she could face imprisonment, or even the death penalty, and had thus been living in Ukraine until the war broke out. Then, the co-founders fled to Poland. The name of the platform is composed of two words: Teroborona (the more or less vigilante Territorial Defense of Ukraine that was established roughly one month before the Russian invasion, with the participation of reservists and volunteers from Ukraine and abroad) and -as mentioned before- the name of the platform OnlyFans.
Its creators view it as a tribute to the courage of all defenders, as a movement, as Nasko characterized it when she stated that they founded it “on the edge of a joke and desperation”. Initially, the co-founders posted only their own photos, however -as the platform gained in popularity- many people saw it as a way to contribute in funding the Ukrainian forces and humanitarian aid for the displaced, even if they do not have the financial means. What started on the edge of a joke and desperation led to around 800.000 euros in donations. In fact, the incident that kickstarted the idea of a Territorial Defence OnlyFans-like platform started when someone urgently needed a vehicle in order to flee Kharkiv. Nasko posted about it on Twitter/X. The post got many likes, some retweets even, but no one actually did something about that. Desperate, she jokingly posted that she would send a nude to whomever helped them find a car; a car was found literally five minutes later.
The aforementioned revealed the flaws in digital humanitarian activism (slacktivism); we have idolized our likes and shares for the sake of raising awareness; an awareness that almost never leads to concrete actions. Besides, that anecdote serves as a response to those who disregard the platform’s contribution by deeming its practices immoral. When there is a certain demand in a market you cannot blame the supply; it would be hypocritical to criticize what they do (and for a good cause) when this is who we are…and simply put, nudes had never been so useful.
Saving Ukraine with nudes: Ukrainians raise $700,000 for military selling erotic photos. kyivindependent.com. Available here
- About Teronlyfans. teronlyfans.com. Available here