A woman has described how she gets paid a fortune by men to act out their sexual fantasies – and does it all on her own terms.
Dannii Harwood – who once sang in the same choir as Welsh singing sensation Katherine Jenkins – has a huge network of followers, and has revealed some of the more unusual requests she receives.
Speaking to Wales Online , she said she explores different fetishes every day, and men are happy to pay.
But it has made for some awkward encounters when punters recognise her.
On OnlyFans, a website where subscribers pay for content described as “ Instagram without the PG-13 rating”, she has around 1,000 subscribers, each of them paying $12.99 a month.
On top of that, they can request and pay for specific content. The fee goes up depending on how unusual or creative the request gets.
But it doesn’t necessarily follow that more money means more explicit.
“I had an unusual request the other day,” says Dannii.
“A guy had this fetish for the parting in your hair and he wanted me to film a one-minute video of me sliding my fingers through my hair after having it blow-dried — fully-clothed, no naughty talk, just literally looking up, saying his name and running my fingers through my hair.
“He paid $150 for that. People pay a lot of money for things they can’t find for free on the internet.”
It does, of course, get more sexual than that. But it’s this sort of personalised content where she makes the most money. Just this morning, someone tipped her $500.
“My page is not about explicitness. I do go to nude, I do show, but that’s not what sells the most,” she says.
“If people want to see hardcore pornography, they just go on the internet and they’d get that for free. That’s not what my page is about.
“My page is about interaction, personalising my content to suit each guy, offering so much different stuff like games and fetishes that it appeals to a lot of people. I try to keep it tasteful, even though I show my body.”
Dannii is prolific on her OnlyFans page, as well as on her Instagram and Twitter pages, which have more than 200,000 followers each and serve as her only means of marketing the website where she actually makes her money.
She uploads around 20 pictures and a short video every day, and every other day will post a longer, more revealing video, something like a a striptease to full nude. She does theme days, and days where she’ll explore a different fetish.
One of her most popular days is Tuesday’s Dare Dannii, where men submit “dares” and she chooses around three to carry out.
One involved her answering the door completely naked to a pizza delivery guy (“the pizza guy didn’t see me naked — I was standing behind the door!” she says).
Another man wanted her to film herself dressing and undressing as many times as she could in the changing rooms of River Island. In another dare, she drove around town in her white Maserati wearing only underwear.
It takes up all of her time.
“The only time I’m not on my page is if I’m asleep or I’m shooting content,” she says.
And it pays extraordinarily well.
She made $52,760 (around £40,000) in November and, half way through February, had already made $30,000 (£22,500). As the content creator, she takes 80% of what she makes, while 20% goes to OnlyFans.
It’s a level of income she never dreamed of when she helped set the website up in 2016, when a friend approached her with the idea, saying he needed her help.
She agreed to set up a page (she was either the first or second person to have one) and made $257 in her first month.
She agreed to spread the word, which she did by telling her then-colleagues at Babestation, the adult TV chat channel, and by posting on Twitter and Instagram.
And spread it has. Possibly the most popular OnlyFans personality is Jem Wolfie, from Australia, who has around 10,000 subscribers paying $10 a month to see her pose in bikinis or squatting in tight leggings.
Another is Chanel Santini, a 21-year-old from New Mexico who, according to the New York Times, got thrown out of her house after coming out as transgender when she was a teenager.
She started doing porn, then escorting, to make ends meet, dealing with threats of violence along the way. When OnlyFans came along, she signed up, going from shooting porn scenes for $400 a time to making $8,000 a month from subscribers.
Porn and escorting are two things Dannii says she would never consider.
“I’ve never been personally exploited, I’ve always felt very much in control my whole career,” she says.
“However, I have come across lots of girls who’ve been underpaid for work they’ve felt obligated to take on. I’ve never, ever gone into escort work, it’s something I wouldn’t do.
“That’s too far for me, though I don’t judge anybody that does it. I’ve never needed to. And OnlyFans has been a way to give the girls who felt they had no other option to make more money.”
Dannii grew up in Neath. Her dad is a forklift driver and her mum worked for the DVLA before she retired recently. She went to Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School and sang in the St David’s Church choir, standing next to Katherine Jenkins.
She was bullied quite badly in school, the result, she thinks, of being “a bit of a swot” who loved school and would never misbehave, instead devoting her time to dancing, talent shows and performing in pantomimes in the local theatre when they came around. At 16, she got a scholarship to Laine Theatre Arts, an independent performing arts college in Surrey.
She finished college when she was 19 and started trying to get work as a professional dancer, going to audition after audition in London while doing various jobs including cleaning and teaching dance on the side.
“I really wanted to break into the West End, that was my dream,” she says.
“I tried it for two or three years and it was getting so expensive and taking a whole day. I remember walking around London with my A-Z and Tube map.”
She got to the final stage of auditions for We Will Rock You, the Queen musical, with Brian May on the judging panel.
“It was a dancing role but they asked us to sing,” she says. “I can sing in tune but I’m no way a West End singer and I didn’t get the job and that hit me like a tonne of bricks because I thought I was going to make it and get the job. But I didn’t get it and I thought ‘You know what, I give up’. I had tried and it just wasn’t working.”
It was at this point that her journey into the glamour and adult industry began. Changing her focus to acting and other areas of the performing arts, she got some cards made that she could hand out at any future auditions. She needed a photo to include on them and booked a shoot.
The photographer told her she had a “really great glamour look” and asked if he could put the pictures forward for modelling work. Then she started getting job offers.
“The first job offer I got was a test shoot for Page 3 for The Sun, which I didn’t want to do because I didn’t want to get my boobs out,” she says.
“I was really quite shy back then.”
She started getting promotional work, did hosiery modelling for Marks and Spencer, a TV advert for Sky Sports and ended up as the face of the Golden Tee arcade golf machine.
When models like Katie Price and magazines like Maxim, Zoo and Nuts were at their height, she won an “implied nude” competition in one of them after an ex-boyfriend sent her pictures in. The job offers for Page 3 became more frequent and eventually she went for it, appearing first in the Daily Sport, where she then appeared virtually every day for months, getting £120 for each photo shoot.
But she hadn’t told her parents. In fact, her dad found out when he went into work at the factory one day and saw a topless picture of his daughter stuck to his locker.
“They knew I was doing promotional work but I hadn’t told them about the topless work,” she says.
“I think my dad was pretty embarrassed to be fair. I’m his daughter. I don’t think any parent wants to see their child with their boobs out on page 3 of a newspaper, particularly a father.
“It was a shock for him. I wasn’t a rebellious child, I was a very well brought-up child and I did well at school so there were no signs or hints to my dad that I might start rebelling and do something crazy.
“I felt bad. I don’t regret it now but back then I wished that I had either told him first or at least used a different name so it was a bit less in your face for my dad.
“In the beginning we wouldn’t really speak about my work — it’s not really appropriate — but as time went on and I was doing more serious work, getting contracts, buying a car and a house and becoming more successful, he became more and more proud and doesn’t hide it.
“My mum spent most of her adult life running me around from dance class to gymnastics to acrobatics to singing, drama, piano.
“And I suppose I felt really guilty that I didn’t then go on to become that dancer that she so wanted me to be. And there were friends who stopped talking to me and went a little bit funny with my parents because of my work and it was a little bit awkward.
“It’s different now because I’ve been doing it so long and my mum’s really proud of how well I’ve done but at the time we didn’t really discuss it. It was avoided.”
After the newspaper and magazine work, she worked on a couple of “more fetish-based” websites and non-adult daytime chat channels before starting a night-time “Dom Dannii Show”, where “I could be in the night-time but not expose my body as much — I’d be completely covered up but be a mistress on TV”.
The first show of its type on TV, it was very popular for a time, before closing down. Dannii moved to Playboy TV in 2008 and toured Europe as a Playboy Bunny, before moving to Babestation, which is now probably the best-known channel of its kind in the UK. Viewers pay to be able to call and speak to the girls they can see on the TV. The later in the day, the fewer clothes they have on.
She left Babestation in October to concentrate on OnlyFans, which has been described as having “changed sex work forever” by putting adult entertainment in the hands of the people featuring in it.
“In the adult industry it’s a really good way to customise content to whatever the subscriber wants — he will ask me for it, I can put my price on it,” says Dannii, who offers a VIP badge to her most active subscribers. It’s these men who spend the most money and to whom she speaks most and knows best. VIP membership means they get a free phone call once a month, and maybe a picture as a thank you.
“Being able to contact me is free, as part of my subscription. I’m in direct contact with these guys on a daily basis,” she says.
“If they were then to request a picture of my feet or a fetish or something a little more explicit than I’d usually show on my main page then I’d attach a price to that or ask them how much they’d be prepared to pay.”
Although she says it’s rare, occasionally someone crosses the line, including last week when a subscriber sent her a message telling her he couldn’t stop looking at her page and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
“I was honest and I said ‘I’m really flattered you feel that way but you’ve never met me, it’s lust, not love and you can’t lose sight of what this is. You’re never going to meet me or have a relationship with me’. If anyone does go like that I will put them right straight away.”
Does that worry her?
“Yeah, sometimes,” she says. “But I would get more incidents like that when I was working on the channels. I haven’t experienced anything I’ve been overly concerned about on OnlyFans yet.
“There might be something in the future and it has happened with other girls I know where some guys get too attached. But I’ve been in the industry for quite a long time and I’m clear with the guys and I’ve never had any major problems.”
There are also incidents where she’s recognised while going about her day, which are less sinister but can be awkward.
“I was having a coffee the other day and this guy came up to me, with his girlfriend, and he was asking me ‘Where do I know you from?’ And I was thinking ‘It’s going to come to you any minute and you’re just going to shut up and walk off’.
“You can see people thinking ‘I know you from somewhere’ and then they realise and their expression changes.”
After getting her shoot done for Mistress Monday, Dannii is packing to head off to Jamaica for a trip that will be part-holiday, part-work.
She’s taking the person who takes most of her photos, and paying for her. It’s an extraordinary lifestyle for someone making her living on a website that’s not even close to being a household name, nowhere near the level of Instagram, YouTube or even pornography websites like PornHub.
“I pinch myself on a daily basis,” she says.
“Never in a million years did I think this would be so successful. I thought I’d have a few years left on the Babe channels and fizzle out and retire.
“I cleaned houses and pub toilets to fund auditions, earning £3.50 an hour. And I went from that to earning this money. It’s all new to me and I’m still trying to adjust to it.”