"My conservative parents don't know, no."
It's halfway through our interview when OnlyFans creator Nick, better known as Comfydaddy, casually drops the bomb that his family isn't exactly up to date on his career choice.
The Australia-based Singaporean, who used to work in marketing, puts the bread on the table with the explicit photos and videos he uploads to the subscription platform on a daily basis.
But the 38-year-old is sanguine about the prospect of his parents finding out from this article.
"I am not the model child. But I am very certain that my parents are loving parents.
"And so it will just be another thing that they will find objectionable but have no control over."
The other people in his life, though, find it hilarious, Nick adds. "Or they're interested when they hear how much I'm making."
It's no secret that some OnlyFans creators are rolling in the dough — actress Bella Thorne famously made US$1 million (S$1.3 million) in her first 24 hours on the platform.
While Nick, who started his OnlyFans account during Australia's Covid-19 lockdown, hasn't seen Bella Thorne-esque numbers just yet, he shares that he makes a respectable US$3,000 to US$4,000 each month.
With his OnlyFans takings, he's currently enjoying a break from the corporate world, while saving up to buy a home in Melbourne, where he's been living for the past 15 years.
As with any content sharing platform, the challenge is to stand out among the crowd, and Nick admits he's fortunate to have started out with a TikTok following that carried over to his OnlyFans.
"I know of people who I consider to be more attractive than me, and who I think are more in line with the stereotypical beauty standard in Australia, which is like, white and tall and muscular. And they don't find the same success.
"Sometimes it just baffles me. And so I feel lucky."
Despite the modesty, the pierced and tatted man is far from hideous. In fact, he's the perfect picture of rugged masculinity, save for his often brightly-painted nails.
While Nick's comfortable in his own skin now, and has no qualms about baring it all online, he confesses that this wasn't always the case.
Growing up queer in Singapore was a big factor affecting his confidence, says Nick, who identifies as pansexual.
"You know, people don't really know how to express that they find you attractive. Singaporeans can be quite shy, or don't want to be too pushy.
"You're always trying to guess whether people are queer. I like this person, do they like me back, are they even queer to begin with?"
This left him feeling awkward and undesirable for a large chunk of his younger days, he says.
Feeling stifled by how conservative things were here, Nick chose to go to university and put down roots in Australia.
There, he found community and acceptance.
"I reached this point now where I feel incredibly connected to my surroundings and everything. And so the next step is learning how to be happy and love the body that I'm in."
And so he started off posting shirtless thirst traps on social media, and giving his followers "consent to objectify" him, as he puts it.
"You're trying to elicit a positive response with your appearance, it makes you feel good and boosts your ego."
With all the positive responses he was getting, Nick's confidence began to grow, and he realised that there was a niche for him online. With that realisation came the idea to monetise his content.
While some creators go all out with professional photography and sets, Nick tells us that he's more about amateur-style content shot directly on his phone.
"You're just not seeing a photoshoot, but it's almost like you're getting a nude from somebody that you're interested in."
Call it playing into the boyfriend fantasy, or simply knowing his audience, but Nick says he makes a conscious effort to put out content that feels like personal text exchanges.
And it seems that his subscribers are lapping up the sweaty mirror selfies.
Referencing the boy band fever of the 2000s, Nick tells us that he sees some parallels.
"You don't want to know that they're actually real people, you just want to imagine that they are people that are there for you.
"And the moment you realise that they've got a girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever, you stop being as interested in them."
It's for this reason that he posits that his videos of him having sex with other creators typically don't do as well as his individual nudes.
With the boyfriend fantasy, though, comes challenges in maintaining healthy boundaries with his subscribers.
"It is hard. I don't want to lead anybody on, and there are so many followers and only one of me," Nick says.
On OnlyFans, subscribers and creators can exchange private messages, and because money makes the world go around, leaving the creator a tip pushes the message chain to the top of their inbox.
Nick admits that he does get overwhelmed with messages on the platform, and it's a constant struggle between engaging with his subscribers so they don't feel ignored, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Another catch — and the elephant in the room — is the fact that under Singapore's Penal Code distributing "obscene" videos and photos is an offence.
According to associate professor of law Eugene Tan, the Penal Code "generally does not have extra-territorial jurisdiction". However, a Singaporean or foreigner who posted the content overseas could potentially be charged after they enter Singapore.
While that particular situation has yet to play out in local courts, Singaporean Titus Low became the first OnlyFans creator here to be handed a fine and jail term.
The 22-year-old was sentenced in October for publishing nude content and breaching a police order.
Referencing Titus' case, Nick tells us that it's partly the reason why he doesn't advertise his Singaporean identity too much, save for a couple of unintentional viral TikTok videos.
"I'm trying not to wake the sleeping dragon, I guess," he proffers.
He shares that he's also hesitant to encourage his Singapore-based followers to follow in his footsteps.
If you're located elsewhere, though, and not in a position where starting on OnlyFans would be career suicide, Nick's advice is to just jump into it — don't bother sweating the small stuff like achieving the perfect body first.
"Don't feel like you need to have everything lined up," he says.
"And what happens if nobody follows you? A tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it. Nobody will know if you failed."
No part of this story or photos can be reproduced without permission from AsiaOne.