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A woman who uploads saucy content online has said people’s interest in MILFs is growing – but she still faces ageism in the adult entertainment industry.
Elaina St James is a social media influencer and author of How To Date Hot Older Women, a book to help men snag a hot cougar like herself.
In 2021, the 55-year-old skyrocketed in popularity as a 50+ model on social media platforms showcasing her natural curves and bubbly personality.
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With millions of views across Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube, Elaina is a single mum and claims to be the most successful OnlyFans model aged 55 or over.
She decided to join the adult entertainment industry two years ago after seeing an article two years ago about a mum making six figures a month on OnlyFans.
“I had normal ‘regular’ jobs my whole life and was a dedicated single mum. Apart from the occasional date the past decade, I rarely went out. The office job I had was barely enough to pay my bills and offered no future,” she told Daily Star.
“Every day I worried about money and I was resigned to the fact I would never be able to retire unless some opportunity came along.
“Even in my 20s I would never have been comfortable being an exotic dancer or nude modelling but this ‘OnlyFans’ was something I could do from the safety of my home, by myself.”
Elaina thought it sounded too good to be true and was sceptical, so she spent a month researching everything she could on the subject.
At the time, she had zero social media apart from a small Facebook page for close friends and family.
But there was this spark inside of her that was telling her that there was a chance she could make even a tenth of what the woman in the article was.
“I knew that even a fraction would be life-changing money for me and my son. Would anyone want to see a middle-aged midwest mum bod?” Elaina questioned.
“I had done some glamour modelling in my late teens and 20s but mostly just local and for fun. I had no sexy clothes, I hadn't even worn a two-piece swimsuit since becoming a mum, let alone any type of sexy lingerie!
“So I studied, strategised and came up with a stage name and a persona that I hoped could get some attention.”
She first began on Instagram without showing her face and to her surprise, she started gaining followers.
What was an even bigger surprise to her was the fact that most of them were in their 20s.
Within four days of starting on Instagram, Elaina had only two subscribers on OnlyFans.
But two weeks later, she was showing her face and her Instagram and OnlyFans took off.
“It was like a crash course in studying social media and adult modelling as I literally knew next to nothing about either subject,” she explained.
“By the end of April 2021, I had 10,000 Instagram followers and 65 OnlyFans Subscribers.”
Now Elaina has OnlyFans subscribers from all over the world, typically aged 25-40, but some as young as 19.
In her first eight months, she made over six figures and currently makes about £12,000 a month.
She has 236,000 followers on Instagram, 125,000 on Twitter and 191,000 on TikTok. She also claims to be in the top one percent of creators on OnlyFans.
The content that her followers love the most is when she roleplays as a “naughty step mum”.
“The biggest high is achieving the income and the recognition at this stage in my life,” she shared.
“In addition, it's given me the platform to encourage others that they can hold on to hope that even after 50, some opportunity could come along that could change everything in their life for the better.
“It makes me so happy to be a beacon of hope and positivity. My fans tell me every day that I make them smile, that I give off a positive and happy energy and I love entertaining people in this way.”
Elaina enjoys the fact that her career gives her creative control and she is the one who decides what her days look like.
She also loves knowing that her son's financial future is so much better than it was two years ago.
The 54-year-old added: “The lows are the online trolls and the occasional rude subscriber.
“It's also difficult when you are a mum taking care of a household, pets, kid and an ageing mum but still need to look good and radiate that positivity even when life throws you challenges.”
The busy mother thinks that people have always been interested in older women but she thinks the interest is growing.
She puts this down to the fact that people seem to be embracing diversity.
“When I was reaching adulthood in the 80s there was a very narrow interpretation of what was considered beautiful or desirable. Now, in the age of the internet, what is beautiful is a huge spectrum of colours, gender, sizes and shapes,” she said.
“I think age positivity still has a way to go in the media, fashion and in advertising, but it’s come a long way in 30 years.
“Additionally, what a 55-year-old looks like has changed, in part because women are refusing to let themselves go and give up on looking and feeling great.”
That being said, Elaina thinks ageism is still a huge issue, especially in adult entertainment.
“I'm a solo OnlyFans Creator with a strong social media presence. I do not work with adult movie studios and am not interested in that type of work, but I'm adjacent to it and that industry has a long way to go to get past their bias for the young perfect body female performers,” she said.
“Ironically, it only benefits me and other older adult content creators as they subscribe to us to get that authentic older woman experience they can't get in studio-produced videos.”
She told us that she laughs at those who judge older women for working in adult entertainment.
Elaina said that entering adult entertainment at this stage in her life is actually healthier as she knows who she is.
“I knew the risks, long term and short term, better than most 20-somethings. These younger women (and men) are really at risk emotionally,” she explained.
“The drug use and mental health challenges are very concerning in my industry.”
One day, Elaina would love to do more mainstream entertainment, she’s just not exactly sure what that would look like.
She thinks podcasts are an oversaturated market but she wouldn’t say no to having her own talk show.
“I can't imagine how that would come about but I do know whatever I do I want to keep creating smiles. I love knowing I entertain and that my content makes people feel good,” the mum said.
“I love knowing that in my own way, I entertain with a mix of confidence, sensuality and good-natured ‘cheeky’ fun.
“I have been through awful times in my life that have brought me to my knees, but I always searched for that shining star of hope that I could reach for.
“This is part of my life's mission to inspire others to keep moving forward to never close the door to the real possibility that there might be something you couldn't dream of right around the corner that could improve your life. Be open and be prepared to act on it.”
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