A rare condition makes women one of the top earners on OnlyFans
A woman turned her back on a promising career as a neuroscientist to become a dancer and stripper – and now earns more than her wealthy parents. Mercedes Valentine, 21, swapped a uniform of lab coats for sassy underwear – earning her a position in the top 0.1% of creators on adult content site OnlyFans.
Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome at the age of 15, she ended up in a wheelchair and had to learn to walk again. After two years of intense physical therapy, Mercedes was mobile again and preparing to follow in her parents’ footsteps, entering the world of medicine by studying neuroscience.
But pumped with her newfound energy, she joined the college gymnasium and signed up for weekly pole dancing lessons. When she finished school, a friend from her pole dancing class suggested she try stripping at a local bar – and Mercedes never looked back.
Since breaking into the world of stripping and OnlyFans – which sees her earn up to £1,000 a night – Mercedes has now earned more than the combined £200,000 income of her doctor parents . “I have no regrets, I love it,” said Mercedes, who has 134,000 followers on Instagram (@mercedesthedancerxo).
“Because of my condition, my joints are more flexible, so I was able to learn pole dancing pretty quickly. My parents are both doctors and know what I’m doing, but my dad can’t bring himself to say pole dance and instead opts for ‘pole gymnastics’.
“I think at first they were a little shocked that I didn’t follow the path they had in mind for me. We’re a family of doctors and my sister is a lawyer, so it’s a bit different. , but they’ve gotten used to it now and we’re really supportive.
Mercedes started stripping in January 2020 and found she was natural. But while she loves her job, she admits there have been some “strange encounters”.
She said: “One time there was this couple and the guy seemed really quiet and shy. I tried to pull him out of his shell and I danced a little closer and started talking to him. He tried to whisper in my ear but I couldn’t’ I can’t really hear him.
“When I turned around he managed to put his nose in my ass. It was really weird, I didn’t expect it. I also had a guy who said I looked like his daughter and l tried with me. I felt a little sick then.
“But for the most part it’s really fun – I walk around and wiggle my butt and gain hundreds of pounds a night.”
But after two months working as a stripper, the world has come to a standstill due to Covid-19, leaving Mercedes with no source of income. Unwilling to return to the world of science, Mercedes created an OnlyFans account in April 2021 sharing raunchy content, which earned her over £200,000 and placed her in the top 0.1% of creators.
She said: “It was great to be able to do this during the pandemic. I mostly saved money and didn’t spend it on expensive things. If I can use my now functioning body to help to settle me for life, then i will.
“I’m still scared of being back in a wheelchair at 30 and wanting to use my body. I have a top-notch degree in neuroscience – so it’s still something I can fall back on if I need.”