GROWING up in a military family, Nikole Mitchell’s family life was rigid and very religious with visits to the local baptist church every Sunday.
So it was hardly surprising when she decided to go to university in Cedarville, Ohio, and study Bible Studies.
There Nikole, now 36 and a mum-of-three from Orange County, California, became even more religious.
“I basically started dating Jesus,” she said in an exclusive interview with Fabulous. “I became deeply, deeply focused on God.
“I stopped dating men entirely. While I had slept with guys in high school, it was terrible, teenage sex where we didn’t know what we were doing, I decided to stop seeing anyone during my time at university.
“For six years between 2001 and 2007 I didn’t have sex with or kiss anyone.
“Jesus was my boyfriend,” Nikole said with a laugh.
Nikole was so invested in God she grew up memorising scripture for competitions and attended extra bible tutorials up to three times a week.
“In university, I’d always carry cards with quotes from the bible and psalms in my pocket,” she explained. “I would read them when I needed to be uplifted. Church was my life. While I had a short rebellious streak in high school, I gave that up to be a good girl and a people-pleaser, desperate to do what was right and follow the word of God.”
Men would ask her out – with many proposing marriage.
But Nikole always said no. “I didn’t want to date anyone as I was afraid of having sex because I had been taught it was wrong outside of marriage and didn’t want to detract from my time with God so I would make excuses such as ‘I am not dating this season’ or ‘I have plans,’” she said.
Then, after graduating, she took her love of the church even further by entering the seminary.
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“I was so religious back then. To the point that I was surprised more people didn’t take this path [to seminary],” she said. “I would think ‘Everyone should attend seminary if you want to take your faith seriously.’ I was a little intense about it. »
Meeting and marrying former husband John, now 39, in 2009, and having their children, now aged ten, seven and five, who she doesn’t want to name, she joined a local evangelical church where she quickly felt at home.
“I would visit all the time and found it so welcoming,” she said. “It was the first church I’d visited where the pastors didn’t say ‘this is how it is’ but ‘this is how it might be’.
“After a while they approached me and said ‘you’re a theologian. I was stunned. I was a mother and a wife. I didn’t think I could be a pastor, but they said I should be.”
So over the next three years, Nikole set about learning how to sermonise – gradually building up to giving her own talks to the masses in the week.
“I loved it,” she said. “I felt like I had found my calling.”
But gradually Nikole noticed elements of her sermons were being removed.
“I’m a mixed race woman and I wanted to draw on that and my experience as a mother but they weren’t so keen,” she said. “That disappointed me as I felt it was really important.”
And she was starting to realise something else too – that she was bisexual. “I’d suppressed my dating urges for so long I didn’t know I was queer,” she said. “But I was. I was a queer woman who wanted orgasms and good sex and it was only as I got older I realised that.
“I wanted to incorporate the inclusion of queer people into my sermons and they didn’t want me to.”
I think God had a hand in me making so much money.
Eventually in 2017 she had had enough. “I felt demoralised,” she said. “I still believed in God but I realised the church was no longer the right place for me. So I gave my first full weekend of sermons, a huge achievement, and walked out.
“I never looked back.
“There I was, 33, and a free woman for the first time. I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be.”
What she did know was she wanted to embrace her sexuality – something she believes, as a result of her religion, she had repressed for a long time.
“I always thought women couldn’t ask for sex or ask to be pleasured,” she said. “So, no longer a pastor, I booked a boudoir shoot. I felt so sexy lying there having my picture taken. It was wonderful.
“Afterwards the photographer asked if I wanted the pictures made into a book. I didn’t need asking twice.”
John thought the book was a gift for him – but Nikole had to correct him. “It was for me and I still keep it with me. The next week I got some nude photos taken and the week after I started looking into how I could make money from it.”
So, around a year ago, she set up an OnlyFans account.
This is when people pay to see her perform sexual acts or post naked pictures.
Astonishingly she is now making $100,000 (£76,000) a month – way more than she used to.
“I was always taught that God didn’t like us making money and it was bad,” she said. “But I think God had a hand in me making so much money.
“Or maybe Mother Mary,” she joked.
And talking to Fabulous one of her daily religious affirmations pops up on her phone which makes her laugh: “God loves it when I make a lot of money”.
Nikole admitted she loved her new job and just two weeks ago filmed an erotic video for her fans. “I was doing it and I just lost myself in the best of ways,” she said. “I said to the filmographer, ‘I just wanna take off all my clothes, is that okay?’ and they said it was.
“Well, less is more.”
“I honestly think I was born to take my clothes off… it feels like a calling.”
“I love it so much.”
John, who she divorced amicably this year, is happy for her – even taking pictures for her at one point – but some friends and acquaintances aren’t.
“It’s very polarising,” she said. “Some people are like ‘you go girl’ whereas others are very critical.
“Still, I’m making huge amounts of cash and doing what I love. And I still believe in God.”
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