Matthew Mitcham is used to opening up his soul to the world. Since diving his way to a surprise gold medal finish at the 2008 Summer Games, the out Olympic icon has used his household name to spread awareness about mental health, publicizing his battles with drugs and alcohol addiction.

Now, the Australian-born Olympic legend is spreading a different kind of message, albeit one of equal importance: sex positivity.

And he’s using OnlyFans to do it.

“The world isn’t sex-positive as it ought to be, in my opinion,” Mitcham told Outsports. “Celebration of the body. I think it’s a beautiful thing.”

Mitcham’s scores of subscribers seemingly agree. In less than one month, Mitcham is already in the top .86 percentile of OnlyFans creators, attracting fans to his page with seductive poses that leave just enough to the imagination.

He owes some of his inspiration to his husband, Luke Rutherford, who’s a top performer on the platform himself. The popularity of Rutherford’s page, coupled with years of requests from fans to show more, prompted Mitcham to dive into the world of OnlyFans.

“All of my pictures that kind of push the envelope a little bit — everybody is thirsty — those are the ones that get the most play,” he said.

That’s not surprising. Sex sells, and when it comes to that, Mitcham has a lot to offer. But there is a balancing act.

Mitcham, 34, works in mainstream media, and knows there’s a line he can’t cross.

For the longest time, those worries prohibited Mitcham from being more risqué online. But then he had an epiphany: fear shouldn’t get in the way of self-celebration.

The great Moira Rose says to take a thousand nude photographs of yourself while you’re young and beautiful. In another interview, Mitcham said he decided to take 8,000 pictures of himself, just in case.

“I thought if there was ever going to be a time to start showing off my body, it’s probably now,” he said.

The concept of gorgeous male athletes posing scantily clad isn’t new. For generations, male athletes have starred in underwear ads, and sports stars used to take it all off for ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue. But still: we are trained to view the idea of posing naked as lewd and inappropriate.

Even when Mitcham talks about his newfound physical freedom, he feels the need to justify his actions.

“Even full-frontal nudity, I’m pretty open to, if I can defend it in the name of art,” he said. “I think that is defensible. That’s the kind of person that I am. I’m a creative, artistic person, and I like to celebrate the body.”

By definition, mainstream media outlets try to appeal to the masses, meaning they can’t risk alienating sizable swaths of the population. Sadly, there is a significant category of sports fans who don’t appreciate seeing bare bums or shots of gorgeous men in jock straps.

The challenge for Mitcham is to expand the barriers, while not breaking them.

“I have to play by those rules, and maybe push it as far as I can push it without damaging my own career,” he said.

So far, so good. In some respects, Mitcham views his OnlyFans as an extension of his advocacy work. He preaches the importance of self-love and self-care.

For him, that includes posing for the camera, and showing off what he can.

“It’s something that brings me joy, and it seems to bring a lot of other people joy, too,” he said. “Vanity is only a problem when it becomes out of balance. Otherwise, I see it as a celebration of the human body. If you can get that balance right, and just celebrate beauty in the human form, then I think that’s a wonderful thing.”