Confessions of a Cam Girl
"Confessions..." is an on-going column where we invite readers to submit their most outrageous personal stories anonymously for everyone to read. These stories are real, and usually come from people who lead double lives. Due to the nature of the subject matter, all identities are kept anonymous to protect the person's identity, job, and normal day-to-day life. Except this time.
This week we sat down with an online cam girl to hear more about her clients, and tell us more about skills needed to be successful on this competitive field.
I'm 19 years old, and I have a full-time job that would probably shock your grandma. I'm a cam girl. For those of you who don't know, a cam girl is the digital era's prostitute. The escort of the virtual age. Men (and sometimes women) come to me for companionship, consolation, conversation –– and most of all, sex. In exchange, I broaden my horizons. I get to interact on a very intimate level with people from all over the world. And, of course, I get money. And a pretty good amount of it at that.
But it's not all peaches and cream. It's not like you can take off your shirt and suddenly the financial world is your oyster. Being a cam girl is deceptively hard, and camming really is a full-time job. It's about promoting and marketing your own business, creating a name for yourself, finding that little niche in the grand scheme of things where you fit in –– all the while being the product, the showgirl, the bread and butter. Websites promise you "$10,000 a week from home in just a few hours a day!", which lures thousands of young girls into showing their stuff and being very disappointed with the payout. The truth is, it takes years to build the fan base that will turn over that kind of income. It takes hours upon hours of grueling labour, replying to thousands of messages a day from needy clients who live in a fantasy world where they're your only priority. At the same time, you're maintaining your body, your hair, your face, your image, to stay presentable, fashionable and on top of the trends. There's no time for a sick day if you want to make real money. Even when you're not on camera, you are still working. It doesn't stop. Camming is a 24-hour-a-day job.
A day in my life consists of waking up around 8am. I go straight to the gym, where I work out for about two hours. I come home, shower, and get directly to work. My Skype account gets turned on and I'm monitoring my Twitter account while I put on my face for the day. Hair, makeup, and body maintenance take about 3 hours, between updating social media and replying to clients who just can't seem to wait for me to get online. When that's done, I take about 30 promo photos that can be uploaded during the day to keep my profiles on different sites relevant and fresh. I update my Twitter: "Hey guys, getting ready to sign on –– come join me!" Then, it's finally time to start my real work day.
By the looks of things, you'd think that this job is easy. It's really just girls sitting around and looking pretty, isn't it? In reality, cam girls go through a lot to pay our bills. We deal with "trolls", freeloading clients who will join our chat for the sole purpose of making our day hell. They'll taunt us and tease us, make fun of our looks, our body, anything they can get at. After spending at least five hours on appearance by this point, those remarks cut deep... almost as deep as the constant hatred from "anti-porn" advocates who think that cam girls are degraded wastes of potential and talent. In reality, a lot of us are smart, business-oriented women and men. It varies just as any other job does. Then there's the work we do while we're actually on camera, enjoying the job itself. You have to catch the right angles and make sure you look attractive and seductive at all times. Cameras can make for some seriously unflattering angles, let me tell you. On top of that, you need to know how to keep your balance in interesting positions. I've fallen backwards off a chair, ass in the air, and pulled down all of my lighting on top of me in front of hundreds of people; I've gotten phone calls from my mother while upside-down using a dildo; and I've faceplanted while trying to bend over in 6 inch heels. Oops.
There are an infinite number of fetishes out there. The saying is, "If it exists, there's a fetish for it." It is so true. Every minute spent with a paying client entails assessing that client's personal needs to find out what will satisfy them and bring them back for more. Some fetishes are very dark and difficult to deal with, but we do them anyway –– it's better to have a pedophile acting out his fantasies on a legally-aged cam girl than to not have an outlet and turn to the real thing, right? We smile and we accommodate them, and smile more and pretend we are whatever they want us to be. I've been a dominatrix; I've been a submissive slave. I've been years younger than my real age and I've been years older. All of these things are just a daily part of our lives. It's not all darkness and despair; sometimes there are really great days, days where it all pays off –– where a sweet regular client will give you a "just because" tip, or a new client will come along who has a really awesome personality and is buckets of fun, or an anonymous follower of your profile on some social media site will buy you something nice from your wishlist. Like any job, webcam modelling has its ups and downs –– and that's what makes the whole thing so much fun.
I really do adore my job. I love meeting new people and encouraging them toward sexual release. I love showing off the body that I've worked so hard on. I love the endless stream of compliments. I love the friends I've made and the connections I've discovered with coworkers from all of the ends of the earth. In fact, my best friend is a cam girl and she lives thousands of miles away from me. Yeah, I love the attention. I'd really love for people to come away from this realizing that sex workers are people too. We work our 9-5 jobs just like everyone else –– and sometimes, we work a lot more than that. We are deserving of love and respect and admiration and praise: the same as the next person. And camming isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sure, it's a fantastic job and I'd never trade it for anything else in the world... but it takes a certain mindset, and a certain work ethic. It's not for everyone.
It's not just about sitting there and looking pretty.
See the other entries in our confessions series :
- Confessions of a Tinderella
- Confessions of the Incarcerated
- Confessions of a Gay Escort
- Confessions of a Sugarbaby
- Confessions of a Craigslist Whore
- Confessions of a Cam Girl
If you think you have an interesting story to be featured as part of the anonymous Confessions series, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.