A couple weeks back, I saw this gentleman’s tweet and felt compelled to respond as follows:

I am right now considering closing this account. I have done my best to show support with money and promote when possible. Yet i have been forgotten too many times by “friends”.
I am not a walking credit card. When i engage with you i also put feelings. I may have been stupid

— Brokelink — Can do your Maths – DM open (@Brokelink1) February 11, 2019

I just want you to know I see you, and the fact you’ve felt forgotten by people you considered friends makes me really sad. This is something I see happening far too often in this industry. People fail to see the people on the other side of screen names.

— Rachael (@FraidyRachael) February 11, 2019

I then offered him a platform to discuss his experiences with webcam models in the context of what had happened. This is what he had to say.

“My name is Fred. I am a 34 year old engineer from France.

I really got into live webcams in 2012, a bit by chance. I was getting bored of mainstream porn and it was not easy to find more specific things at the time.

So one day, I discovered Chaturbate. It looked genuine. There were all kind of ladies with lot of diversity and it was awesome to see something else than what was “classic” in porn. I felt that there could be a true connection between me and the model and it was something new. This is what kept me there and made me buy my first tokens.”

How did the models make you feel? Did they have any effect on your daily life, if so how?

“For me there are four kind of models and each make me feel different.

1) Those I am not interested in for a lot of reasons

2) Those who are turning me on just by their look but with whom there is no further connection.

3) Those who are very interesting and with whom i love to chat… but who are not the best at turning me on.

4) Those who are turning me on and very interesting.

I won’t speak about group one because I have nothing to say except that it takes time to decide in which group a model will go.

Group two is basically like watching porn, except that sometimes I tip for something specific.

It makes me feel happy and aroused, but nothing really more. It means that if I am online when they are it is cool, but i won’t try to plan my life around them. They represent maybe 80% of the models i follow but I’ll not spend a lot of time [with them] (less than 10% of my cam time).

Group three is much more like a sexy friendship for me.

I love to spend time with them, even if nothing sexy happens. I will always tip a little something. I will have interest for their lives [and] will try to adapt my planning to see them. If possible, I’ll try to buy [access to] their social media app (Snap, Kik) to be able to be in touch even when neither of us are online. They represent 19% of the models I follow. Some of group three models (not a lot; 1%) are more than online friends, they are true friends with all the feelings associate but as our friendship will grow my interest for their porn will decrease (which doesn’t mean i will stop supporting them).

Group four can be called my favorite models, are the last 1%.

With them everything is great; they are both very good on the sexy level and the friendship level. I can tip a lot, will try to gift them things outside of camming, [and] will engage in more deep discussion and try to help them more. They are friends [and] people I could imagine meeting in real life. They can, at the same time, make me feel the best and the worst because my level on engagement is so high. And it affects my daily life (stress, joy, sleep trouble, excitation at the same level than my real life friends.

To sum [it] up, every model starts in group one; if they catch my interest, they often go in group two. At this point there are 3 possibilities. [Either] I don’t like them and they go back to group 1, I like their style but nothing clicks on personal level and they stay in group 2, or I really like who they are and a good connection is made, [but] the sexy moments… are not the best…, so [they go into] group three.

As you can see, in my process, there is no direct way to group four. [This] is normal. This group is very hard to get in. It will take time, exchange, [and] engagement on both sides. Friendship is something which goes both ways; I will never impose an overwhelming friendship to someone who doesn’t want or accept it. [That was a] tough point for me… to learn – and not the easy way – at the beginning.

There have been [models from both] group two and three who [got] to group four. In case of group two, it means that with time a more deeper relationship grew and in case of group three, it means that with time and a better knowledge of each other we have been able to get [have] more and more amazing [experiences].

Of course all of this is very theoretical. There are exceptions and lines can shift quickly.

But to sum [it] up, most of the models I follow make me happy when I see them, but won’t affect my daily life and my inner feelings. But for the rest: as soon as i begin to be emotionally involved, it can affect me a lot both in good and bad ways and impact my daily life.”

Can you describe what you like about your favourite models?

“Well, it is always the same combination:

1) The body :

It is not something specific, each person are unique and some will [stick with] me. It can be just the eyes, the voice, the body, the hair or a mix of everything. But what is sure is that the simple sight of them makes me happy.

2) The mind :

I am a big talker with a wide array of hobbies and discussion. To really engage with someone, I need to be able to have… interesting and deep conversations.

3) The soul :

Having a big heart, being nice, being positive, [and] not being petty are things very important to me (I don’t ask models to be happy or smiling all the time, it doesn’t make any sense)

4) Engagement :

Being receptive to a mutual relationship is the last key. Showing interest for each other, having trust, sharing feeling, [and] being honest.

As you can see, it is very subjective and in the end almost not linked at all [to] the sexy aspect. But looking back at my favorite models, I can see a common [thread]. At one point they all have been “hairy”. Even if it is something I like, I think it is also a symbol of the fact these models are not peer pressured and are just really who they want to be, which is something I respect a lot and I think turns me on. I prefer originality and [a] free spirited person (online as in real life).”

I understand that you felt forgotten at some point and that this caused you some emotional pain. Can you talk about the events leading up to your recent tweet?

“One and half years ago, I started to create a much stronger relationship with a model (and this relationship is still amazing, we are very good friends today, one of my best friends to be honest). At her contact, I realized I could try to do more to support [sex] workers. [That] lead to the creation of this twitter account mainly to support, interact and promote (i have a SFW account where I mostly talk about movies and games).

So during this past six months, I have greatly increased my level of interaction and got some pretty good feedback. Yet at the same time, three models I had been in contact with for years – who called me a friend, and for whom I gave both emotional and financial support – start cutting all the non-paid aspects [of our relationship]. This is something I can understand; it was not the first time, but [these] three did it without any warning and just closed some of their accounts and/or ghosted me.

In parallel, I also realized that, here on twitter, most of the interactions I had were one sided.

I gave support, but the few times I could [have used] some interaction for me I didn’t get anything (which has been in part proven wrong by the kind reactions at my last tweet, but I had to [say that] I was about to close my account to have a reaction and I don’t like being over dramatic).

[On Monday] a model I used to really like and talk a lot with kicked me out of her private twitter forgetting [that] I was a crush member on MV. This time, she clearly hurt me. She knows it and she has… been sarcastic. It made me snap. I realized that with this account I was always giving, rarely receiving, and that it was emotionally exhausting. I felt hurt and stupid. I try to be always extra careful, supporting, and respectful. Sometimes I make mistakes and I can [hurt people]. I am not perfect, but I always apologize.”

What are your hopes for the industry?

“I have lot of hopes for the industry.

I hope one day sex work will be less stigmatized and hunted by officials.

I hope one day, sex workers will all work in correct situation and there will be no more inhuman exploitation.

I hope one day, sex work will be recognized as a normal job.

I hope one day people and shady sites will stop making more money than the models who are working their asses off to make people happy.

I hope sex workers will learn to be kind to each other and not always competing.

I hope viewers will stop to be lurkers, freeloaders, and trolls.”

Where do we go from here?

“Models need [a safe website that] they can trust, with a decent share of money for them. The community needs to be safer, with ways to identify scammers on both sides and to moderate everything. People must understand that paying for porn is cool, like paying for any artistic work or entertainment (but as most people also pirate arts, music and movie there’s a long road ahead).”

What term do you prefer we call you as a consumer of live adult cams?

“Viewer has my preference when talked in general. Because it is basically the only thing I am doing. Viewing.”

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