It’s cliche, but I held the belief (like many do) that camming is an easy way to make some money and it doesn’t require much effort to at least have SOME success.
Those beliefs were, of course, held when I was younger and dumber – in my early 20s. Since then, those beliefs have been 100% shattered.
It clearly requires time and effort, a good amoutn of self-worth/self-esteem, some marketing knowledge, general understanding of psychology, and a serious business acumen to have true success in the camming marketplace. Both my wife and I have each taken a brief dip in the camming side of the pool, only to be met with the harsh reality and decision to head on back to the spectator side of things. I wouldn’t call our experience a “failure” – but it certainly resulted in a lack of success.
I certainly didn’t look DOWN on cam models, but I did have that little pit of jealousy in my stomach to believe that they were making money (and very likely more money than me) for what seemed on the surface to be far less work than I was doing in any job I had held.
They were their own bosses. They had their own schedule/hours. They could record a live cam session (where they made money) and simply sell it ad nauseum to make even MORE profit from it. It seemed so… UNFAIR that because they were females and were willing to get naked for money, they could have such success and no such opportunity existed for a guy, especially a guy like me.
These beliefs would eventually change as the camming industry itself changed, and allowed opportunities for men to cam, for couples to cam, and for the industry itself to be way more accepting of all genders, body types, etc.
My experiences have led me to be way less naive, about cam models, but also about people in general.
My experiences were VERY negative for a time, being scammed by a cam model out of a lot of money. But through that, I vowed to make that a positive experience and started up a Twitter account where people who had been scammed could out those who scammed them so that others could be warned and hopefully save them from the negativity I had to go through.
And then things evolved. It wasn’t just viewers getting scammed by models – so many models were being scammed by viewers, by other models, by studios/agencies, and by the camming sites themselves in some ways.
Seeing things from all sides really opens your mind up and lets you play Devil’s Advocate with yourself. Now, when someone complains to me about someone who did a really dumb/evil/malicious thing – I can stop and rationally think, “but WHY did they do that? Surely nobody really thinks they are a villain, so what rationalization might be going through their head that led to that decision?” Sometimes the answer is just “money” or “power”. And if that’s what they value above all else, it makes sense. Making sense of things is what I like doing (as an analyst, especially).
In addition, my experiences working with all aspects and all people involved in the camming/sex-work community have helped broaden my knowledge and increased compassion I have for minority groups who are still being mistreated in general by the public. All the different people representing all walks of life, all skin colors, all genders, all sexualities. If it’s consensual, and no laws are being broken, it’s all good. And if it DOES conflict with the law, is it a matter that the law should be changed? It’s crazy, but dealing with the camming community has gotten me WAY more political than I was before – and I’ve considered running for a minor office in the government a few times.
It’s really helped me deal with friends and family who aren’t on the mainstream spectra of gender/sexuality.
My best friends are a lesbian couple, and I officiated their wedding and made sure things went well, despite some of their family disapproving and not attending. I have a friend who came out as transgender and I was well prepared to support hir (including how to not misgender and to use preferred pronouns when asked). I have even had a few friends come to me to discuss an interest in joining the camming community and I was well-versed in some best practices and honest lessons in what to expect, and was able to help their camming careers as well.
The friendships and camaraderies; knowing we aren’t alone in our experiences and being able to let others know they aren’t alone in their experiences.
The biggest aspect of my role in the industry now is helping call out those who scam. It’s such a GOOD feeling to get feedback from others saying “that was about to happen to me, thank you for helping me avoid it.” Even the ones who unfortunately ALSO were scammed, them having a place to share their experience and provide more information on the scam – it reinforces the truth being called out, it makes the problem more known and spreads the message/warning, and it builds the case further against the scammer.
It’s also helped me feel more a PART of the community/industry. Usually, the only thing that makes you feel part of the industry is either performing, or watching and paying. (Because let’s face it, if you’re watching and NOT paying, you really aren’t going to be seen as part of the industry to those who are in it. #PayForYourPorn.)
Just recently, I attended my first camming industry convention, and was able to not only meet some models face-to-face, but also reinforce the idea that the “service” I provide to the industry is a real one and appreciated by real people (at least from the ones who recognized me as the provider of that service – I do try and remain anonymous but also make it clear I’m a human being, too, and get targeted with negativity/trolls just like models do).
Would I go back and take another stab at being a performer? It’s not likely. But I at least know that, if I did it again, I’d have a MUCH better idea of how to handle that business professionally and have a much better idea of best practices to be as successful as possible, and would know who in the industry would make a great support system to team up with – in hopes of making it a positive experience. (Just don’t hold your breath for that. Maybe if the account hits 10,000 followers or something.)