We interviewed Tzara Marie, 24 year old based in Ohio – she works the finance sector by day and webcam models by night. Tzara has been working in the online adult industry since the fall of 2017 and has graciously agreed to answer some questions about her experience.
Question: “Let’s talk about the early days and learning how to run your business. What were some of your biggest challenges?”
“Learning to juggle a day job with camming without getting burnt out.
You have to cam a LOT in those early days to take advantage of your new model status and to get some momentum going, and if you’re not careful, you’ll get burnt out really, really fast. It’s a huge reason the turnover in this industry is so high.”
Question: “Can you identify any ideas you once held about the adult industry, and how your work in the adult industry has changed or affected these?”
Tzara: “I used to look down on people who worked in the adult industry and felt bad for their partners. I realize now this really isn’t that big a deal (and you know, internalized sexism/whorephobia is the worst!).
People who work in the adult industry aren’t selling their bodies any more than construction workers or mainstream actors are.”
Question: “How has your work in the adult industry changed you as a person or affected your personality?”
“I’m a lot more confident in myself since joining the adult industry.
Knowing that I’m attractive and confident enough on camera to get paid to be sexy is extremely empowering. I’m a lot less timid about discussing my sex life or owning my own sexuality too.”
Question: “How has your work changed or affected your personal relationships with family and friends?”
Tzara: “I used to keep my adult industry status to myself, but now I try to share it with my close friends. I’ve made a lot of people in my social circle aware of adult industry issues and my status as a sex worker, and while it has caused some friction at first, the relationship is always better off because of it.”
Question: “What do you love and hate about your choice of occupation?”
“I really love the fact that I run my business how I want to and when I want to.
I’ve been doing this long enough to be able to step away for a minute and come back without losing too much momentum or my following, if I need to.
I really hate the folks who demand free things, send unsolicited dick pics, try to bargain down my prices, and generally make me feel poorly while I’m working. Sex work isn’t easy money; there’s a lot of tough parts and emotional labor involved in the process. People not realizing that and assuming this is easy money is another thing I really hate about this industry. “
Question: “Our society has a lot opinions about sex work. Tell us something about you or your work that would surprise someone who doesn’t know better.”
“This isn’t a giant secret I keep from everyone; I’m not living a sexy, double life.
Most of the important people in my life know about this, and no one really cares. I haven’t had any serious issues or really bad reactions upon telling people I work as a cam model.
A close second: this isn’t as intimate as it looks. Don’t get me wrong, I never fake orgasms on screen as a rule. However, a lot of work goes into making this look professional and sexy, both before, during and after the actual filming or streaming. It’s a lot harder than it looks to do this well (pun intended).”
Question: “Every sex worker has stories. Share one!”
Tzara: “I once had a fan pay for a private show to practice talking to women. He had confidence issues and wanted to practice having a conversation with a girl so he could try and ask someone out. He even played me a song he wrote that he had never shown anyone before. It really highlighted for me how important our job is.
We aren’t just in the business of helping people get off; we make connections with people and enrich people’s lives. It’s a privilege I don’t take for granted.”
Question: “What do you think is the most important piece of wisdom you could possibly impart on someone just getting started in the industry?”
“Be aware of the turnover in this industry; the stats are against your likelihood of making it past the first 6 months here.
Don’t just press “start broadcasting” without a plan.
Plan what kind of brand you want to create, research social media outreach, get good equipment, create and STICK TO A SCHEDULE, and make self care a priority. Treat this like a business and don’t quit when things don’t take off immediately.”