I did my time as a Cam Girl to pay the bills. Both full time and part time.
That is why when the Netflix film Cam came up in my feed and there was Cam Girl chatter in the WhatsApp group I am still a member of, I decided to brace myself and take a look.
Before I review the film, I will just give the background to what kind of camming I did, and camming generally.
I started camming towards the end of 2013, initially on the type of site used by “Lola” in the film. It is token based and tips based so the girls try harder and harder to make it interesting and interactive. They play games, they read Shakespeare. This can lead to gimmicky shows. It is a busy site and once your new girl status wears off, you can go from hero to zero. They set the amount of tips needed to get each item of clothing off and do whatever it is they do. Some girls do more explicit shows and some get nude only. Others are non nude. There are dommes. There is literally something for everybody and cam girls come from all walks of life, in all shapes and sizes and can be any age.
Once my new girl status wore off I moved to a different kind of cam site. It was pay by the minute and a different set up entirely. Guys came to your room, I had a free chat option so they could chat and check me out, then some would take me to Group or Exclusive. There was a phone option too. It was pay per minute but I accepted block bookings. It was growing progressively quieter in early 2016 when my ID expired and when they took an age to approve my replacement ID I had no option but to move to a site that was even more unusual. It had cams and escorts. I already had ID there as I used it to sell panties.
I started camming there and traffic was better. It was primarily UK men and as it was also an escort site, it wasn’t for the faint hearted. Once you got used to men wanting to book you for sex, it was fine but even if you stated no sex, they would still ask. Reading profiles isn’t really a horny guys thing. I was never tempted, but I did learn one thing, scarcity increases demand. Many men kept upping the prices they offered to see me in the flesh for sex and were offering to travel for miles. I am not a raving beauty at all and my ex boyfriend will tell you my personality is not all that, either. I thought about it and how far I would be willing to go and decided I would never be able to escort. It was a step too far for me.
So, back to the Netflix movie, Cam. I loved the cam set up in the movie but my reality is not like that. Mine has always been a bit untidy. Elaborate underwear and outfits were not for me. I tended to go for comfort and speed of getting on and off because once a private or group show ends you are dumped into free chat within a few seconds and you could be nude if you are too slow at getting the clothes back on. I wore vest tops, baggy T shirts pulled down with my arms out of the arm holes to give the illusion it was a tube top or dress. If you are not a size zero this works well. You can keep it gathered around your middle and just gain access at the top and the bottom, hiding your love handles from the customer. That’s what I did unless the customer requested I remove the whole thing, which does happen. There was no real glamour in my cam girl set up. Girl next door, no make up, bed hair.
The other thing the film did was try to present a balanced view of the customers. It is true, some are very nice and become regulars you chat to a lot. Like friends, really. These people are looking for a human connection more often than not. You also get the fetish guys. Feet, ticklish, submissive men. There are a lot of submissive men who want small penis humiliation on Cam. After a while, I had started to do that, as it was easy money. It takes a while to get used to it but it becomes automatic, like any job. Jerk off instruction is another common request and I found that a bit more work as there are only so many ways you can tell a guy to touch himself. Then, there are the men who see you as a piece of meat. They are not necessarily mean but they are entitled. And they don’t really engage or interact with you as a person. It is purely transactional. Trolls are fewer but if you deny someone a freebie flash or whatever else they want, they will call you “fat” because that’s more likely to hurt you than ruder words. Some trolls call you nastier things, too.
I think that the way I chose to cam was designed around my life and how I am as a person. I set my own boundaries and parameters, and that made me feel less pressure to escalate the explicitness of my shows, improve my ranking, compete with other girls. I didn’t use gimmicks therefore I didn’t need to devise more outrageous shows to keep my fan base and income coming in. I have felt that pressure and I didn’t like it. There is more than one way to be a Cam Girl and this movie only showed one way. That is no bad thing, because it shows you that it is a profession, it is work, and the girls (and guys) work hard to give their customers the best experience possible. It is a performance and an experience for the customer, whatever way you choose to present it. Most cam girls take pride in what they do and it is not a trivial job to them. It is an unusual job but a job nonetheless.
If only our society would allow me to be as proud of my work on webcam as my socially acceptable office work. Maybe this film has gone some way towards allowing cam girls to step out of the shadows and not fear exposure and judgement.