Shades of Dysfunctional

Life beyond the lens

I always believed that to be a webcam girl you had to be pretty, and young. Or at the very least generic looking. Everywoman. To fulfill a male ideal where they pay for your company in a private chat room, it would seem obvious to me that you would need to be stereotypically sexy, or at the very least the sort of person the average male fantasises about. In deciding to take such an outrageous route to solvency, I took the view that there are different shades of dysfunctional. Mine just happens to be blacker than most.

By the time I had decided to start earning money from taking my clothes off on webcam, I felt no fear. Fear was about indulging loss and I believed I had very little to lose at that point. Disappointing others was no longer an issue for me and had not been for some time now. I had found there was a clarity to resetting your moral compass to a level where you were unlikely to disappoint yourself. If you can’t fall through time and undo the past, there is little point in wasting energy on regret. At some point, you have to stand up and walk out of the front door. You need to feel the cold hair hit your cheeks, the rain leaking into your shoes because you forgot to get them fixed. It’s real life. You can’t pull the covers up over your head and lay in the dark forever. You have to deal with the reality of living, you have to deal with people, you have to deal with money.

Ramone was my first ever camming customer and he invited me to watch his camera, something they call “cam to cam” or C2C. I had never done that before and the fact he was giving me a first appeared to heighten his enjoyment. As Ramone got down to DIY he said “Do you like BBC?” I paused for a moment, not really sure I understood what he meant, and said “I don’t really watch much telly.”

Friends who knew about my double life as a webcam “model” were aghast and would say “What if someone you know sees you?” like it was the worst thing in the world that could happen to me. I would tell them that the funny thing about secrets is that you don’t need to lose sleep over privacy. People see what they want to see. People hear what they want to hear. People believe what they want to believe. Very few people are truly complicated. As humans, we are simply not that original. It has all been done before, somehow, somewhere, by someone.

As with any role, the webcam model one is fraught with difficulties that civilians just cannot understand. Bruce was a nice guy, as most of them were. He liked high heels, as most men do, but not just heels. He wanted to see heels, bush, and boob in one frame at a very specific aerial camera angle. He also liked you to watch him on webcam too. This was fine if it was not a group chat Bruce had invited you into. The other guy in my group chat session wanted to watch my bare bottom. In close up. This was clearly an impossibility but I still did my best to deliver, contorting myself into all kinds of positions while Bruce barked orders at me like the Director of a blockbuster movie. There was nothing my inexperienced webcam girl brain could do. I giggled. A lot.

I improved. Of course. It does get a little tedious at times. Being asked the size of your breasts and when you last had sex multiple times a day is a bit of a drag. It also had benefits. I monetised every break-up. Every selfie, nude or no nude, got uploaded to my private gallery and I charged men 50 pence per day to view it. I also charged for video clips and sold used underwear. It was oddly gratifying, not to mention environmentally friendly.

There was no doubt about it, the men were a motley bunch. A guy would come in and say to me “Give me a twirl” as if he was the first person to ever say that to me during my shift. Obviously, because he was not the first person to say that to me, but the sixth, I would reach off-camera and produce a Cadbury Twirl chocolate bar, holding it up to the webcam. “Sure”, I say, without a hint of irony. As he leaves my room I say “You’re welcome”. I don’t play nice, not all men want you to do that. Adult baby minding is a thing, as is small penis humiliation. The list is endless. Very occasionally men would come into my room with deeper thoughts than the colour, or size, of my underwear. “I have a question”, one guy said to me. “Are the women I see every day, you?” I said “Yes, you just don’t notice them anymore.”

Cole was married, aged 51, with one child but felt his needs were not being met by his marriage. He had a substantial disposable income from his property business in London and decided this could be directed towards a “lifestyle budget” of sorts, that would ensure he was left satisfied from his playtime. He had become used to ordering women online as if they were a takeaway menu. One day it could be a fashion PA delivered straight to his door, the next a bored housewife. Cole found his recreational activities were more pleasurable if he powdered his nose first and his specialty in the bedroom was group sex. No one ever told Cole “no”. Until me. Men often try to buy you when you are a cam girl. They become “fans”, they try to date you, they try to pay you for sex, they try to be your friend. Sometimes they mean well, but mostly it is about control.

I never consented to being controlled.

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