My Experience Working As A Cam Girl
Easy money if you're game.
Header image from the documentary Cam Girlz. The author wishes to remain anonymous.
It happened through a friend of a friend of mine. That’s usually how these things go. She had found, through a network of girls, a website that paid decent money for cam girling if you put the work in. I signed up, submitted my name, ID, bank details and some photos and within 24 hours I was approved as a bonafide Cam Girl with no bloody idea of what I was doing.
For my first show I applied some makeup, did my hair and put on a deep v-neck leotard. It was the middle of summer and boiling hot even in just that. I sat on my bed, placed my webcam facing toward me and sat doodling in my sketchpad, waiting for patrons.
Eventually they came. My chat room began to fill up and I started talking to a few guys in the group chat. I only typed at first: At the time I lived in a sharehouse with only guys my age and really wasn’t interested in them finding out about my moonlit habits.
I made $20AUD in ‘tokens’ (how payments were recorded via the site) my first night. 20 bucks for six hours of sitting around in my underwear, netflirting with dudes. It wasn’t much, but it was more than I’d make scrolling through Tinder looking for someone I actually wanted to bone IRL. I knew the way to make real money was either by going ‘private’ (opening a private show chatroom that costs the user a certain amount per minute) or by spending many months on the site building up a following, just like any other chaser of internet work/fame!
The first time I went ‘private’ with a guy I freaked the fuck out. All he wrote was ‘get naked’. And so far all I’d done in a chat room was flash my boobs for an influx of tokens. I froze up in stage fright and closed the room. In my group chat I wrote: “Sorry, cam froze.” And I logged off for the night.
Eventually I got a bit more adventurous. I hula-hooped in my underwear while listening to the Arctic Monkeys. I also did yoga, livepainting with my back to the webcam in only a thong. I racked up a couple hundred bucks over a few days and cashed the cheque sent the next month. By this time I’d masturbated on camera for a few guys, but I was starting to get a little bit paranoid about my face appearing in an advert on another website somewhere and someone I knew seeing it. I have nothing against sex work, having worked in the industry three times now, but I don’t like the idea of say my boyfriend's brother or housemate or one of my own family members opening a webpage to a moving image of my face mid-orgasm purely because well, I don’t think my family would support that decision.
It sucks, because Cam Girling was pretty fun: I got to choose my own hours, what I wore, what I did and who I wanted to talk to. The paranoia that came with the knowledge of the stigma attached was the only downside. That and the random twelvie trolls that would appear and write: ‘Your face is shiny’ in the comments. Yeah mate, it’s 40 degrees. Can’t you read the profile that says, ‘Australian’?
I have considered opening up my profile again a few times since, and very well might once I get over the ‘what will people think?’ paranoia, and memorise the retort I have planned regarding the government youth unemployment in Australia: With youth unemployment currently sitting around 13%, creating your own job using the resources you already have (in this case, internet connection, webcam, studio lighting and cute knickers) becomes a much more viable option than waiting for callbacks from the 20 resumes you sent out last week. That said, the idea of my future prospects of employability could be damaged if this was discovered, and I do wonder about the percentage of money the site makes versus the percentages the models make.
Sometimes self-regulation regarding finances is the best option for some people: I’ve been treated better and more fairly as a Cam Girl and nude model than I was in my last retail job where I, no word of a lie, got fired for ‘looking sad’. Yet despite how much control one can have over their career as a Cam Girl there are certainly discrepancies within the industry, including safety issues and issues of future employability, as well as what is considered a fair payment and no guarantee on a basic minimum wage for hours put in. It leaves a lot up to chance.
Would I recommend it? It's up to the individual (obviously), just make sure you do your research and find other women in the industry to go to for advice.