“There’s this great misconception that when you are a sex worker that you’re selling your body,” A.G. said. “Selling a body is human trafficking, and that’s slavery. Sex workers aren’t enslaved. We’re selling a service.”
The service A.G. sells is a dance, an experience, a fantasy. She is currently an 18-year-old college student in Florida, but will drop out soon to pursue her dream of being a rapper in New York City. She is able to do so because of the income she gains from being a camgirl.
By the end of the year, A.G. expects to have at least 100,000 subscribers and to make six figures.
Omegle, Chatroulette and AOL all walked so that camgirls could run.
Using livestream and chat sections, webcam models - known sometimes as cammodel, camgirl or camboy - sell a sexual fantasy that other adults can watch via the internet.
Viewers not only watch cammodels perform sexual acts, but also get involved through the chat section, which the cammodel can read in real time. Leaving comments in praise or a special request provides an element of personal connection between the audience and the performer - an essential aspect of the practice’s success.
A.G. has cammed since August. She said her viewers are not just spectators, but her fans. They cheer her on and provide support. They are extremely protective of her if any trolls make their way to her stream.
A.G.’s initials are used instead of her full name because cammodels usually do not use their real names to protect themselves from potential harassment, stalking and physical harm.
Inspired by the Netflix movie “Hot Girls Wanted,” A.G. anticipated the practice could be a valuable source of income and help her achieve her goal of moving to New York City. With 13,000 subscribers, she has managed to earn $5,000 in the past three months alone.
When she first started, she was exhausted from the amount of viewers she had.
“It was very overwhelming to receive a bunch of notifications on social media and a bunch of requests to talk to me,” she said.
She had to deal with not only the the masses of viewers and the surge of people trying to initiate one-on-one conversation with her, but also the judgement from those around her.
She said she refused to let it stop her independence though, because her finances are more important than the bias she faces that stems from the misconceptions still clouding sex work.
In her experience, camming has changed in the nine months since her start. At first, her setup included a tip menu where viewers could request a service. For example, a listed option might be“ flash this for 60 tokens.” But now, her shows, as she describes them, are sensual and erotic, but she is never naked.
“You are your own boss,” A.G. said. “You never have to do something that you’re uncomfortable with.”
By the end of her first session, she was uncomfortable because she had not yet realized this. However, by the next day, she realized there will always be viewers for what she provides.
Her viewers prefer camgirls who are unshaven. If she were to shave, A.G. said she would lose a lot of viewership.
But it’s more than that. A.G. said she shares inside jokes and gets emotional and financial support from her viewers.
“I’ve never seen support like that in my life,” A.G. said. “You can go on, and they’re just happy you’re on.”
There’s a notion that camming is inherently vulgar or gross, but many times A.G. finds herself just casually vlogging for a couple hours to talk about her day.
She sees camming as a stepping stone, which allows her to pursue her music career. Eventually, she wants to invest in real estate and stop camming.