PandemiCam: What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Camming
WORDS Anonymous for identity protection
It’s no secret that more people than usual are struggling to make their rent during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially for already overpriced cities like London and New York where creatives already pay up to 50% of their income on rent. During this uncertain time, a lot of people have turned to sex work in hopes it can help them gain emergency funds. With so many people flooding to cam sites and starting up an Onlyfans account, we decided to get some wise words from an experienced Cammer on what advice they wish someone had given them for their camming debut.
So, first things first, how long have you been camming for?
I’ve been doing sex work on and off for the last two years. It’s something that I had always thought about doing but I didn’t have the support of my partner at the time which TBH, really knocked my own confidence. After a fresh start for many other reasons, I decided to give it a go during my heartbroken rebound stage. It turns out, one of the best emotional and financial decisions. Within a few weeks, I had enough extra income to fund my personal projects and a newfound love for my body.
What advice would have helped you most at the start?
At first, I tried to make my own way because I was embarrassed to ask for help or advice. Sex work is just working at the end of the day – it’s essentially a sales job and so the same advice applies. At the start, I was very focussed on pleasing the customers which is a dangerous game. Sticking up for yourself and having good negotiation skills are key. As liberating as sex work and camming can be you’ve got prepare yourself that there are a lot of shitty people out there who get a kick out of wasting your time. I say people, but in all honesty out of all my clients over the years the only people who have done this to me are hetero men. Online trolling is all too real for those who cam and I’m not talking about catcalling or dick pics. Pushy clients prey on newcomers normally, convincing them to do something for later payment or ratings. There is a lot of advice that would have helped me on the way but not doing anything for free or until I was paid would definitely be my number one to start off with. Not much knocks your confidence like someone ripping you off for something so intimate and it can cause you to doubt yourself.
How often have you been scammed or ripped off?
At the start quite a few times! But you learn quickly that there is a formula in place for a reason and that is your payment is first.
Who do you turn to for advice?
A mix of people – on a lot of sites there is a community for sex workers, for example, I’ve been invited to quite a few WhatsApp or Kik groups where we can discuss rates and call out scammers. I usually turn to my closest friends which includes my mum, she has been really supportive throughout, although she does love a bit of smut so I’m aware that’s not the usual. I would strongly advise not going around and telling everyone, I feel quite proud of my sex work but depending on your circle you might find some friends struggle to support it. Each to their own! But telling someone in your real day to day life is important so that it’s not all internalised. Camming can be lonely and having someone you feel close to provide you with rest bite and share your funny stories with is a must.
How do you keep your identity private?
This is the biggest and most important question! Being behind a screen can give you a false sense of security and that alone is quite dangerous. Personally, I don’t show my face in any videos or to my clients, they see from my lips down to my toes which makes me feel assured if they saw me in real life they wouldn’t be able to identify me. This has lost me some clients, but that seems a fair deal for peace of mind that no one can recognise me. Wearing wigs is also a great tactic for this. Never give out your personal number, email or address. There have been at least 5 occasions someone has offered to send me something in the post – this is always a bad sign. If a client won’t compromise and demands personal information from you walk away. Their money isn’t worth it.
Not much knocks your confidence like someone ripping you off for something so intimate and it can cause you to doubt yourself.
There is always an alternative, for example, if it’s a gift ask them to send a gift voucher so you can order it to your address yourself. Use apps that hide your numbers like KIK or WICKR. Do not show someone the front of your house or street, ensure that you are vague about not only where you live and work but your day to day schedule. For example, if you’re talking about the gym, pretend you go to another gym. Use a VPN on your computer and be careful on your phone! Some of the best advice I was ever given is it’s better to be safe and look weird, so be weird, stay safe, go over and above to protect yourself. What do you charge?
How long is a piece of string? This is the question I get asked the most, not only in sex work but also in my freelance job. There are far too many ifs and butts. This is how I figured out my own price list though, first I checked out the camming competition and looked at how much others were charging on the sites I use. Next, I tried this out on clients so I’d always ask for slightly more than I was expecting them to pay. You’ll find that your prices change depending on the client rather than the task at hand! Keep a note of what you charged, what you did/made and who it was for. This will become your bible and help you keep a tab on what you charged last time. I want to put out a warning that PayPal, Venmo and most cash apps do not support sex workers and these payments are against their policies.
I personally ask for vouchers as there is no way for a client to reclaim this or ask for a refund. If this happens (which trust me it will at one point) PayPal will side with the customer and can potentially freeze your balance for up to 70 days. I’ve seen this happen to so many sex workers including myself, after providing exactly what the client asked for! Once you have an established relationship with a client organising BACs payment is a great way to get cash but trust no one when it comes to payment. This is why it’s so important to also get payment upfront first. No matter what the person says, no matter the excuse, this is a no.1 rule and all sex workers follow it for good reason!
How much money do you make?
Depends on the week, depends on how busy I am with other stuff. I’ve made £100s a day to nothing!
How do you discuss sex work with your partner?
It depends on their relationship of course, but if you’re in a relationship this is really step 2 of the whole process. Step 1 is deciding you’d like to try it out but it doesn’t take much common sense to imagine how this can affect your partner. If you’re in a poly relationship I can imagine it’s a much easier subject to broach. But if like me you’re in a monogamous relationship the idea it’s something you’d even consider can be tricky for your relationship. Honesty is a must, and much like any sexual discussion, being as open and honest as possible is going to save you both hours of small talk.
Would your partner like to be involved? This can be either camming with you, taking your pictures and videos, maybe this is even a huge turn on for them?
Keep your own sex life separate! This has been the route I took and my real sex life and cam sex life could not be more different. Being a very committed bratty sub I keep that side of myself private and become a bossy domme for cam. This means that my partner never feels threatened by the sexual experiences I have. Being a domme was also a business decision as I know EXACTLY what I would want to be said to myself and this helps me create situations and games for my clients!
Be as transparent as possible! If your partner can’t stand even talking to you about it then it’s clear that maybe your new career choice isn’t going to work out in your relationship – let’s be honest. But where possible involve your partner and let them into your world. I do this by showing my other half what I’m up to, telling him what I’m about to make, ask him questions/advice and tell him my funny stories.
Last night, I made a camming video for a very loyal ‘piggy’ telling him to clean up my asshole which was just me standing spreading my bum cheeks leaning against the bath…
Do you just do webcam sessions and how did you figure out what services to offer?
Actually this venture started off for me with selling pants and shoes on a website, which lead to doing webcam. My menu, if you will, includes worn items, personalised videos, sexting sessions, phone sex and access to premade videos and pictures. At the start, I was experimenting with what I felt happy doing and that’s changed along the way. I expected it to get more extreme but it’s actually the opposite, for example, I don’t enjoy doing penetration videos and instead, I do a lot of role play. Everyone has a niche and it’s really important you trust yourself and only make the content you feel comfortable with, both physically and mentally. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant and ask them to make food from a different menu. Well, you would if you’re a total asshole and those definitely exist. There are lots of customers who push or demand you to change what you’re offering while camming, either with the content or price. I politely ask those kinds of customers to fuck off
Have you ever just burst out laughing?
Absolutely, at myself and/or at the client, sex is funny sometimes so let it be. I have a lot of clients who pay for me to laugh at them as well! One, in particular, stands out who likes to wank while I laugh about how pathetic all men are and ask him to hurry up. Sex work isn’t always serious, there is a lot of casual chat as well. Even when you’re pretending to be a scary domme there is still normally room to have a laugh as well.
Do you get turned on during sex work sessions?
Personally, I don’t get turned on as a lot of the camming videos/live streams I do aren’t really situations that would turn me on in real life. However, I do get madly fascinated with what clients request and it’s helped me understand and accept a lot of my own kinks. I definitely know sex workers who find it a huge turn on so this is another ‘each to their own’ moment.
Can you tell us what your next or last job was?
Last night I made a camming video for a very loyal ‘piggy’ telling him to clean up my asshole, which was just be standing spreading my bum cheeks leaning against the bath if I’m honest. I spent most of the time thinking about how I should reorganise my bathroom but he enjoyed himself! Who knows what today will bring…