Cam World: Chaturbate’s Ramona Flour Cultivates Community
Wreathed in a scarlet mane of silky flames, Ramona Flour is a mesmerizing Renaissance woman, her painterly figure gorgeously inked and her savvy intellect sharpened to a witty edge.
Artistry pours forth from her creative spirit, infusing an illustrious cam modeling career with unforgettable verve and fiercely loyal fans. They came for the Rubenesque pin-up beauty and then returned enraptured thereafter, spellbound by her ardent passion and genuinely intriguing personality.
Now, Flour is bringing that vibrant energy and fiery charisma to bear on elevating the Chaturbate brand, as its social media maven and community publicist extraordinaire. Executing COO Shirley Lara’s visionary stratagems, Flour empowers the camming biz like a lovable liaison, providing an insider’s keenness and a performer’s panache.
XBIZ was privileged to interview the playfully brilliant Flour, in this unique glimpse at the marvelous machinery beyond the velvet curtain at Chaturbate.
XBIZ: Tell us about your earliest days in camming. How did your eclectic background in styling and cosmetology influence your unique approach to online modeling?
Flour: After graduating from cosmetology school, I began working behind the chair in a number of salons. I was quickly afforded the opportunities to style for New York City and Boston Fashion Weeks. I kept having photographers beg me to get in front of the camera, so naturally I was curious about modeling. After struggling financially for a number of years, I began camming at 20 years old to help pay my student loans. I kept my day job in a salon for a while before devoting myself to camming full-time. It was a delicate balance of working all day in my salon then coming home for late night camming sessions with my fans. It was thrilling and nerve wracking at first, but I was lucky enough to have a friend who was already a successful and well-established cam model. She taught me the basics and from there I established my method.
I feel that cosmetology school was a prerequisite to camming because I learned the modeling basics — keeping up with your hair and nails, taking care of your skin, learning to do your make-up and dressing yourself well. I also found interacting with my chat room came very naturally to me, probably due to all the practice I had engaging the clients who sat in my chair. As a stylist, I quickly realized that it’s not just about the hair. So many emotions get caught up in the way we present ourselves to the world. Hair is such an identity marker and I often found myself having perfect strangers tell me their life story. I always enjoyed finding common ground with my clients and I believe that my time working behind the chair helped me cultivate the skills that allowed me to have such meaningful connections with my webcam fans.
XBIZ: Trace your evolution in the Chaturbate community. What ultimately inspired you to take on PR, event coordination and social media responsibilities for the company?
Flour: After spending about four years broadcasting on Chaturbate and attending numerous events for the site, I was given the opportunity to be an assistant to Shirley Lara, Chaturbate’s COO. Camming for a number of years taught me a great deal about marketing, press and the importance of social media in our modern day society. Essentially, cam models each run their own small business. I always prided myself on my ability to engage fans from multiple social media platforms on a regular basis, and to direct that traffic to my chat room. I think the progression sort of happened organically over a span of time. I was really lucky to have Chaturbate see something in me and give me this opportunity.
XBIZ : In what ways do you hope to strengthen the Chaturbate community and brand?
Flour: I think what makes Chaturbate so special is our culture. We are very inclusive, probably one of the most inclusive webcam platforms you’ll see out there. If you scan the first page of our site you’ll see every race, gender, sexual orientation, age group, body type, political and religious affiliation. This is our key — you can’t exclude a group of people from a community then boast about how safe and welcoming you are... inclusivity is the key to establishing a tightknit community. I’m thankful and proud to be part of such a sex-positive, inclusive online community. My goal is simple — I want to be an advocate for all models using our platform. I work hard to maintain a symbiotic relationship between support staff, models and members.
XBIZ: How do you balance pursuing your own camming career while also juggling your Chaturbate duties?
Flour: When I decided to take on this full-time position, I was faced with the reality that I would no longer be working as a freelance model for myself. After camming five days a week for years, taking a break has been really beneficial to my other pursuits and passions. My fans miss me terribly and I’m sure I’ll make a return someday to appease them, but for now, I’m working a more nine-to-five type of job, meeting deadlines and requesting days off from HR. Meanwhile, I’ve maintained my social media following, continued to pursue my print-modeling career and produce my own adult indie fetish content. I’m 25 years old now, so I feel like more than ever this is my time to work hard.
XBIZ: Any insider advice for aspiring cam models, on what pitfalls to avoid and which good habits to develop, for long-lasting success in this highly competitive biz?
Flour: Stigma is the main pitfall. There are people, regardless of how much success you find in camming or any other form of sex work, who will shame you or try to make you feel lesser. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life. Live your life authentically. Be unashamed. Keep your head held high, because you deserve to be here just as much as anyone else!
As for good habits: time management! The hardest part about camming is holding yourself accountable and maintaining consistent hours. Granted, I understand there are models juggling families and working other jobs, but holding yourself to a schedule is beneficial to building your fan base. Everyone can have fans, so it’s just a matter of taking the time to let those fans find you.
And, if you intend to turn camming into a full-time, long-lasting career, taking care of yourself is essential. We give so much of ourselves to members on a regular basis and put so much into our shows, that naturally we need to recharge our batteries. I know it can be hard taking the time out to pamper yourself, but don’t feel guilty about treating yourself kindly now and then! You need to find balance in your life, or you will burn out. Pace yourself. Balance yourself. Don’t overextend yourself. And definitely don’t sweat the small stuff.