Understanding 'Camming Sociology' Can Enhance Interactions
After working for six years in the live cam industry as a cam model and almost double the amount of time studying — while working simultaneously — how relationships work in cyberspace, I am happy to present this article as a result of one of my theories about the business. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to apply and successfully prove the effectiveness of my argument in practice, which I have also discussed in a few seminars and summits around the world: the urgency of considering the importance of human interaction between models and members on all cam site platforms.
Throughout 2016, I’ve been an active participant in a number of discussions pertaining to this matter. I’ve been discussing the new direction of live cam platforms with major players in the industry, in panels like “How to Maximize your International Reach,” “Global Perspective Of Cams” and “Expert Model Tips” among others. I have been developing an academic study over the past decade, through both my Master’s degree and my PhD in Communication and Semiotics. My work has been centered on “cyber culture” studies that have shown that post-modern society has come to a point where online interactions between two people arouse the same feelings and emotions as meeting face-to-face. I have personally concluded that the live cam industry should start taking advantage of this dynamic and begin to explore the human element instead of focusing too heavily on the sexual nature of the sites. All components considered, it would simultaneously be more productive and efficient for models, members and the industry at large.
It’s important to reiterate that when live cam sites began to appear, there was very little distinction between porn websites and the live cam industry. Back then, access to porn wasn’t as freely available as it is nowadays and members were mostly looking for sex. In the beginning, it was likely that many porn customers could have been live cam chat customers too. These days you can find all kinds of free porn, so trying to compete with it by asking a live model to imitate a recorded video is a losing battle. Asking the model to tease non-stop in free live chat simply cannot compete with porn videos because of internal factors like mood, hunger, thirst and sometimes even plain boredom. Instead, the option that makes the most sense to me as a model is to focus on the key factor that porn sites cannot match — the live interaction between the model and the guest.
I have tested my own theory lately and as a social scientist, I am very proud to say that my empirical research led to the results I was hoping for. The intent of this article is to share with models and others who work in various positions of the live cam industry what I have learned about how to deal and were thus predisposed to viewing me as a “star” on the network upon entering the room.
As I’ve stated before, I have been camming for the last six years on just one platform, without trying any others. Being able to get into my “comfort zone” guaranteed that my days online would always follow a similar routine: the same guests in the room, or even when I was dealing with new traffic, new members viewed my prizes (“Hall of Fame Status,” “Prom Queen of the Weekend,” “Top Discount Club Winner of the Pay Period,” “Best Stripper,” “Sexiest Body,” “Nicest Smile,” etc.) and were thus predisposed to viewing me as a “star” on the network upon entering the room.
Recently, I was extended a very kind invitation to start camming on a new website. While I was really thankful for the opportunity, it also opened my eyes and I remembered something that I’d almost forgotten: when a model starts working on a new cam site, she has no fame and no regulars, she needs to educate her members in the room and teach them how to respect her by giving her nothing less than the treatment she deserves.
I confess that I was a bit scared during the first week with the aggressive way members were talking to me and treating me. After six years online on only one platform, I had gotten used to interacting with the same members, who were happy just to see my “beautiful eyes” and ask me about my day before asking for anything else, and not demanding that I “stand up” or “turn around” or “do this” or “do that” without even having the decency to ask my name!
However, instead of giving up because the road would be long, I saw an incredible opportunity — in fact, the one I had always wanted, to be able to test my own theory on live cam dynamic. If you’re working as a cam model and don’t believe me, I dare you to put my findings into practice. Besides having formulated them after many years of study, I just tested them on a new site starting from zero, without being famous and without any regulars to “save me.” The result has been really impressive — enough to motivate me to write this article. So, let’s try it?
In order to have longer private chats, with more talkative, friendly and respectful guests, all I needed to do was to change my attitude towards the members. I’ve changed my profile, and added a description that was in accordance with what I genuinely expected to receive in my living room. By having the patience to put up with “aggressive behavior in the room”, I explained to all members that I am not a living doll, but a human being just like them, who was interested in having fun together and not interested in simply following a script. Besides that, in as gently and kindly a way as possible, I also remind them throughout our conversations that the better I’m treated, the better and more engaged I’ll be while performing for them.
I think the most important thing to note is that I have lost my fear of losing out on making money by adopting this stance. Statistically, impolite guests (the “do this, do that” types) never stay in the room for more than a few minutes anyway (and are also the ones who give us bad ratings, negatively impacting our position on the site). So, let’s just keep in mind the loyalty-loving interactions are the ones who spend a lot of money (even if they are looking for sexual content).
My results have not been achieved by “luck,” but for a verifiable reason. Theorists who study “Theories of Media, Communication and Imaginary” identify in post-modernity a kind of society where the more resources, techniques and possibilities that man has to communicate, the more fragile the social bonds become. However, although social ties are more fragile, this generates the growing feeling of loneliness and increases the difficulty of knowing how to deal with others in a human relationship (even virtually). But, this doesn’t mean that people are closed off — they just don’t know how to interact anymore. People don’t know how to communicate with each other nowadays because the social values of our society are more focused on being fascinated by entertainment and constructions of the media, which really don’t feed our emotional or cultural needs. A live cam model can fill a part of this emotional gap by offering social interaction. However, having the patience to deal with the initial aggressiveness is essential.
The objectification of cam models, via simple user commands like “naked,” “toys,” “moan my name,” “cum now,” etc. can be frustrating, but you have the ability to educate members about how they should behave with you, if that is not to your liking. Even better, it appears as though they actually want to learn because they also miss the social interactions in their lives. Cam models can be the emotional bond users are so desperately missing (and don’t even know they are missing). Keep in mind this is a manifestation of patience, dedication and love — and they can feel it. The result after just a few days/weeks of doing this is truly amazing!
LiviaChoice is an accomplished cam model and communications researcher, exploring the very fabric of meaningful human interactions and its implications for the camming industry at large. Follow her on Twitter @LiviaChoiceX and on ImLive.com.