For too long, the focus of mainstream media attention on adult camming has been restricted to analysis of the webcam model profession in contrast to practices associated with more traditional forms of sex work, like prostitution, that have no relevant connection to camming. You might remember an interview published a few years ago by the TV channel Caracol of a model who unfortunately went silent when asked about prostitution because she was so astonished by the question from the interviewer that she was at a loss for words to reply as strongly as she could have … and that speaks to a larger disconnect between professional cam models and misguided media members.
As a woman who has worked personally at every level of the adult camming business, I can proudly say that the outsiders who like to insult us when it is convenient for them are factually wrong about their assumptions. It's intellectually lazy to decry web modeling as “exploitation” just because it fits the click-bait trends your lightweight news site happens to be following at any given moment without any understanding of the realities that male and female models actually experience each day of their careers. Modeling online has become a regular job for thousands of entertainers and it provides a safe, enjoyable revenue stream for many who prefer to work at home, setting their own schedules and establishing their own brand by turning their passion for people into a path towards successful self-employment.
Being an agent of ethical social change requires constant attention and diligence. Illustrating proper behavior does not mean punishing or excluding someone who espouses misguided viewpoints. Thankfully, once again, it’s the cam model ethos that comes to the rescue. -Mia Saldarriaga, JuanBustos.com
Society would prefer to affirm this strange notion that models must have been coerced or exploited, often labeling them "artists without self-esteem." This is a very dangerous narrative with no basis in reality. In fact the opposite is almost always true. In nearly every case it is the model exploiting society, by profiting from the inhibitions, stigmas and social taboos that society puts in place. That is the strange irony of becoming a successful cam model. On the one hand you would prefer to be openly accepted by society as a productive member who pays taxes, supports a family and brings joy to people – yet on the other hand, it is precisely that lack of acceptance that transforms the mundane acts of sex we have all experienced many times in our lives into a lucrative form of entertainment on a global scale.
Keep in mind, while models appear to show it all in front of a camera and are seen by millions of people around the world, they are never touched by even a single viewer. They can restrict access by using advanced geo-targeting tools that make their shows unavailable in their local area or any other specific locations they want to exclude. They have access to all the buttons; they run the show, develop a loyal audience of followers and become advocates of a better sex-positive society by educating society, one viewer after another.
In fact, societal advances are undeniably fostered by online cam culture. Does anyone really think gay marriage, trans rights, LGBQT advocacy and so many other issues of sexual orientation and identity would have evolved at their current pace without thousands of cam models and millions of members helping to redefine what is “normal” or “acceptable” for the larger global community? When a viewer meets a trans cam model or pops into a gay chat room and discovers that the people in there are nice, or that they actually have a lot in common with them, or that their own gay tendencies or trans identities are perfectly natural — they learn they aren’t alone. Together we change things for the better!
It would be arrogant to say that models are solely responsible for these social advancements. Clearly many others play an important role in these developments as well — but it is fair to say that cam models and their fans are consistently among the first to break through social stigmas, especially in Latin America where camming has developed quickly, without leaving time for a sexist society or moralist tradition to push back against the ethical evolution of Latin culture. No webcam model should be silent on moral questions and no media outlet should ignorantly brush aside the viewpoints of cam models. After all, with millions of followers on social media and fans flocking to their shows every hour, cam models now reach more people globally than any mainstream media outlet ever could. That’s right, you might be reporting what the changes in society are, but it’s the cam models you all too often look down upon who are actually leading the way in the vanguard of key initiatives like social justice, women’s rights, trans identity and so many other local or international areas of cultural progression.
Being an agent of ethical social change requires constant attention and diligence. Illustrating proper behavior does not mean punishing or excluding someone who espouses misguided viewpoints. Thankfully, once again, it’s the cam model ethos that comes to the rescue. We are all used to dealing with society, at its best and worst, in chat rooms that often range from discussions of idealistic space travel to low-brow racism or sexism. Due to that fact we have become adept at talking to those we disagree with, explaining our own points of view, educating, listening and collaborating to reach a better state of mind together. That’s why true cam models don’t abandon their professionalism or sink to the low level that some media reporters choose. It isn’t that we are too ignorant to understand what you are trying to do, it’s that we are too nice to tell you to go fuck yourself because we have learned other methods of communicating are so much more effective in the long run.
So, the next time you sharpen your pencil and prepare to write a scathing article about modern camming, do yourself a big favor and write the truth instead. You may not have liked the idea of camming originally, you may think you have reservations about what we do or you may be unable to ever see yourself working as a live cam model online ... But the fact is, if you get to know us, you’ll love us. That isn’t a statement of hyperbole … I can show you our stats — we have evidence that in almost every instance, the people who get to know us love us so much that they are willing to pay a fee just to spend their time with us and we welcome you to join them!
Mia Saldarriaga is an accomplished cam model, brand ambassador and entrepreneur who has ascended the ranks of Colombian camming powerhouse JuanBustos.com to become its COO. She contributes regularly to XBIZ Cam World with her candor and wit.