Cam Girls – Empowering Women to Reclaim the Adult Entertainment Industry

cam girls empowering women
| Feminism > UK Feminism

Camming – the first form of adult entertainment which benefits women financially over men.

The porn industry is changing. Every day more and more explicit material becomes available for free online, putting thousands of small porn studios out of business. Large porn conglomerates are forced to constantly rethink and re-invent what can be sold. In this chaos, only the strong survive, and there’s an unlikely contender for the prize; the elusive Cam Girl.

 What is a Cam Girl?

Simply put, a Cam Girl makes money by providing paying customers with a live webcam show, tailored to the viewers’ sexual tastes. Cam Girls often charge per minute. Many also perform in exchange for tips, and they persist in making money because they give their clients something offered in no other form of pornography; a chance to sit in the director’s seat, and have a personal relationship with the porn star.

 Financial Benefits

Camming is the first industry within porn which directly benefits women financially over men. Traditionally, an actress is paid a flat fee for the shoot, regardless of how much money the film makes. This means that the studios (usually almost entirely ran by men) take the bulk of the profit.

Cam Girls have more options. The first is that they can work on one of the large websites that host hundreds of girls. The website will typically take 30%-70% of the earnings, and in exchange they keep the site running smoothly and provide some marketing. Most importantly, those websites keep a steady stream of men (and yes, it is almost exclusively men) spending money in the live chat rooms.

It is worth noting that several of the biggest Cam Girl sites are set up and ran by ex-Cammers. They’re designed specifically to benefit the women working for them. Alternatively, a Cam Girl with an entrepreneurial spirit can be independent, and set up her own website to sell her shows. She will have to pay for web hosting and drive traffic there herself, but ultimately, she will be able to keep 100% of the profit.

Body Positivity

Traditional pornography is made to satisfy the male gaze; this is reflected in our female porn stars’ bodies. We all know what a typical porn star looks like. She is slim, she has long legs and impossible breasts, she has no body hair, she is probably wearing a generous amount of make up, and she sports killer fake nails. A huge range of body types is under-represented in pornography, but this doesn’t mean that the “Porn Star Look” is the only one that people find sexually attractive.

Cam Girls of all shapes, sizes and styles are making bank. In doing so, they are defetishising the idea that a woman whose body doesn’t meet the industry’s extreme demands can indeed have sex, enjoy it, and look damn sexy doing it. Although a Cam Girl may rely on photos of her body to initially entice men into her chat room, it is her personality, charm, and hustle that get him spending money, and coming back for more.

Safety

Sex Work is not usually very safe. Any person who puts their body in the hands of a stranger is essentially trusting that stranger with their health, and even their life. We have all heard stories about Porn Stars who get addicted to drugs, Escorts who get murdered, and Prostitutes who get trafficked (a “hilarious” film even came out recently about the accidental death of a nameless male stripper).

Camming is not completely without risk. Keeping personal details safe online is paramount to prevent customers potentially becoming dangerous stalkers. Another concern for many Cam Girls is being “outed” by someone who recognises them online. They may risk losing any “vanilla” day job they have elsewhere, or they may be subject to unwanted tension between their family and friends.

That said, Cam Girls have the luxury of working from the safety of their own bedrooms, and never actually having to physically meet or touch another person. This is rare within the Adult Entertainment Industry. It’s the reason that camming remains possibly the safest form of sex work.

Is it degrading to women?

For some women, the idea of being paid to remove their clothing and perform sexual acts – essentially to facilitate male masturbation – is demeaning. For others, the opportunity to work a flexible schedule from home, whilst taking money from the pockets of men who are choosing to pay for their time, is empowering. The reality is that doing any job you hate can be degrading, especially if you feel you’re not being paid enough for it, and being a Webcam Model is no different.

However, many Cam Girls love their jobs. They make a very good living, and get to help build what is hopefully a safer, more feminist, future for porn. There is nothing derogatory about that.

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