The New York Times

The New York Times 10 Apr 2020

How Cam Models Practice Sexual Distancing


The online sex industry is surging during the coronavirus pandemic. For performers, though, what's good for business isn't necessarily good for them. Here's why.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon joins First Take and discusses Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson's recent workout with Antonio Brown during the coronavirus pandemic and how players can practice social distancing and still prepare for the upcoming NFL season.
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Bernie Sanders endorses his former rival on a day when sexual harassment allegations against Joe Biden gain attention; Peter Doocy reports. #FoxNews

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Sunbathers and picnickers came out in droves, staying two meters apart while enjoying gorgeous spring weather in New York City, Saturday, May 2, after weeks of being isolated indoors due to coronavirus restrictions.
A couple didn't let the coronavirus pandemic stand in the way of their big day, tying the knot in a ceremony with guests watching at a safe distance—with many honking and cheering from their cars.

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“Sitting around, topless on the internet,
and having thousands of dollars thrown at us?
Like, that’s — that’s really not how it goes.
Like, I wish, man.”
“Camming, in general, is doing sex work live on video.”
“Webcamming is performing online in front
of strangers on the internet.
What those performances entail can range
from all kinds of things.”
“Sometimes they just tip you for nothing.
Sometimes they tip your for, like,
a performance or an action.
Right now, with the virus, though, it’s pretty crazy.
Like —”
“During this pandemic, we’ve had such influx of people
coming onto cam sites.”
“There are, like, new guys and new girls
popping up every single day.”
“So there’s way more people watching.
But there’s also way more performers.”
“That’s becoming a big downside
is the flooding of the market.”
“Such a flood coming in to people wanting
to do adult work, and stuff like that because they
think it’s easy.
And it’s not.”
“Yeah, this is not an easy thing to do.”
“The easiness is what bothers us, though —”
“Yeah, that’s it.
Yeah, absolutely.”
“I mean, I love it.
A lot of downsides.
It’s not easy.
That’s the main thing I wish people would understand.
It’s so friggin’ hard.”
“Yeah, since the virus, it’s like you
don’t know what time to be on and what time not to be on.”
“People are home, yes.
And they’re on the internet a lot, yes.
But a lot of them have lost some income.”
“I like — I’ve been thinking about the last cam session
I had.
It was pretty dead.”
“A lot of my fans are not tipping right now.
And I totally understand.”
“People not only are hoarding toilet rolls.
They’re hoarding their money.
So there’s no big tippers.”
“Yeah, overall, there’s been a drop
in financial generosity.”
“I definitely have been working more hours
now because of the pandemic.
I don’t want to lose out on that.”
“I would say hours, at least four hours a day.”
“Two to three hours.
Take a break.
Two to three hours.”
“Thank God, I’m only contracted to do a show for two hours.”
“My typical work day is 12 to 16 hours.”
“I honestly feel like I work all the time.”
“And there’s plenty of performers who have
done 24-hour shows, you know?
The whole-day shows and stuff like that.”
“I have worked 24 hours straight.
I probably do that once a week.”
“And the cam site takes a percentage of it.
And some take 50 percent.
Some take 40 percent and 30 percent and so on.”
“Tokens are the currency on the cam sites.
The users buy them through the cam site,
and then tip them to whichever girls they prefer.
If I get one token, I get 5 cents.”
“For every 1,000 tokens that we get in tips,
that equates to $50.”
“Some days, I could work 10 hours and make $30
that whole time, or I could make $300 in 12 hours.
So —”
“We have all this personal space.
No one’s touching you, grabbing you, pulling on you.
So that’s cool to have —
to be like, no, I can do whatever I want.
But there is a certain feeling of, like,
at least wanting eye contact with a video camera.
And so after a few hours, it’s,
like, a little unnerving.”
“It's a little bit hard to just kind of feel
like you’re a dog in a window, just waiting
to be picked by someone.
You’re like, ‘Pick me.
Pick me.’”
“A lot of, like, mental and emotional abuse
on the internet side.”
“But then there are those people
that come into your room.
And they could say, like, ‘Did you
used to be fat because you have stretch marks?’
And it kind of does hurt.
I mean, I can tell them that I gave birth
and that’s why I have stretch marks.
But I mean, you’re always going
to get those people that are going to shame you.
And I can get off cam.
And if I have to cry or take it to heart,
then I can go for a walk or something,
come back and do something different.”
“On my first night, I actually cried on cam accidentally.
I didn’t mean to.
But we were talking about the quarantine.
And it was right after it happened.
But a couple people were like, ‘Hey,
you’re helping me get through this right now.
Thank you.’
So it’s like, there's genuine human connection.
We’re not just ruthless sex machines.
We’re people.”
“A lot of people talk about their virus in my chat room.
And it feels good to, you know,
give an ear to listen to.
It’s not all about sex.
There’s people that come in, and they’re just lonely.
They want somebody to talk to.”
“Most of the people say, ‘Oh, you
know, in isolation in Ohio.’
And then, like, five other people go, ‘Oh, me too.’
And that in a sense, they now have a community of,
you know, of safety.”
“I have never stepped out of my house dressed before.
So when it came to camming, that was my safe place.
I got to come on here with my fans every night.
Camming actually opened me up to being gender fluid,
and exploring more options and stuff like that.”
“As far as sex workers go and cameras go,
we are pushing ourselves a little bit harder
to make sure that we can entertain people
from their homes, and encourage people
to stay inside their homes.”
“And I’m preparing myself to have to help maybe
support my mom and my daughter,
who both live independently.
I’m prepared to pay their rent or their car payments
and stuff because I don’t want anyone I know
and love to suffer.”
“When all the other jobs are gone —”
“Yes, I lost my restaurant job about two weeks and
one day ago.”
“I was a stripper.
But now, I’m out of work, along
with hundreds of other people.”
“Before I started camming, I worked at the mall.
And I’m sure, now, I wouldn’t have a job.
So I’m really thankful that I do.
I’ve been camming for four months now.”
“I’d been stripping for a while.
But camming, I’ve only been doing for three weeks.”
“And everyone likes a fresh face.
I’m not going to lie about that.
Fresh face is always great.
But does that fresh face have longevity?
And does it really have what it
takes to withstand the challenges of the industry?
There’s 1,000 other girls doing exactly the same thing
as you now.
What is going to set you apart, long-term?”
“When the market is supersaturated, and —
it just makes it kind of difficult.
All of us old hats are all like,
‘We were sex workers before it was cool, you know?’”

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