In the interests of full disclosure, I would like to state that this article is not promotional/marketing material, nor a tutorial with tips for models to join any specific Live Cam Site. The discussion is focused on the social aspect of cam sites and the relevance of social interactions concerning the quality of both personal and work life.
Taking into account our industry already has (1) wonderful studio production professionals who generate impeccable sound and video quality and (2) excellent models explaining how to use their bodies to entertain members in their rooms. My task in the business is concentrated on offering something new: to begin to unveil how relationships are built and maintained between members and live models due to my background in social sciences. This perspective is based on building lasting emotional bonds and it is still in the initial developmental phase. Until now, I have been separating it into three categories of analysis: (1) models, (2) members, and (3) cam sites. Thus, I would like to add a new element to the discussion, which is the Social Aspect of Camming, and not to replace, nor deny the relevance of the practical and technical aspects.
The kick-start of this role
Beginning in early 2016, I started to become significantly active in the Live Cam Industry, attending seminars as a panel speaker during the main industry summits and writing articles for all the major industry magazines. Taking into consideration and applying everything I have learned during these last couple of years, along with some knowledge about camming and communication studies, I have no reservations in stating that the care and concern regarding the mental health and well-being of models is an essential element, which tends to help them work better and more often, in a healthier and more efficient manner.
It makes total business sense and results in lucrative benefits for the industry. The logic in question is basically the following (or should, at the very least, be along these lines): in order to sell entertainment, the model must be able to feel mentally healthy to offer said entertainment, while feeling genuinely entertained, respected and protected. Feeling respected and protected helps guarantee an honest smile on the model’s face and includes the social aspect, not only on the members side, but also from the perspective of the cam site itself. That’s why it’s essential for the sanity of the model to choose the cam site that most closely matches their own personality and lifestyle.
Previously, I discussed the Social Aspect of Camming (http://awnews.com/the-social-aspect-of-camming-by-liviachoice_/) considering the way members treat models, and how to educate rude and impolite members in their room (http://awnews.com/how-to-educate-rude-and-unpolite-members-in-the-room-by-liviachoice/). Now, it’s time to take into consideration the quality of life that any given cam site can offer a webcam model.
I usually like to state that there is no way to achieve professional success without personal satisfaction, after all, in order to be successful in any profession, the person usually needs to do much more than simply robotically and routinely work for eight hours a day. In general, the success (in any career) comes from genuinely living the job as part of themselves (performing creatively with deep personal involvement), which is only possible when these professionals have some passion about what they do. In order to have passion for any job, the professionals need to feel like they are working in a place with real personal and professional growth possibilities.
The quality of life in the camsites
I have been dedicating nearly all of my free time to reflect, study and analyze this theme – success depending on working satisfaction – so, I am able to speak with some knowledge, modesty and confidence about social bonds, how they are built and their impact on the quality of everyone’s personal and work lives.
Communication is an intentional act of involvement, and not a random interaction. Human nature is essentially communicative (gregarious) and we need each other not only to survive (a baby couldn’t survive without someone to take care of it, just as any isolated adult would lose their sanity if left completely on their own), but to be happy and mentally healthy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that emotional bonds are not created “out of nowhere”, nor “overnight,” rather, they are constructed from trust, achievable only over time.
In order to contextualize, I am going to quote one of my favorite authors (French doctor, ethologist, neurologist, and psychiatrist), Boris Cyrulnik: “It is necessary, therefore, to belong. To belong to no one [nowhere] is to become nobody.” In other words, the social bond generates a sense of belonging and communion ― exactly how a cam model must feel about the site she is working with: part of a community. And the main feelings related to belonging to a community are respect and protection ― as both a professional as well as a human being. Thus, I define, at this moment, the terms “respect” and “protection” taking into account:
 the website’s policy: related to the quality of the cam site tools ― if it was created with the intent of protecting and safeguarding their models, regardless of market competition;
 the quality of the traffic sent to the models: members interested in building virtual relationships with models instead of demanding them to follow a “script” without any social interaction ― the famous “do this/do that” type of members;
 the interaction with their representatives: how attentive and close they are to their models, if they are genuinely interested in helping and supporting them.
According to this perspective, this is the only conceivable way for models to be the best entertainer they can possibly be, by offering members a great natural show while having fun, and most importantly, without hurting themselves.
We know the human mind, instinctively, tends to wish to survive, making it completely adaptable ― even to the scarcest of situations. That means after some time developing and continually repeating the same activity, in the same conditions (whatever/however they are), the tendency of our mind is to do said activity automatically, on “auto-pilot mode”, no longer “feeling” it. However, despite the “anesthesia” of the moment, we can’t hide the consequences: depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, etc.
It’s not a coincidence that several studies regarding stress and its impact on daily life indicate that small daily stresses cause the greatest number of mental health issues. As such, my suggestion for models is to refuse to accept, as “normal”, anything that torments them (regardless of the amount of money involved).
In my point of view, being a Webcam model needs to be an exercise of freedom, and freedom means the autonomy of saying “NO” to anything and everything that is beyond our limits or outside of the comfort zone. The models are the only one who can define the limit – it’s not at all a question of “everybody else is doing this or that, so they must imitate them in order to be successful as well” ― they can forge their own path to success, just by expressing themselves!
Success is a state of mind related to our mental health, not a position on a website or visibility in the industry. We are all much more than a number or award title, which can (and will) be replaced at some point. However, the social bonds that we build and what we learn (especially about ourselves), is long-lasting.
One of the consequences of seeing ourselves as a number, or as the title of some award, is the intense competition ― rather than positive cooperation ― between models, commonly resulting in bullying among one another. In psychological terms, when we start seeing ourselves as something (an award, a position, a number) instead of someone (who will never be replaced because we are unique and special), we lose consideration for ourselves as human beings and obviously through the process, we lose respect for everyone else on our side. This is yet another reason to encourage me to continue my work in the industry as well as my research about the social aspect of camming, because this is a possibility to improve everybody’s life in the scene.