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I Thought I’d Make a Lot of Money as a BDSM Webcammer—This is What It was Really Like

“I had to constantly watch ‘cam to cam,’ site feature where you get paid to watch the person at the other side of the interaction. This was very traumatizing because I never knew what would come up on screen.”

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Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

 

Trigger warning: Content warning for descriptions of abuse and exploitation.

Hello! Thank you for creating this website, it was my only source of help in extremely dark times.

I decided to share my story, because I did not find any articles about cyber femdom (female domination) and if the information that I have can help even one person avoid becoming involved with it, then all of the harassment and abuse I went through, was not for nothing.

I come from Eastern Europe and thanks to your resources, I realized that I had all the usual challenges that trap the financially desperate in the webcam industry.

Related: Uncovering The Dark World Of Trafficking In The Webcamming Industry

Become A Fighter

Trying the mainstream camming industry

My parents were abusive during childhood and I had no support system. In adulthood, I saw a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and C-PTSD. The symptoms were so severe, that I could not hold down a normal job.

In my country, most normal jobs are underpaid and the employers are often exploitative and the salary was not enough to allow me to not live with my parents. I was getting desperate and I ended up in an abusive marriage with a chronically unemployed partner. We were struggling to pay bills.

Related: How The Webcamming Industry Attracts And Traps The Financially Desperate

Originally, I tried to do mainstream camming, but I was not successful because I did not have the money for lingerie, make-up, and I couldn’t even afford the popular sex toys.

Then, one day, I heard about “femdom.” Female domination is presented as a very empowering dynamic, where the woman has the upper hand. She does not have to do degrading sexual acts on camera (false). She does not have to be subjected to abuse and stalking (false). She makes her own hours (extremely, ridiculously false). And most importantly, it did not seem to have the same competition or demand a plethora of sex toys.

I signed up on a popular camsite and started immediately.

The trauma of camming

The first few months I endured, thinking that I did not make enough because I am new and things will improve. And eventually, I did start making more money and I was able to afford bills, food, and better outfits. But it all came at an extremely heavy price.

First of all, in femdom, you sell parasocial relationships. I was catering to narcissistic, lonely, entitled consumers who essentially spent money on me trying to groom me to meet them in real life for “femdom sessions.” I would refuse to do that and they would move on to the next impoverished woman, hoping to break her boundaries.

In this job you are treated as a freelancer, which means that you can sit on cam for hours and hours and make literally nothing. There was constant passive-aggressiveness, microaggressions, and members demanding I spend nine hours with them for the $10 they tipped in total. Many days I would log out, calculate my hourly wage and realize it was minimum wage. That made me extremely depressed. Some days I did make more, but they were the exception and random ones.

Related: 21-Year-Old Webcammer Dies While Performing Dangerous Sex Act For Client

I had to constantly watch “cam to cam,” a cam site feature where you get paid to watch the person at the other side of the interaction.

This was very traumatizing because I never knew what would be on that camera and it triggered my PTSD. I saw consumers doing drugs, self-harming, inserting harmful items in their penis and anus, and the worst of all, a man who became fixated on me because “I looked like his real-life daughter.” I want to throw up just thinking about them.

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Stalked and investigated, I had no privacy

The members of those sites do not behave like fans or friends. They act like jealous stalkers or abusive partners.

No matter how many hours I spent online it was never enough. Any time I logged on, I had to endure tantrums and hate and invasive questions about “where have I been” and “how they missed me so much,” which was very similar to my abusive parents.

Related: The Dark Side Of OnlyFans Most People Don’t Know About

A lot of them seemed delusional and actually believed that I was attracted to them and that eventually, we would be in a real relationship. It was very scary to be pursued like that.

My final straw was when one member paid a private investigator to find my real town and real social media. I had given the name of a nearby town and he felt betrayed and came to confront me online saying that he trusted me and now he would “get off his meds and doesn’t know what will happen.” The police had to be involved, and his family thankfully convinced him to stop.

Finally done with camming

Three days ago, I made the decision to quit this toxic cesspool once and for all. I made a video explaining my reasons, thanked everyone who supported me, and informed them that I will move on to getting an education and a job that will allow me to not be subjected to daily abuse.

I haven’t felt this good about my decision in years. I know it won’t be easy, but I am determined to do whatever it takes. Of course, I am being bombarded by manipulative messages, but I block them.

Related: My Name Is “Pretty”: Real Confessions Of An Ex-Webcam Girl

If you want my advice, please, do not believe whatever lies the media are selling about the “exciting” life of dommes. I was a cyber domme, but I have met so many mistresses who need to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs to endure being on camera. Many also use it as a cover-up for selling sex.

So the woman you see “making $10k monthly” being an online domme could be flying all over the country to meet dangerous individuals for sex. Or tey could be helping a cartel laundering money

There is no such thing as showing up cl0thed and making tens of thousands of dollars.

Please stay safe end educate yourself.

Lot’s of love,

Sandra

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The reality of the porn and camming industries

We’re not here to tell anyone what to do, control their sexual choicesor provide shame. But what we can do is give you a frank look at an adult industry that markets itself as a solution to many of the problems with the mainstream porn industry by giving content creators more control. But the reality is, it’s not a perfect platform—webcammers have a ton of problems they have to deal with.

Webcamming has grown in popularity for both models and consumers. Data from a webcam management agency reported the average number of viewers has risen by 29% from 2019 to 2020, and the industry is estimated to be worth almost $10 billion annually.

Related: How OnlyFans Reportedly Facilitates And Profits From Child Sex Trafficking

This line of work is often praised by fans and for its entrepreneurial spirit. Performers can supposedly be their own boss, choose their hours, and set their own terms, including turning down client requests in a way an in-person prostituted person is unable.

While touted as “safe” for models, there are reasons to be wary of a sexual industry that profits from people’s financial desperation.

Poverty is often at the root other issues like sex trafficking, where women in lower socio-economic situations are vulnerable. The reports of single mothers and university students turning to webcamming suggest a similar financial struggle.

But webcamming has a perception problem: It’s widely believed that webcamming is different from and less stigmatized than selling sex, also that it is safer than meeting a buyer face to face. But as we have seen, the idea of webcamming being a risk-free industry is a fantasy in and of itself.

If a consumer stalks or harasses a model, there is little protection from the industry that employs the models. Too often outside of the webcamming and porn worlds, the response is victim-blaming and something like, “What did you expect to happen?”

Related: My Name Is “Pretty”: Real Confessions Of An Ex-Webcam Girl

Instead of asking why cam girls feel coerced into complying with dangerous requests, we should be asking why these requests are being made in the first place.

Because a webcammer’s work takes place online, they are at risk of being harassed there too. The biggest concern is doxxing, when an individual’s personal information such as contact details and private documents are published online. Combined together, webcammers can feel unsafe in the online and real world.

Let’s be clear—we’re not here to shame or pass judgment on webcammers or those who consume webcam sites. It is our goal to help individuals make an educated decision regarding pornography, and we recognize how webcamming isn’t necessarily a “safe” or “ethical” way to consume porn without negative consequences to individuals, relationships, and society.

Related: Florida Man Allegedly Abducted And Threatened To Hurt A Woman Unless She Created OnlyFans Account

Ultimately, webcamming normalizes the transactional purchase of other human beings—even those who are trafficked and exploited—and people are not products. It can also be detrimental to the sexual, mental, and emotional health of both individuals and performers.

Sexual assault isn’t sexy, and sexual exploitation is not entertainment. Consider before consuming.

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