Photo courtesy of Eddy Chen/HBO.

So you want to become a cam girl during quarantine?

Here's how to get started and actually turn a profit.

by Beatrice Hazlehurst
|
May 20 2020, 6:00am

Photo courtesy of Eddy Chen/HBO.

School is out. High schoolers have packed away their textbooks, wondering if the ‘college experience’ will be another rite-of-passage to surrender come September. As reward for four years of sweat and tears, university seniors contend with delayed gratification: a 2021 graduation. But despite the weather warming, many young opportunists will still be studying -- just not bio or English lit. There’s a new course, with almost guaranteed payoff, that might be worth sacrificing summer for: ‘Intro to Cam Modeling.’

In the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the sex industry is enjoying a unprecedented second cumming. While retail stocks plummet beyond prediction and tourism is in tailspin, vibrator sales have continued to soar, lingerie brands are reporting record takings and porn, well, let’s just say heightened engagement is likely here to stay. With lockdown leaving us few avenues to alleviate tension, cybersex has become inevitable -- as have leagues of aspiring entrepreneurs with webcams and nothing to lose.

Finding success as an online sex worker in the age of digital fluency already meant rising above a sea of competition, but now, with 36 million newly unemployed who are mandated to stay-at-home, the stakes are even higher. For the most part, however, the overnight windfall frequently depicted in mainstream media (think Euphoria’s 17-year-old Kat offered hundreds in exchange for half an hour session within weeks of beginning her cam career), is familiar to very few industry newcomers.

“[So many girls think] 'So I’m just gonna get online, get naked and watch the money pour in,'” says popular cam girl Romi Chase. “They think it’s a quick and easy way to make cash, but it’s not. Yes, it can be very lucrative if done right, but it’s just like any other job, only you are your own boss and nobody is going to motivate you to work but yourself. It’s hard work.”

As such, a new revenue stream has emerged for veteran cybersexuals: showing the new girls the ropes. Spring-boarding off a robust social media following, Romi Chase dedicated herself to securing regulars and within a matter of months, reached the top 0.4 percentile of OnlyFans creators (there are roughly half a million cam girls operating on the site). Now, the Poland-native is sharing her success with others, creating an online workshop for women with a set of visual resources that detail how to get ahead on cam platforms, as well as a live chat feature for personal questions. Between camming and her online courses, she now rakes in roughly $10,000 dollars a month.

“I’m here to motivate [rookies], help them maximize their earnings through online content creation,” Chase continues. “Having become a successful creator, I just want to share the knowledge I have with others especially during this challenging time.”

To build a solid client base off that content requires “constant attention and availability,” continues Chase. Not only does she offer sexual intimacy, but she checks in with her regulars about their lives, sharing pictures and music -- and she’s showered in tips and gifts in return. Considering she primarily performs in individual shows, “consistency is key”: maintaining her client base requires constant research, planning sessions and content creation for social media. Nevertheless, the model enjoys the often tedious, labor-intensive side of camming, something that has greatIy contributed to her success.

“I genuinely enjoy my job... When I get a live show booking, I write down ideas, plan out outfits and makeup,” she explains. “I want my fans to be satisfied with the experience I provide, so I always like to be prepared. For an individual, intimate experience like this, I am definitely able to charge more now than I normally would have on any cam site.”

According to popular cam site, FanCentro, for girls considering a cam career the time is now. In the wake of mandated quarantine, there’s been a 200 percent increase in profile follows, with the average visitor spending 25 percent more time on the site than usual. Concurrently, FanCentro has seen a 65 percent increase in sign-ups -- approximately 400 new users a day -- many of whom will be out-of-work sex workers or porn performers, unfairly inelligible for unemployment benefits. In response, the company has incepted ‘Centro University’ to launch in June, which will aid ‘influencers’ in strategizing to ultimately, of course, make more money.

“CentroU was born out of a desire to help sex workers transition to online forms of income,” claims marketing VP Kat Revenga, adding that the educational resource covers everything from brand-building to driving traffic. “The fastest path to success with FanCentro is by understanding and utilizing all of our features, and that is what CentroU sets out to do. CentroU is designed to ensure there’s no influencer left confused.”

In an effort to attract and assist adult entertainers who generally work in public venues during the pandemic, the platform also created ‘StripperCentro' so that strippers and dancers can transition their clients online. The program is designed so that when society returns to normal, strippers can use it to supplement their regular income. While it may all sound seamless, Revenga assures that real profit takes practise, and serious self-promotion.

“The lockdown has proven that there are many options for earning in the adult industry, but the truth is it’s a great deal of work. Content creation is only part of the equation... Influencers should also think about their image and brand and what they can offer that fans can’t get elsewhere. In this industry, it’s important to think about what sets you apart.”

With global restrictions forcing her business to transition to cam-only, international dominatrix Eva Oh is grateful for the intimate relationships she’s developed with clients. That’s not to say she didn’t ensure her domme identity had a point-of-difference. Oh’s “authoritarian and unattainable, yet warm” persona draws in submissives organically, who pay roughly $1000 for 30 minutes to an hour of her time. After unending requests from fellow sex workers for insider tips on business-building, Oh created an e-book guide for would-be dommes benefitting sexual health non-profit Project X.

“Differentiating oneself and paying close attention to what the market is asking for right now is particularly crucial,” echoes Oh. “For me, it has been about positioning myself clearly. By communicating a clear brand and preferences, I am more likely to attract people who might suit my needs. I pay close attention to their personalities and needs; it’s an ongoing process.”

The rigmarole of Oh’s selection process ensures her a connection with clients that is impossible to replicate with another sex worker, guaranteeing customer loyalty. Chase, too, has been told her close relationship with fans is rare in the industry, revealing she and her regulars are now “good online friends.” Both entrepreneurs read and respond to the needs of their benefactors, encompassing roles of mother, wife, friend, mistress and therapist. With or without the degree from CentroU, the best cam girls are just emotional chameleons with high-speed entertainment.

“I provide an experience on my platforms,” Chase shares, “not just a bunch of pictures and videos. I’m there for my fans because at the end of the day I know I wouldn’t be where I am without them… so I step up my game.”

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