Chapter List

  1. Adult Video Chat. What It Is.

  2. Cam Models. The People Who Do It.

  3. Customers: The People Who Pay For It.

  4. Legality Around The World.

  5. How Cam Sites Work.

  6. Things New Models Need to Beware Of.

  7. Why Cam?

Upward Mobility: The Demographic Realities Of Adult Video Chat Models 

How desperate are our models? That's not a question that we've ever been asked. No one has even hinted at it. But forming that question illuminates what to us is one of the most common misconceptions about webcam models that we experience. What we see as the fundamental fallacy at play applies to all forms of pornography and sex work. That is: 

"Of course no one really wants to do it deep down, but they do because it's their only option to make ends meet and survive." You hear this line of thinking a lot from people who are anti sex work.

It's sort of agreed that, like any line of work, there is a spectrum of relative affluence among individuals taking part. At the tragic end of the spectrum most people have an image of third world street prostitutes who would rather do anything else but have to sell their bodies reluctantly just to barely survive in extreme poverty. At the other end of the spectrum I think we're looking at ultra high-end escorts in major metropolitan cities and high-income social media personality porn stars.

It might be fair to say that affluent ($100,000 per year and higher earnings) adult video chat models would be considered on the furthest right of the spectrum because "at least they don't have to have sex with people." 

These types of rationales (sometimes referred to as Whorearchy) are all predicated on the fundamental premise that all individuals prefer not to do sex work of any kind. 

Why is it that individuals prefer not to do sex work of any kind? You ask. Because of course individuals prefer not to do sex work of any kind, I mean, come on, of course they don't really want to. And if they self-report as wanting to, they're just deluded/brainwashed, too victimized to understand their unhappiness. No one could actually want to. As the tag line of an eponymous anti sex work advocacy group asserts, "No little girl grows up wanting to be a prostitute." 

By and large, adult video chat models are subject to the same stigmatization that any other sex workers face. If the death threats or invitations for me (Jordan) to hurry up and die so I can start burning in hell sooner are any indication, the parties committed to the end of any commercialized sex industry don't have a warm place in their heart for adult video chat. 

As a company, Pandora Modeling is committed to the propagation of the legal commercial sex industry globally. So here are a few completely cherry-picked data points that prop up our bias. We're not making the be-all end-all argument here. We actually don't think there is a big argument to be made: essentially, "Freedom, fuck you" takes care of everything we'd ever feel we need to argue. All we're aiming to do is tell our story and the story of the people we've had the pleasure to represent over the years to help illuminate a more accurate picture about our work. 

"It's weird that people who make a lot less money than I do pity me for something income related."

On average, our performers earn $49.50/hr. There. 

Imagine we walked up to an attractive 24 year old guy in a shopping mall (we wouldn't) and said, "Hey man, you're attractive. Here's what our company does. Here's some other guys in your demographic that do it. It's cool. Some people will probably make fun of you and call you gay, but apart from that, it's sort of an OK gig. Far easier way to make money online than being an Instagram PT. Here's our Twitter."

Do you think we get any calls? It turns out, we do. The vast majority of applicants we've had over the years didn't know that $49.50 number, or any estimation of earnings whatsoever. "Presumably there is money to be made, some money would be good" is the relative level of money fixation. 

A small amount of our applicants self-report as being in extremely difficult financial situations when they start - facing eviction or electric shutoff or the likes. These aren't rare circumstances in America, nor are they indicative of extreme poverty. More than half of Americans have less than $2,000 saved. The need to make a quick buck could happen to anyone. 

But the overwhelming majority of our successful performers weren't destitute. They started camming to supplement their income, wary as anyone would be at first, found success, and left their other jobs to pursue this work full time. That means hundreds of "Now Hiring" signs went up after our people left and presumably hundreds of other people now have jobs because of it. 

Tons of models left $10-15/hr jobs because the math suggested they would have more money to spend each week if they took the hours spent related to that job and instead spent them on the gig that made $49.50/hr.

To suggest that they don't want to do it is incredibly insulting and demeaning. And we think it's intended to be that way. 

In the real world, we talk a lot about "the work" and why people want to do it before they ever start and even more after they're working. Virtually everyone says money. But indications that this is a last resort for economic survival are extremely rare. 

The reality is that someone in extremely dire financial circumstances rarely has a laptop, high speed internet, and a private area to broadcast from. A lot more of our performers come from comfortable one-bedroom apartments in small cities around the US and the world and sometimes are a few days late on rent or as they put it, "just too lazy to get a job." 

At this point we've identified one common trait that all of our performers seem to share:

The Desire For Autonomy 

"When I realized I could make a few hundred dollars a day jacking off in my room, I was no longer seeking other employment." -Anonymous cam guy. 

Political sidebar: Maybe society at large is just uncomfortable with cum. We're not. But if people assert that cum is the main variable between what we're doing and what accountants are doing, doesn't it seem fair that as long as we're cool with cum we should be left to our own devices? 

That $49.50/hr stat doesn't tell the entire story. It's not just $49.50/hr. It's $49.50/hr that an individual can make at noon or midnight, from Baltimore or Bangkok, for 10 hours a week, or 10 hours a day. It's enough money to do anything, be anyone, live anywhere.

We've seen people graduate with master's degrees and zero student loan debt go on to start productive careers in serious industries, from accounting to aerospace. 

We've seen broke small town kids acquire the means for multi-year world travel.

And we've seen single moms struggling to make ends meet waiting tables pay off debt and move their family into a comfortable home and send their kids to private schools. 

All of the stereotypical situations happen, sure. Some days suck. Some months suck. We all go through hard times. There are days when the work feels degrading and off-putting. There are days when it's fun and uplifting. There are people who are horrible. There are people who are great. It's everything. Sometimes we cry tears of joy, sometimes of pain. If any of us happen to make a billion dollars we'll probably quit, but we might still hop on from time to time just to say hi. 

Of course we do it for the money. Everyone does everything for the money. And it turns out that's good.