“Yes, this place has all kinds of gluten-free options. It’s a total health-oriented restaurant. Everything on the menu is labeled for whether it is gluten-free, dairy-free, oil-free, vegan, etc. Every dish has the calorie count. You’re going to be fine.” I was imploring Audrey Piper.
She was right to be skeptical.
The night before we had dined at Pho Saigon 8, the one on Eastern, one of my old standbys from my days of calling Las Vegas home. I was sure that the pho was gluten free and it would be no big deal. But this is one of those places where the wait staff do not know the word gluten, or that it is a thing that someone might want to be free from. She was cool and everything but the meal had been less of an exciting cultural experience to launch our friendship into new and exciting ventures and more of a dud.
I made sure to overcorrect for brunch the next day and chose Greens and Proteins, the one on Flamingo. I wasn’t about to ruin my budding friendship with THE Audrey Piper by choosing back-to-back unsatisfactory food options.
With her approval, we arrived at the restaurant, ordered totally appropriate food, and sat down at a table in the corner.
“So what made you decide to actually cam?”
I’ve been fortunate to meet and spend time with a lot of the models from Pandora over the years. And I always ask some version of this question. Audrey’s answer mirrored what I’ve heard many times.
There is always an epiphany, always.
People - often people who would never consider doing something like this in a million years - see an ad from Pandora. It’s just clever enough to make them click, they check out our site, and do their homework. Curious but not serious.
At some point, they read something, hear something, or see something that makes something click. They don’t just decide to try camming. They feel overwhelmingly certain that it’s exactly the thing they’ve been looking for and that they’re going to dominate it.
Lesson One: Resign Yourself to Success.
If I have seen a picture of you and we have been talking about camming for more than 60 seconds, you can probably make a good living as a cam model. It might be incredibly hard - it is for most people - but you can probably do it. Trust my filter.
The models who have had the most success just decided, in most cases before they ever even made their cam account, that that was what was going to happen.
They didn’t always set out to become #1, and plenty of them have never been #1. On Flirt4Free that’s a somewhat arbitrary number that’s mostly a factor of hours worked among the most popular models over the previous seven days. At the highest levels of camming, it really is just a question of how long you can stay online. But what all of the superstars that I’ve had the pleasure to work with share is that they just set out to be successful, and they inevitably were.
Inevitable is the key word. The challenge high potential models face is just how successful are they going to be? How do they maximize their income? That’s where I have often come in.
There is a big difference between $50/hr and $100/hr and at each of those levels a big difference between doing it for 10 hours per week and 40 hours per week. Two models with identical hourly rates could respectively make $250,000/year and $25,000/year because one does it full-time and the other has totally valid work/life balance and hikes and does sports things and that is totally valid and please don’t yell at me, Dy… never mind.
Anyway, what they all share is just a decision that they were going to make the lion’s share (often all) of their income from camming, and then they just did it.
Did they have doubts? Sure. We all do.
The doubts come in the form of questions like:
How long will this last?
What will I do after this?
When am I going to quit?
Models who fail never have that thing click where they just resign to success. They flip flop about it mentally and emotionally. They are not sure if they are really OK with the gig and look for reasons to sabotage it. They try it out, they dip a toe in the water, but they’re really never committed to being in the pool, and then that’s how you drown.
That’s perfectly valid too, by the way: there are a lot of good reasons not to cam. It’s for sure not for everyone. Some people would be miserable doing it and should try to make money doing anything else, world needs plentyuh bartenders.
But if you’re going to do it, you might as well actually do it. Doubt all you want, but do it anyway.
Lesson Two: You Have to Believe that It’s Cool.
More than anything, cam models are entertainers. Customers spend money on them for the same reasons they spend money on any other type of entertainment.
To enjoy themselves.
To be entertained.
To feel something.
To kill time.
Because they don’t have anything else going on right now.
Mostly, it’s about feelings. Customers want a particular feeling and the site is arranged to steer them to pay to get that feeling.
Successful models are entertaining while they work. As a general rule, unhappy, unenthusiastic people who resent the work are less entertaining.
Got it, so just force a smile when you’re on cam. Easy.
Not exactly. This is difficult to articulate. So bear with me for a bit.
The vibe that comes across from a cam model who genuinely thinks camming is cool is way way different from the vibe that comes across from someone who doesn’t. It’s not about what they say, whether they smile, or any single thing you could point to as an example.
Successful cam models who love the work do have days when they hate the work, days/weeks when they feel like they’re wasting their life and should be doing anything else, shifts where the customers in their room annoy the ever-living shit out of them and they hate them - even the ones who spend a lot of money, even sometimes while they’re spending a lot of money. They have times where they get pissed off and are visibly angry with people on cam.
It isn’t a nice/smiling, positivity-based point of view. It’s about your belief system as it relates to camming, yourself, and your role in the world.
How do you feel when you think about these various aspects of working as a cam model?
Anonymous individuals on the Internet paying you for private one-on-one shows, where you will typically be naked, and doing some kind of erotic/sexual performance. Or, a handful of users tipping you to all watch the same type of show together.
You may or may not develop an ongoing virtual relationship with those customers, playing the role of boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, dom/sub, side piece, etc. Some relationships will last 5 minutes, some may last 5 years.
The rules of the network explicitly state that you won’t ever exchange personal information with these customers or meet them in person.
You’ll be exposed to an extremely wide range of sexual and fetish expression. Every day, customers will make requests for you to do things you haven’t done before, and you’ll have to decide whether you’re comfortable doing that or not.
Customers in chat will constantly be trying to take advantage of you. To trick you into doing something for free. To lower your prices. To do more for less (and sometimes less is nothing). Not ALL customers, but enough that you’ll experience at least one every day that you work.
You’ll work as much or as little as you want, whenever you want, totally up to you, from your laptop, anywhere in the world.
You’ll compete against a lot of other people like you doing the same work for rankings/contest wins, as higher rank = more traffic flow = higher dollars-per-hour income.
Everything will be up to you. Even if you use a management agency like Pandora, at the end of the day it’s entirely on you to decide whether you keep camming or not, whether you log in to broadcast or not, whether you maintain relationships with customers or not. We can add value to active cam models, but we can’t do anything without activity from the model.
You will have days where you make no money, or almost no money. You don’t get a fixed per-hour result. There is huge variance.
How would you feel about all of that? Did every point, as you read it, feel like a concession you would have to make, another lower level you would have to stoop to? Or did they read like interesting challenges or opportunities that you’d like to get a lot deeper into?
I think that simple perspective is the single greatest determiner of how camming is going to go for you. If it excites you, turns you on, lights up your creativity, and can become the thing that you get obsessed with being great at, you will be.
Customers respond enthusiastically to a cam model’s enthusiasm when it’s real. When you really give a shit about it, when it’s important to you, they will reciprocate.
Lesson Three: Prioritize Customer Experience.
Great models care about the customer experience, above just about everything else.
Great models put all of their focus on customers, not on themselves. They objectify themselves from the customer’s point of view, understand exactly what buttons the customer needs pressed, and then press them. They use their body, words, room layout, toys, and everything else imaginable to make sure those buttons get pushed.
They don’t get on cam and wait for something to happen and react to users coming into their rooms, even if that’s exactly what it looks like is happening. Great models are like sharks; unwitting customers come into their room, thinking it’s a low stakes, virtual environment and they can just chit chat and it’s safe. Then the great model does two or three things and the customer is hooked, even if they don’t know it yet.
Customers who spend a ton of money on great models aren’t doing it entirely of their own volition. The model invents a reality where the customers don’t have any choice but to keep spending. If a customer is responsive to fun vibes, the model has a vibe where the most fun thing to do is spend. If the customer is a Chuck Rhoades style power bottom, the model crafts a world in which spending is a depraved act that triggers the customer’s act of submission. If the customer is a romantic, the model gives them a reality in which spending is the most romantic expression of love and adoration there ever was.
Most models naturally go a certain way. There are any number of spectrums you can put things on: dom/sub, intimate/detached, verbal/quiet, bright/dark, etc. but really, everyone comes to camming falling somewhere on those spectrums naturally, whether they know exactly where or not. Camming is likely to reveal where you fall and in some cases it might change your preferences and move you to different parts of whatever spectrum. There is no right or wrong place to be, though.
A trend that we see a lot is models having customer that are like them. Sarcastic models have sarcastic fans. Love addict models have love addict fans. Dark customers find dark models. We all vibe with what we vibe with. The bros find each other.
But great models are chameleons. They can vibe with everybody. They’re character actors that can switch between roles in a second, improv superstars. Light/dark, loud/quiet, nice/mean, innocent/evil, hard/soft, hard/harder. That’s the work.
It might seem like the distinction is that good models are just being themselves authentically and great models pretend to be different than they are. But that’s not it at all. I think these great models giving those performances are more like themselves than any of us.
Playing a role is not being fake. Putting on a mask isn’t a lie. Characters, roles, stories, fantasy, make believe - these are the things we created to make life mean something, to make it make sense. Great models just do that. They play the role of helping customers play the roles they need to play to get through the day; and they commit to the bit.
There are so many other things that are going on with camming at any given time. Time wasters in your open chat, not being sure if X is going to show up, sleeping when you aren’t working, wondering if you’ll make enough money to pay your bills, all the normal doldrums of human life. But in the best cases, for a few moments that all fades away and nothing but the performance exists. That commitment to the performance is what separates good models from great models.
Honestly, that’s pretty much it.
Just commit to being a great cam model, have an accurate assessment of what camming is (cool), and go all out on customer service.
P.S. The food ended up being pretty good at Greens and Proteins, and Audrey and I remain friends all these many months later.