Webcamming Part 1: A revolution in porn


webcamming porn
Image: LovleyJohn Twitter

Over the past few years webcamming quietly revolutionised the porn industry. Anyone with a webcam and a high-speed internet connection can now sign up to a hosting site and launch their own porn career.

An exclusive series of articles by Destiny Rogers and A. Muriuki on how webcamming revolutionised porn and on the people who work as sex broadcasters.

How the internet and webcamming revolutionised porn

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Back in 2001, the New York Times suggested the American porn industry made more money than major league sports. The article even speculated porn might generate more income than Hollywood.

However, back then, porn producers called the shots and made the big bucks while the talent picked up pennies. Porn actors received low fees and no residual payments. Many performers mainly appeared in movies in order to promote their availability as sex-workers. The internet changed everything.

In the early 2000s, Australian adult shops slapped a retail price as high as $89.95 on DVDs they bought wholesale for between $3.95 and $27.50. A nice mark-up if you can get it, but the availability of free porn on the internet put an end to that.

Originally, webcamming worked similarly to traditional porn. Modeled on phone sex services, mainly female performers worked on a commission basis for large cam sites. The businessman who created the LiveJasmin cam site became Hungary’s richest man from that investment. That website reputedly draws more visitors than CNN’s.

Cam4 and Chaturbate

However, the arrival of sites like Cam4 and Chaturbate allowed ‘amateur’ performers to take control. On those sites, viewers can watch for free but need to pay via pre-purchased tokens to see certain acts performed. Performers also offer ‘private shows’ and promote their personal pages on sites like Many Vids and Just for Fans where they sell videos.

Some also provide links to pages where fans can purchase them gifts. Others sell items such as ‘used’ underwear. Then there’s those who travel the well-trodden porn path of increasing their income by ‘meet-and-greets’ with fans. One group of lads travels the US in a camper van, broadcasting from whatever location they arrive at. More than one gay cammer in the US and Europe publishes a list of cities they’re due to visit and their availability for private encounters.

One particularly entrepreneurial young man charges clients to perform sex acts on cam with him. He also, of course, keeps the earnings from the broadcast.

Webcamming payments

While Cam4 payment rates prove a little difficult to calculate, Chaturbate is transparent on the earnings they return to the broadcasters who use their site.

20 tokens equal US$1 or just under AU$1.50, 64 Russian Rubles or 3,396 Colombian Pesos.

While some American, Australian and webcammers in other wealthy countries do live off their cam earnings, in poorer countries with low employment, that amount of money can be life-altering.

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The two guys in the images accompanying this article regularly make thousands of tokens from their limited ‘gay for pay’ performances.

They live in a country where the promotion of homosexuality is illegal and gay men and women risk violence. Other cammers in that country do perform gay sex acts. Whether they do that because of bravery, foolhardiness or desperation, one can’t be sure.

Hopefully, they geo-block their cam in their home country. The cam sites offer that capability. Also, that country blocks gay web content. QNews.com.au receives more online visitors from the United Arab Emirates with a population of around 10 million than from that country with a population approaching 150 million.

However, the pair in the accompanying images limit their activity to masturbating each other, kissing, and using toys including the mutual simultaneous enjoyment of a double-ended dildo.

John and James also sometimes film scenes with the blonde’s twin brother, but we can’t share any of those clips to a respectable, clean-living, highly moral, almost prudish site like this. A little bird told us that short explicit clips of those scenes appear on their Twitter feed. (Just a warning so that anyone who might be offended knows better than to look.)

Of course, many viewers accuse the guys of latent homosexuality, but they also sometimes appear with girls and the pleasure they take from heterosexual sex does not appear feigned.

Webcamming offers a more reciprocal relationship than traditional porn

John and James enjoy the advantage of good looks, fit bods and engaging personalities, which, believe it or not, makes all the difference to tippers.

Because unlike traditional porn, viewers feel a relationship with cammers. The immediacy of the action – it’s happening right now – not pre-recorded – makes for a more intimate and personal experience. Viewers also enjoy the opportunity to converse with the performers via a text chatbox.

Promoting a webcamming business

Many cammers promote their business via social media postings. The guys we’ve used to illustrate this article do so brilliantly, promoting upcoming broadcasts, advertising videos for sale and showing something of their private life to encourage viewer engagement.

Unfortunately for cammers, recent changes to Facebook and Instagram Terms of Use now make those platforms virtually useless for them.

Both platforms outlaw nearly anything of a sexual nature, including the recent ban on using certain emojis to cover nudity. The following image of James for example would result in a ban from either Facebook or Instagram.

webcamming

For now, cammers must rely on Twitter to promote their businesses. Facebook and Instagram also block any attempt to post a link to a porn site, including via private message.

In future articles in the series, we discuss how cammers risk imprisonment to broadcast gay sex scenes from countries where gay sex is illegal. We look at gay men and women and trans performers from countries like Venezuela saved from destitution by camming. We also examine the issue of ‘gay for pay’ where straight male cammers perform gay sex acts because gay sex scenes provide so much more money for a male performer than straight scenes.

webcamming

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.