So let's finally talk about Delfina's post some weeks ago about what makes this forum useful or not to its model members.
Delfina said, and I quote:
How to make this forum more attractive to models? I guess the only way is to discuss problems that really bother models and not just to put here themes which models don't even want to get published and moreover discuss... In models area there are some discussions that really attracted models because there was real advice and not only 'be careful and leave this f***g job'... or discussions of how shameful this job is... So think of that...
I have tried to put my discussion of "shame and stigma" in another context, but it really hits on one of our problems here. The title of this forum ironically expresses a cultural contradiction between East and West, and a confusion in expectations, that really trouble us the most. And I dont really believe that it's my posts about trafficking and sex workers that are our main problem here.
First, it turns out that Cam models are not really like amateur "Cam-Girls" at all - even if both put their life and sometimes their ass online. The amateur Cam-Girls that one finds on MySpace or Yahoo or HiFive open up their most intimate thoughts - and the important events and people in their personal life - to the whole world's inspection, and they seek as much exposure across the entire world wide web as they can possibily get. On the one hand, total exposure is a cam-girl's main strategy for achieving the desirable status of "internet celebrity." On the other hand, most cam-models "don't want to get famous for doing this."
Indeed, Cam-models, however much they may expose their bodies online, live in constant fear of having their working life exposed to their family; friends, and maybe the not so friendly, neighborhood Militiaman. Cam-girls love gossip. Cam-Models hate it, and some of them see this forum as a "gossip circle" for Western "busybodies" and wannabe "do-gooders," who only end up "spreading gossip about us." Of course, I should add that what's one girl's hot gossip is another man's antecdotal evidence, lol, and client gossip remains the main way models inform themselves about the industry they are in. And this remains true. Despite our best efforts to fix that by offering them a secure communications link, most our model members simply choose not to use it.
So our name Cam-Girl Notes appears to be an ironic misnomer..This is a forum that is about Cam-models who work in video chat but almost all of the notes that made here, are posted either by our male members, or by former models and translators who are now out of the business.. The number of active models who still post is miniscule.
If we could change our name, I might suggest something like "Notes on Cam-Models - the Gossip Circle," but fortunately for us we can't do that. Even so, it's interesting to note that the members who post intimate things about themselves are mainly the male members. So in a weird kind of reversal of the usual gender roles - it's the men here who behave the most like the teen-age "cam-girls" one finds elsewhere - and who seek to document their emotional wounds over their relationships with the cam-girls they have known. While our cam-models stay mum about themselves and their feelings by and large, and sit back to listen to the men who chatter on.
But I know that Cam-models can and do worry about the emotional impact their virtual friendships can have on their site members, and in fact talk about it quite a lot - but among their co-workers and not with their public. I know this because models have told me so in my in-depth interviews. Indeed beyond the fear of public exposure, worrying about the impact of their fanatasy" friendships"on the men they meet online, is probably the next most common concern they have expressed to me about their work. As one ukrainian model told me last year:"Here feelings are just the part of the game, not the main part, but anyway, I've never told anybody here anything about love... just playing, flirting, friendship may be... that's all. And as far as I have heard from the girls working in our studio, the most difficult thing for them is not playing in pvt, but playing with people's feelings... [/i]
A sentiment that was echoed by another model just last week who said:
[i] "Psychological harm for the model is really danger as well, since she's vulnerable to moral agression, hostility, humiliation, prejudice and of course, to emotional relationships with customers. Once she's aware of what she might cause in a customer's head things tend to become a little more dangerous."
So I think that having our male members show their feelings and display their wounds on their intro pages may actually be a service for them too - as an aid to further reflection for all the models who pass through here...lol. And of course, I guess it's no accident that the CGN topic that has had the largest number of contact hits is the one on "friendship." "Friendship" leads our list of "greatest CGN hits," at last count some 76 replies and 1707 hits, lol. It's that one particular exchange between models and members that is one part of this forum which resembles the most closely the comments one might read in the "General Forum" on Cam-Contacts for example.
But in general though, I think that the one thing that may have saved us - besides the practical communication links, the alerts to new internet dangers and proxy tools that we offer our model members free of charge - is the general "impersonality" of this forum. This forum has been mainly about diffusing public information about this underground, global industry - and collecting more data - and not about broadcasting far and wide the intimate details of the lives of its model members. However much the guys here might feel free to bleed all over the page.
We must do more to make the models2models section work better - as Delfina suggests - and probably should begin by closing it to all the male members and moderators. That way that part of the forum can really be just for "the girls" -without constant comments from nosey moderators like me - or interference from anxious admins who want to monitor and police their conversations. So we need to find a model who can act as the real moderator of that part of the forum.