Why More and More Porn Stars Are Doing Live Camming Performances
Anyone who's spent some time poking around the porn sites has probably experienced a pop-up ad featuring a woman and a webcam. That individual is a member of theÂ camming universeÂ ,Â a new and booming form of adult content made possible by advancements in bandwidth and technology. The industry, which theÂ New York TimesÂ Â has estimated to bring in around $1 billion in annual revenue, revolves around live sex acts performed by potentially amateur individuals. Because no physical footage is (typically) amassed, cam performers can walk around relatively anonymously. Itâs not that uncommon for these individuals to wear additional titles like girlfriend, roommate or even babysitter.
Sure, the camming universe and the porn industry are related, but theyâre more like sisters than twins. Each requires a distinct set of skills, and not all translate between industries.
âCamming is more about the engagement, the fun, the relationship, things like that,â saysÂ Nikki NightÂ , head of performer developing and training at Cam4. âI've seen a lot of porn stars come to the site and start to try camming and totally fail, because it's such a different thing, to engage.â
Cam4 has seen such an influx of porn stars attempting to enter the camming world that it set up a separate category for them to do so. Theyâre called âSuper Shows,â a weekly event in which the platform invites top porn stars, beauty queens and fetish models to go live for one hour. âWe set it up for them like a halfway mark. They don't really have to learn how to cam, but they're still able to give this show, and they're still able to be in that world.â
Other stars prefer a more DIY style. Catalina Cruz, a self-styled âqueen of fellatio,â recently went live on her own site to debut her first two-guy threesome. âThis will be the very first time I have been with any other man,â the married performer said in apress releaseÂ . âMy true reactions will take place live for others to see. I'm very excited, yet, to be honest, nervous too! I feel like a newbie again.â
âIt's great publicity for attracting some new fans in,â says Tommie McDonald, marketing director for British-born porn performerÂ Harriet SugarcookieÂ . âAs a marketing event, it can be very valuable.â
Itâs an important pivot, McDonald notes. Namely because, these days, porn stars arenât pulling in the kind of cash Hollywood depictions of the industry would have you think. According to a recent report by CNBC, the average adult actress is paid somewhere between $800 and $1,000 for âtraditionalâ sex scenes; that is, heterosexual vaginal intercourse. Male performers get evenÂ lessÂ , earning around $500-600 per scene. Add in travel time and set prep, testing requirements, and the fact that most porn stars donât see a dime ofÂ royaltiesÂ , and youâre not left with a lot of opportunities to earn huge amounts of cash. âThere are easier ways to make money,â says McDonald. âItâs quite a hard job.â
Stars who do make the transition from scripted pornography to live sex shows seem to have one thing on their side: charisma. âItâs very personality driven,â says McDonald. âI know it's visual, but the rules of the game kind of work the same way as radio. It's all about keeping talking, keeping reminding people what's going on. It's a real high skilled job.â
Adult film actress Kaylani Lei recently launched her official site, where she can connect directly with fans via Snapchat or Skype. For $300, fans can purchase a 10-minute video custom-made to meet their specific fantasies. For an additional $600, theyâll get 20 more minutes of content. That same amount of money will get them slightly more on Skype. At $300, fans will get a 15-minute show; $900 gets them 45 minutes.
As far as the Super Shows go, Nikki Night has noticed that one particular group of performers tend to come out on top. âTransgender performers tend to do the best,â she says. âThey make crazy amounts of tips.â Some, she says, can make up to $2,000 in tips for a one-hour performance. As we've previously noted,Â trans pornÂ Â is among the most popular genres, specifically, among heterosexual men.Â
Obviously,Â sex sellsÂ . That point has been demonstrated over and over again. But this particular brand of sex, this kind of interactive eroticism, may serve more purposes than one, at least according to some insiders. âAdmitting that you're lonely is such a taboo thing,â says McDonald. âYoung men would rather admit theyâre looking for some sex. Theyâd rather admit that than admit theyâre quite lonely.â
On the platform he works for, heâs seen very little crossover between the customers looking for more traditional pornographic content, and those interested in the camming services provided. âItâs a completely different type of customer,â he says. âTheyâre looking for different things.â
The internet is a big place, with more people logging on every day. For those looking to enter an increasingly competitive adult industry, dabbling in different forms of content might prove a path worth taking. Â
"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.