On Online Friendships...Oh My...!!!
Greensleeves.. this is a really hard topic...in many ways..
because online "friendships" are hard to disentangle from the commercial relationship between clients and models.
Everyone onsite is afraid of being used or abused one way or the other..afraid of dropping their masks; or expressing genuine feelings for fear that this openess will allow their real feelings to be fucked with..and for fear of ending up as another "sucker"..another victim who was "played."
So as one of your Kiev colleagues once said:
"Hey, Guys. This is the Internet..THERE IS NO EMOTIONS HERE."
But of course, she was not entirely correct....as she herself knew - since this model made at least one or two "friends" from the website who were really devoted to her personal well-being rather than just to viewing her pussy.
But just one quick look at the Models' Manual from *F4F* (posted here), can tell us what guy clients worry about most... that they will become so infatuated with that special someone, that their friendly and loving feelings will make them vulnerable to being manipulated by a model and exploited financially by a web-site. And of course, the admins at F4F and elsewhere actively encourage their models to do exactly that .. To say anything necessary to encourage a client to bond emotionally with them.. As the F4F Manual says "The money is in lonely men not horny men" - meaning those sex show customers who just come "to masturbate and then leave..."
But cam-girls have their own worries about friendship too, because their online men friends who "respect them so much.." make terrible customers who eat up a lot of the time that could be spent giving attention to the guys who might actually pay for a private show... A Russian model from Petersburg who appears on keepshows summed this up pretty well when she told me that she had made a lot of friends at work but now regretted it a little because she didn't know how to make their friendship pay her bills....
“Mad, yes, sure. But try to understand me. I spend nearly all of my time here, there r some really close friends to me, really good people whom I like not only in here, but that I think I might like in real life. But I told u this is a job… I work here not for free…”
Well I think that this dilemma is very real, and especially so for all those models who are only paid by the minute for the time they spend in private shows. One thing that we can say for the Kiev studio is that there at least the models are paid something for the long hours they spend in free chat ministering to the emotional needs of the lonely hearts and emotionally wounded...But most of the time that models spend being somebody's online social worker is never compensated.
All these services given by models - all the small gestures of sympathy - represent unpaid labor time..So are they a true labor of love ? Or merely "Love's Labour Lost..??" lol
This problem is made even more acute in my humble opinion (lol). because even if most of the clients are virtual sex tourists, many models work in video chat in the hope that they will meet at least a few men who will be both interesting and interested in them... Indeed this hope for an special friendship with a client that starts with a commercial transaction but later becomes "open-ended," is very common among sex workers, (we sociologists call it "passport eyes"). And it is the way this job is advertised at least in Russia by the some of the model agencies like Elivebusiness and Contours ( see the translations of their webpages in General informaiton). Their sales pitch to Russian students turned cam-girl seems to be something like this:
"Come be seen by the world! Make some good money and meet some nice guys."[/color]
And this hope dies hard... some models believe fiercely in the reality of their foreign, "virtual friends.."
Here's what a Russian nursing student on keepshows told me this winter on her last day on line "I have a lot of friends here. That is why I will come back (in the summer)…. Mad yes, beggars are part of our work, but I don’t think about them. I only think about my friends! They are far (away) and they love me and they need me. It is not only a job, it is more...”
But others lose faith pretty quickly - as one Bucharest model from MFC said to me last week...
“What can I say? It’s hard not to live in a fairy tale. But, it’s true that sometimes I think the same thing.... That through this job I will meet some nice guy, but the chances are too few.. I just try to be honest and nice…”
This comment raises another problem for models, I think, that was put very well by one of your former colleagues on private feedswhen she said last fall that the most difficult aspect of this job was not performing some sex act on oneself in private sessions (all those endless, baroque variations on the basic client command of "Strip and Masturbate, " lol), but the emotional desinformatzia (i.e. the constant lying about one real feelings) that are a necessary part of acting out a "part" in some client's emotional power trip... Because after all, all sex work is basically "just acting" in someone else's fantasy script.
This is what she said in her own words.
"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... As for the acting, sure it is necessary to a certain extent, cause people (male clients) want to feel that they are needed, that they are strong, that they are really appreciated... and sometimes that's true, not acting, sometimes that's acting... different people - different treatment..."
So there we have it in a nutshell...
What I personally think its that sex video chat exists in a larger internet network where people are using the internet all the time as an integral part of their dating and courtship practices... forming friendship networks that span the Globe on Hi5, ICQ, MSN, PalTalk or Yahoo. And of course many freelance models who work from home use all of these services as a dual-use technology - a tool for their commercial sex work, but also away of keeping in touch with their web of friendships
So it's almost inevitable - despite everything the web-pimps may try to do to prevent it - that some of the people who meet in sex chat will use this marvelous commnication network that the pimps have set up - for their own social purposes and personal agendas. So people find ways to put it to another use than the one for which it is intended - that is making tons of money really fast... These alternative uses include nuturing friendships and exploring online romances because let's face it, some models and some clients just refuse to stay within their assigned roles as "web-content" or sex show customers.
And thank God for that.
Am I wrong, Greensleeves?
Just an incurable old romantic who is a naif underneath his cynical shell?