Sex work and cam modeling can be empowering. Being wanted or desired is extremely enticing and although it comes with some mental uphill battles, there are many positives as well.
Since stress and isolation can prove to be difficult, staying connected to friends as well as the online community of models is extremely important for mental health. This is especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused more loneliness than usual, as well as increased mainstream awareness of such struggles. Plus, social anxiety and depression can become very prevalent with individuals that spend too much time in front of a screen rather than having real human interactions and the same goes for camming.
It can be especially easy to fall into a path of constantly working when you do so from home, all the while forgetting to take time to focus on mental health and reconnecting with loved ones. Even though you may be starting a new journey as a cam model or you feel as though you have lost a sense of self after working in the industry for a few years, it’s never too late to add routine back into your life so that your mental health does not take a toll. Personally, I find that setting time out every morning to start my day with yoga, exercise and a good meal fuels my sense of well-being.
Create a schedule that you can stick to that outlines what hours you spend in front of your webcam; include lunch and breaks in this schedule, as well as two days a week put aside to focus on yourself and have face-to-face social interactions (even if remotely, due to health concerns).
The social stigma that continues to exist around sex work can make isolation feel even stronger if you do not have a good support system around you. Many models choose not to tell their families about camming and, having come from a strict Middle Eastern and Jewish family myself, I can definitely understand why; but it is important to have someone you can talk to.
Make sure not to totally detach yourself from old friends; keep up with hobbies and any healthy lifestyle elements you had prior to becoming a webcam model. A supportive friend that you trust can have more value and positive impact than a hundred acquaintances. Listen to this friend and don’t forget that you may be an outlet for them as well; stay aware in order to keep the friendship healthy and thriving!
It is important to be able to turn your webcam off and unwind when you are finished broadcasting, but while you do cam, speaking to viewers and interacting with fans can help relieve some feelings of isolation. You can also connect with other models to widen your support network; and collaboration is a great way to not only make money, but to solidify bonds in the industry. Using dedicated adult industry blogs and forums targeted towards cam model communities is also useful, since threads can be used to find other models in similar situations.
Another great resource for models in the adult industry is Pineapple Support, which aims to provide mental health care and emotional support to the “adult online media entertainment industry.” They offer 24/7 online aid as well as free and/or subsidized professional advice. It’s important to seek such therapy when necessary and not be scared to admit when you need it; we all do sometimes. In fact, CAM4 has partnered with Pineapple Support, because we believe it is a great way to ensure performers are getting assistance whenever they need.
The lifestyle of a cam model can be fantastic; you can widen your network and it can give you the financial freedom to cross off things you have always wanted to accomplish. So just be sure to keep your life balanced and separate you-as-a-model from who you are as a person. Surround yourself with a good support system and utilize the resources available to you when you want to expand your network. Don’t forget that even though it’s a job, you can have a lot of fun chatting with your fans and putting on a performance!
Vicki Gray is a CAM4 account manager, who can be followed @VickiGrayxxx on Twitter and contacted by email at Vicki@CAM4.com.