It comes as little surprise that the adult webcamming industry is doing pretty well right now. Millions of people are stuck at home waiting out the coronavirus and many of those are bored and horny. Webcams provide an outlet for both states of being. But as the virus rages outside, many of us are also scared, anxious, cooped up, and lonely. Sheltering in place is not for the faint of heart. Enter adult webcam models, who bravely take on not just the burden of allaying randiness and boredom in their viewers—but often their fears, as well.
In a recent article on Vox, writer Mark Hay took a look at how the spike in webcam traffic may not be driven entirely by horniness, but rather worldwide needs for human connection.
With many of us stuck at home alone or with family or partners or roommates who are just as anxious as we are, wrote Hay, “The quest for connection—especially the kind of one-sided and uncomplicated intimacy cam sites often provide—may well explain why [Alex] Hawkins [of xHamster] says that xHamster’s cam platform has seen traffic grow twice as fast as its flagship tube site” during the coronavirus pandemic. Similarly, reported Hay, Cams.com has seen about a 30 percent increase in traffic, whileStripchat says growth has accelerated as lockdowns have expanded.
“Cammers note that they, as a distinct category of sex workers, offer a unique form of connection,” wrote Hay, “which may be especially appealing in times of stress and crisis, when people want uncomplicated care and comfort.”
The unique connection between cammers and their viewers has long been a staple of the adult webcamming industry. In 2018, Annie Lord at Vice wrote, “The emotional labor involved in camming is a paradox: It’s what makes the job fulfilling—rather than flashing usernames, these men become your actual friends.” And that friendship is, Hay at Vox believes, part of why camming is exploding right now.
During a pandemic, when anxiety over everything from health to finances to personal relationships is at an all-time high, that care and comfort can be hard to find. Hay spoke to cammer Jessica Sterling, who said, “A relationship with a friend is reciprocal…You vent to your friend, and it’s expected that your friend can in turn vent to you. The intimacy a sex worker provides is one-way. It is effortless on the part of the client. They just have to pay the sex worker’s fee. The focus is on the client’s experience, the client’s wants and needs.”
Performer Alex Coal told Hay, “I don’t feel like I can share all my concerns and worries with people in my personal life. You don’t want to overload your loved ones…Venting to a friend online is much more comfortable.”
In other words, cammers are providing a huge and important service to their viewers in these difficult times. So remember to tip your favorite cammer well, and practice care and compassion for them, too. These times are tough for all of us.