BOGOTA – When assessing what makes fertile ground for the growth of an industry sector like webcam, sometimes the contributing factors can be somewhat counterintuitive – or they can be so if one accepts certain embedded assumptions about a country or culture, at least.
The same can be said of adult content consumption, which is likely why mainstream articles often have a tone of shock or disbelief to them when they report about the popularity of online porn in areas of the U.S. which are perceived to be socially-conservative.
In talking to adult industry entrepreneurs about why Colombia has emerged as a hotbed of adult webcamming talent, a sort of theme has emerged: The country’s mix of limited economic opportunity, widespread social conservatism and lack of regulation provides a strong incentive for young people to try their hands at camming.
In campaigning for the presidency of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez ran in part on a platform of diversifying the country’s exports in a way which relies on the creativity and artistry of its people. While the center-right politician likely didn’t have adult webcamming in mind when he said “we are sitting on top of a treasure and don’t realize it,” the comment may apply just as accurately to the webcamming sector as to the Colombian economy at large.
With the country’s economic growth slowing in 2017 and industrial production on the decline, creative and self-motivated young people may indeed turn to an expressive, performative enterprise like camming to help make ends meet.
At the same time, the general religious and social conservatism of Colombia (the population is estimated to be 79 percent Roman Catholic) make it less likely that a domestic industry for the production of “canned” adult movies will develop there than the possibility of further growth of the webcamming industry. By comparison to a traditional video production, webcamming is far easier to keep under the radar.
As referenced earlier, it’s both difficult and often misleading to assess a region or country’s social outlook and culture in generalities. But given the fact the country just elected a president from the Conservative Party and the party itself identifies “unwavering fidelity to the Catholic Church” as a core principle, it’s not a stretch to say social conservatism is widespread among Colombians.
Of course, professed values and actual behavior are not always perfectly aligned – and among independence-minded young people, the idea of rebelling against dominant cultural positions and norms often has a strong appeal.
Another factor which favors the growth of the cam sector in Colombia is the strength of the foreign currencies commonly used by customers, relative to the weakness of the Colombian peso (COP). With a current exchange rate of over 3000 COP to $1 USD and over 3460 COP to €1, getting paid in foreign currencies is an attractive prospect for Colombians.
Of course, arguably the most important and essential thing which drives the development of an emerging industry sector – in any line of business – is the willingness of entrepreneurs, workers and consumers to take risk.
In the context of Colombian adult entertainment, the willingness to take on the risk of growing the industry is represented in part by the establishment of ASOCEA, the full Spanish name of which translates to “the Colombian Association of E-Commerce for Adults.”
Far from hiding or trying to operate sub rosa, ASOCEA has endeavored to establish legitimacy in large part by encouraging adult companies in Colombia to unite, organize and self-regulate.
“One of the objectives to be achieved is clear policies that facilitate the exercise and development of adult companies within formal legal parameters that guarantee both quality and respect for those who are part of it,” the organization said in a statement released earlier this year.
At the first meeting of ASOCEA, members discussed their vision for the organization and set a series of goals to “promote a better business environment, in an industry that highly impacts the Colombian economy.”
All told, Colombia appears well-suited for continued growth of its camming sector and possibly a broader adult entertainment industry expansion, as well. The country is not alone in offering potentially favorable conditions for camming sector growth, of course – which is why the global adult industry is bullish on camming these days, basically everywhere you look.