People who work in the adult entertainment industry are also knows as sex workers whether or not any sex actually takes place. Strippers don’t (or shouldn’t) have sex with their clients. Webcammers do not have sex with their clients. Sex phone operators do not have sex with their clients. Yet we are all grouped under this sex umbrella and with it comes huge stigma. From the camgirl’s perspective I feel isolated from the world a bit. I have to choose whether or not to omit information about my work or to take the risk and be forthcoming only to be treated differently than others with more ‘normal’ jobs. No matter how healthy or positive your mindset is you can not change the way others react. Often you are forced to live a secret life or to isolate yourself. Either option is unhealthy. When we can live honest lives we can be content.
Interestingly enough many people who have endured sexual trauma somehow end up in this industry. I myself am included in this particular group. This phenomenon can not easily be explained, it just is. Perhaps it is an instinctual pull to address our underlying issues. To truly embrace our own sexuality and others as a positive experience can be truly therapeutic. I must say today I have never been more of an advocate for sexual health and wellness. My journey has not been without struggle. Often a webcammer who has experienced sexual trauma can be triggered, though this can also be a form of exposure therapy. That goes without saying that it is risky. Panic attacks come and go but they are debilitating. Depression is like breathing. It can be controlled to an extent but it can also run on it’s own. An individual in this industry could easily travel down a dark train of thought and obsess. Obsessive thoughts are destructive. They rob the joy of living in the moment and exacerbates an already negative situation.
In three months 4 adult film stars have committed suicide. Is the industry to blame? The whole world? The individual? There is no easy or comfortable answer as there is rarely a singular cause. It is likely a combination of influences and circumstances. So how do we improve? This discussion is an important one. Sex workers are not currently provided any health care. We must seek it out on our own. Counseling specific or friendly to sex workers is difficult to obtain and costly. All sex workers must be incredibly responsible and hard working people to stay afloat despite what many would think. When your job is based on your looks that is always a 24/7 job. There is a lot of pressure for all of us. People truly do believe it’s easy money but they are misinformed. All webcammers are business owners and their body/mind is the product. It is an incredibly demanding job. The girls who do well and make it look effortless are the ones who put in the most effort. Incredible amounts of research are required to get started let alone succeed. You must maintain a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle to protect yourself from degrading physically and mentally. You are more prone to infection than the average woman. Relationships are more difficult to obtain and maintain.
All roads seldom traveled are difficult to walk. Every sex worker today paves the way for future adventurers. I hope to be one of many who provide insight in efforts to make it safe and accessible to anyone interested in sex work and webcamming in particular. I am a passionate person in every way. It shows in my interactions with people online and off. I hope my passion for what I do reaches you. Hear me when I say that you and I are the ones who determine if adult entertainment is good or evil, when in reality it really shouldn’t be that serious. Treat all sex workers with respect. Don’t bully or shame. Listen intently and understand when we say that we deserve respect. Our work is work just like your job. We do it to pay the bills and survive but we also do it because we enjoy it. Pity, disgust and judgement have no place here.
This is the number for the national suicide hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255
If you or someone you know are having thoughts/feelings of suicide do not hesitate to call. This service is here just for that and it’s a good first step in the right direction.