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Camming has created a unique relationship with her tools of production

Camming has created a unique relationship with her tools of production

Models are known as much for the personality, party tricks and gimmicks as they are for their sexual prowess

“I think I play the-girl-next-door role the most,” Lotts says. “I think that’s how I come off. So, my audience is like those boys who had girl best friends in high school, and they’re just used to having girls to talk to. And they run their ideas by me, or they ask me their opinions. I kind of feel like a therapist sometimes.”

Lotts is constantly connected to her fans through Instagram and Twitter; she plays games with them on her streams, raffles off PlayStations and Oculus Rifts, and dresses up as their favorite video game and comic book characters at their request. For Lotts, her viewers aren’t just pay-to-play voyeurs but a community of close, personal friends.

“It’s a chat room,” she says. “We’re just all hanging out as friends. They hang out as friends outside of my chat room now, because they’ve met outside of my chat room. I’ve created my own little community within this giant community. And the reward is, you get to see me naked every once in awhile.”

Throughout my conversations with Aspen, ber, the conversation always comes back to connection: that same connection that Kelly Holland and Clinton Cox speak of, the one Mark Zuckerberg proselytizes to investors and journalists. It’s the same thing that drove millions of people to flock to . Cox says he doesn’t see the difference between what these girls do and what plays out on social media every day, and with mainstream celebrities like Kim Kardashian proudly exposing their bodies on mainstream apps like Instagram, it’s hard to argue with that logic.

But just as in the real world, that pursuit of connection online has real consequences. Mounting evidence shows that the more we connect online, the more isolated we feel in real life. Loneliness is a very real thing.

Live webcamming gives lonely, introverted people all over the world the opportunity for human connection. For Lotts and her friends Amber Vixx and Stefanie Joy, that connection isn’t a one-way experience. Lotts says that the most successful cam models are the shy ones, the ones who never leave their houses. She says that since she took up camming she’s spent more and more time at home. Today, she rarely leaves her house, except for conventions, going as far as to have her groceries delivered to avoid the outside world. Her computer has become, at least for her, more than a source of income or a way of cashing in on male desire.

“It is a security blanket,” she says. “That’s exactly how I put it. As long as I have it on, I feel okay.”

She would become something of an internet phenomenon, a precursor to the unvarnished YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram celebrities of today. She appeared in profiles for major media organizations and eventually made a much-cited appearance on David Letterman’s show. But for all of the mainstream hype, Jennicam’s appeal was decidedly NSFW.

“In a world of a quarter of a million girls, and that’s a complete back of the napkin number, success is how you can differentiate, how you can become your own superstar,” she says. “How you can become the influencer in your own environment? Part of that is if we make you a Penthouse Pet, or we put you on the pages of a magazine. There may only be a hundred thousand people that see that magazine, but that moniker ‘Penthouse Pet’ counts as a differentiation.”

As cam models go, Marie is as close as you can get to a bona fide star. She admits that her time in adult films set the stage for the success that she’s experienced, but it also cemented her audience’s expectations.

But just as in the real world, that pursuit of connection online has real consequences. Mounting evidence shows that the more we connect online, the more isolated we feel in real life. Loneliness is a very real thing.

In a rare 2015 interview, Ringley told Gimlet Media’s Reply All podcast that she found herself at a loss for what to do with her impulse purchase and ming skills to the test. She rigged her webcam to constantly record candid stills from inside her dorm room and upload http://www.hookupdate.net/escort-index/arvada/ a new image every 15 minutes to her site, .

“I love cams because at one level I like to say that it is the ultimate entrepreneurial experience for young women.” Holland says. “They can make as much money or not as they choose.”

As Marie gives me a tour of their home, which she proudly says she’s decorated almost exclusively with furniture from Ross, I can’t help but be reminded of Jennicam, and how simple her always-on streaming experiment now seems. Like today’s most successful social media influencers, Marie isn’t just a personality — she’s a holistic brand selling connection to an otherwise inaccessible lifestyle.

Models are known as much for the personality, party tricks and gimmicks as they are for their sexual prowess

“I think I play the-girl-next-door role the most,” Lotts says. “I think that’s how I come off. So, my audience is like those boys who had girl best friends in high school, and they’re just used to having girls to talk to. And they run their ideas by me, or they ask me their opinions. I kind of feel like a therapist sometimes.”

Lotts is a cam girl, part of a booming at-home workforce made up of young women — and a few men — who are upending the adult entertainment industry and social media at the same time. Like Instagram influencers or YouTube makers, today’s webcam models need little more than a strong WiFi connection and an internet-connected camera to make a living.

At the time, large webcamming studios were being built across the US, Latin America and Eastern Europe, churning out 24-hour streams from sometimes hundreds of models per day. These studios provided, and still do outside of the US, access to a safe space as well as the means to stream. Ten years ago, Cox, who worked in live music video production, was hired to build out a network of studios in Colombia. He says that at the peak of that project, the studio network shot 250 models per day.

Rae, who now serves as a spokesperson for MyFreeCams and co-hosted the 2017 AVN awards (the so-called Oscars of porn), prides herself on being a self-made woman. She does all of her own lighting, editing and booking, and though many models do the same, there’s no industry standard for how to be a cam model.

The nature of interaction on cam sites has allowed a new breed of adult performers to emerge. Lotts tells me she shot a hardcore scene once. It was a girl-girl scene with Aspen Rae. It wasn’t as profitable as she’d hoped and her fans aren’t looking to her for that sort of hardcore action anyway. As opposed to the “girlfriend experience” or the “porn star experience,” Lotts says she provides her fans with “the best friend experience”.

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