When work involves public interactions and platforms, trolling almost becomes inevitable. For sex workers online, this is a constant problem that’s augmented by stigma and slut shaming.
Cam models are constantly in contact with their audience via comments, social media and more, and this makes them vulnerable to targeted attacks. Sometimes this can be from rejected fans or even jealous peers, all of which may have an impact that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Since the recent tragic suicide of August Ames after a trolling incident, the culture of online harassment within the adult industry is under a spotlight. Some British cam models shared their own experiences with trolling.
Trolling & Daily Life
Devon Breeze explained, “I’ve been camming for around five years, on Twitter for four years. I don’t do Facebook because of trolling. Every time I’d post a pic it would be reported, and my account suspended so I gave up. In the beginning it was frequent, but I’m a lot tougher now.”
Night night people 💋💋💋 pic.twitter.com/O5uukyohsf
— Devon Breeze🔞 (@DevonBreeze) January 28, 2018
Jem Summers has been webcamming just under a year. She’s found there’s a pack mentality to trolls.
“Until recently, I was experiencing trolling quite often. It would average to about once a week. I noticed when one made a nasty comment, others would join in. I think they feel braver in packs,” Summers explained.
It seems like trolling is part and parcel of webcam life. How does this present itself?
“It’s mostly negative comments on posts etc, but I do have someone who emails me quoting my favorite author about girls being kidnapped/tortured etc,” Breeze shared.
Summers said she receives two specific types of trolling: attacking her job and attacking her appearnace.
“I receive negative comments about my appearance and my job. The most common has been attacks on my weight. Someone recently copied photos from Twitter to his Tumblr account and captioned them ‘Who wants to breed this fat tart?’” Summers shared.
“I receive a lot of comments about my boobs. I’ve been told my ‘tits are disgusting.’ Then others join in with ‘look at the state of that’ etc. I’ve been called ugly, cauliflower cunt, fat slag…”
Who are these trolls?
In the world of trolling, though there are some characteristic patterns, “stereotypical” webcam trolls are actually quite variable.
“Most of trolling comes from men, but I do get my fair share from women. I would estimate it’s a 70/30 percent split,” Summers estimated.
“I believe I usually get female trolls after guys have shared my picture. I believe it shows insecurity in their own looks. Not because of my looks, but because I have the confidence to flaunt it and do what I like.”
Breeze also reported noticing a trend towards male trolls, “It’s mainly men in my case, probably guys not getting enough attention or who have been rejected. There was this guy who would come in private every time I’d go on cam. He’d start off nice and then slowly get more abusive. I’d block, and he’d open another profile. I get angry and paranoid if it’s this guy. I ended up staying off cam for weeks to stop him pestering me.”
Long term impact, solutions
It’s clear this kind of harassment leaves an impact on models emotionally and in terms of going about their work.
Summers shared, “Trolling has really devastated me in the past. Many times, I’ve been in floods of tears, sobbing my heart out. This impacts on my whole life and those around me. On occasions it’s led to depression and I’ve lost confidence to work, which I can’t afford to do. It [also] impacts my partner [as] he must deal with me beating myself up. He hates seeing how hurt I get by these gutless bullies who don’t even have the balls to post their own picture.”
Trolling has the power to affect your mental health and confidence. Summers and Breeze has some suggestions for other models dealing with trolls.
“Getting trolled whilst camming is harder because there are other guys watching. I know trolls are seeking a reaction, and so I try very hard not to show one,” Summers said.
“I only get cam trolls when I offer free chat to entice guys to pay for a show. I’ve tried lots of ways of dealing with trolls. I’ve even closed my account down numerous times and tried naming and shaming, but only one thing really works. Ignore, block and forget about them. They crave attention. They’re eaten up with feelings of jealousy, inadequacy and envy. People like this are not worth your attention. Don’t respond or react, just block them. It’s hard not to defend yourself, but it’s the only way to win,” she added.
Breeze added, “I know it’s hard, but a stranger’s opinion means nothing. Don’t argue back or even answer them. They crave your attention. Block and report. If they persist, report it to the police.”
If you find yourself targeted by one of these individuals remember: As difficult as it may be, avoid feeding the trolls.
Katy Seymour is a super-sex-positive writer in the U.K. who believes kink is life. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via bugdog.