For anyone involved in the adult industry, the decision to stay under the radar is a huge one. Both sides of the proverbial radar, however, can have huge ramifications.
Cammers often actively hide the sex work side of their lives from friends and family for years, which can be extremely difficult in many ways. But “coming out cam” — both actually having the talk abut your work, as well as navigating the aftermath — can also be extremely difficult.
When I began contemplating this subject, I felt like the hardest part of this decision would be to expose your cam life to your family and friends. Note: I didn’t say “expose your family and friends to your cam life.” This is because, largely due to sex work stigma, very few people would likely wave their work URLs in their parents’ faces. Friends and family, however, seem more inclined to line up and scrutinize — or, just wail in self-perpetuated, misinformed agony.
Coming Out Cam
Coming out cam is a huge, potentially life changing decision and one which can’t be undone.
I spoke to some cammers about their fears around “coming out” to their families as a cam model. The greatest of all was the fear of harsh judgement by parents — the fear that they wouldn’t understand or that work disclosure would cause a rift in family relations. This alone can be the driving factor in keeping cam careers from loved ones.
Devon Breeze explained her decision to tell her family about working as a cammer, saying basically that it seemed like the best way for them to receive the information.
“I came out because I thought it would be best coming from me,” Breeze explained. “I’d done a couple of shoots and wanted to do some more, so thought it was time to be open. My main concern was my friends and family. True friends won’t judge you for what you do as they know you as a person and this never changes. Those who judge didn’t care or really know you in the first place.”
Of course, we all hope those who love us will give us the space to grow and express ourselves how we feel best, but this isn’t always the case. Has Breeze regretted the decision?
“Not at all,” she shared. “It made my life a lot less stressful. I see the trouble and hassle a lot of girls go through trying to hide things from their loved ones.”
I hadn’t considered the stress of hiding such a huge part of who you are from those you’re closest too. The impact of constantly watching what you’re saying for fear of slipping up must be extremely hard to live with long term. Add to this the guilt of keeping things from your family and you have a recipe for some serious toll, mentally.
— Devon Breeze? (@DevonBreeze) September 3, 2018
The World is Full of Jerks, Don’t Give them Ammunition
The other major advantage to being honest with family and friends about your work is it prevents this being information from used against you.
“It’s safer to be out,” Breeze explained. “People have nothing to use against you. If you’re out in the open, you have nothing to lose from the threat of exposure. I had a friend who was so stressed out about being found out it put her in hospital.”
Living with a secret hanging over can be very damaging. Breeze’s insights clarified this further.
“Another down side about not being open is girls become isolated. This is especially hard for cam girls as they have less face to face human interaction than other adult industries,” she said.
“People tend to distance themselves from friends and family as it’s hard to lie to people you care about and to keep coming up with believable cover stories. I think this contributes to mental health issues in the industry. I’m working on starting an organization to help educate and engage girls — a place for them to find support and make friends,” Breeze continued.
— Devon Breeze? (@DevonBreeze) September 3, 2018
It May Be Difficult at Times, but Live Your for You
“Keeping secrets long term is harder than dealing with disappointment from others,” Breeze shared.
If you are debating whether to come out as a cam girl to your family, remember that their initial reaction might not be the one you were looking for. Like with any other type of “sudden” or “surprising” (remember that you news could be sudden or surprising) news, people may need a moment to process — and once the idea is processed and they know you’re safe, people may come around.
But here’s another important thing: Even if they don’t, your value doesn’t depend on other people’s opinions. You’re an adult with the right to make choices regarding your own life. In Breeze’s case, acceptance has been a process, and her loved ones have mostly accepted her situation.
“My mum still wants me to stop, but it’s kind of ignored as a family,” she shared. “Most of my friends were great about it. In fact, they love being able to listen to some of the crazy stories and antics my job brings.”
Try and identify a friend or family member to come out to first who will be more sympathetic to the situation. They can then provide support as you approach other family members. Ignore the temptation to gather people together to get it over in one announcement. This can end up with you being ganged up on.
Try to keep supportive people around you, and remember: You have the right to live your life for you.
Katy Seymour is a super-sex-positive writer in the U.K. who believes kink is life. Email her at email@example.com.
Sing it, Gwen! (This is a cover of a Talk Talk song from 1984 btw — little bit o’ trivia for ya!)