When camming is good, it’s great. It’s fun, and I feel like I really connect with fans. But some days, especially around that time of the month, I just can’t face it. I don’t feel good about my body, I don’t have the energy to flirt, I find it nearly impossible to remember anything.
There have been times when I haven’t been able to get on cam at all, and I lose fans because of it. They can be so pushy and demanding, and I feel like I’m failing all the time. It doesn’t help that my periods are super erratic — it’s not like I can even plan when to take time off like some models do. I don’t want to have to quit camming, but if it doesn’t get better, I may have to.
– Feeling Like A Failure
Hey there Sexy,
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Your story will sound familiar to a lot of people — people who struggle with mental illness or chronic illness or folks with heavy-duty ongoing life obligations, like caring for a sick relative. To make it more general, it seems like what you are getting at is: Can you cam when life just makes it too damned hard to stick to a predictable schedule?
Let’s think through this.
Camming Needs To Work For You
I want to give you permission to reject any kind of notion that there is a “right” way to cam and that you’re somehow failing if you don’t live up to that standard. Some folks have the constitution to cam ten hours a day. Others maybe only ten hours a month.
You owe it to yourself to take a long hard look at the trade-offs. Do you need camming to support you, or is it a side-gig? Do you feel like you earn enough money to make the job worth it, even if you can’t always work as much as you’d like? There’s no shame in quitting, just as there’s nothing wrong with camming here and there, as you’re able.
You need to figure out what the job can do for you — and, what it can’t.
Be Kind To Yourself
It’s easy, especially when we’re not feeling well or living with a long-term condition, to feel like failures. The sex industry can be so competitive, and everywhere we look we see folks who seem to enjoy effortless success. It’s important to remember that there’s never any way to know what’s really going on with anyone else. Your business is the only one you have any control over, and the only person you need to compare yourself to is you.
If seeing the ads and engagements of other high-profile performers in your social media streams is sapping your confidence, it’s fine to hit the “mute” button. Life will go on without them. Likewise, those pushy fans who think they have the right to complain because you’re not around when they want? There’s no way you’re ever going to make them happy. Let them go find somebody else. Block them, and forget them.
You might want to think of camming as just one part of your sex work portfolio. Perhaps it would be easier on your brain and body to do phone sex or hypno-domination during those difficult times. Or, perhaps a better use of your energy would be building up a video/audio clip library. Once you have clips for sale, they can be sold for a lifetime.
The best thing about a passive income stream is it never takes sick days.
Plan Ahead as Best You Can
So, while it sucks that you don’t have any visibility as to when you’ll feel well enough to get on cam, I encourage you to put plans in place to prioritize your time wisely. On those days you’re feeling strong, hop right online and perform your heart out. But when you aren’t feeling up to it, take that time to do the less-intensive side work that’s so critical to your success: advertising, managing social media, dreaming up with contests and new costumes and all the rest.
If you do decide to commit to creating an audio/video library, one suggestion is to film or record content each day you’re on cam, then use your down days to do the grunt work — editing, adding metadata, uploading, etc. You can offset some of the lulls from inconsistent camming by having fresh content for sale on a regular basis.
What’s most important though is to honor what you can do — all while making provisions for what you can’t, in order to make camming work for you.
Until next time, be sweet to yourself.
Lola Davina is a longtime veteran of the sex industry and author of Thriving in Sex Work: Heartfelt Advice for Staying Sane in the Sex Industry, a self-help book for sex workers available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and wherever else ebooks are sold. Get the audiobook version here. Contact Davina at Lola.Davina@ynotcam.com and visit her on Twitter at @Lola_Davina, as well as on Facebook.
Image of Lola Davina courtesy Pat Mazzera.