It’s no secret that, despite much social lip service to the contrary, sex work — including cam work — is still a taboo subject. Consequently, many cam models choose to keep their career a secret for social purposes and it certainly makes sense why. Even media that explores this complex industry tends to lean on the side of portraying cam models in a negative light.
Now, this is not exactly surprising as “real talk” seems to be Padilla’s modus operandi in general. You can look at just about every episode outside of the cam model edition and find informative, sensitive content. From “I spent a day with MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES (Dissociative Identity Disorder)” to “I spent a day with FAMOUS YOUTUBE ANIMATORS,” Padilla has been doing really cool things to give marginalized or misunderstood people a voice without letting his own bias get in the way for some time now.
That said, it’s still refreshing (and unusual!) to see online sex work considered sensitively and seriously by a civilian personality.
Who is Anthony Padilla?
Anthony Padilla has been involved with YouTube since its early days back in 2005 as the founding member of the comedy duo Smosh.
Since he left the Smosh troupe behind in 2017, Padilla has been focusing on mainly creating his own independent content. To start, he mostly created comedy shorts similar to what he did with Smosh. Then, his “I spent a day with” series began to gain traction and soon became the main focus of his channel.
Padilla’s charm and humorous nature, coupled with his ability to listen and not make problematic comments to his guests, made him probably the perfect host for a cam model interview session.
The Verdict: “I spent a day with FAMOUS CAM GIRLS”
The “I spent a day with FAMOUS CAM GIRLS” video now has over a million views, which is very important. Padilla has a pretty wide range of demographics in his audience, and he doesn’t just appeal to one tiny niche. That means over a million people got to see this video, most of who were “average” people, and gain a new impression of online sex work from the three models he interviewed: Lydia Love, Lena the Plug and Sabina Rogue. The message Padilla and his guests sent was fantastic — Cam modeling can be an excellent way to make money, take control of your income and career and take control of your sexual expression.
Padilla also took the time to call out YouTube for their censorship of non-explicit adult content and warned his users that the cam model interview may be demonetized simply for featuring conversations about the cam model industry.
Users definitely appreciated the raw honesty of the video from both Padilla and his guests, as you can see from some of the comments.
“This is the content I want to see on Youtube. It’s funny and entertaining but also very educating and interesting. After a long day of work and school I cannot wait to see ur videos. They have taught me to not judge people so quickly based on their career, mental illness, lifestyle because people and the media always make stigmas about them. You truly show a completely different side of all of those topics and I thank you for that. These videos are very enjoyable and I love watching them.” — user Live Life Crazy<
“This is the first interview I’ve seen that involves a sex worker of some kind where the dude doesn’t go awkward or weird or worse, creepy! Super respectful of everyone and not judgmental at all. Super nice to see tbh” — user Pun988
“Sabina Rogue is one of my favorite ppl to watch and I actually got extremely excited! I really liked how professional all these women are and are not “dumb sluts that only want easy money” how society makes them to be! Just another way in entertainment, just because you might not like it, don’t slut shame these women. We are all here for the same reason! TO SURVIVE!!!” — user Karen Recinos
The guests also discussed the safety measures and boundaries involved in camming. One particular guest noted that she sets clear boundaries and rules with her viewers and will not do specific things. Another guest got vulnerable and told a story about stalking.
One particular moment that sticks from this video is when Padilla asked Love, “Do you feel that being a cam girl has made you feel empowered?” To which she replied, “Definitely. I hate myself before I started this job and now I love myself so much.” It’s an interesting aspect of cam modeling that we don’t often consider.
It seems that cam modeling can have two very different effects on people who have body image or self-worth problems. Either modeling will make them feel worse about themselves, or it can help them feel empowered by their body. Too often, we only hear about the former. But it’s certainly no secret that cam modeling can be an emotionally fulfilling career.
Luckily, media such as the “I spent a day with FAMOUS CAM GIRLS” can provide authentic looks into what a cam modeling career is really like.
Check out the full video below — it’s pretty interesting — and visit Padilla’s channel for more interesting content.
Em Casalena is a queer sex positive writer and professional protective mom friend. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background header image via Unsplash here.