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A job without prejudice – Interview with  La Vicina di Casa

Whenever I am asked about my job, the reaction often bounces between curiosity and pity. «Do you seriously help people turning their daily lives into the stuff you see in the weirdest types of porn?» they reply while subtitles of ‘Come on, it’s not like it’s a real job!’ scroll across their eyes. Let’s just say it takes a lot of self-control not to feel judged.

Come to think of it, I guess that’s one of the reasons why I strive so hard to interview people with even more peculiar professions, like bondage artists or an S&M priest. So it is with immense joy that I have discovered someone who has not only chosen a very unique profession in the world of eroticism, but who deals with judgment and prejudice every day.
Can’t believe it? Listen to our conversation…

 

Hello! Would you like to tell our readers who you are and what you do?

Hi Ayzad, of course! My name is (really) Luna, I’m a former camgirl and I love to write about myself and my experiences in my La Vicina di Casa (that’s ‘The neighboring woman’ in Italian) blog. It all started as a way to challenge the stigma against female sexuality, because sex for me is not shameful, nor is masturbation, neither watching porn – provided it is ethical porn. In my years as a copywriter, however, I have found that many people harbor preconceived notions about how sex should be experienced, and I think you can wholeheartedly agree with me on that!

Despite the giant strides made in terms of sexual liberation, we women still often struggle with these myths and limitations, all the more so if we want to engage in an adult business. So, also using the experience I have gained in the field, I designed a virtual place to help ambitious women simplify their lives and improve them by achieving their personal goals in a structured way, without burning out.

 

But what does exactly a camgirl consultant do?

Basically, I help them to understand webcam work, starting with basics such as choosing the equipment and managing the various platforms, to giving advice on how to behave on stage, managing the various types of users and knowing how to cope with the different dynamics that might arise during a show.

 

Before we go on, can you clarify how come we always talk about camgirls, while nobody ever mentions camboys?

In my years in the adult industry I have unfortunately seen little response to male performers. Maybe because the concept of sex worker is still seen as a purely female job, especially in Italy. In fact, the figure of the camboy is undoubtedly more present abroad: either because the demand is greater or because of a more open mindset.

 

Let me ask you a rude question. Is there really a need for a figure like yours? What kind of needs does it address?

I didn’t think I could make myself useful in this regard myself – it was a bit of a gamble! Remembering the fears, doubts, and uncertainties I had and had to overcome on my own when I started camming, I wondered whether making my experience available in a blog could be constructive.
On the other hand, doesn’t the figure of the career counselor for coaching and guidance already exist? So why shouldn’t there be someone to provide suggestions in this field?

 

Okay, let’s talk about this sector for a moment. How many camgirls are we talking about? And roughly how many people make up the category in Italy?

La Vicina di Casa has a Telegram-based community I created to support the blog, in order to answer the countless requests for information I receive daily by email. It brings together girls from different platforms, helping each other by exchanging experiences, comparing and supporting newcomers. We are 300 – obviously legal – lovely sisters there but, according to some studies, 24 million sex workers operate online in Europe!

La Vicina di Casa

Luna, the Neighbor

It feels a bit odd to me talking about camming in 2023, since online sex work is now almost exclusively identified with OnlyFans and with similar platforms… How has the world of cam sex changed, and where is it going?

It depends on how you look at it. Historically, camgirls also came about as a response to the strong stigma against sex work: it was a way to operate in that field while reducing the risks and legal limitations existing in so many nations. Today, it is fashionable to say «I’m on OnlyFans!» and introducing oneself as a “content creator,” but at the end of the day, that content is pretty much the usual and only the name has changed!

In my opinion, the difference mainly lies in how the various subscription-based platforms allow very good video quality, but are more superficial since they lack direct interaction with users. It is not a coincidence that those who are most successful on these platforms are mainly very young and pretty girls who however promote themselves on social media with cookie-cutter dances. It goes without saying that, if you treat your image as a standard product, you can perhaps reach a mass but indistinct audience; it is the same principle of Large Scale Retail.

The camgirl is the equivalent of the craftsman instead who, having to personally interact with diverse users, puts a lot more care into what she does, and needs a lot of empathy and deep study to understand the male psychology. In cam there is no editing to help you: it is less perfect, but also more spontaneous. There is nothing wrong with buying the same package as one or two thousand other people on OnlyFans. However, if you are looking for human interaction and personal involvement in addition to the aesthetics of the girl you masturbate with, you still have to turn to the cam world. They are two very different things…

 

C’mon, let’s address the question we’re all thinking about: how much does really a camgirl earns today? And how much compared to the various OnlyFans lookalikes we were just mentioning?

Indeed, it is one of the three questions I’ve been hearing for almost a decade, preceded only by, «How do I maintain my anonymity?» and «Is being a cam girl legal?». The answer remains the same, which I have even included as a disclaimer in the blog: the results are variable, because they depend on the individual skill, personal experience, and effort you put in.
In other words, this is a job everyone can do, but it is not for everyone. That said, the amount can range roughly from 100 to 2,500 euros per month.

The differences with subscription platforms are enormous: the latter do not allow people to easily search for their favorite girl, so they themselves have to advertise on social media -which almost never tolerate OF links and the like.
As a result, those who already have a large following on Instagram and TikTok, who are already famous as porn stars or for having participated in some reality show can objectively achieve remarkable results, but these are a meager 20 percent of the “creators”.
The rest end up disappointed, partly because the media portrays the platforms as a life-changing solution, distorting reality. In fact, out of frustration for not gaining enough offers and admirers, many become the victims of agencies that promise large sponsorships in exchange for 20 to 50 percent of their revenue, or even fixed payments. The result? A rip-off that so many have fallen for!

To sum up, if you do not already have tens of thousands of followers it is better to turn to cam work for real earnings.
For those who already have a OF following today, that platform can be considered a good resource. But in my opinion, for those who don’t, being a cam girl is the more immediate way between the two to get results – even in the worst scenario.

 

Which brings us to the other inevitable question. Is it worth it? After all, the usual sex work argument applies, of risking to burn your reputation forever in exchange for an income that certainly won’t set you up for life.

Certainly being a camgirl is not the “job of a lifetime”, but it can be a supplement through difficult times. I have talked to many girls who were simply looking for a quick extra income while waiting to find other professional outlets and escape the depression. Others, however, over time have opted to extend this profession into a steady job.
We should overcome the prejudice of seeing cam work as an “odd” choice: if you think about it, it is no different from any other profession. How many people do we know who have a “normal” job they can claim make them feel okay and fulfilled for life?

As for the risks, beyond the anonymity options provided by default by the platforms (secure payments, obscured sensitive data, and non-traceability of geographic area of membership), you just need to take the appropriate precautions such as wigs, masks, makeup, and so on.
From my point of view, the best thing is that since everything is virtual, there is never any obligation of any kind!

 

Let me elaborate on the previous question for a moment. Although generalization are obviously impossible, do you believe that the “average camgirl” is aware of the pros and cons of online sex work? And, honestly, how do you feel being in the role of somewhat helping to choose such a lifestyle choice?

We are back to the prejudice I mentioned earlier: in absence of a National Labor Contract for the sex worker category, most people do not see camming as a real profession. But then again, so many other figures that have arisen in recent decades, such as the influencer, the web designer, the wedding planner, the brand ambassador and so on, that are not regulated either.

My role is not to convince the girls to offer themselves online, but to point out to them how they can turn a fantasy – which often stems from financial motivations – into a real job. With well-defined hours, paid taxes, etc., it’s a profession with all the benefits of a digital job. What I do is answer questions from aspiring Italian camgirls on issues such as platform choice, payment methods, anonymity, tax returns, and more.

 

La Vicina di CasaBy the way, I didn’t ask you where your income comes from in running the community.

The community is currently free entry and does not bring me any revenue. The income that cover its costs entirely comes from third-party site sponsorships in the blog.

 

Earlier on you described the community as a place of mutual help, but is there really that much harmony? I can’t consider myself an expert, but the sex work world is famous for wild competition and backstabbing between colleagues…

So very true: it is an environment where I have witnessed such scenes myself and heard of even worse. They are mainly related to people jumping into the fray without preparation and acting in ways that – rightly or wrongly – are interpreted as attempts to grab others’ users or to make the colleagues look bad.

This does not happen with us because first of all, it is not a platform, secondly because no one has a recognizable name, and thirdly because the competition is cancelled to leave room for the human side and female solidarity. I too honestly thought that running such a group would be more complicated.
The girls have found their own harmony through virtual acquaintance, they help each other on technical aspects, and most importantly – we are women, after all – we talk about our interests, passions, love experiences, sorrows, family situations, and so on.

And then we laugh – we laugh a lot, even through the anecdotes of our online experiences!

 

Speaking of clients: every now and then I hear about really crazy stories. How many distressing characters does a camgirl meet?

It depends on what you mean by distressing. Because if you start with the idea that the work is virtual and there is no physical contact, little of that can be a worry…
From an emotional point of view, on the other hand, I think that users with bizarre sexual tastes or particular fetishes are not a problem because they only stick to those, making them a manageable category.

The more insidious and dangerous fellows are those who approach in a so to speak more “normal” way, thus promoting romance, serious relationship, caring about a woman, knowing how to listen, flattery and courtship… Just as we models can invent an alter ego, so can they. Things become dangerous if, unfortunately, they also have a way with words and take advantage of girls who are going through the most fragile period of their lives.

 

Final question. Over the years I have come to realize that I am a romantic, and while I have nothing against sex work performed seriously, I always feel a little sorry when I meet someone who has reduced something that should express our deepest  inner selves to a mere job – especially if, as it happens, they hide behind the rhetoric of «I do it for passion». What’s your take on this?

Do you mind if I go back to repeating that we often start from preconceived notions? Usually there is a tendency to see sex necessarily linked to something deep and related to feelings. However, it is good to remember that for each working camgirl there are just as many men who pay to see them. So let’s say it’s a shared responsibility, if anything.
The law of supply and demand applies to all industries.

I don’t think yours is a moral bias, but we do know that sex cannot always be juxtaposed with love, nor sex work with romance, precisely because we are talking about work.
You can do it with all the passion and fun in the world but, in the end, everyone works for a living wage.

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