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internet pornstars
March 4, 2005 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Thinking of a career change? These days anyone can set up a website and become a porn star. With the internet fundamentally changing the industry, could pornography be becoming mainstream? Pornography is one of the world's most profitable industries.
posted by halekon (50 comments total)

 
When are the supporting links goddam it?
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:30 AM on March 4, 2005


You know, I hear the internet is about to fundamentally change the bookselling industry and provide a new arena for auctioning off unwanted goods. It might even make a big difference to the way we consume news and information too. Any day now, apparently. There are even 'search engines' to help us find things on this 'web'.
posted by jack_mo at 7:37 AM on March 4, 2005


Yeah. I set me up a porno site, but I ain't made a dime yet. Should I shave my back?
posted by ColdChef at 7:40 AM on March 4, 2005


These days anyone can set up a website and become a porn star.

Ya know, i could set up the website, but something tells me that still wouldn't make me a porn star...
posted by spilon at 7:41 AM on March 4, 2005


Yuck.
posted by aj100 at 7:47 AM on March 4, 2005


There is porn on the internet? What will they think of next...dancing baby graphics?

With the internet fundamentally changing the industry, could pornography be becoming mainstream?

I don't full understand the question or why it is being asked...what do you mean by "mainstream?" Like, "snuff-mags in the library" mainstream, or like "porno is wicked popuplar" mainstream? I think as most other people will attest, the concept of "internet fundamentally changing" the porn industry is painfully not new.
posted by tpl1212 at 7:47 AM on March 4, 2005


What do you mean by "mainstream?"

If it means anything like finding the link to a pornsite you recognize in the address bar of your parent's computer, then it's already mainstream 'round these parts.

*still shudders at the memory*
posted by Cyrano at 8:01 AM on March 4, 2005


ColdChef, only if you want to hit the shaved back market, there are plenty of "bear" lovers out there.

Maybe this is a terrible thing to say but if I were a good looking 19 year old woman, I'd seriously consider setting up a porn site. Why not? Its not like being a streetwalker.

By the way, this post could have very, very easily been supported with more links and some research. Its pretty NewsFilter-ish as it is.
posted by fenriq at 8:01 AM on March 4, 2005


Porn is not really going to be mainstream, it's just going to be easier to get to and more people than ever will be looking at it while denying they do. This also isn't a new trend at all.

Playboy magazine is an example of something that lowered the bar to access to porn. It was somewhat more socially acceptable and you could pick it up at most newsstands or get a subscription. Other magazines came out that tried to duplicate its success but I don't think any were as pervasive. Everybody knew somebody who's dad had at least a couple Playboys "hidden" away.

Less people had access to more hardcore material such as Penthouse because it was a harder sell to get your wife to at least tolerate it. Video was harder to get access to because you had to make a pretty big step to see it. You had to go to the seedy porno theater (if your town even had one) and risk being seen.

The VCR came along and the bar was lowered for pornographic videos but they still weren't easy to come by. Partly because I grew up in Canada and they were prohibited but also because there was a pretty big stigma attached to being an adult and having somebody find a tape of New Wave Hookers. Still, second and third generation copies were passed around in high school. It did create a huge industry though, so while it wasn't prevalent the bar was lowered substantially.

With the internet the bar is about as low as you can go. If you're careful about who has access to your computer you can find all the porn any flavour that you want without having to go to the video store or even having any physical media around. I live in a moral majority area (Central Wisconsin) and I know for a fact that while the voices loudly proclaim that porn is evil the eyes spend some time looking at it.
posted by substrate at 8:12 AM on March 4, 2005


This porn, it vibrates?
posted by grouse at 8:23 AM on March 4, 2005


I'm excited by the possibilities offered by Jack's comment.

I hate to beat on a post (actually, this isn't true), but this article has an urgency and news value that makes me think it was written in 1996. It seems like a companion piece to a slighty-more-palatable investigative news piece, but a lazy one. If I have to listen to a porn star telling me the industry if different from how I really think it is ONE MORE TIME, I'm actually going to stop believing them.

This post needs something which applies to at least the last year of internet growth and etc. Something I've been curious about is the rise of part-time porn stars: I currently know three women who appear on Suicide Girls or similar sites, and that's WEIRD when you're me. 'Cause, I only know like four women. Has anybody else noticed a serious spike in real, slightly bored people doing a few photo shoots just as a let's-try-it thing? The acceptability of porn as a hobby seems like more of a recent development than as a career.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:36 AM on March 4, 2005


I'd seriously consider setting up a porn site. Why not? Its not like being a streetwalker.
posted by fenriq


What have you got against streetwalkers? Are you some kind of deviant elitist?
posted by semmi at 8:37 AM on March 4, 2005


Cyrano: Is there a support group for us who have gone through the same?

The strangest thing is finding porn on a friend or family member's computer that reveals a hereto unknown kink. Finding out a friend is into "hot pregnant chicks" is quite enlightening.

One of the dangers of being "tech support" for your whole freaking friend and family network.

fenriq: amen brother. If I were an attractive college girl I would have no qualms what-so-ever about running a webcam out of my dorm room. No physical contact, and if you make your location a secret, the "stalker potential" is practically zero. And obviously an ever-increasing number of young women see the attraction as well. And I think the usual arguments of being "exploited" or "taken advantage of" are turned on their ear when the girl acts completely alone.

The "personalization of porn" like where you record a message and say the guys name, or perform a particular requested pose or activity, is the future of porn IMO. Why look at the same girl 100,000 guys are in the same pose, when you could go into a private webcam chat room and ask her to pose however you wish? (I know this exists already, but I think this will become more popular and less expensive as the number of providers expands.)

Also, for those with fetishes and kinks, the internet is an absolute godsend. In fact, I'm somewhat convinced that the internet has invented new, previously unknown fetishes. You can be so incredibly particular, and still find an outlet. I mean, redheaded crossdressing amputees... that is so... precise.

The only thing I don't fully understand is how they make so much money. I've looked at probably hundreds of gigabytes of porn in the last 15 years online, and I've yet to pay one red cent for any of it. It's a little shocking to me that there are apparently legions of people, including most likely friends and family, that pay for porn on a regular basis.

I need to teach them better search skills.

On preview: Doug, the people I mention above, the "personalizing" contributors, I think they may very well be the "hobbyists" of porn. How easy would it be to just setup a webcam, seed a few links, and then exchange webcam requests for items on your Amazon wishlist.

(again, I know this is already going on, I'm still expecting expansion though)
posted by Ynoxas at 8:41 AM on March 4, 2005


I hate to beat on a post

Particularly, I assume, a post about porn.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:42 AM on March 4, 2005


I mean, redheaded crossdressing amputees... that is so... precise.

Dammit, that's the last time I ask you to fix my computer, Ynoxas.
posted by DaShiv at 8:47 AM on March 4, 2005


The only thing worse than newsfilter is newsfilter that's not news.

But... this is an interesting topic, and the single linked article (ahem) does indicate why: More and more "ordinary" people are voluntarily putting photos of themselves engaged in hardcore sex into a permanent database where their actions (both the photographed ones and the action of posting them) will be established in perpetuity. Throughout history the consolation prize of appearing in most porn was safety through obscurity. But the evolving Web makes it more and more likely that someone you know is online in a compromising position.

But that's the crux, if you'll pardon the expression - as the numbers increase, will this no longer be compromising? Will it somehow just be another thing someone did, a la Paris Hilton, or will there be a backlash and a lot of people wising up and saying "Oh, I see, this is for keeps"? You might think it's the former... but I have to wonder what that savvy 19-year-old will have to say about it when she's a grandmother and finds out that her grandson is jacking off to movies of her deep throat escapades. The interesting question isn't how we judge the situation, but how she will.

At least with a tattoo, you can usually choose to wear your clothes in a certain way to cover it up. Not this.
posted by soyjoy at 8:51 AM on March 4, 2005


I find it completely charming that everyone can have a blog and become a porn star. Even if you are funny looking there is someone out there who will find your brand of funny-looking sexy. And pay for it. And then you can visit them! And have sex with them! And then sell videos of that! It's a brilliant circular thing. She is lifting herself up by her brastraps, methinks.
posted by Sully at 8:56 AM on March 4, 2005


One of the dangers of being "tech support" for your whole freaking friend and family network.

Urg. My 69-year-old father, who just got a computer (I gave him my old one when I upgraded) has managed to contract every single computer virus/Trojan known to man due to his insatiable appetite for the most obvious web sites. And I tried to tell him, uh, Dad, maybe you want to, you know, try Yahoo Groups or something, but it isn't registering.

Back on topic, webcams are really the "democratization" of porn; the exploitation is removed, here are people who are doing this specifically because they've chosen to and they run the entire shoestring operation themsevles. Anyone can do it. Judging from what's out there, anyone does.
posted by kgasmart at 9:09 AM on March 4, 2005


Changes in how porn is produced also means the consumer is no longer restricted to being a passive recipient.

Jo, who is in her 30s, meets subscribers for sex and puts the pictures on her site. She travels round the country, having group sessions with up to 20 men a week. Her partner Phil take the pictures.


This isn't a great FPP, but what I did find most interesting is that it is also not about porn, it's about prostitution. Both the women they talked to for the article meet their viewers in real life and have sex with them for money. It's strange that no one calls it what it is in the article.
posted by OmieWise at 9:10 AM on March 4, 2005


Is it easy to set up a site and make money off yourself? Hell yeah. I've done it off and on since 2000 in between jobs. Between places like Ifriends, Yahoo, and my own sites, I've made enough to pay the bills when I had to. Find your niche and market yourself and you're all set. Strike a pose, remove some clothes, fulfill the occasional oddball request (you want me to do what with the spatula?!), and make $25 in 15 minutes. I didn't make a lot compared to what some women bring in, but I also never treated it as a business or a job. In 5 years of doing it I've never once felt taken advantage of or exploited, and there's actually a few people I've catered to whom I still chat with about mundane stuff on a regular basis, even though I'm not in the business any more.

One of the dangers of being "tech support" for your whole freaking friend and family network.

Be happy you only know what they're into; as cringe-worthy as that moment of discovery may be, nothing beats the time I was at a large family gathering and had an uncle ask if I offered family discounts to my "members only" webcams only weeks after I was informed that a cousin had caught my performance on Ifriends.

She travels round the country, having group sessions with up to 20 men a week. Her partner Phil take the pictures.

Prostitution, plain and simple. They can wrap the whole package up with a fancy website and charge to look at the pictures, but it still doesn't change the fact that they're simply hookers with homepages. I've enjoyed reading a few blogs written by escorts, but they kept their work off-site and didn't advertise their wares via the blog.
posted by chickygrrl at 9:52 AM on March 4, 2005


Both the women they talked to for the article meet their viewers in real life and have sex with them for money.

No they don't.
posted by greasy_skillet at 9:57 AM on March 4, 2005


It's strange that no one calls it what it is in the article.

If it's not directly sex for money, I don't think it's prostitution, i.e. she's using said photos on her site, so the men are temp porn stars working gratis. I'm not opposed to prostitution, but if the subscribers aren't paying directly for the sex, I think there's a difference.

However, if becoming a subscriber makes you eligible for free sex (yet not guaranteeing it), I admit it's a gray area. I guess it could also be construed that the men are paying for volunteering their services for the Web site. /semanticjumble

is pornography becoming an acceptable career option?

Well, it was 20 years ago. I think it's still "becoming."

On preview, I find it odd how many sex workers like chickygrrl have such a low regard for prostitution. Isn't it just a matter of degrees? Most of us are whores to some extent, selling our physical and mental production. It's just a matter of what specifics we're willing to accept, e.g. "show up at 9 a.m. and be prepared to work hard the next eight hours," vs. "get naked and cover yourself with meat."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:02 AM on March 4, 2005


I have always felt that strippers (online and real life) are really taking us (who pay them to take off their clothes) for a ride. They are making an easy living. We who pay out our hard earned money to look at their nakedness are the fools. As a profession, it is as respectable as that of a super model. People pay you because your looks give them pleasure.
posted by gazoo at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2005


The phrase "market saturation" comes to mind.
posted by gimonca at 10:07 AM on March 4, 2005


Could this be a new idea for kottke.org?
posted by benjh at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2005


I don't think it's possible to overestimate the saturation point for sex among us hairless ape-creatures.
posted by DaShiv at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2005


Pretty good interview with Aria Giovanni here. She started out in the pages of Penthouse, but really came into her own on the Internet. Her website allowed her to take control of her career. That's one major shift. These girls aren't being taken advantage of. The successful ones are firmly in control. They own their image.
posted by hipnerd at 10:34 AM on March 4, 2005


semmi, nothing against streetwalkers, they have an amazingly difficult life. They exist in a world of violence, sex and drugs that is very, very hard to break away from. Being a web kitten, by contrast, is low key, clean and pretty easy to quit when it becomes time.

That and streetwalkers have to deal with all manner of thoroughly reprehensible characters like Hugh Grant, Eddie Murphy and Charlie Sheen.
posted by fenriq at 10:36 AM on March 4, 2005


greasy-
Yes they do. In addition to what I quoted above, the first woman:

charges £15 a month for access to erotic photos and film footage of herself having sex with subscribers.


Now you can be semantic about it, but it seems pretty clear that in both cases part of what's being marketed, for money, is sex with the proprietor. How is that not prostitution? If a man pays a pimp, the woman he has sex with is still a prostitute.

I'm not that worried about it, I feel pretty much like the first woman quoted, who says that if she isn't hurting anyone it's her own business. It's still prostitution, though.
posted by OmieWise at 11:00 AM on March 4, 2005


I've got nothing against prostitution, I just don't see it as an option for myself.

Some people consider any sex for money to be prostitution, be it phone, cyber, or webcam shows, while I simply classify it as meatspace intercourse with payment. There's most definitely a matter of degrees of acceptability. I rank escorts (whether they work for an agency or freelance) higher than streetwalkers. Girls in brothels fall somewhere in between that. I'm basing my opinions purely on too many HBO documentaries and the amount of desperation in the women and men.

Even on webcam sites like Ifriends, there's a hierarchy of camgirls. The chathosts who work from home with a single computer looked down on those who run multiple chathost accounts simultaneously pretending to be separate people and chatting under different categories. These groups looked down on the girls who were employed by businesses (strip clubs, massage parlors, etc). Everyone looked down on the Eastern European girls employed by businesses who ran multiple accounts 24/7.

Being a web kitten, by contrast, is low key, clean and pretty easy to quit when it becomes time

fenriq, I'll give you low key and easy to quit, but I refuse to consider it clean until I find a way to not kill nearly myself in the shower after some guy offers me double the normal show rate if I cover myself in vegetable oil because he likes his girls to be shiny.
posted by chickygrrl at 11:02 AM on March 4, 2005


This question has come up in conversation a few times... What precisely is the difference between porn and prostitution? In both cases you're paying someone to have sex. The only difference is who it is with. Suppose I offer to pay a woman to be my co-star in the porn movie I will be producing, directing, and staring in? If I put a video camera by the bed is it now legal?
posted by cameldrv at 11:35 AM on March 4, 2005


OmieWise

I was thinking the same thing. But, you know what? It makes me happy. Maybe stuff like this will eventually make people realize that prostitution should be legalized.
posted by Yellowbeard at 11:52 AM on March 4, 2005


>>I have always felt that strippers (online and real life) are really taking us (who pay them to take off their clothes) for a ride. They are making an easy living. We who pay out our hard earned money to look at their nakedness are the fools. As a profession, it is as respectable as that of a super model. People pay you because your looks give them pleasure.

If you have a few minutes to be bathed in self-righteous indignation, implement this argument against an actual stripper, who will aggressively catalogue the difficulties and extreme physical demands of stripping "being a dancer": the excruciating hours, the grueling routines, the energy spent towards entertaining, the cramped muscles, bruised from humping the stage, and countless hours spent in the emergency room with lollypops stuck up their vaginas (true story, i swear)… If you can’t decipher the sarcasm, I write this partially in jest. But I’m also willing to recognize that any form of prostitution/porn is a job…and with said job there is indeed work involved.

>>...And I think the usual arguments of being "exploited" or "taken advantage of" are turned on their ear when the girl acts completely alone.

Ynoxos, think about what you’ve written there, give it good thought, and then hopefully you can see how absurd it is. Regrdless of how the profit is split at the end of the night, it's still squandering of ones' sexuality for the pleasure and sexual gratification of strangers. For a fee.
posted by naxosaxur at 11:55 AM on March 4, 2005


What precisely is the difference between porn and prostitution? In both cases you're paying someone to have sex.

Well, by viewing traditional porn you're not paying someone to have sex. The producers already did that and you're paying them for their efforts. So...

Suppose I offer to pay a woman to be my co-star in the porn movie I will be producing, directing, and staring in? If I put a video camera by the bed is it now legal?

Assuming you're not pulling a lame stunt to get laid and intended to attempt to make some profit from the video, you're just creating a product to sell so the same thing applies. Why should penetration and a pop shot make your product any different than a Showtime late night movie?

In the case of cam girls, there's still no physical contact between the producer and the cosumer, which is probably where the key line for me is drawn between porn and prostitution.
posted by Cyrano at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2005


Can't prostitution be defined as simply doing ANYTHING just for the money?

Any of you read the comments posted at the bottom of the article? 70% were very negative and basically used the tired argument that "porn is bad because it's exploitative women" "Or gives men the wrong idea about women"? (Obviously they don't realize the extent of gay porn.)

I think anything connected with sex elicits this kind of duplicitous victim/slut attitude. I mean shit, nobody says "Waitressing jobs exploit women"? Unless she's doing it topless.
posted by tkchrist at 12:07 PM on March 4, 2005


OmieWise--

Where in the article does it say that these women promise sex in return for payment of the subscription fee?
posted by greasy_skillet at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2005


I was doing a photo contest on my site and one of the prizes was an 8 x 10 photo of a woman sitting on a couch. I mentioned in the post that it was an "upskirt" shot. Over the next week, my referrer logs were filled with men looking for "upskirt photos". I got ton and tons of visits. I put up another post telling everyone how funny I thought it was that I was getting all this upskirt traffic. That post generated even more upskirt traffic. I now have the glorious distinction of being rated sixth on Google for "upskirt photos".

Never underestimate the power of porn.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 1:22 PM on March 4, 2005


Can't prostitution be defined as simply doing ANYTHING just for the money?

No, it means sex in exchange for money or other goods and services. The interesting definition question is what is 'sex' in this for-money context. Is it anything done to induce orgasm in another? If so then porn is a form of prostitution, no?

I think the post is worded a little awkwardly combining two different issues.

Is porn, no matter what it's source, becoming more accessible. Yes obviously.

Is porn becoming something more people are involved in producing due to the enablement of technology. Yes again. This is the more interesting point, if everyone is doing it where does this leave the professionals? Out of work? Are we going to find out whether the pros really have anything unique to offer? Will they have to become increasingly extreme to remain well, pro?

There's an old business saying describing what happens when the barrier to entry is low, the service provided is not rare, and prices are therefore low: it's called a 'whore's market'.
posted by scheptech at 1:23 PM on March 4, 2005


The problem with prostitiution - at least in Europe - is the abhorrent shit it leads to: Trafficking. Young girls from Ukraine/Russia/Etc lured into lucrative working deals as "dancers" or whatever, only to be held without passports and in debt until their pimps say they're through. Their "customers" won't know the difference between a "happy hooker" (if there is such a thing) and a poor girl being forced to fuck to make her living.

Of course, the is also true for porn. (NO not ALL porn, I didn't say that)

So in my view, the "internet pornstar" thing is nothing but a positive thing. You get the real deal, from people who want to be seen, and no filthy business/mafia has anything to do with it.

tkchrist writes " Can't prostitution be defined as simply doing ANYTHING just for the money?"

In my vocabulary, yes, I think so. If you're doing stuff that goes against the things you believe in, then you're a prostitute. Example: If I would be offered jobs doing advertising for Big Tobacco, it's not impossible I'd say yes if the money was good, but I sure would acknowledge that it's prostitution. Heck, any advertising. (I'm a journalist, you know, with "standards". And, whaddayacallit, "leftist".)
I have friends in the ad business who feel the same way: "I'll compromise my ideals for big bucks. Hell yes. it's prostitution".

But that's not the kind of prostitution we're talking about here, and I don't think we should mix'em either. So, I'll leave that here.

posted by mr.marx at 1:37 PM on March 4, 2005


"The only thing I don't fully understand is how they make so much money. I've looked at probably hundreds of gigabytes of porn in the last 15 years online, and I've yet to pay one red cent for any of it."

Me neither. With a good nntp server you can get all kinds of things from Usenet.

"It's a little shocking to me that there are apparently legions of people, including most likely friends and family, that pay for porn on a regular basis.

I need to teach them better search skills."


Why not teach 'em about Usenet? For one thing it's pretty easy to see what you'd be getting. ("Gee, I wonder what a group called `alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.female.feet' is about?") And it's free! (Once you pay for the nttp feed anyway, and in most real ISPs it's included.)

You can get all kinds of things from Usenet: movie clips, movie clips of people's wives, movie clips of people's wives and goats....

Just don't tell naxosaxaur, she'll complain about people corrupting and exploiting poor innocent goats. For free!
posted by davy at 2:09 PM on March 4, 2005


Regrdless of how the profit is split at the end of the night, it's still squandering of ones' sexuality for the pleasure and sexual gratification of strangers

It can be "squandered" now? Shit, I'd better be careful not to use mine up.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:29 PM on March 4, 2005


Why not teach 'em about Usenet?

Don't forget to explain to your friends and relatives about yenc, PAR files, codecs, vlc, divx, and why half the files they download don't work! On second thought, don't tell them about Usenet, save your sanity, and keep Usenet to yourself... or share what you download, and become like unto a God to them.
posted by kindall at 2:33 PM on March 4, 2005


Ynoxos, think about what you’ve written there, give it good thought, and then hopefully you can see how absurd it is. Regrdless of how the profit is split at the end of the night, it's still squandering of ones' sexuality for the pleasure and sexual gratification of strangers. For a fee.

That is utterly ridiculous. How are you squandering your sexuality if you're just doing something for kicks and some extra money and enjoying yourself at home in front of a little webcam? If anything it is probably broadening your sexuality and helping you to become more comfortable with sex, and with yourself. There are a lot of people who could benefit from that. It's a massive self-esteem boost to know that you're hot.
posted by blacklite at 2:45 PM on March 4, 2005


Ynoxos, think about what you’ve written there, give it good thought, and then hopefully you can see how absurd it is. Regrdless of how the profit is split at the end of the night, it's still squandering of ones' sexuality for the pleasure and sexual gratification of strangers. For a fee.
naxosaxur

Gotta agree with blacklite that you're the one being absurd. Ynoxos's point was that the girls are not being exploited because they choose to do this of their own volition, and have total control of how, when, and how much they are willing to do, and have the choice to stop at any time. Where's the exploitation? How are these girls victims? It may be "squandering" one's sexuality", but it's their choice that is made freely.
posted by Sangermaine at 5:15 PM on March 4, 2005


thanks for the insight, chickygrrl. ewww, shiny.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:18 PM on March 4, 2005


YO, once again, Mr. Wiggles puts it all in perspective:

http://www.neilswaab.com/comics/wiggles/images/rehab252.jpg
posted by berek at 7:35 PM on March 4, 2005


People, people. It's Ynoxas. YnoxAs. There is no Ynoxos.

*waits for someone to spend five bucks just to prove me wrong*

And berek, yeah, that does kind of sum it all up.
posted by soyjoy at 8:15 PM on March 4, 2005


naxosaxur: What I meant was, a girl doing this on their own means that they don't have a boyfriend/husband/pimp/dealer who has taken control of their sexuality for profit.

I see this as just a matter of choice. If a woman wants to display her body for money, I say more power to her. If she doesn't, and would be mortified at the mere thought, then I respect her choice as well. I also feel that way about traditional prostitution, but I admit it is much harder to divine/insure if a girl is participating of her own free will.

Legalize, regulate, and tax prostitution and you'd fix several social ills in one fell swoop. But that's another discussion.

But I think you have to really belabor a point to try to prove exploitation at one's own hand. "I didn't want to strip for money on my webcam, but I made me. I couldn't tell myself no." Come on.

Chickygrrl: thank you so much for your first-hand experience. I also feel like I should give you a few bucks for more pictures of your purple hair! (Rowr!)

I'm curious as to how many "clients" a private webcam girl would have to have to turn a noticeable profit. How much does something like that "go" for anyway?
posted by Ynoxas at 10:02 PM on March 4, 2005


Chickygrrl: thank you so much for your first-hand experience. I also feel like I should give you a few bucks for more pictures of your purple hair! (Rowr!)

I'm curious as to how many "clients" a private webcam girl would have to have to turn a noticeable profit. How much does something like that "go" for anyway?


At the time I had my members-only site, my monthly hosting cost was $60. All the technical stuff involved was handled by yours truly, I used free scripts to handle signups, free webcam software and Paypal for payment processing, so pretty much everything went right into my pocket, and it usually only took 4 members a month to pay the hosting costs. I never had many members, I think the most I had at one time was about 20, but at $10-15/month it added up nicely and paid some bills. I only did this for about a year before Paypal changed their acceptable use policies and I closed up shop.

Shows on Ifriends and the like are more difficult to make decent money on, and the chathost takes half of their per-minute or per-hour charge. The most popular category for a chathost to be in was the "Women Home Alone" section, and at peak times you could be 1 girl among 3000 - mind you, it's been at least a year since I've logged in there, so that number could be and most likely is higher now. On a good night, 4 hours could bring in $150, but most often I'd make about $25-30 a night. The most I ever made was about $75 in 90 minutes when I was killing time one morning before work. The minimum a girl can charge is $1.99/minute, of which they'll get $1/min. Most girls seemed to charge $2.50-$3/min. If you offered a toll-free phone number the guy could call, or had a following of regulars who would come to you for a specific act that only a few girls were willing/able to do (an entire thread could be devoted to that subject), you could get away with charging higher rates.

I've never done it, but I know that some girls make good money off of shows via instant messaging + webcam. I think the rates are usually about $15 for 15 minutes. but considering that it's on demand rather than just sitting around on Ifriends waiting for the people to come to you, it sounds like it could be a better gig if you've got a following, as long as Paypal doesn't catch you.
posted by chickygrrl at 8:44 AM on March 5, 2005


I just meant fenriq that streetwalkers don't usually come from "good families" with enough money to set up a computer system and have little choice how else to make ends meet, but they are as worthy of compassion as anyone.

There are worse kinds of prostitution than sexual ones; lots of marriages belong in this category.
posted by semmi at 3:27 PM on March 5, 2005


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