Personality and Attitude
A very big issue, which many people often do not consider, is interacting with members and clients as a professional while not being cold, rude, or calculated - or, on the other extreme, whiny, needy, or unprofessional.
There is an ongoing theory that a model can "never" be friends with a member who pays her, which many models understand to be a silly philosophy. Many of us are close friends with members, but balancing the professional and the personal aspects of camming can be difficult.
Beyond that, many models dissolve the professional aspect of their jobs to such an extent that they feel free to publicly complain, beg, or harass members, or share information that might be considered very unprofessional.
Understanding the model/member friendship issue
The inherent problem with webcamming is that models provide a personal service. Some models choose to eschew the personal aspect altogether, and make it clear that members are not their friends and a strict entertainer/client relationship is to be maintained. However, most models, especially on MyFreeCams, enjoy a more casual and friendly relationship with website members. On the surface, this does not seem to be an issue (a model who cares about, and is friends with, the members on her website seems to be the antithesis to the "manipulative sex worker" stereotype). Unfortunately, many people have developed an incorrect attitude towards cam models, which often seems to be fueled by entitlement.
For example, even though these men have deliberately sought out a website where they must pay for personal attention, some men feel that they should never have to pay for attention from a woman, and may become demanding or threatening towards models who do not work for free. Other men agree that a model should be paid, but once they become friends with a model, it is inappropriate to pay her for any service - but if the model does not perform for free, she becomes a whore who only cared about money in the first place. And unfortunately, due to the advertising methods of many cam sites, some men are intentionally mislead to believe that all services on the website are free, forcing the model to constantly explain to members how paid services work.
Overall, it seems that the majority of models agree that they can be good friends with website members, but there are always people who simply believe it is "impossible" for a model and member to be friends. And it often seems that the men who disagree are disillusioned by poor experiences with women or greatly mislead as to what they might expect from models.
Understanding negativity and the professionalism issue
While the cold or manipulative model stereotype may be one that people avoid or dislike, the other side of the coin is also often looked down upon.
It is a hard balance to maintain professionalism while still being personal (and personable). Many models become so comfortable with their cam life and their members and online friends that they do not censor themselves, and they feel free to share negative issues without concern.
For example, if a model has a bad shift on camera, she may feel free to tweet things like, "wow, what a horrible day on cam, I hate my job :(". While that sentiment may be appropriate to share with personal friends and family, it is probably not a thought that will reflect well on the model within the webcam community.
Many discussions within the webcamming community have resulted in a consensus that negativity should be extremely curbed or framed in a different manner, while none have yet agreed that negativity is a good thing to be shared, or that it will benefit the model in any way.
Some models do choose to attempt to manipulate members with negative statements ("No wonder nobody tips me, I'm so ugly") as a way to receive pity or guilt tips. This technique is almost universally frowned upon, both by models and members, who usually do not appreciate attempts at manipulation.
It is considered that unless there is a special circumstance, models should avoid being negative. Negativity does not create a professional and trustworthy image (For example, people would probably not feel good about a corporate company who shared statements such as, "Wow, I guess we have a shitty product because nobody bought any again today... sales are still at 20%.") and for members who are seeking a relaxing experience with a beautiful woman, negativity is not likely to provide a calming or enjoyable environment.
Choosing how to present yourself
Despite the "stage persona" myth, most models do not adopt an entirely new personality when working on cam and interacting with members. Considering that many models are constantly in touch with members throughout the day, the average woman may actually find it more difficult to adopt and drop a second persona at the drop of a hat.
Therefore, most women really are just themselves when on camera (albeit a perhaps slightly "enhanced" version of themselves, or a version of themselves prepped for fun and entertainment).
Some women do intentionally decide to present a stern or harsh version of themselves, while others put up with much more than they normally would.
It is probably best to simply do what makes you feel comfortable in your cam life. However, it may also be wise to decide beforehand how you will deal with certain issues, so you don't end up embarrassing yourself, creating more drama, or creating an undesirable reputation for yourself. In many situations there is no "right" or "wrong" way of doing things, but some models find that some things work much better for them than others.
- How will you deal with trolls? Some women decide to be very kind and generous with trolls, while others decide to attack and belittle them.
- How will you deal with members that become unacceptably needy or demanding? Many models find themselves uncertain of whether or not to humor a member or cut him off in these situations.
- How will you deal with bad shifts on camera? Some models decide to complain about slow days while others make the best of it.
- How much will you focus on earning when you are on camera? It can be difficult to find a balance between being relaxed and earning, with some women never mentioning countdowns or sales, and other women being constantly focused on earning tokens.
Even though models often choose to not share some personal information, sometimes, a major event comes up which a model feels she needs to share, in spite (or because of) the event being negative.
If a model feels the need to explain what is happening in her life, it still does not have to be done in a negative manner, even if the issue itself is negative.
To avoid turning a negative situation in to looking like emotional manipulation or whining, some of the following ideas may be applied:
- Models should avoid including statements asking for tokens, such as, "I really hope we have a great night on cam to make me feel better."
- Models should consider including statements which make their intent clear, such as, "I don't want to bring you down, but I need to explain why I won't be on cam as much this month."
- Models should consider what tone they are hoping to achieve, and intentionally use specific wording to achieve that tone.
If the issue revolves around a problem member, it can be easy to publicly vent frustrations around a member who may inadvertently (or intentionally) be upsetting or antagonizing you. However, it is still probably best to set emotions aside, or vent them elsewhere, and maintain a professional public image while dealing with the member.
Maintaining a professional appearance
Models have difficulty maintaining a professional appearance because so often, camming consumes our lives. Many model begin working from the moment they wake up and check Twitter in bed to the moment they shut off their computers and go to bed.
When models are so engrossed in the camming world, and when so many of the people we know are in the camming community, it can be very hard to hold back when we want to express ourselves in negative or upsetting ways.
Some models may find that being completely open on Twitter and other outlets works well for them and supports their careers. Other models may have difficulty realizing that their emotional expressions are detracting from their earnings.
If it is your goal, as a model, to maintain a positive public image, then there are some things you can do to help achieve that.
- Have a place away from the public webcam community where you can express yourself and vent. Many models find a safe place to share on private forums for sex workers or webcam models. Other models find a lot of support in their friends or romantic partners.
- Avoid social networking sites when you are angry or upset.
- Create a checklist to consult before you post things to the Internet. For example, your checklist might include, "Will members be happy if they see this? Will I feel good about posting this by tomorrow?"
- Instead of hoping that an emotional outburst might fix a problem (such as with a problem member), consider better solutions instead.
- Intentionally look for happy, enjoyable, or fun thoughts to share during the day.
- When you encounter someone who is being rude or trollish, consider ignoring them or making light of the situation instead of attacking them in return.
It can be very difficult for models to say "no" in any variety of situations, a fact which members sometimes unfortunately take advantage of.
Remember that as a model, it is always okay to say no. Some people have little empathy for models, but it is certainly possible for a model to feel abused and violated even if they have no physical contact with the aggressor. In the webcamming community, it is not uncommon to hear of a model left feeling "dirty" or reduced to tears because aggressive members sexually violated them.
While some people will think this issue is silly, it is actually not easy to always say no. While a member might say, "if she doesn't like it, she can just turn off the computer," from a model's perspective, she may be uneducated about how she can protect herself, she may be working for a studio where she will face consequences if she does not comply, she may be afraid of the member (many members will threaten to attack, stalk, doxx, report a model, or otherwise harm a model who does not comply to their wishes), or she may be desperate for money.
Members certainly do look for inexperienced or uncertain-looking models and attempt to manipulate or force them in to sexual acts that the woman would otherwise never perform. And when put on the spot, models often panic when faced with a forceful member.
- Understand the rules of the camsite you work for. Understand what you can and cannot do, and understand what will get you in trouble. When a member says, "you will get your account banned unless you do this for me," you should always be 100% certain if he is lying or not.
- As a model, you actually can turn off the computer. If a situation becomes overwhelming, close down your browser and software, turn off the screen and walk away for a while.
- There are very few things as upsetting as submitting to sexual acts that you hate for money. If you are uncomfortable with a request, do not comply just because you need the money. Another member will come along.
- You do not need a reason to say "no". It is perfectly acceptable to say, "no, I just don't like you," or, "no, I don't feel like it."
- You are never required to justify yourself. Members who ask for the reason why you said "no" are likely planning on arguing with you further.
- Some members will look for loopholes to abuse. They will intentionally try to barter with you over your body or tell you that you "have" to do something unless you explicitly stated beforehand you would not do it. They can make models feel guilty for "tricking" them. But in the end, they know what they are doing. Tell them "no" and don't feel upset over members who pretend to be used.
- Some members will intentionally under-tip for an item (for example, on MyFreeCams, a member might tip 75 tokens for a 100 token video) and then say that they should be given the item anyway. They are hoping the model will feel guilty or obligated, and they may become threatening or mean even though they intentionally under-paid. Do not be afraid to tell people no in this situation.
- Sometimes high tippers or members that we are very friendly with will ask for or insinuate that they should be given something for free. Even if they are not acting maliciously, they are hoping their relationship with or influence over a model will earn them free content. Do not be afraid to request tokens for your services, even if the member is a friend or a big tipper.
Encountering situations where you want to say "no" does not only occur on live camera. Models often encounter situations off camera where they need to turn down members. Unfortunately, in an offline situation, members may be more interested in arguing with you or bartering.
Some models believe that members will read between the lines or back down even if they are not explicitly told "no". For example, this situation is not uncommon: A member asks for something the model is not interested in doing, so she says, "Well I'm not sure that is something I can do right now, maybe you can get back to me about that in a little while." In her mind, this is a clear signal that she is not interested, but the member may take this literally and believe that she is fine with the activity, but she is just busy this month.
If, as a model, you encounter any request which you know you are not going to do, it is unfair to the member to lead them on or refuse to give them a direct answer. Telling the member "no" in a direct manner is often the best policy.
Do not feel like you "owe" it to the member to continue arguing or bartering with them even after they are told no. In a situation where a member is trying to pressure or force a model in to activities she is uninterested in or uncomfortable with, one person is going to walk away from that deal feeling used.