Through The Looking Glass: Camgirls & Sex Work

We are living in the golden age of information, where everything you need to know is a click away on a computer screen.

Likewise for sex; pleasure of every form exists somewhere out there on the Internet. In the vast library of porn websites and forums, there are people willing to pay for sexual satisfaction – and people willing to fulfil the request.

One such person happens to be Maggie, a good friend of mine. As a 19 year old, Maggie is incredibly intelligent, opinionated and creative for her age. During her free time, she enjoys cooking, photography and art. Online, she is more commonly known as th0rnii on MyGirlFund, an online sex community. As th0rnii, Maggie sells sex content, setting her own price and schedule: $1/minute for no nudity and the rest $2-5 a minute depending on the request. Other websites she frequents include MyFreeCams and Streamate.

On a good week she can make up to hundreds filming herself fulfilling sexual fetishes that range from nipple play to bondage. With experience and a steady flow of clients, there lies a potential for thousands. In addition to this, she updates a wishlist of lingerie and sex toys on her page for eager contributors. Price does not dissuade her most devoted fans. Most recently, a generous donor paid as much as $200 to have select wishlist items shipped to her.

“I just needed a little extra cash and asked around and looked at forums for the best sites,” said Maggie. “You meet a lot of people with strange fetishes.”

Sometimes her encounters have led to the bizarre. For example, she noticed that military men who frequent sex cam websites tended to have scat and foot fetishes. In one instance, she was asked to stomp on food in a tub, pee into it, then add water and bathe in the tub with all her clothes on. She turned down the offer because the client only offered her $40 in exchange and, in one of the greatest understatements of the year, said that it ‘crossed her personal comfort level’. Although open-minded about most requests, Maggie will refuse to do anything that involves excessive bleeding, animals or children.

Hearing about the type of sex requests Maggie receives on a daily basis, it made me wonder how one became ‘empowered’ in the sex trade industry.

“I think the difference between the people who are empowered and the difference between those who don't enjoy it is why they are doing it,” explained Maggie. “It’s desperation vs. loving your job. It's like working on computers. You might just be doing it because being an artist doesn't pay the bills. Or maybe you just love computers.”

Maggie also describes working in the sex cam industry as safe and supportive. The site she frequents has her personal information (such as address, social media accounts, phone number) and detects if she mentions any publicly. If caught divulging this information, she can be booted off the site for her safety and the site’s. When starting out in sex cams, she found a community open to giving advice and bonding over trade tricks and experiences. She finds that people who work in sex cams either love it or hate it.

“Honestly, it’s awesome for my sex life,” said Maggie on her personal experience. Finding open-minded partners is a key. An individual she has been dating for six months has been largely supportive, even helping her make content for her site.

Maggie is an example of breaking down the stereotypes and negative stigma that surrounds sex. “It's not as taboo as it used to be,” Maggie comments. “But some people still think you are below them because you work in sex...[but] it's safer than walking to work in the city. You are in charge. You set your own rates. You do it in the safety of your own home.”