If they don’t comply, they run the risk of having their real identity exposed to friends and family.
Unlike other sex workers, cammers typically work independently and in a safe place.
As The New York Times noted, however, cam models performing for a large online audience are sometimes blackmailed or threatened into performing acts they are not comfortable with.
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Big spenders are also listed as the cam model’s “favourites.” This system applies a soft competitive pressure on everyone to keep spending.
Bartlett describes sitting in on one of Vex’s sessions and seeing one viewer alone tip £500 ($US782), which she shares with two models who perform with her.
Vex claims the most she’s ever made from a show is £1,000 ($US1,500) and estimates her salary to be around £40,000 (about $US62,600) per year.
Viewers pay using virtual tokens which the website converts into dollars.
Then, the website takes a cut before distributing the rest of the money.
Many models also have Amazon-like “wishlists” where fans can go and buy them things, whether it be a breast enlargement or a washing machine.
Bartlett recalls finding one wishlist which included books of left-wing social criticism and a Black & Decker Dust Buster.