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Do you find that you struggle with camming being triggering/addicting?

Discussion in 'General Cam Chat' started by TemporarilyWhining, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. TemporarilyWhining

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Messages:
    113
    Background

    So this is a hard topic. But, I had to take several months off of camming, and am trying to gear myself up to go back on. I could do it, any day. Like I'm busy, but I could MAKE the time. But every day, I end up putting it off.

    I stopped because I got overwhelmed, burned out. I think I'm pretty good at it, seem to get a lot of very positive feedback, pull in regulars, make a little money. But I could be probably a lot more successful if I would be consistent, stay in it, really hone my craft. But the problem is, every time I'm in it, or even thinking about it like just reading and posting here, I start to spin out. It's so triggering for me of a lot of addictive tendencies.

    I don't know that camming is unhealthy for me, because it actually solves a lot of problems - I THINK more than it causes for me. It allows me to be creative, work on skills that I want to that also are good to develop for other jobs/careers I may have in the future, engage with people, do things I enjoy, be positive for a few hours every day, stay in shape, and also be in control of my own employment to an extent. I would not do it if I thought it was going to be overall unhealthy for me.

    I'm not addicted in any one way in particular, but it's more of an overall personality trait. If I went down the entire list of things this is triggering in me, it would give you an entire complex psychological profile of me, lol! But for example, I have always been a workaholic. This has served me well in my other careers. I'm great at pleasing my bosses, making money... but I'm the kind of person who ruins myself by having no balance in my life. In other jobs, that was kept at bay a bit because sooner or later the building closes, and to an extent I had to worry about the social stigma of always being there, trying to sleep at my desk so I didn't have to go home, never eating lunch with other people so I can continue working, etc. But camming, makes it harder to hold boundaries. I am not a person who has trouble being self-motivated. But I have trouble saying when enough is enough. If I don't force myself to hold to a strict schedule, I will work around the clock. Last time I was on, I set strict hours for myself. And then before I knew it, some guy would come in 2 minutes before I was about to log off and start dropping mad cash - more than I had made the whole shift. So, I felt compelled to stay. I noticed I started skipping meals so I could be on longer. I started staying up later, and then skipping sleep entirely because I was so wired from being on, I couldn't slow down after - all I could think about was how to improve my next show. I couldn't sleep anymore.

    I'm not a person who is obsessed with money. I don't value it a whole lot. But, I really need it right now. I've got a lot of medical bills and things to pay. Hence, the camming. But, I do love to challenge myself, compete against myself. So I keep careful charts of all my work hours - including how much made, feedback people gave, what I wore, what I did, number of people in room, etc.etc.etc. And for me, it is really addicting to make a certain amount of money, and then try to improve on that the next day. Like, of course, it is reasonable that if I had a shit day and made very little, I would try to make more the next day. But that is very triggering, because then every day I want to find ways to make more than the last day. It's like a video game for me, constantly trying to make high score. Constantly trying to reach that high of when people were into you, when you made your personal best money. Being a cam model is like gambling (which, BTW, I've never been into because I felt I had no control in it, no personal stake, the only goal in traditional gambling is money- but this, this is like SUCCESS gambling, lol!). So one day you try to enter camming, unsure if you will do well, not having high expectations. You could have walked away with a small amount and been happy. But you do well, and it raises your confidence that you are going to be so successful, you're going to be rich, you're going to pay off all your bills. It might open up all kinds of career opportunities for you. Blah blah blah. The next day you come in and do the exact same things, same time slot, etc, and make virtually no money at all. What did I do wrong??? So, a determined model gets back in there, plays again, shoots to score. A few more bad days, and then an astronomically good day. Hooked again, I'm a genius, this is going to be amazing. I figured it out. Bad days again. I suck. What am I doing wrong? It's like playing a volatile stock market.

    If you did any research beforehand, you know this is a long game, you can't attach your self worth too much to daily goals. You have to focus overall on being consistent. So I didn't take it too much to heart. But I can't help the dopamine chase of always trying to hit my next high, trying to best my last personal best. Trying to outdo my last top score - reach a new personal goal of followers, a new goal for highest single tip, a new goal for money/hr, a new goal for monthly earnings. It never ends.

    A Variety of Addictions and Issues At Stake

    I can't be the only one. I know plenty of us in sex work have complicated, dysfunctional pasts. For me, I have managed to avoid drug and alcohol addiction, but I was molested and beaten as a kid, and I have a past of eating disorders that I am trying hard not to ever go back to. I have not gotten into full-blown sex addiction, but I flirt on and off with it... and this is sort of a safe way of expressing that, because I'm not with any partners, I'm just doing it by myself. But no surprise, the comments customers make can be very triggering... certain things they say light up all the sensors in my brain that make me want to think about sex constantly, not just as a job, but as a way of getting approval, validation, affection, being good enough. Certain things they say make me want to chase that body approval again, to engage in unhealthy practices that go back to the eating disorder, to working out too much again. Oh, you think this part of my body looks good? You WAIT - next month it will look even better!...

    I have noticed other models saying that they struggle with their depression with camming, or anxiety disorders. That maybe in certain ways the camming is making those worse.

    I notice in other small ways, it triggers things. Like, I keep a small, tight budget. Because the whole point is, I'm trying to work off debt, I need the money. But, customers are forever asking for special outfits, or praising my wardrobe selection. I find myself spending a lot of time then perusing online deals for new things to add to my repertoire. It's even a little addicting to want to try new makeup or hair, new accessories, new sex toys, new tech upgrades, to see which works to bring in the most tips, the most new approval. I can see people who are super into shopping getting really lost in huge wardrobes, or buying fancy things from the money they make - to use on cam, or just to use off in your private life. I see top cam models all the time seem to have pressure put on them by customers to have new gadgets every week, to spend their money, and then of course many will offer to buy materialistic gifts for you to use on cam. But I would think this all might be kind of overwhelming for some people, the pressure to constantly keep up, or simply the financial ability to live a flashy life where you always look beautiful and like a celebrity of some kind.


    The Future

    I want my room to be a positive place,that celebrates REAL women with REAL sexuality. I want to be healthy, and happy. I want to be consistent, and have a balanced life, for this just to be a job. But I struggle. I've been avoiding going back into it, because I'm trying to come up with fool-proof plans first that I won't stop eating, I won't have them pay me to work out 8 hours a day on cam, I won't constantly try to best myself with money or approval, I won't let them control my sexuality and force me into a role to please others than in the end makes me feel very unhappy and like I'm betraying myself and my own values. But, for me, that's tough to do.

    This time around, I was thinking I might be on for a month, and then force myself to stop for a week or even a few months if I feel I need to, to evaluate. Did I meet goals? Did I get too obsessive, and let this job run my life? Do I feel ok with myself, or do I feel I'm starting to hate myself for what I'm doing, and what other people are pressuring me to do just to earn? I am thinking I might not make a goal of making money at all this time, or just set a very low number. Like, just to stay on. Just to do whatever I want and have a good time. Make it entirely about me, not pleasing anyone else. Just gain a following again, slowly. Have genuine fun. Walk away when my time is up, no matter what money somebody suddenly offers me. Stay in control. I think that would be a lot more sustainable in the long run, and I may make just as much, if not more money, eventually, because my customers will be really loyal and appreciate that I'm actually having a great time. I have seen before that when I do that, it draws genuinely nice people, too.


    Question

    So, if you feel safe to share, does anyone else struggle with camming/sex work being triggering for them? Does it trigger your sex addiction, PTSD from past abuse, substance abuse problems, or eating disorders/body image issues, gambling addiction, workaholism, shopping addiction, etc. etc.? I'm not really a gamer, but anyone else feel it's like gaming, always trying to reach that top score? No surprise, is camming triggering those of you who already have a porn addiction, like to watch more of other people than you do broadcasting yourself, or to spend your money on other models?


    I know, online porn is certainly addictive for many customers. But from our side, there is a reason it is really hard to get out of sex work, that a lot of women get in, and then don't get out until they are forced out. In camming, I see the potential for longevity to be a lot longer than in in-person types of sex work, because you can arrange camerawork to look a lot younger than you are, keep your following, and depending on what you do on cam you can avoid overusing yourself physically or putting yourself in risky situations. So there may be less forcing you to come to terms with the toll this all takes on you, and on your self-perception, other than your own vices and your own psychological baggage. There's less of an end date than say, an in-person prostitute. I believe that sex can be healthy, and that good sex work can even be a kind of crusade against the damaging images that are proliferated in the porn industry about women's bodies and sexuality around the world. We have the power to take good care of ourselves, while teaching people around the world about how to give a woman an orgasm, how to treat her with respect and kindness, how to see her as an actual person with feelings and her own intelligence and abilities, about the fact that women come with a wide range of sexual preferences and orientations and appearances and that all can be beautiful. Those who are men, or who fit unconventional genders or sexual orientations can also be positive role models.
    But also, the world is very much into rewarding those with immediate gratification who ignore their own boundaries, push themselves to please others and not themselves, etc.


    Hoping to start a conversation here. This can be a tough industry, that brings up a lot of personal issues, as much as it may bring money, power, or temporary solutions to one's problems.
     
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  2. Kiki Jane

    Cam Model

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    This is interesting. I decided to get out of camming for a few reasons, the main one being that it fucks with my head and distracts me from what are more important things right now. I like the money, and the autonomy (being able to be as nice or as rude as I wanna be), but when it's slow, the self-doubt drives me nuts. Like, I feel literally not good enough. When it goes well, sometimes, I get a big ol' swollen head and feel like Marilyn Monroe incarnate. The truth of the matter is somewhere in between, and some days are just busier than others. However, I don't tend to feel attractive or sexual unless some dude is paying to see my body, which is messed up.

    My last week of camming was a Streamate contest. I was actually going to quit, but then I saw there was a contest and so I committed to working it, for the sake of a $25 or $50 bonus (I know I had little to no chance of getting one of the "real" prizes). Logically I know that $25/$50 doesn't mean much to me, but you better believe I put in some hours just to get that little carrot. I'm not normally like that, so I know for sure that the money involved in camming is addictive, to a certain extent.
     
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  3. chester

    Cam Model

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    I am new to camming but I am not a stranger to mental health issues. I've gone through an array of problems from anxiety to drug abuse and eating disorders. Just recently, in the past year, I have felt confident enough to show my body again after gaining 30+ pounds. I can totally see how camming can be triggering for others. whether they have struggled in the past or are currently struggling. It is a scary thing. Putting yourself out there for the world when you may be in a very vulnerable state is frightening. I still have some body image problems. Like, I don't work out or go the gym so I feel like my stomach is a pudgy mess. I only see stretchmarks and rolls when I see myself in the cam preview. It's awful. But because I have had many years to learn my body and accept myself for who I am, I think that has made camming a lot easier. I know for sure I wouldn't be doing this 1 year ago. I wasn't accepting of myself during that time. It also helps when I tell myself that if someone didn't like watching me, they would have already left the room. It's obvious that the people who are staying enjoy what they see. I'm very open when I talk about my stretchmarks too. My viewers don't give a fuck about them. Either they don't notice or don't care enough to say something. It makes me feel better too. A bit of a confidence boost. Sometimes I wonder if I would get more viewers if I lost a few pounds. I know how unhealthy it is, but what if, right? That's where I have to draw the line and snap back into reality. Again, it took years of mental practice to see the healthy side of things. but I definitely see the triggers to camming. We just have to remind ourselves that we're beautiful, even if some days we feel like it's a lie - its not. you're beautiful!
    I do see how money can be an addicting aspect of it. It can cause a lot of stress also. One day we hit it big, and the next day only $50 or less. It definitely makes me feel less attractive and I notice that I start to question myself a lot more. That's when I need to remind myself that it was just a slow day. I try not to take it out on myself. It will immediately send me into a downward spiral if I start to overthink it.I used to be an all or nothing type of girl. Camming is about balance, for me anyway. I can't go in with high expectations because I will obsess over a bad day. It will make me overthink my body, my speech, everything. Now I go in my room expecting to have a fun chat and a good time.
     
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  4. missholly

    Cam Model

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2017
    Messages:
    70
    Well I just started about 4 months ago and I definitely notice it brings out my shopping, over working / over thinking addiction. & Honestly a little bit of daddy issues as well. All these things I plan on concoring and getting over before I quit camming since I absolutely love camming.. I plan on putting a stop to buying lingerie for at least 6 months...

    I’m thinking of deleting work emails / twitter off my phone or at least trying not to look at those things until I’m actually supposed to be working..maybe like don’t look at my phone till after I shower / do some yoga and eat breakfast or something and putting my phone away at a certain time. I have already made myself stop looking at stats when I log off. I was having a problem with logging off and sitting there obssessing over numbers and what I did wrong or didn’t and feel a lot better.

    And last but not least I guess I get attached to people who come to my room pretty easily and when they stop coming or talking to me I get pretty upset and I know deep down it’s because of daddy issue... I think this will get easier with time and experience but I also plan on putting better boundaries between me and the members of my room.
     
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  5. missholly

    Cam Model

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2017
    Messages:
    70
    After I posted this I made 2 online Victoria secret orders... seriously the shopping addiction is so real...
     
  6. TemporarilyWhining

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Messages:
    113
    Thank you so much to those who posted here and shared their stories!! I hope more people will continue to share here.

    Ugh, so I taped another test show yesterday. I'm sure most people don't bother to do this, but since I'm a perfectionist, I do that to make sure I'm happy with the show and have made it the best it can be before I go on-air. It's been a while since I was on, and I want to change some things about my show and make it more sustainable for me. So I do a few dry-runs to make sure it fits how I want to be on-cam, and so when I'm on I already know how it looks and don't have to worry or focus so much attention on staring at my image or trying to have the right body angling, etc. But the funny thing is, temporarily it just made me more obsessed. Because I liked the changes I made, but they are so different, I have to kind of think for a minute - it opens up so many other creative possibilities of what I could do! So I taped the show in the afternoon, but then I was up half the night reviewing it and making notes, and then I couldn't sleep because of all the stuff I had going on in my head. It is very much triggering my workaholic mode. At the moment, because I'm sick, this is the only product I'm able to produce and put out in a public sphere anymore. So I want it to be the best I can do, something really unique and good. But, I really don't need pressure on myself right now - I just need good quality sleep!

    I did at least block myself from the impulse to buy new stuff for the new show ideas.

    It's funny, I notice my sex drive is going down again now that I'm thinking about camming a lot. It's the only thing with the power to lower my otherwise rather unstoppable libido, ironically. I've been doing a lot of research online watching other cam models again, and I can't think of anything more unsexy than watching their rooms, lol! It just makes me think about technical stuff, financial decisions, all the behind the scenes stuff that goes into their shows, lol. I find it very difficult for sex work - even just thinking about it when I'm not actually back to doing it yet, not to ruin sex for me. I wonder if you all find that same problem?
     
  7. KMH

    KMH
    Cam Model

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    OP, you seem unsure if this is more beneficial or harmful, and that's OK. Sometimes it takes time for things to balance themselves out clearly before you can ask yourself if it's doing you more harm than good.
    That being said, I think you did the right thing by taking a break.

    I've found camming to carry surprising benefits (ex.: purpose; boosted self-image; increased libido) but so far, no surprising negatives. Whatever makes me a bad person carried itself over to the camming industry, so nothing particularly new came out of it - it has only made me face my own faults on a regular basis.

    And in the long run, I will be grateful for this:
    As painful as it is to go through the parts of you that feel out of control, the easier it gets to fully understand it, adapt, and improve yourself.


    Everything affects us just as everything carries its own pros and cons. You have to ask yourself if the positives of camming outweigh the negatives.
    If it's making your flaws/bad habits/addictions worse, it's time to reconsider.

    In my case, dealing with it on the daily thanks to camming is the only way I'm ever going to work on my faults. Of course it's incredibly difficult.. any lifestyle or mindset change is. Hang in there :h:
     
  8. TemporarilyWhining

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Messages:
    113
    Thanks!

    Yes, some days I walk away feeling it was more negative. And some days, it has improved my life. For me, it is very much about the way I run my shows. It's important to me not to get obsessed with the people-pleasing side of me so much that I forget what makes ME happy in the first place. I am prone to doing that with people in my daily life, and so also prone to that on-cam. It makes me great at being a sex worker, in the sense that I can anticipate people's needs and be what they want me to be. But, very quickly I can spin out into giving too much, if I'm not careful.

    Also, I need to not let it affect my tendency toward having an unbalanced life. Not let it trigger workaholism, eating disorders, etc.... keep calm and balanced and not go off the deep end with trying to be good at my job, or to look perfect, etc. To focus on having fun, more than the money, or the success. Every time I start to have really good success, I freak out, and overdo. So I pulled back for a while, so I could refocus, just be happy and not obsessive.

    Also, for me personally, I am dealing with a rare life-threatening illness. So I was pushing way past what my body could do, just because I was successful. That was not safe. Sure, my regulars wanted me to be on cam, doing what they ask me to do. But I know I am sick, and it does not make sense to make a lot of money to pay my medical bills, only to push myself back into the hospital again because my body can't keep up with all the demands I'm placing on it. I had to step back, until I can be sure I can go into this with a healthy mindset, and really have fun on cam. Life is in fact short, and every day you don't have fun is a total waste of time! So, I'm just trying to increase my fun in a sustainable way... even if it does cost me tips in the short-term.

    I feel just about ready to go back and give it a try now, but crazy things keep happening in my personal life that are preventing me from doing it. Some of my other off-cam hustles have been requiring a lot of work lately, too. So now I pushed it off to next week, or possibly 2 weeks from now, depending on if more crazy stuff happens or not! In the meantime, I am practicing a bit more. It STILL gets me so excited I can't sleep afterwards, so I need to get to a point where I can just be chill about it and not get so ramped up. Maybe I will try taking some herbal stuff right after to try to calm down the adrenaline, until I can get into a routine again, so I don't get so excited. Lemon balm/Valerian/Passionflower/Chamomile/WHATEVER... plus a good meditation routine. It's hard to have that "ON" personality, and then just shut it off. I know many performers of all kinds struggle with this. Hard to go from being the center of an exciting universe, to suddenly just by yourself in your bedroom in the dark trying to go to sleep. It's a big transition.
     
  9. MzDelilah

    Cam Model

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    187
    I've had many of the problems listed below, particularly PTSD, and I also had my heart ripped out and shoved down my throat by the love of my life of 28 years. The only thing it has triggered for me is the workaholism. I'm pretty much addicted to camming because it keeps me from thinking about my breakup. When I started I didn't think I could do it because I thought it would make PTSD worse, depression, or the body image problems I've had etc. Instead it did the TOTAL OPPOSITE. Which is fairly shocking to me. I'm more confident, my PTSD is actually better, I don't have nightmares anymore, I'm not self conscious about my body. It's been better than when I saw a therapist or was in support groups. I know that sounds totally weird. But it has helped me immeasurably mentally and financially. The only thing that sucks about it is with the long hours I put in having 2 jobs now, I get pretty damn tired and I've had to drop another hobby of mine because I just don't have time. I know I have a problem with being a workaholic but my heart will probably be in pieces the rest of my life from this breakup, and if I have to cam until I'm 60 I'm going to do it, if it helps me get over that.


    "So, if you feel safe to share, does anyone else struggle with camming/sex work being triggering for them? Does it trigger your sex addiction, PTSD from past abuse, substance abuse problems, or eating disorders/body image issues, gambling addiction, workaholism, shopping addiction, etc. etc"




     

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