Camming has often been credited with saving the declining porn industry in recent years, given that porn is facing an array of challenges, including piracy and free online content. But cam girls and guys are opening a whole new area of profitability, where the middle man is often cut out. And the content is coming directly from cam performers' homes, making it an interesting money-making opportunity for a variety of people.
RELATED: Prostitution, Black Market Drugs & Being Transgender in Venezuela
A cam girl, who goes by the name of Melissa, shares her perspective on the industry after having worked in it for a few years. When asked about the service, Melissa said, "I realized how much the guys do get out of it and how much the girls get out of it and it's completely mutually beneficial. No party gets more than the other, because it wouldn't happen."
Substantial figures on the industry are difficult to track, but in 2013, The New York Times indicated that industry analysts and executives estimate the money generated from cam sites is $1 billion or more.
Melissa works around the clock to maintain her client base. This ranges from messages during the day, to updating her profile with graphics she designs herself, to designing marketing gimmicks to attract more customers and increase revenue. In one month, Melissa was able to earn $10,000. For her, it is a full time job, which allows her to work from home while raising her young daughter.
Melissa discusses the upsides and downsides to a job that can be emotionally and mentally draining. Though some may see the job as controversial, Melissa is an open book. "A lot of people in my life do know that I do this, pretty much everyone because I'm just really open; I don't care. If anybody's going to judge me, then feel free."
"It's fun to know all these people online around the world - in Argentina, Kazakhstan, Paris. They taught me how people live their life there and I wouldn't have known that any other way."
Read more about cam girls:
Dazed: Confessions of a cam girl
VICE: 'Cam Girlz' Is a New Documentary About How Great and Empowering Camming Can Be