When I was 17 I fantasised about becoming an exotic dancer. I bought a stripper pole, begged my parents to let me install it (“It's the new yoga, Mum! Everyone's doing it, even Zoe Ball!”) and spent hours, twirling, grinding, climbing, undressing, giving lap dances to empty chairs..
I researched how to become a stripper but I knew I would never be brave enough to go and audition. I knew I could be sexy…but hated my body and my eating disordered addled mind couldn't imagine anyone in their right mind hiring me.
Flash forward to six years later, when I found webcamming.
I remember my first night, in a little box room at my Mum's house. I was so nervous I drank at least half a bottle of vodka, didn't show any skin and made about £10…not even enough to cover the vodka.
But I had a really great time.
For the next little while money steadily improved and the guys I was talking to on the whole were actually funny, respectful and sweet. In the rare occasion I would get a horrible guy come into my room, the other guys and I would just insult him back and then I would block him and we would all laugh about it.
I was taking my clothes off and dancing around naked, to a chatroom full of about 100-150 men, who were all complimenting me and telling me how beautiful I looked and how they would have loved to be with me. Definitely a long way away from the idea that I would never be able to be hired as a stripper.
Overall I would probably say that camming has been a very liberating experience for me.
The thing is…nothing is ever simple. I can't sit here and tell you that camming is all good, because that would just be a lie.
There are days where I have logged off in tears, because rent was due, no one wanted to spend any money on me, and all my old body issues and feelings of inadequecy would resurface.
But I have to put it into context. Camming did not give me an eating disorder. I had one long before I entered the sex industry and will continue to suffer with this mentality no matter what job I hold.
I think any customer service position where I was occasionally forced to work long, thankless hours and deal with dickheads would make me feel inadequate.
This job has empowered me to do many incredible things. Last year I flew halfway across the world to meet and film content with magical people who also get naked at the same website that I do.
It has given me freedom to create art and music in my spare time.
It has helped me feel “beautiful.”
And of course, has helped me fulfil my teenage fantasies of stripping.