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July 11, 2017

Joey Kim Brings Artistry to Streaming With 'Life-Cams'

LOS ANGELES—The creator of JoeyKim.tv turns her cam shows into erotic events, streaming live from remote locations and even underwater. A skilled aerialist and elegant dancer who specializes on the Lyra and silks, Kim tells stories with her sensual performances, demonstrating the art of seduction with soaring aerial burlesque and often surreal stripteases. Tech savvy and resourceful, the 26-year-old artist has given members of her official site glimpses of exotic places in Hong Kong and Thailand, delivering dazzling acrobatic exhibitions in front of waterfalls, in the trees and at international festivals.  Whether she’s performing online or in front of an audience, Kim’s captivating “life-cam” streams tend to go well beyond what has become the industry norm for cam shows—with their production value alone. They may just be one of the internet’s best-kept secrets.  “I hope to see the site continue to grow,” Kim tells AVN. “There’s always something to improve. And so I’m actually working on meeting with some tech people to improve it and the future JKTV is going to be great. We’re going to have a lot higher production videos being released on there.” Kim performed before a crowd for the first time in Hollywood in 2014 after someone discovered one of her videos online. “One of my videos I recorded while camming, doing a little strip thing on my Lyra,” Kim explains. “Someone saw that in LA and was like, ‘You need to come and perform for our event. We’ll put your name up. You’re going to be the spotlight. You’re going to be the main person.’ “I was like, ‘I don’t dance for a living, I don’t know what I’m doing.’ But they really liked me and they really wanted me there. So I went and that was like my very first performance ever. And then I realized like, hey, I think I could do this for a living. This is fun. I enjoy it.” Now Kim is signed with Bespoke Talent Agency in New York and is invited to perform at gatherings all over the world. In February, she traveled to Pattaya, Thailand, where she brought her Lyra act to Wonderfruit, an annual arts, music and lifestyle festival held at The Fields at Siam Country Club in Chonburi province. “It’s a festival that’s about loving and sort of bringing wonderment back into your life,” Kim says. “That was wonderful. That was probably my favorite experience of all time. Everyone was so creative and open-minded and just inspiring in some way or another. That was refreshing. Some of my closest friends now are people that I met there. “I got to perform while the sun rose with great DJs on crazy installations, so it was magical. That was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.” Kim debuted on MyFreeCams seven years ago when she was a sophomore studying photography at Parsons School of Design in New York. With student loans mounting and no part-time job, she knew something had to change.  “So I ended up trying to look around for a job and one of my friends was like, ‘Hey, have you ever heard of camming?’” Kim says. “He was like, ‘You can work from home.’ And I was like, ‘No, I’ve never heard of camming.’ And then I checked out the very first site he told me about, which was MFC. That was the first site I signed up for kind of out of curiosity. I didn’t even do my research. “And then I ended up being there for another seven years.” But at the beginning she took it slow. Raised in an ultra conservative Asian American family, the topic of sex was taboo and never talked about at home.  “It was a strange dynamic of I guess just trying to understand my sexuality and at the time when I started, I was still very uncomfortable with nudity and sex,” Kim says. “And so I actually started on cam as a non-nude model and I didn’t take off any of my clothes for several years.” Even though she remained clothed in public chat, Kim gradually started doing explicit private shows with regulars she trusted. It gave her mixed feelings. “I used to get naked and I would masturbate and it was fun and I felt comfortable doing that but I guess I was kind of ashamed of it, too,” she admits. “It felt more like what other people’s opinions of me sort of shaped my own opinion of me. “So one day some of my nudes and some of my privates got leaked and people started using that as a way to bully me, to call me a liar and to call me a slut and to threaten me and to blackmail me. And then I think it was at that point that I started realizing exactly how important it was to continue what I was doing. “So I actually switched from being non-nude to nude at that moment and I started shooting.”  It was 2013 and Kim was still at Parsons, where she was diving deeper into landscape photography. “And all of a sudden I decided to turn the camera back onto myself and start shooting self portraiture,” Kim continues. “And that was my own personal, private way of becoming more comfortable with my body and also becoming more confident with it and viewing it almost in a clinical way, but through my own lens,” Kim says. “And then I started doing it with my live streaming camera and it just started to merge into one thing. Now my live streaming camera is like my art lens that allows me to express myself.” The breadth of “life-cam” shows on JoeyKim.tv inspires and titillates—they’re at once unexpected, uninhibited and understated.   In “Beautiful & Damned,” Kim goes from aerial silks, to a metal chair, to a Lyra with the grace of a ballerina. In “Rivers Will Freeze,” she writhes slowly in a bathtub with snowflakes falling into the neon-colored water. In “Reaching Hands,” she prances and teases as shadowy silhouettes of hands paw at her figure. And in "Slow Pour," she opens her show in a giant wine glass. Sometimes she performs with another model, such as in “Holy Water,” a tasteful girl/girl dream sequence bathed in blue light; or when Lomeli Wassmer joined her for their sizzling “Holiday Exclusive” in front of mirrors. On New Year’s Eve last year she danced with a disco ball. She did live aerial burlesque at the Shanghai Gala in June 2015 and at again at Sandra LaMorgese’s “All Nude” book launch party in September 2016 in New York. “I started getting more and more comfortable with my body and so now I don’t mind doing the sexual performances and getting more sexual. It doesn’t make me feel afraid of judgment,” Kim says. “It’s a nice feeling.” The upgrades to JoeyKim.tv now allow her to stream in crystal clear HD. She’s also fully mobile. “I can stream in 1080p. I’m now able to stream from my phone anywhere in the world as long as there is 4G, 3G or WiFi,” Kim says. “So there’s like limitless possibilities and I can do a lot of things that I couldn’t do on my original platform because there were lots of limitations on the bandwidth you could use and the software you could use. “So for me being like kind of a control freak a little bit I decided that I needed my own platform so I could do whatever I want. And if I want a better quality stream I have the control, the power to do that. To say OK, I’m going to make something different.” When Kim switched to self-portraiture four years ago she focused mainly on black & white photos—a stark contrast to the vibrant imagery she produces now. “It was always very dark. It was always very sad I realized,” she says. “But it wasn’t something I intended, just something that ended up looking that way I guess. But now I feel like my work is more conceptual and it’s like raw and sometimes uncomfortable to look at, especially when it deals with blood or something like that. But it’s meant to be uncomfortable and a little bit beautiful, too, because I’m trying to make people comfortable with it.   “But I guess the work is more—my body language is different. The way I perceive myself is different, so the way I photograph myself has changed as well. I’d say it’s more conceptual and more colorful. “And for me it’s liberating.” Kim says she began training on the Lyra, or aerial hoop, at first “as a self-defense thing.”  “It was two things. During the time I was getting bullied a lot it was probably the most depressed I’ve ever been in my life. Because I was scared. It was like fear and depression and everything at the same time. That was my fuel—like my pain and my fear and my desire to want to understand my sexuality and to accept it,” Kim says. “And so I started taking exotic dance just sort of as a way to start feeling myself and loving the skin I’m in. Because really my perception was everyone else’s opinion of me and the Internet is so cruel.” Kim continues, “You start to get really lonely first of all, because you’re at home every day and you prefer to just stay home and hang out with your friends online instead of go out. You have that and then you have a lot of people bullying you on the internet and so the only opinion you have of yourself and of your body is everyone else’s, especially if you’re not someone who grew up really looking at your body ever except when you shower or masturbate. So that was what really started it all. I had no intention of really becoming a performer.”  She next signed up for circus classes. “Because I wanted to be stronger so that I could beat some people up if I had to. I never had to beat anyone up, fortunately,” Kim jokes. “But I did get a lot stronger and I started feeling a lot more confident in myself and I started putting my knowledge of performance art into my shows because it is very performative. Once the camera is on you’re talking to your audience and you’re entertaining them. “So it was great. It just went hand in hand, the photography, the dance. It was almost like the perfect marriage of the two with my camming. So I ended up doing a lot more striptease performances and dancing.”  She launched the first version of JoeyKim.tv in 2013. “It kind of went through different versions, where I’d just completely toss it out and start new because I wasn’t happy with something about it. And I’ve always been like that kind of, so the current JKTV was launched in October two years ago,” Kim says. Her next stop is Europe, where she recently relocated. She plans to works closely with a freelance production crew that contributes adult-themed projects to companies such as Playboy, X-Art, Brazzers and WowGirls.  “We’re all kind of homeless, no-home wanderers of the world. So we work together and we are like a family, like a little porn-creating family,” Kim says. “I am behind the scenes doing a lot of the work for either styling or makeup. It’s always changing—story-boarding, conceptualizing, set design, things like that. Kim met the crew—which is all Russian—while in Bangkok. “They wanted to shoot me and they met me and learned about me and they could see that I’m always looking for the light. And it’s very easy to work with me because I have an understanding of photography already and I’m a photographer myself,” Kim says. “I think they saw that and they thought it was really cool that I’m not just someone who can be behind the lens but also in front of it and that I have the understanding from both sides. “And so they were like we want to add more of a woman’s eyes behind the work and I have a good understanding of photography and the adult business and so they decided to invite me with them and I said yes.” Kim has been featured twice in Penthouse, shooting with veteran photographer Tammy Sands first for the magazine’s “Peace on Earth” Issue in December. “It came out great. It was so good working with her,” Kim says. She wore a North Korean military uniform for the edgy layout with Marica Hase.  “She’s a sweetheart. It was definitely down my alley; it was very political and very gutsy. But also very sexy and I’m all for it. I loved it,” Kim says.  Sands also photographed Kim by herself in a dressing room for the May 2017 issue. “It was a very cool experience,” Kim adds. “I would do it again and again.” Kim says several refinements are underway with her site, including a new tipping system that will be similar to a cryptocurrency.  “We’re going to have more photosets,” she says. “Now that I have people working with me it’s a lot easier to produce what I want when I want it. So it’s going to keep getting better I think. “We also have a lot of secret projects happening as well that are not ready to be talked about yet. But there’s a lot happening that is going to be really exciting this year I think.”  Kim usually cams three times a week on JKTV and recently returned to doing one show a week on MFC. In past years, she has reserved the month of August for running for Miss MFC. She says the best part of her journey so far has been “the people I’ve met.”  “I went from being a really lonely person and feeling like I was undeserving of love because of my occupation to surrounding myself with like-minded people who are incredibly open-minded and loving,” Kim says.   “And that I would say is the most rewarding because I think for me that is when I’m the happiest—to be around these people who make me feel accepted and surrounded by creative, inspiring, sexually liberated women and men. To be in that space is just a great feeling.” 

 
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