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April 05, 2019

Ideas Behind The New Camming Perspective

ImLive.com communication scientist Priscila Magossi, author of "The New Camming Perspective," explains trends in the adult camming industry. It is said that in order to know where you are going, you must know where you are coming from. Not only that, but you must also connect the dots to see the importance that simultaneous relationships have in shaping in the future. When trying to understand the camming industry and predict where it is headed, it helps to take both synchronic and diachronic approaches. The former looks at the current state of affairs in camming, which the latter considers the development of the industry over time. Both of these approaches are used in “The New Camming Perspective,” an initiative supported by ImLive.com. This methodology has strong academic support from some giants in the study of human knowledge, such as Lévi-Strauss’s anthropological studies and Foucault’s work on the relationship of power and submission. By taking an academic approach to understanding the camming industry, one can understand the industry in a deeper way, because relationships between models and members are basically based on power. For example, consider these different relationships: (1) When men control women (through toys and demanding free teases); (2) When women control men (through domination roleplay, such as Mistress/Slaves); (3) When men and women are building connections online (through the social aspect of camming). Let’s understand how this methodology can be applied to the camming lndustry. Taking the synchronic approach, at present our industry finds itself in a struggle against free porn. On one side there are websites offering terabytes of free content in all kinds of categories, which forces live cam sites to develop strategies to remain competitive in the pursuit of advertising as a source of profits. The demands from both advertisers and customers are increasing, while the earnings are not. In this article, I will discuss the current state of the camming industry from the vantage point of "The New Camming Perspective," based on bibliographical research, my insider experience as an ImLive communication scientist, and analytical data. "The New Camming Perspective" began in 2016 in response to the realization that successful businesses care about repeat customers. Its use in the live cam industry was developed from the concept of “Building Connections,” which is rooted in ideas of reciprocity of verbal interaction—the very essence of social relationships—in opposition to the initial marketing of cam sites, which focused entirely on the sexual activity. In 2017 the initial concept was expanded to take into account that verbal skills are only the first step to build a connection. To maintain a relationship (have more returning members), it is necessary to have some knowledge about human subjectivity, in order to establish rapport. That is the “Social Aspect of Camming,” which is a completely new vision that has started to be discussed and became a new approach of this industry in 2018 for various reasons: Its relevance in the language and attitude of the greatest names involved in the business; Studio marketing campaigns and slogans focused on camgirls’ emotional side and camming mental health; New seminar themes highlighting the discussion regarding sexual division of labor in business: men usually make the rules and women follow them; New categories for the awards shows aiming to reduce female objectification online; New companies specialized in protecting models against piracy/illegal content, etc. Because these are new ideas in the industry, there is still confusion in the discourse of our influencers. At times they mention the relevance of building strong social bonds through the social aspect of camming, while other times they insist on teasing for free, objectifying themselves. And some influencers speak about camming mental health and individual needs while still promoting the ideas that camming is all about glamour and wealth. According to "The New Camming Perspective," both behaviors are contradictory because they stimulate opposite reactions; therefore they are meaningless. The first contradiction illustrates the struggle of a camgirl to empower herself and build powerful social bonds with her members. However, the social aspect cannot be properly developed if she insists on objectifying herself by teasing for free. Objectification implies the feeling of being ashamed of herself, which will generate a need for a double life. A double life is the difficulty to present oneself socially. According to C.G. Jung, “the individual being only makes sense as a collective being; as part of a social group,” which means that they don’t feel comfortable to use their personal details as a fear of offending their immediate social circle due to moral constrains. All of this leads to a low quality of life and low self-esteem. These negative impacts are exactly what "The New Camming Perspective" is trying to combat. The second contradiction is that there is also a misunderstanding because mental health is related to quality of life, which in turn is related to the knowledge of reality as it is presented. The sale of dreams—such as aspiration to consume glamour and possess wealth—generates illusions that deprive the individual of contact with reality. On the other hand, according to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi—one of the co-founders of positive psychology—mental health and quality of life is much more likely to be related to knowledge of one’s self, respecting one’s limits, feeling empathy for others and the sense of belonging to a social group. Happiness is also having a purpose in life, which has nothing to do with money, just like expressed by Aristotle: “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Another element to add to the discussion is the undermining of female gender. As Edward Soja notes, we live in a patriarchal society that attributes different value to women: those who are meant to have sex with little interactivity, and those who must be conquered to have a longer relationship with. This is not women’s fault and the same values can be seen in camming. It’s necessary to overcome this, and "The New Camming Perspective" researches strategies to empower women through social studies. According to Harry Pross, “communication starts and ends in the body.” The model must bear a brand (image) according to the treatment she wishes to receive. If a model has a stage name that associates her to a part of her body or just a pet, she communicates to her members that they can go straight into action and do whatever they want to her. However, when the model’s name and outfit relates to the feeling of someone who is proud of living her choices, she shows her intention to establish interaction and the dynamics of the vídeo chat can change. This discussion of female empowerment is a very contemporary one. To address the lack of well-being that is causing low self-esteem is to seek possible solutions to the troubles of living a double life in the adult camming industry. And even though we are looking into this, there are still many steps to reach satisfactory results, but just by seeing this change of attitude, people trying to understand the issues behind the stage, it is a very important stepping stone. Our hopes are high that all industry will follow the example of ImLive.com, the first cam site to understand the benefits of supporting camgirls’ emotional needs and to develop a sound strategy with guidelines that focus on their quality of life. ABOUT THE AUTHORPriscila Magossi is a journalist (Mackenzie-SP/Brazil, 2002-2005), with a master’s degree (2006-2008) and a Ph.D. (2010-2014) in communication and semiotics (PUC-SP/Brazil). Since she has started her journey in the communication field, she has been studying the impacts of the mass media and the cyberculture in the post-modern society, focusing primarily on the social bonds dynamics. Regarding her main activities in the camming industry, Magossi is the author of "The New Camming Perspective," a way to understand premium cam sites based on scientific literature and centered on the main concepts of building connections between models and members through the social aspect of camming—instead of reducing it to the sexual aspect. Because ImLive.com has positioned itself as the first cam site worried with the models’ quality of life in the camming market, Magossi has recently joined the team in order to contribute to the platform with the application of her most recent scientific studies about models’ emotional needs and camming mental health. BIBLIOGRAPHY CSÍKSZENTMIHÁLVI, Mihály, Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology: The Collected Works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2014) FOUCAULT, Michel, Discipline and Punish (1975) JUNG, Carl G., Collected Works: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (1981) LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude, Structural Anthropology (1963) SOJA, Edward, Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions (2000) PROSS, Harry, Estructura simbólica del poder: teoria y practica de la comunicación (1971)  

 
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