This article originally appeared on VICE France.
If you're going to be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, you might as well enjoy yourself. And looking at the booming traffic to adult sites like Pornhub and Onlyfans, that's clearly been the thought process for the thousands of people trying to beat lockdown loneliness one jerk at a time.
We spoke to four cam girls about how all this is affecting both their bank balances and their hopes for any semblance of a healthy work-life balance.
"The lockdown has been a positive experience for me. More people are watching live shows, paid video sales on my website are up and so are interactions on social media. To be specific, my business has grown by 30 percent since the start of the lockdown. Obviously, I'm making the most of the situation. I set up a competition on Twitter to win free access to the videos on my website. I'm also constantly filming myself on Snapchat and Instagram while I'm eating, exercising or doing my makeup. Livestreams are ideal for attracting new viewers.
"Since the lockdown, I've been spending much more time on social media. I can show how available I am at the moment and tease my audience with special offers – a new morning live show and a Snapchat special for the lockdown. The Snapchat show lasts five minutes, costs €15 and allows married men to wander off and pleasure themselves quickly. So yeah, it's seven days a week and I'm not even counting the hours... generally I work from 8AM to 10PM. But it's for the best: March has been my best month since 2017."
"I've had more requests recently, but it makes sense – people know we're at home and that we can take their minds off things. A few days ago I had over 300 people watching my live show. That's pretty big. But I don't necessarily want to ride this wave – I'm putting myself first, because I don't want to turn into a sex robot and stop listening to my body.
"There are only two differences between my pre-lockdown daily life and my current routine: I offer free videos on my social media and I also cam at night. I don't do it often, but since I can no longer eat out or leave my house, I might as well find other ways to stay busy. We need to stay connected too, so it works both ways. For the rest, my rhythm hasn't changed. I exercise in the morning, I update my social media and I go live for around two hours a day. That's enough already. I could probably do more requests, but I don't want to be available 24/7."
"Since websites like Pornhub have made their content free during the lockdown, people expect the same of us. I actually offer a 'lockdown pack' – it's €34 instead of €39, and you can have access to my website, all my videos and my Snapchat.
"My workdays often go over 17 hours if you take into account all the videos, exercising, social media and setting up equipment. But I'm doing it because there is a lot of demand. The number of viewers on my free live shows has tripled, and on the 19th of March I had 360 visitors connected at the same time. At first, I thought there was an error in the server, but no, requests have gone up by 30 percent.
"There are lots of guys who are not looking for pornographic content. The other day, two guys asked me to stay fully clothed – they just wanted to talk. Anyway, I can't just spend the whole month dildo-ing myself – my body couldn't handle it."
"My requests boomed in the first four days of the lockdown. Since then, they've slowed down a bit, but that's probably because there are so many girls offering live shows at the moment. Usually they cam as a side job, but now they're more available, given the situation.
"I have the feeling people were excited at first about the idea of being able to jerk off all day, but now that has died down a bit. At the same time, my videos on Pornhub have never had so many views. I'm taking advantage of this in my communications strategy – I use the hashtag #lockdown for my erotica readings, I promote my paid videos and I've started a Friday evening happy hour show on Facebook. There were about 100 people in the first one.
"Lockdown or not, my work has stayed the same. The real problem is for sex workers [who depend on physical contact to make a living] – it's really shitty for them. I'm lucky to continue my job and combine it with other hobbies. For example, I'm studying for a culinary arts diploma, so I'm thinking about shooting naughty videos of me cooking in sexy outfits."