February 19, 2015

Camwhores. Babbling. I has a sad. :o(

Yesterday Camwhores.com, where I have had my webcam exclusively for 14 years and where practically every single one of my friends come from, made a public announcement saying that they will be shutting down the site as of March 17th. I’ve talked with Kevin and there’s nothing to be done, it’s just time. A lot of people have been talking about building new portals or new communities so we all stay together but knowing what I do about what it took to make Camwhores work, I’m not very optimistic anything will last very long. I think the idea that shows the most promise is the subreddit Belinda set up, but I’m not really that much into Reddit so I can’t say if I’ll be in there much. I’ll definitely try. I know I won’t be posting nude cam pics, if I am, because the best part about CW for me, was that all my nudes and shows and sexual anythings were “contained” in one place where all of that was appropriate and inaccessible to minors. I don’t want sex stuff on my site and there’s no such thing anymore as a 30 second refreshing still cam portal. Camwhores was the the first and last one. And even if there was, honestly, I doubt I would trust it unless I knew the person running it. (And anyone I can think of who I’d trust wouldn’t be able to pull it off, I’m fairly sure.)

I’m fucking sad and I can’t stop crying.  I had the realization today that since Camwhores is the ONLY place I cammed, if it doesn’t exist, I guess I’m not a camgirl anymore. :o/

A lot of girls will go to MyFreeCams.com and probably make more money, but for some of us, it was never ever about money. And me? I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate streaming video. Loathe. I don’t like watching myself move and talk and hear myself, like I just can’t deal. But at the same time, I can’t not watch. The other thing is that MFC has a lot of trolls who are gonna make fun of me because I have a space between my teeth or because of my scar or because they’re just assholes out to ruin a girl’s day and I did the dealing with those kinds of trolls 15 years ago when the internet was much smaller and my reputation was a lot bigger and I am way too grown to step into that arena and get “rolled in” again. And for what? It’s not like I *have* to show off my body or I can’t live or anything. It’s just that sometimes you wanna post a pic on the internet of (a) body part(s) you can’t show on Instagram or Facebook. Even though we’re all friends, being on CW was/is partly performance, you’re in the spotlight while doing a show, with a totally appreciative audience who all know it’s better to leave for 20 minutes, than to say anything negative because they will be banned for various lengths of time to indefinitely. To express your negative opinion of a camwhore, members could vote them minus or vote all of their pictures 1s (on a scale of 1-10). There was a healthy outlet built into our community for negative feelings and as simple as it was, most of the time it was enough. In recent history, the only egregious thing I can recall is a member got really drunk and went on an awful tirade in chat about one of our girls, who I think was even live at the time, and he had to be given a timeout. But what did he do when his ban was over and he came back? He wrote a sincere public apology to the girl by way of CW’s blogs and while I forget if she actually accepted it, that’s the kind of gestures that could happen in our Camwhores community completely organically. You are never going to find a community on the internet that moderated itself so well, with very few people actually having the ability to moderate. Especially not one that grew out of the E/N scene. (I actually only know of one person from the E/N scene A) still doing E/N basically and B) making a decent living at it, but some people I know are primed and ready for it to come back.)

There is nowhere on the internet where you can post a picture straight from your webcam, let alone a nude, let alone the most explicit nude you can think of. You can post nudity on Twitter but my mom’s on my Twitter. She was probably okay with naked tree pose last week but I doubt she’d be happy knowing the precise colour of my labia. And the picture I *was* gonna post on Camwhores 2 days ago that would be totally within site rules but decided against because I had an ingrown hair and it wouldn’t be perfect enough, would almost definitely get me perma-banned from Twitter. And we all know Facebook and Instagram are lame when it comes to nudity in even ART. My friend and fellow artist Ana Voog has been suspended from Facebook a million times for posting artwork barely featuring nudity, it’s ridiculous. I get wanting to keep Facebook a SFW place, I agree with that and think it should be what it is, but when we’re banning art and breastfeeding, something’s fucking wrong with us. And of course there’s Instagram whose most famous hashtag is #freethenipple. Need I say more on  that one? (I like to covertly insert my boobs and nether regions into Instagram. Only I know it’s there or what it is, but it’s there dammit.) You can get naked on tumblr. Yes. Yes, you can. Tumblr is basically the 2nd last place on the internet I’d like to be, with 4chan taking home the prize. Tumblr just confuses me and ruins all the shows I watch because I download or record them and watch them later and how some of these people get gifs BEFORE the show airs, I have no idea, but tumblr is just a spoiler minefield so I avoid it at all costs. I realize I can stop following these people but sometimes I like seeing the gifs. Anyway, the tumblr community freaks me out and it’s a shitty place to actually communicate with people so that’s just a great big “no”.

So that pretty much leaves LiveJournal – which is totally fine with nudity but a bloody tampon is “obscene”, as Ana found out over a decade ago – and my site. You can’t make a webcam page on LiveJournal. I have a webcam page on my site, but it just tells you to go to Camwhores with a brief description of what I do there and approximately when. If I could change that page, and I only say “if” because it’s a WordPress page, so that my cam image updates every 30 seconds (maybe longer since it won’t be like CW), no archives and there’s a little chat thingy on the page, that would be good. Ideally the chat thingy would be one that you can pop out of the page or one that makes sounds when people talk and one where you can definitely ban people. In my brain, this sounds like an impossible thing, maybe to someone else it sounds simple. I dunno. A bonus to having a cam on my site is that Wes and Madison can be on it, so that would be cool. Instead of a PayPal link (because PayPal gets in a snit if they think you’re using it for anything “adult”), I think fuckit, I’ll accept Bitcoin. Why not? Camming’s not about money to me and Bitcoin’s not even real money to me, but with it there’s still an exchange of value, of appreciation, even if it’s a fragment of a cent. (I have no idea how Bitcoin works but I am signed up with this cool Bitcoin thing that Steph (the Geek) used to tip me enough Bitcoin to buy a cupcake if I’m ever anywhere that takes Bitcoin and has cupcakes that price! It’s made for tipping so it would be perfect. Totally forget what it’s called but it’s in my e-mail.)

Kevin doesn’t think there’s an audience for 320 x 240 static cams anymore but Ana and Steph and I are not so sure about that. What we all do about it remains to be seen. Maybe Everything/Maybe Nothing.

February 2, 2015

Splurge

I think after I get back from San Francisco I’m going to hire someone to fix up my site because right now things are buggy and it’s kinda driving me crazy. When WordPress updated, it stopped letting me be able to add borders to and play with the sizing of images by percentages. Now it’s click and drag resizing, which does me no good because I can’t eyeball 595 pixels, which is the maximum width a pic can be to fit on my site properly. The other thing is that the plugin I use to x-post to LiveJournal x-posts to LiveJournal, but the posts aren’t showing up on my LJ friends’ friends feeds so the people I actually care about reading my stuff miss most of it. This bugs me enough that today I considered just making a post on my site with links to LiveJournal and all my social media accounts and just using LiveJournal from now on but I decided to check my Google Analytics first and it doesn’t make any sense to do that because my LJ only gets about 600 sessions per month whereas my site gets about 3k on an average month and about 10-30k during Feb/March because of Sex and Blowjob Day and my blowjob guide being linked everywhere. The fact is though, that LiveJournal is just cooler than my site, that’s where discussions are going to be had, if there are discussions to be had because basically unless you have a LiveJournal – an account, a userpic, an identity – you are just some anonymous person on the internet to me. I don’t listen to or entertain cyberghosts. If I can’t connect with you as a human being behind a screen, there’s no point in talking to each other. If you’re not going to be accountable for your words, like I am, then why should I pay any attention to them? It goes for Twitter and Facebook and everything else on the internet too. There’s only one place on the internet where I speak to the anonymous and it’s not “here”, wherever you happen to be reading this. My world, my internet bubble that I created, is not the comments section of your favourite (or least favourite)  news/editorial site. Believe it or not, there’s a community here, you just don’t see it because the interactions take place on other forms of social media now, as opposed to the comments section of my site (which has never been very well-utilized and it’s buggy too) or LiveJournal, which most people have largely abandoned for fluffy Facebook thoughts.

Have you noticed? Even my own blog posts in the last little while are much more surface level than they used to be. I think a lot of that has to do with Facebook and what’s socially appropriate to share there because of who can see it or share it or comment on it. You do it so much and self edit so much that you just start to think on that surface level automatically, which is so not a good thing!

Anyway, the only solution I can come up with for the time being to my LiveJournal x-posting dilemma is that I’m going to post an LJ poll (another reason LiveJournal is cooler than my site, it has polls) every time I make a post on my site and in that post, I will link to whatever I just posted. Then on Facebook I guess I’ll link to the poll. I mean, how dumb is all that? But that’s what I’ll have to do. (Also why I stopped manually x-posting things to Camwhores.)

How much do you think I should budget for for someone to redo my site? I guess they need to make a new WordPress theme and install plugins. I have a few names kicking around of people I could ask to do it, but they may feel obligated to just do it for free or cheap because we’re friends and I don’t want that. I don’t want to accidentally lowball them either. I want to say, “Hey, can I hire you to X for $Y?” and not offend anyone.

Speaking of hiring people to do X for $Y, as I type this, there are 3 local girls in my house washing my walls and floors and bathroom and kitchen and blinds and vacuuming. We decided to splurge and pay for a thorough house-cleaning because originally, one of Blake’s coworkers was going to be flying in from Alberta and staying with us so we were like, “this house is a mess” and arranged for the girls to come (which we’ve never done before), but the thing the coworker was coming here for got cancelled and we figured since the cleaning was already booked, we might as well just do it. I’m not ashamed to admit that keeping a clean house is not my forte and I’ve never washed my walls. Never occurred to me to wash my walls. We vacuum regularly to try and stay on top of the dogs shedding, but we live with huskies, there’s dog hair on our floors and we keep the bathroom/kitchen maintained but the only reason our shower tiles aren’t completely disgusting is because we redid the bathroom this summer and got new ones, not gonna lie. There’s no specific shower cleaner chemical in this house. We have one bottle of lemon scented Mr. Clean and that gets used on everything in the kitchen and we have a bottle of Vim for everything in the bathroom because it says “bathroom” on it. I’m not trying to brag in some weird, gross way or anything and our house is clean enough most of the time, I would just never let a toddler crawl on my floor or a neat freak/germaphobe through my front door for their own good. The former would be a little hairy sasquatch in minutes and the germaphobe would end up with PTSD.

Despite the fact that we’re supporting a local, lady-run business and that’s super awesome and I love that, I still feel weird about paying people to come clean my house. Like, this is a privilege I shouldn’t be able to have. Like I should be able to clean my own house because other people seem to manage it just fine. I don’t really have a justification for it other than the fact that I’m cool with paying someone for their time and hard work so I can do something else with my time, especially if what I’m doing with my time is making more money so I can pay that person. My friend Kevin told me a long time ago that time is the most precious resource we personally have and when people want something from you, generally it boils down to time. So what is your time worth to you?  I really doubled down on this concept after almost dying and I realized that you only get X amount of time in one life and that’s not even guaranteed. Suzi Blu had a video a long time ago where she told her viewers to “live juicy”, which is something I’ve always loved and something I try to do on my good days. I try to fill every hour of my day that I’m not working with something juicy (to the point that if I don’t, I feel bad for wasting time, something I’m trying to get over), whether it be writing a blog post, making something, creating something or doing something. Even watching a good movie is living juicy, especially if it’s at a theatre and inspires more juice. Squeeze out every single drop of life there is in every single waking minute. Try. You’ll be happier and it’s just a theory of mine, but I’m pretty sure you’ll live longer too because – duh – the juicier you are, the lower your chances of just drying out and crumbling.

Annnnnnd in the time it took me to write that, the girls have finished, just in time for my work meeting. Worth every fucking penny.