Hundreds of viewers log onto a free website called Chaturbate and type her messages, awarding her virtual "tokens" as tips that she redeems for money.
On a good day, Monaee — a Tampa mother of one who wanted to be identified only by her web cam name — says she will pull in about 0.
It's not a category that shows up in labor statistics, and streaming companies don't make their stats public, although at any given time on numerous internet sites, hundreds of models appear live. Last week, two cam sites ranked among the top 50 most visited in the United States: Live Jasmin at No.
40, ahead of sites such as Zillow, Apple and Bank of America, and Chaturbate at No. That's according to the Amazon-owned website Alexa, which tracks web traffic.
"Of course, people come for the porn, but for the most part, it's people who want to actually get to know you." Offering more personal interaction in the sex business can raise risks for some models — bullying is common, but some customers also can be downright scary.
This month, Miami prosecutors charged a wannabe rapper named Michael Belanger, 39, with stalking after he allegedly terrorized a cam model he met through Chatstar, a service that allows adult entertainers to exchange messages and calls with fans without revealing their real contact info.
All of it topped off by a "Cam Model Olympics" competition and an awards night at the swank Liv nightclub at the Fontainebleau Hotel.
While old-school downloads and video clips still dominate the internet sex business, the social media age is also reshaping porn — allowing customers to more directly interact with performers.
Originally from Russia, Klark began camming two years ago to supplement her job as a ballroom dance teacher in South Florida (she occasionally shows off her steps for viewers)."So with my long blonde hair I look like a fetish-dressed Barbie doll, and my visitors love it." Other performers work at large professional studios that rent space — there is one in West Miami-Dade, and even one in the heart of Los Angeles' Hollywood district, billed as the world's largest cam studio. "There's a lot of lonely people out there and camming provides a safe outlet for them to be able to interact," said Yagielowicz of XBiz. Day or night, at any hour and across a dizzying array of sites, models of every shape, age and ethnicity perform all sorts of acts for group audiences, most of them unprintable in a newspaper. The tactics to maximize profits might even include raffles — one model recently offered tickets for 99 tokens (about ), with the winner getting a dinner date via Skype. If you toss out the pay-to-play sex acts, some exchanges almost seem sweet. "I don't want to do yard work." One chat guest offered to send her electric hedge trimmers. Klark works for a few hours every night, after her classes.Her niche: online fetishes, sometimes dressing in rubber and latex outfits, armed with gloves, whips, handcuffs, chains and masks.At just 20 years old, Kandie Monaee earns good money, works a few days a week from home and even gets gifts mailed to her by adoring clients.