Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses struggle just to stay afloat. Even as some places in the world are slowly lifting restrictions on gathering in public, many are treading with care, opting to extend personal quarantines in some cases. Particularly in the US, we are sadly realizing that the push for going “back to normal” may have been far too premature. With new incidents spiking across the nation, some predict that a second lockdown could be necessary to curb the coronavirus’s devastating effects on our population once again. A second lockdown spells certain doom for most major industries that rely on in-person participation and patronage. I must emphasize–in-person.
If the first lockdown taught us anything, it’s that the future of labor rests with the Internet, and there is no single job more immune to the effects of a global pandemic than camming. While other industries sputtered and spat just to keep their heads above water, the web’s top cam sites practically soared, reporting record member sign-ups and transactions throughout 2020. Ironically, it seems that the pandemic strengthened the adult webcam industry where it slew others. While the lockdown robbed us of bars, clubs, and restaurants, the Internet offered us a safe alternative refuge in the form of adult chat sites.
When it’s too risky to meet new people face to face, video chatting just makes plain sense. Humans are naturally social creatures and, therefore, need an outlet for interaction. Yes, even the introverts. Immediately after quarantines took effect, thousands took to video chatting over face-to-face meetings in all areas of life. Businesses and schools continued to operate through online sessions. “Zoom parties,” which allow multiple users to stream their webcams in the same call, became a common replacement for weekend kickbacks. Health professionals, particularly where mental health was concerned, opted for “telehealth” sessions, in which they would screen patients online rather than in high-risk hospitals. In lieu of in-person rendezvous, naturally, cybersex too went in vogue.
If the only person you’re touching is yourself, you have little to no risk of contracting the virus, right? This notion isn’t just a morsel of common sense though. Earlier this year, the New York City Health Department went so far as to recommend masturbation as a safer alternative to sex during the pandemic and continued to do so in an updated memo just last month. And while you can easily flip through pages of free porn on your favorite tube site to achieve this, the human element of cam sites fills our innate need for real-time interaction in a way mere video clips cannot.
On every major cam site, there are thousands of cam models who do nothing but socialize with members every day. As a cam model myself, I quickly noticed a flood of new usernames in my chat room. We talked about the virus and the ways we were each coping in our daily lives. The hobbies we were picking up to pass the time. And our fantasies too, of course, but also our fears. During the peak of coronavirus hysteria, people didn’t just turn to cam models for a quick and convenient hook-up, but as comforting presences in an anxiety-ridden world.
It’s no happy accident that adult cam sites are thriving where others fall. Despite years of consistent operation, cam sites are experiencing a Renaissance unlike any other, and it’s no surprise. During a global pandemic wrought with widespread isolation and fear, adult chat sites are simply in the right place at the right time, offering just the right kind of service: one that is truly essential to our well-being but often overlooked–real-time human interaction.