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  • Digital geishas

    Medellín, Colombia

    Sofie Cooper, a Colombian webcam model, performs a live erotic show during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia.

  • A webcam, placed on the floor, streams a live erotic show of Caro Ortiz, a Colombian cam model, broadcasting from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • High rise luxury apartment buildings of El Poblado neighborhood, where the webcam models industry is concentrated, are seen rolling on the hills during a misty morning in Medellín, Colombia.

  • Daniela Hernandez, a Colombian cam model, performs a live erotic show during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia.

  • Sofie Cooper, a Colombian webcam model, runs on a treadmill during her morning fitness exercise, before performing a daily live show, broadcasted online from her apartment in El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia.

  • Daniela Hernandez, a Colombian webcam model, arranges the show scenario by phone, before broadcasting the live act from her apartment in El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia.

  • Caro Ortiz, a Colombian webcam model, engages her chatroom audience by performing a sensual live show during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • Juan Bustos, a Colombian webcam industry entrepreneur, remotely administrates the daily operations of his webcam model studio in Medellín, Colombia.

  • Caro Ortiz, a Colombian webcam model, performs a live erotic show during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • Sthephanie Mwarnert, a Colombian cam model, performs a live erotic show in the shower during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • A Colombian webcam model, known as Daniela Hernandez, puts on her costume before performing a live show, broadcasted online from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • A Colombian cam model, known as Marcela Guzman, curls her hair with a curling iron before performing a live show, broadcasted online from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • A Colombian cam model, known as Flora Bella, overlooks El Poblado neighborhood from a balcony of her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • Flora Bella, a Colombian webcam model, performs a one-woman sex show during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • Sofie Cooper, a Colombian cam model, performs a striptease show during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in El Poblado, Medellín, Colombia.

  • Sthephanie Mwarnert, a Colombian cam model, performs a one-woman sex show during a webcam video broadcast from her apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

  • Copyright © 2017 Jan Sochor

Digital geishas

Medellín, Colombia

2015 - 2016

With the traditional adoration of female beauty in Colombia, together with rapidly developing telecommunications technologies and infrastructure, the millennial generations of Colombian girls having grown up with YouTube, turned the city of Medellín during the past few years into a one of the world centers of webcam modelling, a booming interractive sex industry.

While the capital of European webcam business is Romania, the main hub of camming in Americas is Colombia. Thousands of young Colombian women stream everyday self-directed shows via camming websites like LiveJasmin, Chaturbate or MyFreeCams that allow the global viewers, mostly from the U.S. and Europe, to personally interract with a model by text messages and to pay them “tips” for certain, usually sexually related acts.

Although the core of the show is always based on stripping, the crucial part of a cam model’s success in the highly competitive adult industry environment is communication. Cam models who have the ability of light conversation, flirting and entertaining the viewer (dancing, singing, making any kind of artistic performance) usually earn significantly more than those who only get nude and do not interract. The most successful cam girls have moved far beyond the borders of sexuality and literally share their whole lives in a constant interaction with their online clients, communicating with them via texting, sending pictures or private video sessions, often multiple times a day. However, a personal encounter is rarely accepted and the relationship is strictly developed in the cyberspace.

Cam models are paid in a virtual currency called “tokens”, converted into dollars by the website which charges a service fee for providing a technological platform for performers. The vast majority of nameless models, working shifts in webcam studios, generally do not earn more than a couple of hundreds of dollars per month, but the successful and famous ones, broadcasting independently from their luxury apartments in the wealthy neighborhood of El Poblado, easily reach up to ten thousand dollars a month. Additionally, they control their content and build their own personal brands.

However, in a highly religious and family related society of Colombia, most of the cam models fight with the social stigma of being a prostitute. They strictly hide their identity because performing for a large online audience brings a risk of being blackmailed and harassed by anonymous users who threat to expose a model’s profession and explicit images to her friends and family members.

Unlike traditional prerecorded pornographic content, a cam performance is impossible to pirate due to its nature based on real time interactivity with the viewers. The top sites like LiveJasmin regularly exceed 30 million visitors a month.

In 2016, media reported that camming is generating around $2 billion in annual revenue and has become the most lucrative sector of the online adult industry nowadays.

Photography by Jan Sochor