Can I make you some bucks?

how the net is transforming the way we work and earn

Should we forget degrees and buy webcams instead? May 20, 2008

Filed under: selling yourself online — Nicole @ 5:30 pm
Tags: , ,

One of the relics from my childhood was 7-11, a café near my house that stayed open from 7am until 11pm. Imagine that, 11pm! That seemed scandalous to my 9 year old self. But you see, it was more than just a café. Of course they sold all the usual coke and tomato-flavoured chips. But there was also a bakery and for me that made it all worthwhile. See often there would be freshly baked chocolate or poppy seed muffins and sometimes even Mosbolletjies. And who can resist anything freshly baked? So, often my mom would treat us to something.

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I remember standing with her in my school uniform waiting to pay and all I could think about was how I shouldn’t look up. How I should just keep my eyes on the people serving us instead of on the many different types of condoms which for some odd reason were kept on a rack at the pay-out counter.

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Now, as a 22 year old the idea still embarrasses me. I can’t quite imagine myself walking up to a counter and asking for a pack of Rough Rider condoms or Studded Dreams or whatever else they are called. Perhaps I’m just prudish. Maybe it’s time for me to stop being so conservative. It’s just sex after all. And yes everyone does it.

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In 6 months I will, hopefully, have completed my degree (fingers crossed) and then what? I’m starting to realise that it’s not that simple to find your first job. But have no fear. I have a computer. I have access to the internet and a webcam. The three ingredients needed for a rather successful online career, believe it or not.

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People, sometimes referred to as camwhores, actually make a living exposing or broadcasting themselves online. They pose and strip and I guess titillate until the customer and his or, perhaps in some cases, her wallet are content. And, the upside is you get to do all this in the comfort of your own home. Aren’t they lucky? Who wouldn’t want to strip and pose while doing the unimaginable so someone you have never seen gets off on it? And there are even places online which allow you to produce introductory videos for a potential client’s iPod. Just think of all that exposure.

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But maybe that isn’t your thing. There are plenty of other online jobs available that will make you quick money. You could be an online phone-sex operator. Just think about it. You get to work from home and can get paid as much as $24 per hour – that’s over R200 – and all you have to do is put on a sultry voice and add the odd moan in the appropriate place. It can’t be that difficult.

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And traditional sex-workers shouldn’t feel left out. The net can be a very useful tool for them to screen their clients. Some have even used it to shop around on sites like ebay and why shouldn’t they? Why should sex-workers just settle for the going rate? Often the people looking for sex online are wealthy and willing to pay. Some sex workers have been paid up to $20 000 for one nights work. Sound tempting?

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But it doesn’t end there. A few years ago there was a case of an 18 year-old college student, Rosie Reid, who auctioned her virginity to pay off college fees. Reid was working part time while studying but found she just couldn’t keep up with her bills or her work. And so, for £8,400, she sold her virginity to a 44 year old man. The sick thing is that Reid is in no way an anomaly. It seems it’s becoming a bit of trend. And it’s not just virgins who have something the sexually-depraved are interested in. Other, older women have also taken part in online sex-auctions.

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So yes, it does seem that it is terribly easy to make money by selling yourself online. So, maybe I should just drop out of university. Get some sexy underwear and start using my web cam. That would probably make me more than I’ll earn at my fist job. Isn’t that a sick thought? Taking off my clothing will make me more money than a four year degree? This sickens me. But I doubt this will ever change though. The sex industry is the oldest one alive and it continues to reinvent itself. I leave you with this from Caslon Analytics and adult content industries:

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Whether you call it adult content, smut, erotica or pornography; whether you consider it disgusting or titillating, the facts are clear that without business and technical pioneers in the online sex business, the World Wide Web would never have grown so big so quickly. Without consumer demand for big, bandwidth-hogging sex pictures and streaming video, Cisco would never have sold so many routers and Sun Microsystems so many servers. Without programming pioneers trying to perfect video streaming software that would deliver images of copulation and procreation to paying customers hooked up with a 28.8 kbps dial-up modem, it is unlikely that CNN would be effectively delivering news clips of global breaking news. Without sex-oriented chat and forums to sustain its early years, America Online might never have survived.

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