It all started with chat rooms. My love of the chatroom experience has never faded since my first time logging onto AOL. It was like exploring the wild world of the internet. It was a new frontier of freedom for me. Sitting in front of a dimly lit screen, I was transfixed on the multiple conversations being held at once and watching the chat fly by. Every person seemlessly joining in with a simple "Hi. ASL?" and moving into deep talks about everything from religion, to personal beliefs, to what they were having for dinner that night.
It was like a secret club. I could be a part of it as long as I could keep up and came online everyday. People started to recognize my username after time and then I even made friends worldwide. The text colors, fonts, avatars had me enamored from the start. I loved to come home after school and say hi to my "friends", whoever they really were and wherever they lived didn't matter as much as the fact that I felt included in this group.
Over the years chat rooms changed. Talkcity topped out at just over a thousand users at its peaks. I coveted the position of becoming a mod myself someday but knew with the little white lie of being 17 when I was actually much younger wouldn't go over well.
I'd blast music and add people to my MSN friends list. Even calling some of the people I had talked with for a number of years on the phone during summer vacation. We knew more about each other than anyone else in our personal lives outside the internet parties.
Years went by but I never forgot about the people I "met" or what I learned from them. As chat rooms started depopulating and my time became more taken up by school work I didn't spend as many hours by my computer to keep up. Moving around the country made me lose touch with the relationships I made but it taught me more about myself and one thing I learned over all those dings back and forth was that the chatroom experience is what I love.
And then camming came.
I actually was googling to find cam sites more like what I had known and Chaturbate popped up as one of the first in 2011 - 2012. It's orange header looked oddily familar to what I had known when I was just a fresh teenager. The nostalgia took over and I hastily signed up to find myself right back at home.
There's nothing that compares. I'm home on Chaturbate.
This question has to be in the top 10 most asked questions, and oddly enough I've been getting it more and more. Obviously no little girl grows up thinking that she'll become a virtual internet hoe someday.
Vet, dog trainer, actress, radio tv host, mortician, teacher... I dreamed one day I'd write thick books with thousands of pages that would win countless awards. I also dreamed that every little house down my street would know my name. I wasn't terribly far off from some of these big ideas I had.
Year after year school would require the dreaded assignment of "What do you want to be?". A teacher would kneel down and creep her face in my view asking me in her raspy smokers voice and I would sit there. I never had a job in mind immediately. I'd swing thinking of various careers that wouldn't be so awful. Working with animals or kids seemed fine enough but I still had to force myself to work on the school project.
Researching until the early hours of the morning and coming away with the sad truths of the world no one told me I lived in. That nothing on my list of limited options sounded appealing enough to slave away for the minimal pay i'd receive.
Give customers a reason to do business with you.
But body image and camming go hand and hand. When writing this I wasn't sure if it should go in the camming tips section or the blog but I settled on since it's quite personal I'll keep it here. I've struggled for years with accepting me as I am. This past year has had the most positive impact on my own body image when oddly enough I started from a very low point mentally.
It all goes back to when I first started camming. I sought this occupation as an out to my body image issues in hopes that the compliments and positive encouragement would rub off on me and have some effect on the negative thoughts that intruded my daily life. I was freshly 18 and ready to grab the world by the balls. I knew what I wanted to do but not what was needed or the places it would take me.
I felt pressure to be "perfect", I never felt competitive until I started camming and then it was instant, consuming my mind. How many views can I get, how many more tokens did that girl make, am I even good at this? Teetering between feeling on top of the world when I did good and plummeting to days of mental anguish if I felt I didn't do well enough. I'm sure a lot of cam girls can relate to that.
The site Chaturbate was still new so my following grew with it and as other models joined and began populating it with fresh faces my emotions spiraled. I was on a constant struggle every day to push myself until I'd exert too much mentally and have to sleep for a day. Between maintaining my weight with unhealthy methods, disordered thinking, depression, and being put in the position of having to rely soly on camming income it was incredibly difficult.
At that point I fully immersed myself in weighing myself 3-6 times a day. Breaking below 100lbs and incapable of maintaining a good attitude. My personal life was falling apart, I didn't know what direction to turn to anymore with having doubts about my ability to keep going. But I did it. I kept going.
I started going to events and after some time camming really started to take off. I didn't worry as much about if I could make enough for rent and started focusing more on keeping the fire alive and going as far as I could with it. The thoughts were less loud and moving into a comfortable living situation gave me more time to relax. It allowed me to go through with the breast implant surgery, try making friends in the industry and branch out to new parts like video sales.
At the beginning of 2017 I was falling back into old habits. Despite camming being better than it ever had and feeling confident in that aspect of my life I still fell into the trap of hating my body, blaming myself for anything that went wrong, and feeling like it was my fault for all the stress I was put through from porn companies and people in the adult industry.
Halfway through the year I had enough of it. I let myself be. I ate when I wanted to vs a strict once a meal plan. I didn't make myself sick or beat myself up over a bad night. I stayed on cam just to talk and be transparent about what was going on. I stopped putting up walls to the people that cared about me and had been there all along. The balence that I thought I had lost for so many years was back.
I can say that I'm glad to see that year done with, one month into January and I'm back on track. With December's phantom illness that finally concluded with a clean bill of health by Christmas i'm happy to be in the right direction again. It was one of the toughest years of my life and I know I've said that the year before and the year before that but gee golly this getting older thing just doesn't get any easier. Life always has other plans but that's okay! We made it out in one piece and learned a lot from the experience. I won't take good health for granted again, nor will I forget the more negative sides of this industry.
Last year at this time I was thinking about doing Porn with several companies. None of which panned out in the way expected so I left the idea completely and focused purely on Chaturbate. It turned out to be my best year yet but had its downsides. I do feel like I miss out on certain experiences but these things are fleeting moments that pass and leave you with burning holes in your pockets. The parties, the pictures, the "friendships" tend to be flakey at best. I'm glad for the things I learned and confidence it gave me despite the endless heaps of BS that I had to sift through.
I plan to focus my time and attention both on creating new videos for Manyvids, pushing my limits there with creativity in homemade porn. I'll divide the evenings to camming as it's always been on Chaturbate and squeeze Youtube livestreams when I can. Despite the views not being as high as a regular video it's much more natural for me to talk to you guys live vs pre recorded. Talking is easier with you there so hopefully it'll catch on or it'll just be a mini-hang sesh kinda place.
With this month ending we are also one month closer to Denfur. It is indeed a Furry event but I welcome all CB'ers and internet friends alike to come out to this and see me in person. I'm excited to share this side of my life with you all and present the first appearance of my fursuit in public. It's going to be a lot of fun and I hope that everyone can come out to it. All info should be @Denfur on twitter
Camming is one of the few occupations where you get to pick what you'll be referred to for the forsee-able future.. I didn't know if my future would stick in this direction but I did the importance of a good name.
In the beginning I was still Dawn, but 'Innocent Dawn'. I wanted to still cater to that new, fresh side of myself. After all it really was my first experience as a webcammer.
The truth is I was never very 'innocent' at all. I always have been fetish friendly, even in those first few days I made a point to push my limits. Test with what I liked and found out what I certainly didn't.
After a couple of years it had gained some traction but it felt generic. Signing onto Chaturbate under this name was like putting on a costume. It was impersonal and I needed something with authenticity.
Dawn like the time of day. Willow like the tree. That perfect moment when the sun is still hiding, the sky is murky blue and fog blankets the ground... It stuck.