Intimacy in front of the camera. Where are the boundaries?

Intimacy in front of the camera

The woman in front of the camera plays, but not like an actress, because the theater is her body, that is herself. It is also the mind and body of the other person. So it’s not just a role. If she thinks otherwise, she believed a lie.

Women who earn this say it’s not a bad thing, it’s fun, it’s exciting, and it’s even a way to meet someone cool. Is it true – answers the psychotherapist and psychosexologist Bianca-Beata Kotoro.

Undressing in front of the camera looks innocent – after all, it only happens on the screen. As a psychotherapist, do you agree with this opinion?

The girls and women I talked to about it initially claimed that it was a safe, temporary and fairly easy income. Nobody touches them. He just watches. So it does not cross their borders and does not force them to do anything. They decide what they allow themselves to do. They did not feel that by showing their bodies to strangers, people they did not know, and for money, they violated their intimate sphere. They were not aware that it was selling themselves, their bodies, and thus a kind of prostitution.

But isn’t that just sex working?

I know that nowadays, when we share details of our lives on social networks, write what juice we drank for breakfast and what panties we put on, the boundaries of privacy have been pushed. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. That everyone is to participate in it and treat it as the norm. Undressing in front of the camera, we use freedom in an extreme way. We abuse it against ourselves, but we also cross the borders of others. It’s not good when freedom leads to self-abuse. After all, in front of the camera, a woman treats herself and her body instrumentally. It’s not just hers anymore. It becomes a product for sale. It is used to arouse someone, to masturbate and orgasm. To create fantasies and imaginations in someone’s head that they have no idea about, and in which their private parts are used. In some sense, in the mental realm, her body becomes the property of the beholder. So it is no longer hers and it is not reserved for someone important, chosen by her.

After all, a woman has no influence on who imagines what about her body. Even when she’s walking down the street in her coat, some passer-by may fantasize about her.

If he sells his body, however, he provokes and reinforces this possibility. Therefore, it is worth considering whether what he does is consistent and consistent with it. Apart from making quick money and some satisfaction that someone is willing to pay to watch it, is everything okay? Let’s start with the fact that hardly anyone is able to cut off their emotions, and it is necessary for the body to become a commodity for sale. The mental costs of such an attitude are significant. After all, people make money in front of the camera by using human instincts, manipulating the senses. The woman behaves like a confectioner who puts a cinnamon-vanilla scented candle next to the cakes. Buyers think that cupcakes and buns smell so beautiful and delicious, but it’s not true. Similarly, a woman in front of a webcam tricks another man, and in a very intimate space: she pretends that she cares about him, about his satisfaction. She dances, undresses, masturbates – all for him, because he has that effect on her.

But what’s wrong with such a theater? After all, the viewer knows what he’s paying for.

The woman in front of the camera plays, but not like an actress, because the theater is her body, that is herself. It is also the mind and body of the other person. So it’s not just a role. If she thinks otherwise, she believed a lie. Another is that she is in control of the situation. Several of the women who came to my office started out in high school by sending half-naked pictures of themselves to men for a fee. Then they went on to striptease in front of the webcam, masturbation, inserting various objects into their vaginas that the viewers and payers wished for. However, more requests from customers soon followed. One of them came to me when she was horrified by what was being asked of her.

Why? She was behind the camera after all.

Nevertheless, she was so frightened that she sent the money back to the client. She closed the computer and said, “Never again.” It was her awakening. She feared the consequences of what she did for years, though she never showed her face to clients. I then asked her why she was covering her face if she thought she was doing nothing wrong…

The mask can be an element of an erotic game, but also protection against some deviants.

For women who come to me with such a problem, I ask one question at the beginning of the conversation: Are you not afraid that when you sit down at a table in a cafe, someone will recognize you? They usually say no, because that’s why they put on masks, wigs, make-up. Then I ask: Would you like someone at a family meeting or among friends to say: “Kasia dances so fantastically, masturbates and pretends to do perfect fellatio”? It is only when I say this that I can see on their faces that they realize that they did or are doing something that cannot be boasted about among loved ones, moreover, by covering their faces, they knew that it was something wrong, incompatible with their value system and with social norms.

Even if we call it prostitution, what’s wrong with that? After all, they want it themselves. It is only punishable to profit from someone else’s prostitution.

When students come to me who earn extra money for their scholarships in this way, it is usually because their lives are not going as they would like. They earn well, and it’s not fun at all, they haven’t managed to meet someone who would be interested in them and with whom they could create a permanent relationship. When I ask them about their previous relationships, when they experienced true intimacy, they admit that they have no such memories.

No wonder, because when their friends from college went to the cinema or to the disco, went sailing for the weekend, dated their classmates, i.e. learned to create and build relationships, they undressed in front of the webcams. They lived in a glass bubble they created for themselves. They thought they would be like Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman, that they would find their Prince Charming that way. Meanwhile, life is not a fairy tale or a romantic movie. Among the women who undress in front of webcams, men are not looking for a life partner. Although they like them, they excite them and fulfill their fantasies. The vast majority of people, however, build a relationship on intimacy, something that belongs only to them. Without the feeling that no one else in this world of mental and physical closeness is present, it is difficult to build a deep and close relationship.

These women don’t know that? Can they ignore it?

If a young woman had good experiences related to closeness, warmth, trust, respect for her boundaries and body, that is, if she was and felt loved, she will not even think about having sex for money in front of the webcam. Those girls who play some theater in their lives will think about it, because they did not experience love and intimacy in their childhood either. They only know them from movies and from their imaginations. If they have been used for this, abused mentally or physically, they do not have this natural sense of boundaries, because it has been taken away from them.
In my therapeutic practice, these girls don’t have many good experiences with their bodies and sexuality. When I ask them about their real-life sexual experiences, they usually don’t. The sex they talk about is technical, devoid of emotional involvement. They say that they try to perform well, be well evaluated, but they do not try to open themselves to pleasure, to the sensations coming from the body, from the senses, from emotions. I ask them who they want to look good in front of. Answer: in front of the other person. And this is the reason for their loneliness and being unloved – they start relationships with a lie. If we pretend in bed, we also pretend in real life, because we want to look better there too.

Cam sex goddesses not having good sex?

They don’t know what a woman feels when she has sex with someone she loves and who loves her, not just desires her. They don’t know what true, deep, body-mind bliss is. They know what a striptease or masturbation is supposed to look like because they saw it on porn. The cut off from feelings I mentioned makes them unable to say what they feel when they insert various objects into their vagina in front of the webcam in front of the eyes of someone they do not know, and often do not even know who this someone is.

We’re talking about women who do it; we use the pronoun “they” as if the problem is with people who have nothing to do with us. But a lot of teenage girls send nude pictures to their boyfriends or make semi-naked videos “just for fun”. What should we do when we discover our daughter is doing this?

keep calm. That’s the most important thing. Tell your daughter that she is not being condemned, but that such behavior is condemned. Realize that what goes to the Internet stays there forever, that no amount of money can compensate for the damage it will suffer if a friend or colleague, to whom it was not directed, plays a video with it. Let’s also talk about the fact that her body is also herself, that it is of great value, that there are intimate spaces in it and therefore beautiful. They are a place to meet someone special whom he will love, but they are also a place to experience pleasure. Treating your body like an object that you can use to make money is a loss that is hard to repair. This young person needs conversation, and many more. Proximity, warmth.

Have you had patients like this?

Their parents bring them. They are usually angry and rebellious at first. But when we’re left alone, they cry, saying they didn’t realize that someone would see it, that their parents would see it. It was just supposed to be fun. They hadn’t done anything wrong. They had been told by their mothers not to be touched. To be careful because they could get pregnant. That sex with random people is wrong. And there’s no sex here. It’s just a kind of dance. Just showing the body.
Neurobiology makes it clear that the areas of the brain responsible for cause-and-effect thinking develop between the ages of 11 and 21. So let’s not ask young people to do things they are not capable of.

Young women who drink and take drugs earn money from cam videos.

Alcohol and drugs are jammers. When we feel that we are crossing borders, and we do not want or are unable to stop, we reach for them. When, nevertheless, we realize that we are doing something contrary to the norms and also contrary to ourselves, we usually break down. There is a sense of guilt and shame that we can’t bear, but we can’t deal with either. Because today we’re not talking about shame. About the fact that there are behaviors that arouse this feeling in us, and that it is a signal that we are crossing our limits or that someone is crossing them. It’s natural to be ashamed of public exposure. Selling the image of your intimacy. But how are young people supposed to know that when our culture rewards sharing your private life on social media?

Shame is good?

As long as it shows boundaries – personal or accepted in a given society. Violated boundaries in childhood result in a young woman not knowing what she wants to agree to and what she doesn’t. Someone forced her to do something she didn’t want to do, and if it was someone close to her, so much the worse. One of my patients said that when she was growing up, her beloved grandpa would grab her nipples and say, “Oh my boobs, how they’ve grown, how wonderful you are.” The whole family was laughing. Nobody told him not to do it. No one freed her from this situation. And then her legs trembled, her whole body tensed, she blushed. But since the others laughed, she thought nothing was wrong. And yet! Breasts are an intimate part of the body, they symbolize femininity. Respect for breasts helps a woman grow with a sense of worth and healthy boundaries.

And is it healthy for regular couples to make love on cams for their own use?

Indeed, some couples play like that when they trust each other. However, it has a different dimension, because it is built on closeness, trust and truth: then the woman excites her partner, and he excites her. They want to make love to each other and give each other the excitement of breaking the rules.