The Romanian sexcam industry would generate more than 300 million euros in annual profits, making it the most lucrative market of its kind in Europe. Livejasmin, one of the highest traffic camgirl website in the world attracts 25 millions visitors in a single month. Jan Bommel, owner of xchatz.com, a blog dedicated to reviewing camgirl websites describes Livejasmin as being “an industry standard”. More than 80% of the webcam girls on Livejasmin are from Romania. If you want to know more about Livejasmin, read the xchatz.com review of Livejasmin. The many insiders I spoke to estimate that there are more than 5,000 studios and 100,000 models scattered across the country. But in the eyes of the Romanian government, this industry does not exist.
Although it is not illegal to have a sexcam business, the government refuses to give studios a business identification number that would allow them to benefit from tax programs and social benefits – like all other “normal” businesses. As a result, many studios present themselves as modeling agencies or telecommunications providers. I have contacted the Romanian Ministry of Labour several times to understand why the government still does not recognize sexcam studios as official companies – but I have not received a clear answer.
This grey area offers the sexcam industry a perfectly legal and unregulated way to make money. And clearly, the state is not aware of the magnitude of the phenomenon.
“You don’t try to lie to the government, but you don’t have a choice,” says Maria, who runs one of Bucharest’s largest sexcam studios. We don’t want any problems – neither for the owner, nor for the models, nor for the staff, but if we did not operate under the guise of a fictitious company, we would not be eligible for certain state aid. »
VERA RENCZI (LEFT) HAS BEEN WORKING AS A CAMGIRL FOR YEARS.
According to Maria, the success of sexcams in Romania can be easily explained: a low standard of living, many pretty English-speaking and unemployed girls, and a very high-speed Internet connection.
In Romania, almost 15% of young people are unemployed. It is therefore easy for studios to attract students and recent graduates into their nets by promising them juicy contracts, often well above the monthly minimum wage of 1,900 RON gross (about 415 euros).
“There are very few career opportunities in Romania,” says Vera Renczi, who has worked as a camgirl for several years. She had registered on the site because she could not afford to buy the equipment she needed for her photography studies. “We really are a poor country.”
MARIA MANAGES ONE OF THE LARGEST STUDIOS IN ROMANIA. ON SITE, HER MODELS CAN BENEFIT FROM A HAIR SALON AND MANICURE.
“We will make your dreams come true,” reads the call for applications from a sexcams website. “You can buy everything you want and live like a movie star.” In reality, the sexcam industry being unregulated, in smaller studios, many camgirls and camboys end up earning less money than promised and giving up pretty quickly.
According to Vera, new sexcam studios are constantly opening, and many of them are exploiting vulnerable women. They promise juicy contracts – just before closing shop and/or refusing to pay their models. Often they change their name and open a studio somewhere else.
“It’s not easy to make money,” Vera tells me over tea in her Bucharest kitchen – just yards from her room, where she works as a camgirl for her own independent company. She used to work for a large studio and taught newcomers the veins of the trade, and then she went to the other side of the camera.
“To succeed in this environment,” says Vera, “it takes a lot of time and effort to acquire a loyal customer base. You may have to masturbate a dozen times before the audience starts to like it,” she says.
Ideally, models should master at least one foreign language and have some openness to other cultures, Vera says. Some studios even invest in beauty salons and fitness rooms, but most offer English classes for girls.
“It takes five to six minutes to masturbate,” says Vera. So what do you do for the rest of the hour? Well, you have to stay interesting, captivating and look accessible. You have to know how to talk to the doctor who had a bad day because he lost a patient, as much as to the musician who is depressed. »
Vera’s clients try to fulfill fantasies they can’t live in real life. “It’s really hard to tell your girlfriend or wife about your deepest, darkest sexual desires without feeling judged.”