Bengaluru: Sex, payments and streaming
Bengaluru: Sex, payments and streaming
Source: TOI Website
Sex streaming is on the rise in Bengaluru, and offers quick money for those who are willing to bare it all - in front of a camera.
BENGALURU: J & K have been married for three years now. As part of their attempts to keep their sex lives interesting, they began experimenting with live streaming their intimate encounters.
Their shows slowly gained popularity, and soon, there were people contacting them, requesting the performances of specific sexual acts. They were willing to pay too. “It felt a little weird. In the beginning we traded streams of sex acts on cams only with couples and single women and occasionally men who came across as being decent. Now we perform for cash,” says K. She charges up to Rs 3000 an hour for viewers who want to watch her have sex with J. J & K maintain their anonymity by wearing masks or balaclavas. Welcome to the world of webcams, Bengaluru style.
From Jennicam to Jasmine
Modern webcam streaming – of a sort – was pioneered by Jennifer Ringley, an American college student, in 1996. Ringley, then 19 years old, installed a webcam in her college dorm room. Every three minutes, the camera would take a picture, and a web page would refresh to show the latest picture. The pictures were remarkably candid – showing everything from Ringley reading a book or ironing her clothes to her masturbating or having sex.
Ringley shut down her site in 2003 – and has no internet presence these days, but what she started has expanded into a multimillion dollar industry today. In 2015, a CNBC report estimated the adult webcam industry earned $1 billion annually. Webcam sites are visited by five percent of the world’s web users – approximately 160 million people. Streaming site LiveJasmin has been ranked, quite appropriately, the 69th most popular website in the world, according to Alexa, the internet analytics site.
The majority of webcam performers come from Latin America or southeast Asia, but there are significant numbers in Romania and some of the former Soviet Republics and Eastern European companies as well. In India, however, the webcamming industry is still tiny, and numbers are hard to come by.
It doesn’t take much investment to setup a live streaming business. A computer, a camera and a fast internet connection are all that are needed. Abroad, streamers usually need access to a webcam hosting site which handles payments, but here in Bengaluru, access to Skype or Google Hangouts is all that’s needed.
26-year-old B, from Kolkata, moved to Bengaluru a few years ago and works as a beautician. She hangs around in adult chat rooms, chatting with prospective customers. “I often confirm on cam, all clothed, that I’m a woman and then demand for my fee of Rs. 1500 for 45 minutes to be transferred to my e-wallet. Once I receive the money I go ahead with a strip show on cam and dirty talk through the microphone mostly through Skype or Gmail Hangouts,” she says.
AH, from Hennur Bande, has been in the cam business for the past few months. Live streaming is not her main source of income, but something she does because she enjoys it. “I’m not a prostitute and never will be. I have a decent job and this is exciting for me as I enjoy having another identity,” she says.
Webcams also offer a degree of security for people who would be vulnerable in real life situations. Bengaluru’s webcam scene has a strong transsexual presence – and they offer a variety of services for a price. R, a transsexual, fled Kerala fearing bullying and violence. She now has a dedicated clientele, and offers a variety of services, from strip shows to intercourse with other transsexuals.
C, a transvestite, picks up clients on dedicated gay forums online. A 31-year-old software professional by day, he charges Rs 500 for a 30 minute show – often featuring himself in lingerie and using BDSM props. Sometimes the show can lead to real-life dates as well. “If things click, then I meet the client in person,” he says. His family and coworkers do not know of his other activities.
As far as the police are concerned, selling sex online is a crime, but other crimes take priority. The cybercrime division saw a record 4,000 FIRs filed within a year of its formation. Of these there have been no FIRS pertaining to webcam activity. “The cam girls’ trend here is relatively new and has mushroomed only after e-wallets have become rife. It is easy money by sitting behind a computer without revealing one’s identity. With KYCs becoming mandatory for e-wallet transactions such online activity will be on a decline,” says a police officer.
Becoming addicted to webcams is a real possibility, according to experts. “Purchasing and watching sexual acts of a real person via webcams is an escalating trend as avenues for it are easily available through various online platforms at the comfort of their palms through phones and tablets, thanks to lightning fast internet. Severe webcam viewing can be termed as further manifestation of addiction to pornography. There are lot in Bengaluru who are addicted to webcam viewing, but as we know ours is not a treatment-seeking population for any type of addiction and many remain behind closed doors,” says Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Coordinator of SHUT clinic (Service for Healthy Use of Technology) run by the National Institute of Mental Health and Sciences (Nimhans).
A survey conducted by SHUT in 2013-14 among Bengaluru men and women between the age group of 18 to 50 saw a steady rise in porn watching. “Of every 2,700 Bengalureans, eight to nine percent of people regularly watch porn. This surely would have increased if you do a fresh survey. Webcam watching is taking porn addiction to the next step. The eagerness to view real people perform sexual acts and the need to get oneself involved in the act is taking the addiction to the next level,” Dr. Sharma adds.
The SHUT clinic in Bengaluru receives one patient a month seeking treatment for pornography addiction. It recently saw a 23-year-old IT professional with a webcam addiction and a desire to become a cam model himself. Declaring himself a loner, the youth confessed that had binge-watched webcam shows and purchased tokens for cam girls on various international websites. Having watched cam girls for over two years, he decided to consult a doctor after he developed a craving to turn a cam model himself. This was at a time his family were planning his wedding. He had spent most of his income on his addiction and had reached a point where he was failing at work.
Most webcam performers take payments using PayTM or other e-wallets. But the KYC requirement has sent cam performers scurrying. But for cam watchers, there are other avenues – cam platform sites that accept credit card payments in exchange for tokens that are spent by patrons on performers on that platform. And given the ubiquity of these sites, it’s not hard to imagine the Indian webcam scene migrating to the token system on international platforms soon.
When it comes to sex, technology is a great enabler.
Last edited by TheMaskEditor : 1st April 2018 at 07:54 PM.
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