Behind the Scenes with Cam Performer Durtee_Gurrl
Beyond our computer monitors, on the other side of the webcams are the models and entertainers who supply endless hours of hot, sexy times. Camming is a huge industry online, with models working from studios or out of their homes. Some customers come to talk, some talk to cum. It is one of the aspects of online sex that is very personal and intimate.
Sophia Sylvan, otherwise known as her cam persona Durtee_Gurrl, offered a sneak peek into her work beyond the cam and keyboard—and beyond.
SLC: How did you get into cam work?
SS: I got into cam work when I was talking to another woman on a personal's site who told me about it. I was currently working as a professional dominatrix/submissive at a dungeon, and I found it a little stressful, so I was happy to find something I could do from home and have more control over. I signed up at iFriends and started working from home and I've been doing it ever since.
SLC: What do you enjoy about it?
SS: I enjoy many things about being a camgirl. I love having the freedom to do it wherever I move to, to set my own hours, be my own boss, and have creative control over the content I produce. I love meeting such a wide range of people, learning about new aspects of sexuality, fetish and having my imagination constantly stimulated by the efforts of trying to be someone else's fantasy as well as exploring my own. Of course it scratches a sexual itch too, I have a slutty side that gets to come out and play quite regularly, it's been a blast!
SS: What do you wish you could change?
SLC: Well, I would like to reach an even greater audience. I would like to be able to work for myself completely without sharing with a network but I realize they provide a good service with giving me traffic and a platform to work on, so I don't mind the cut they take. I wish all of the guys I've had the hottest experiences with would come back and see me each week! Really, I don't have a lot to complain about. I wish I could keep doing this forever, and have a little more of a sense that it is a stable future, but I just don't know. I've been doing this for almost nine years, so I have a pretty good idea that I have a number of years left in me.
SLC: Does doing cam work ever inhibit the rest of your life?
SS: It really doesn't very much at all, a regular 9-5 job would inhibit the rest of my life much more with a greater demand on my time with much less of a financial reward. I tend to work nights and weekends, so occasionally I have felt like I have missed out on some things, but really I am a homebody and not a party girl anymore, so I can't say I am missing out. Sometimes I feel I am missing out on building a "normal" life, but I don't think I would want that anyway.
SLC: What brought you to Canada and why did you stay?
SS: I came to Canada after meeting a great guy that I am still with. I love this country, the beauty of the landscape, the relative liberalism compared to politics in America, where I am from. I've met many wonderful people and made great friends here. I can't imagine ever wanting to leave.
SLC: Have you done, or considered doing any other types of sex work (stripping, videos, escorting)?
SS: My first experience in getting paid to be dirty was when I was on a bondage personals site while I was still in university. Someone approached me and asked if I would want to talk about getting tied up and gagged with another woman. They took me out to dinner and took a few photos and a short video and I got paid $80. I was currently working in an art supplies stores and getting paid $5.75 an hour. I couldn't believe my luck!
When I first came to Canada, I wasn't sure what I could do to earn a living. My boyfriend mentioned that he heard of a few dungeons in the city we lived in, and I explored options with a few of them before settling on one that appealed the most to me. I learned a lot there about creating fantasies for kinky guys, both with me as a domina and as a submissive. I was there for six months, but things got complicated for personal reasons there, and the webcam opportunity turned up. They didn't think I could make a living doing it, and I wasn't sure either but it turned out to keep me much busier than the dungeon gig ever did!
SLC: Where do you get your inspiration for your outfits and ideas when on cam?
SS: Ever since high school, where I went from being a shy girl to a bit of a rebel, I was interested in the goth and alternative music scene and the looks. I did the pink hair and piercing thing, I went to some goth clubs with a roommate in university. I loved fishnets and makeup, and dressing up. I rode horses as a teenager for many years, so I think I developed a fetish for leather, boots, gloves and whips from that. Who doesn't like the shiny look of latex or pvc? It screams sex. As a Scorpio I am endlessly drawn to themes of sex, darkness, danger and depth. I think fetish clothing is just an aspect of that persona.
SLC: How long have you been painting?
SS: I've been painting for 10 years or so.
SLC: How would you describe your paintings?
SS: I tend to describe them as figurative with an edge. They are expressive, mythical manifestations of ideas I have about the world and meaning. I often do self-portraits or work with images of friends or lovers. The most important thing to me is that they mean something. In this world, the visual has become solely about what is purely visual. I think my works stand out as something like that, and that can make them accepted or rejected by the viewer in our contemporary society, which is saturated with often meaningless imagery.
SLC: Please describe a perfect day for you?
SS: I live it many days. A quiet day in the country, a good meal, good company, good sex, a painting just completed that I am happy with. Perhaps in a dream world, traveling on a Grand Tour of Europe to see great works of art and a romantic dinner at a cafe, a walk among the city streets, followed by hot sex in a hotel.
SLC: What are your plans for the future?
SS: My plans are always changing, but for now they are to continue my work as a camgirl, save up enough to keep me when I am too old to do this, keep painting and trying to get recognition for my artwork, work on my other various freelance projects and live out a happy quiet life in the country, with my partner, gardens and many cats. Give art lessons to tourists. Anything can happen however, I try not to plan things out too rigidly. I used to want to teach art at the university level, but I would have to go back for my MFA and probably move to get a job. Living in the gorgeous Canadian wilderness, I just can't bear that thought.