It’s almost mathematical: there’s always a rise in sex work in countries with severe economic and humanitarian issues. Greece, Russia and Spain all come to mind.

Venezuela, currently undergoing the most severe economic and humanitarian emergency in the region, has joined the club. In fact, last year Newsweek published an article suggesting that as many as 6,500 Venezuelan women had turned to prostitution in Colombia, all belonging to the most recent wave of Venezuelan migrants who have turned to any job they can find to survive.

But what about those who can’t afford a one way ticket out of Venezuela, even after resorting to prostitution?

This is the case of hundreds of Venezuelans who log into streaming sites like cam4 and chaturbate, to perform a myriad of sex acts in front of strangers, hoping to raise enough money to survive or escape our tropical hell.

In some cases, these performers rack in amounts of money that would be considered good wages in a developed nation (more so in Venezuela, were the minimum wage is equivalent to four dollars). In February, Clímax magazine published an article on the subject, mentioning the story of “Lucía”. After performing for one hour a day, five days a week, Lucía amassed $80 in a month, or 18 million bolivars at the time of publishing. Considering she invested the total sum of 840,000 bolivars, it took her one hour of streaming to get a return on her investment and make a profit.

This is a gateway for child pornographers and pedophiles to access a poorly regulated market. How can these sites be sure that no minors are performing on their platforms?

And Lucía is not even close to being a top earner in the Venezuelan webcamming business. Climax quotes a performer that goes by the name of “Candylu”, who reportedly earns a whooping $2,000 in a good month. To put it in perspective, that’s 470,000,000 bolivars, or 539 minimum wages. Imagine what a struggling Venezuelan or a criminal gang could do with this kind of money.

However, this profitability is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows performers to live beyond comfortably in Venezuela; on the other, it provides incentives for very shady characters to get involved. Namely, this is a gateway for child pornographers and pedophiles to access a poorly regulated market. How can these sites be sure that no minors are performing on their platforms?

Reading about the methods agents use to recruit performers, I couldn’t help but wonder whether these people were targeted specifically because of their vulnerability. Beyond the fact that some performers earn more than the large majority of the country, it all comes at the cost of their privacy and freedom. Prudish arguments aside, some people entering this industry do so compelled by need and opportunity cost, not because of personal proclivities.

It might be argued that sex work is a necessary evil in times of crisis, and it’s also true that, because of circumstances, producers, agents and consumers are taking advantage of the performers, which amounts to exploitation. Are those streaming sites becoming a platform for live on demand child pornography? Lucía, a 17-year-old from Caracas, was recruited by a friend who suggested she stream on cam4. She says cam4 established no controls to check her age, up to the point were they had to set up a payment method where the performer had to provide some form of I.D.

Lucía just asked a 21-year-old friend to borrow her documents.

Webcam pornography in Venezuela is very complicated. One thing is certain: it won’t go away in the foreseeable future because, as long as there’s a crisis putting a strain on people and making them desperate, there will be someone ready to exploit others’ despair.

***

Update: A previous version of this post stated “After performing for one hour a day, five days a week, Lucía amassed $80 in a month, or 18,000,000 million bolivars at the time of publishing”. It was corrected to reflect that $80 were in fact 18 million bolivars at the time of the publishing.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Lots of working girls in Costa Rica these days are from Venezuela*. The local gals don’t much care for them. (for a variety of reasons, but mainly due to supply/demand issues) Too many girls looking for too few tricks is driving down prices.

    *We know this because one of the sobrinas friends (former secretary in Caracas banking concern) is now employed as “arm candy” in Heredia, CR. She gets paid a weekly stipend to look fabulous at some guys side when they go out. I don’t know what else is paid to do. Fucking Chavismo.

  2. Great writing Pedro, keep it up.

    Another sad story quico.. where’s the hard journalism? Not paying for this. Your country is burning, while you hold the reins on probably the most read venezuelan platform in the world. Not paying until you get serious again.

  3. That business depends on an infrastructure that these women have no control over. So I wonder how long this will last.

    They require both power and broadband. I read about the frequent power failures. How are they going to get paying customers when they don’t have power?

    How is the broadband there in VZ? How many people have access to a reliable 1mbs upload connection? If the rest of the country is falling apart because of a lack of investment in maintaining the infrastructure, then how long is the internet going to work there?

    Just like the oil industry. If VZ doesn’t invest in keeping their tools working, then nothing will work.

    • Just tell the gringos wanking off that it is slow motion and blacks out occasionally to keep the suspense.

      Sex workers need to protest in front of Cantv

  4. Part of the remittances that loads of folks are desperately trying to get a hold of to survive amid chavista hyperinflation.

    And because chavismo is a bunch of boot-licking lackeys of the cubans, they’re already trying to find a way to snatch those remittances from the people to return them back to square one.

  5. In Dominican Republic there are nasty conflicts among Venezuelans prostitutes and “prepagos” and Dominican ones. The situation in some towns is pretty bad. There’s been headlines on national newspapers.

  6. 1/ Comparing Kleptozuela’s current humanitarian crisis to Spain, or Greece is ridiculous.

    2/ Comparing the mostly innocuous and relatively safe “web-cam” porn work, at home, behind a freaking camera, to the much nastier, dangerous and perverse world of immigration prostitution and flat-out Sex Slavery of under-age girls is beyond ridiculous.

    That’s an issue no one dares report on. And yet, I bet that over 20% all Venezuelan young girls and women who left on foot to South America are in the REAL, filthy Sex industry: prostitutes for pennies in the worst possible conditions in Cucuta or multiple Brazilian slums.

    Tens of Thousands of young girls, I venture to guesstimate: Underage Prostitutes, young women with abandoned children, exploited, enslaved, addicted to drugs, abused. Let’s have a full, in-depth investigative report on THAT, huh? (Not holding my breath on that either..)

    • Webcam girls is just good capitalism. A real libertarian would have no shame with this. Like you said Poeta, this is a non issue.

      If somebody wants to shove a dildo up their holes for wankers who deposit real currency, this should not be seen as shameful, but again: good capitalism. Real journalism would at least begin with interviews of the so called victim…I bet most of the webcam girls are happy with their work at home job.

      Yeah, scumbags working with young girls, but this happens everywhere in the world and there are laws against it.

  7. “I can say that I like what I do. Most of the time I enjoy it and I do not need to pretend anything. I do not consider this as a disrespect towards me. Nobody compels me, and I’ve taken advantage of it.” – Candylu

    Lucia describes her work in a similar fashion. These girls make great money doing what they like to do.

    Doesn’t sound like, “A Desperate Option to Make Ends Meet,” to me.

    • Exactly. But it’s much easier for CC and other media to talk about happy, willing Porn Camstars., than to investigate the REAL prostitution human tragedy going on as we speak, MASSIVE drug trafficking and underage sex slavery created by Chabestialism.

    • ” Doesn’t sound like, “A Desperate Option to Make Ends Meet,” to me.”

      Because no one’s gonna admit they’re doing that out of necessity, as they have to remind themselves that they can “leave it whenever they want”

  8. I am ok with all of the sad stories, because people care about them.
    However, I wish CC would have a page devoted to what we do once this nightmare is over.
    Because it seems no one else is willing to do it.

    • Agree.. or as importantly how to get there.. CC led the conversation in the past, arguably the most influential of several blogs (along with Daniel, Alex and Miguel) was read and influenced the “opposition”. quico has rolled over as editor-in-chief. Why? $$?

  9. I remember driving in small towns in Anzoategui, pick any pueblo because it happened in almost all. Pulling up to an intersection and there would be someone with cords of telephone chargers over their neck, different models, whatever you needed. Other selling pot holders, roasted nuts, newspapers, dulces, whatever. Others would juggle sticks, balls, something on fire, etc, in the middle of the intersection until the light turned green, and then passing cars would hand over a few moneda or if lucky billetes. It was obvious this is how they earned a living, no one cared about them except in that moment. Their clothes were dirty and tattered, they were skinny, hungry. I respected that they tried to survive, to work with what little resources and skill they have. I haven’t been back in awhile and worry how they are now. In reality the chavismo had no interest in helping them rise up, but rather give them a handout to keep them down, loyal. Lowest comon denominator was chaves’s goal.

    However, that is just another sad story. CC has devolved into something similar.. asking for handouts ( in BSF, $ or bitcoin), hawking t-shirts, whatever. But where’s the carne quico? People are starving, not only for lack of food, but a future. You used to lead..

  10. I remember (when I lived Puerto La Cruz – 1998 – 2001) several “Puta” driven around the central plaza, on flat bed truck. with the driver on loud speaker offering their services. The “oldest profession” predates Chavez by a lot. And I expect it to last a lot longer.

    • Chavez que sabia de la cocaina y las putas, ubviera conocer el viagra de pilotos azulejos, Mario por tragar petroleo en su monologo de la vagina!

  11. Don’t blame Quico so much, he doesn’t have much time lately, what with supporting Falson and his future Finance Minister Torino’s Rodriguez, enjoying Consequentialist Transition strategy session fine libations in FRod’s NYC digs. The streetlight antics aren’t so much anymore–little/no worthless cash in peoples’ pockets. The new thing is quality garbage dumpster-diving, as front-paged by newspaper “La Voz” yesterday, showing 60 half-nude “Garimpeiro” divers in Caracas’s super-polluted sewer Rio Guaire, Macaracuay segment, searching for “articulos de valor”.

  12. I remember a GN heavily-guarded FC nephew living in PLC back then saying, “Venezuela is a paradise–too bad my uncle is going to ruin it”….

  13. Lmao….who is complaining about being exploited?…its just someone’s presumption…..I find it novel that there is any complaint about this form of capitalism..🤣……in Venezuela?!?!?….lnfao…..forget Dollar Today….look at the escorts sites………look to Lima….there are so many Venezuelans on the sites …is as all moved there…..and DR….Miami…..selling there ass everywhere….Chavismo?!?….no Bro…Dumb girls with no education.

  14. “it all comes at the cost of their privacy and freedom.”

    Because it would take someone more stupid than a rabid chavista to perform that kind of job from Venezuela without hiding their true identity.

    The most dangerous thing that can be done on internet is showing your personal information or even your face, anyone who does the opposite is mud-wrestling death itself.

  15. I see a big problem with the age issue. Companies must enforce these requirements thoroughl. Perhaps they should look into how crypto trading sites verify id. Other than that, I don’t really see a problem with this. I even see it as a way for emancipation and empowetment. Venezuelan women using their bodies to exploit the crisis in their favor. Beating the crisis with their own femininity.

  16. If Quico is working on Falcon’s campaign he is part of an effort to forestall or stop a possible invasion and to give Venezuela a peaceful choice. The election should go forward, Venezuelans should have their say and the US, EU and Canada should butt out.

    • The enchufado/g2 troll post says it all. Thanks EJW, great post!!!

      The arepa has been sold out to the falsonistas.

      At least we keep it real in the comments section, gotta keep those tires burning till this shit falls.

  17. Most of the camgirl sites are full of Colombians and Brazilians too, and those countries are not doing that bad. I don’t see what the big deal is. Good for them. Most of the showgirls on those sites are totally independent.

  18. Pedro y equipo, desde mi contacto directo con las niñas que pasan por esto en Venezuela les agradezco este articulo y los que vendrán sobre el tema. Esto es parte de lo que se puede hacer por ellas. Gracias.

  19. The old joke was “how do you know when something is broken? It leads to porn”

    Or something like that.

    But web porn and skin shows are nothing new. What we have here is now the complete lack of anything resembling morality.

    Libertarians will say that prostitution when consensual should be legal. And lthe price we pay for marriage ceremony is proof of that. I disagree whole heartedly, but it’s not an argument worth having anymore.

    But what we need to realize is that when people make a life out of something nit by choice but for sustenance, too not die, it’s a form of slavery.

    I guess some would call me a prude.

    Where I am struggling to understand is how do these poor souls find the internet connection stable enough to get the job done?

    Where does one buy a webcam and computer to stream this out if VZ? Or is there a elextic brotho that they find locally? Go after the slumlords who are making this possible.

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