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The life of a Cam-Girl: Lily LaBeau shares about her work in porn and new fictional series ‘Cam_Girlfriend’

Cam_Girlfriend is a new comedy series on YouTube that gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the camming industry. Bizarre interactions, awkward moments (with limbs in all directions), and hilarious stories are shared by fictional character Chloe Cables, a rising cam star trying to grow a name for herself online while balancing relationships with friends and her boyfriend offline. Inspired by true stories, Chloe is a lovable and believable character played by real-life cam star, Lily Labeau

Lily grew up in Tonto Basin, Arizona, a sleepy town with approximately 1310 residents, most of whom are senior citizens. As a teenager desperate to discover life outside of Basin, Lily would often take the 90-mile trip to Phoenix to bum around the mall or meet with her friend, a porn store employee. “That’s how I got interested in the industry, and eventually I started making the 6-hour drive to LA, going for two weeks at a time,” says Lily.

Lily entered the biz in 2009 at the youngest possible age she legally could: 18. “I’ve always been really headstrong and into seeking adventure since I can remember. It felt exciting, like I was finally living.” Despite the inevitable sleazy encounters, Lily tells me that she also found a supportive community, “I found a bit of family within the adult industry. I love the people who do the products, I love the PAs, the people you don’t really think about. The whole industry has a lot of amazing people.”

Lily started with a no-nudes website called Lily Love before quickly graduating to camming, a medium that was just beginning to take off. “Camming has been part of my business since the beginning.” In its infancy, the camming scene was unorganized and a little bit scrappy. “Porn stars didn’t like cam girls and cam girls didn’t like porn stars,” says Lily, but when companies like Chaturbate formed (which provided cam girls with a platform and infrastructure, earning revenue by taking roughly 40% of what performers make), the playing field was levelled. “The technology changed and now we all kind of do everything.”

So what, exactly, is ‘camming’? Lily explains: “In its most simple terms, camming is interacting with people online. Obviously there’s a lot of sex involved, but there are so many different areas you can go into. Some people just really like to talk. If you want to have sex, you do that, if you want to dress in cosplay and video games, you can do that.”

These scenarios, and more, are captured in Cam_Girlfriend, which portrays all dimensions of the industry with wry humour. In Episode 1, The Registry, audiences learn how cam girls often receive gifts from their fans, prompting the creation of “Wish Lists” in exchange for some special attention. “I know girls who get furniture and their entire apartment stocked! Some girls are really good at getting stuff.” Without a PO Box, requesting stuff has never been a priority for Lily, who (before COVID), spent a lot of time flying to Switzerland to visit her girlfriend. 

Being stuck at home during the pandemic has given Lily the freedom to devote extra time to her clients. In fact, camming is one of the few industries that is thriving right now. “I have seen a steady increase. People need and want connection.” 

With over 215 adult movie credits, close to 200K followers on Twitter and 171K on Instagram, Lily has a lot of fans. So far, they’ve been the first to express their admiration and support for her foray into acting. For Lily, the move to a fictional series and acting in Cam_Girlfriend wasn’t planned, nor was it some long-awaited dream— “They approached me.” 

Created by Ethan Cole (award winning digital series My 90-year-old-Roomate) and directed by Daniel AM Rosenberg (award winning digital series The Ninth), many are saying that the series has a Curb Your Enthusiasm feel. The chemistry between Lily and co-star Dave Keystone (who plays her boyfriend Mike) is believable, funny, and kind of adorable. 

Listening to Lily gush about how positive an experience being in Cam_Girlfriend has been so far had me smiling. “Everything has been so good, but what I really enjoyed most was that on set they had a bunch of women. They made sure there were more women than men in the crew and production. It was so sex-positive, respectful and an all-around wonderful environment. It felt like we were all on this great team doing special, with such a level of respect and care for my comfort. To film certain scenes that were okay for YouTube we had to get into really weird positions—but it was lovely.”

While Cam_Girlfriend pokes fun of the relationships formed online, Lily speaks about her real-life clients with a lot of respect. “A lot of them I know so personally. I know about their life, I know about their struggles, their hopes and dreams, and also their sexual preferences. I really feel that doing this is a gift for me. Sometimes I get burnt out, but when you look at the exchange it’s super beautiful, and I really care about them. I also care about not making people feel judged. I try to give them a safe space.”

Cam_Girlfriend is now playing on YouTube

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