GENERICO.ruRussiaSexy gold plated. How webcam works in Russia (18+)

Sexy gold plated. How webcam works in Russia (18+)

How it works

From studio to camera

In mid-July, the police in Nizhny Novgorod received an unusual complaint: a young girl said that from an office building at the intersection of Studenaya Street and Kholodny Lane, screams and groans have been heard for a week. The applicant, who was walking past the building to work, considered that a person might be tortured there. The outfit that arrived at the scene, however, found something completely different in the “office” – a webcam studio.

The webcam business is a growing industry of selling the body. Intimate services can now be obtained without leaving the monitor screen. The model broadcasts on specialized sites for adults, where viewers (members) can pay for one or another of her actions. The model makes the list of actions itself.

Intimacy is not the only component of a webcam, although it is the most popular. Sometimes a member just needs to communicate. The industry representatives themselves emphasize that a webcam model should be an interesting conversationalist, and their clients are described as single people with a good income or those who do not want to cheat on their spouses with sex workers.

You can work as a webcam model with yourself at home or in the studio. Studio owners, who receive from 30 to 70% of the models’ income, rent apartments and whole houses for online broadcasts, are engaged in PR for employees and take care of safety:

  • first of all, the studio is not ” covered “security forces;
  • secondly, about the models’ anonymity: they try to broadcast Russian girls and boys on foreign sites.

The largest studios – usually located in Moscow and St. Petersburg – offer models “full board” : accommodation, meals and even moving from other cities.

Cam model jobs can be found on job search platforms. They are usually called “streaming service model”, “model/streamer”, or simply “streamer”. Requirements: openness, sociability, English is encouraged. Free schedule and guaranteed high income.

Those who responded get acquainted with the intricacies of work already in practice. Nobody will say in advance that you will have to work in sex services.

There is no way to guarantee safety in this industry. The contract concluded with the model, as a rule, has no legal force. But even such agreements are rarely concluded: according to the research data of the crisis center for women “Ingo” – only in 24% of cases. Many girls, in conversation with Novaya Gazeta, complained that employers deceived them by not paying extra, fining them for being late or insufficient work intensity. One of the models reported sexual demands from the studio administrator.

Video from the screen of the webcam model. A still from the operational footage of the storming of the webcam studio in Krasnoyarsk. Press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

An elevator you can’t get out of

Despite Russia’s traditional ambiguous attitude towards intimate business and the risks of deception, webcams in our country are becoming more and more popular. The pandemic, according to the studio organizers, only contributed to the growth of the industry: not only 18–20-year-old girls began to come to them

, but also people of 30–40 years old who lost their jobs.

Webcam has become a kind of social lift in Russia and other developing countries: here you can earn money without having any education and special skills. In vacancies on specialized sites, models are immediately offered income from 100,000 rubles. At the same time, the stability of income does not depend on the economic situation in the country, since viewers from all over the world gather to look at the models, and therefore pay them. Now it is the models from the CIS countries that make up the absolute majority in the webcam: according to the Russian agency WebcamCash, they account for 37% of the total supply on the market. For comparison, the countries of Latin America account for 18% of proposals, the states of the Pacific region – 12%, and the USA – only 6%. At the same time, at least one new studio account is registered on WebcamCash every day. “That is, every day one new webcam studio starts recruiting models to work on sites,” the agency specifies.

Props for the webcam model. A still from the operational footage of the storming of the webcam studio in Krasnoyarsk. Press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Maria K. (name known to the editorial office) came to the webcam business because she “wanted to leave her parents.”

“I didn’t really understand what a webcam was,” she says. – Before that, I worked as a waitress, the salary left much to be desired, and each shift was exhausting my nerves. I am from St. Petersburg, and St. Petersburg is called the capital of the webcam. One of my friends decided to open his own studio and invited me to work.

Maria refused at first, but then decided: “Why not?” In the first shift, she earned 5,000 rubles.

– More than 100,000 came out in a month. At the same time, I barely undressed and took out mostly in communication. I worked every day, took the morning shifts so that my parents would not have any unnecessary questions. At that time I had nothing in my life except work. After the first salary, I came to the shopping center and finally was able to buy myself whatever I wanted. It was hard to believe: is this really possible?

The work had a strong impact on the emotional state, says the girl.

– It is clear that the webcam sites are full of people with perverse sexual preferences. There are also outright freaks.

I communicate with a person, and he writes to me: & nbsp; “I love *** my children.” This could bring me to tears. What should I do with this information? Suddenly he really rapes someone …

I felt somehow different, I understood that I was engaged in virtual prostitution.

Maria tried to find support from loved ones: she told her friend about her work. But she not only did not support, but condemned her and informed all common acquaintances about Maria’s occupation.

After that, the model says, she had a backlash: “Who are they? Why should I make excuses or feel ashamed? ” And she plunged into webcams with her head.

Detention at work. A still from the operational footage of the storming of the webcam studio in Krasnoyarsk. Press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Gennady Averyanov

psychotherapist, chief physician of the clinic of Dr. Kurpatov

Why is it difficult to leave the webcam?

– In this case, general neurobiological mechanisms of behavior reinforcement work.

First, the so-called “energy saving driver” – the brain evolutionarily chooses activities that conserve physical energy. Unlike conventional jobs that require a lot of energy and time, webcams (usually at home, in front of a monitor, in a sexual context) are not perceived as “hard” work. The function of a woman in this process is completely “passive”. The overall energy cost/reward ratio is very good. Any office work here cannot withstand the competition.

Secondly, material reward comes for each client and usually immediately. Such reward systems are always preferable for the brain in comparison with situations when you have to wait a month for a salary.

In addition, Averyanov emphasizes,

webcam gives the employee a feeling of a high level of autonomy: no need to “adjust” to the boss, to adapt in the team.

Gennady Averyanov

– The activity of the webcam model is based on a deeply biological mechanism of inter-sex relations in schooling primates: “sex in exchange for resources.”

At the same time, since there is no real sex, such a deal is perceived by the brain as extremely profitable. Ultimately, this work does not require any special competencies and saves a woman from the rather unpleasant need to be in professional competition with other people. Given these factors, the urge to “quit webcams” is more of a declarative nature and is simply a socially acceptable response.

The risk of deanonymization is too insignificant to resist everything else.

Briefing for the administrators of the webcam studio in Krasnoyarsk. Shot from operational shooting

Under the “roof”

Webcam business is in the gray zone of the legislation: it is not directly prohibited, but it can qualify as “Illegal production of pornographic materials” (Art. 242 CC). Artyom Fakhrutdinov, the owner of the Nizhny Novgorod studio where the police came, told Novaya Gazeta that he went through two criminal cases. True, not because of the July case.

“In Nizhny Novgorod, after the uproar, the case was transferred to the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the execution of administrative legislation,” he says. – My lawyer and I came there ourselves, gave explanations. A couple of days later, the police again came to the studio and took pictures of the premises. I got the impression that they thought there was a [intimate] massage there. The concept of “webcam” is not very familiar to them. I think that the legal consequences for us have not yet come. Perhaps the material was transferred somewhere – I don’t know.

Fakhrutdinov says that he and other representatives of the industry have been studying the issue of legalizing business for a long time, but they doubt that this is possible in principle. For now, the security forces are determined in relation to the webcam.

  • In September last year, officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Investigative Committee conducted more than 50 searches in Cherepovets and detained 70 people. Three studio organizers were placed in a pre-trial detention center, a criminal case was opened against them under articles “Illegal production of pornographic materials” (Article 242 of the Criminal Code) and “Use of a minor for the production of pornographic materials” (Article 242.2 of the Criminal Code) – one of the models was 17 years old.
  • On March 1, it became known that the police of the Krasnoyarsk Territory detained eight people who organized studios in which 28 models worked. In addition to the “pornographic” article 242 of the Criminal Code, the detainees were charged with the “Organization of a criminal community” (Article 210 of the Criminal Code).
  • In April, SOBR “covered” five studios in St. Petersburg, detaining eleven administrators. The case was also initiated under Article 242 of the Criminal Code.

Novaya Gazeta managed to find out the details of the St. Petersburg searches. They turned out to be extremely curious. First, the investigation decided to send only one of the 11 detainees to the pre-trial detention center. And it turned out to be not the 32-year-old organizer and main beneficiary of the studios, Mikhail Popov, but the person responsible for security – the ex-employee of the private security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Igor Kotov.

Web studio organizer – escaped punishment after being detained. Photo: social networks

In the webcam, in general, there is a situation when some security officials confront others: in January and August of this year, the administrators of two studios gave anonymous interviews to the Business Online and TJ publications, in which they said that any large studio has a “roof”, which, as as a rule, it is provided by law enforcement officers, and round-ups in the industry are initiated by competitors:

“Studios set their familiar security officials against each other.”

Petersburg detainees for six months were developed by employees of two divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs: Department “K” (specializing in crimes in the field of information security) and the Department of Criminal Investigation.

Storming the St. Petersburg studio Operational shot

The punishment for participating in the webcam business is severe.

The maximum sanction

  • of Article 242 of the Criminal Code is six years in prison freedom,
  • Article 242.2 of the Criminal Code – 15 years,
  • Article 210 of the Criminal Code – 20 years.

It is not known how many cases initiated in Russia on the fact of organizing the work of webcam studios. The press center of the Russian Interior Ministry told Novaya Gazeta that they did not have statistics. The Investigative Committee did not respond to a similar request.

Despite the risks, the lack of legal status is partly beneficial for representatives of the webcam industry.

No legalization – no taxes. And the money in this area is spinning impressive.

So, in Krasnoyarsk, the detained organizers of the studios, according to the police, earned 5 million rubles a month. Models – 500 thousand rubles each. In St. Petersburg, according to the data of the Investigative Committee, the studio organizers were able to earn 202 million rubles (according to Novaya Gazeta, this is earnings for 2 years and 4 months of work).

Monthly net profit of one studio, according to announcements of sale ready-made webcam business starts from 150-200 thousand rubles per month (with 3-5 models and 3-4 rooms for streaming). Earnings increase with the number of models, their popularity and the number of occupied premises. Studios with several dozen models can generate 5-7 million rubles. profit monthly.

Participants in the Russian webcam market find it difficult to name its total volume, but it is clear that we are talking about billions of rubles. The creator of streaming services LivaJasmin and Streamate Lazlo Chero stated in 2016 that their profitability was $ 5 billion per year. Cams founder Harry Warwijk reported in 2020 that his website made $ 10 billion in revenue.

Another detention. A still from the operational footage of the storming of the webcam studio in Krasnoyarsk. Press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Part 2. Decent people

Inside the studio

Collecting information about the webcam business, we talked to a dozen models and studio owners. As a rule, their stories were similar to each other: the girls wanted to make money quickly, and the owners turned out to be ordinary guys who caught the trend in time.

But the story of one of the models, Christina (name has been changed), led us to unusual market participants with connections in high echelons of power.

For Christina, her work on the webcam began with the decision to move to Moscow. The girl planned to earn start-up capital to “conquer the capital” in one of the studios, where she was promised free room and board.

“The studio called me a taxi to the airport,” Christina recalls. – We drove for a very long time through some forest and arrived at a cottage village. The entrance to the territory was carried out through a checkpoint with a barrier, the car number was given to the guards in advance. The house turned out to be simply gorgeous: a huge pool, a bar, a cinema, a shared kitchen, and even a jacuzzi on the second floor.

“ We drove through some forest for a very long time and arrived at a cottage village … ”. A frame from a video interview of a former webcam model to Novaya Gazeta

The girl was met by the director of the studio, who introduced himself as Anton Morozov.

– Nobody rushed me to start work. I spent the whole day in the jacuzzi, we discussed the schedule with the owner and agreed that I would work seven days a week. In the evening of the same day, the girl felt unwell: “I said that I feel very bad. They were not going to call an ambulance for me, they paid for a taxi to the hospital. ”

The first job advertisements at MagicMike studio appeared on the Internet in 2017, and judging by the fact that the models were immediately offered employment with free accommodation in a separate fully equipped room and meals, this “startup” had no problems with money.

The models were also offered all the necessary paraphernalia and training, and the “best of the month” were promised expensive gifts for motivation. The studio, according to Novaya, used three rooms in which the models worked. At least two of them are private houses in cottage villages.

Working in apartments and “office” premises where there are other tenants is economically beneficial due to cheaper rentals compared to a private house, but, as in the case of Nizhny Novgorod, this option is risky: the studio can be complained about, which is at best will lead to loss of premises and losses. Studios in private villages are devoid of these drawbacks – random people will not get into private territory with security and their own infrastructure.

Webcam studio props. MIA operational survey frame

The studio was located in a three-story building, which, according to Rosreestr, belongs to the former assistant to the Minister of Health of Russia Ilya Shilkrot. The former official declared a house and a plot of similar area for the state office along with other real estate and land.

A cottage in the Aurora settlement identified by Novaya Gazeta. Photo: Vladimir Prokushev/Novaya Gazeta

Schrödinger’s Studio

Ilya Shilkrot willingly responded to the editorial office’s request.

– To be honest, I don’t know anything about the webcam business. Very decent people have been living in the cottage for two years now. They wouldn’t do that, ”he said, suggesting that either our information was inaccurate, or the studio worked under previous tenants. Shilkrot offered to go to the “Aurora” again, go into the house, make sure that there is no webcam studio there, and gave a contact to a certain Kirill, who was supposed to show the cottage.

Kirill, a tall man with a thick black beard , arrived at the meeting with a slight delay.

– Come in, – he opened the door. – Look, take pictures of whatever you need.

The house in “Aurora” is tastefully decorated. Lots of wood, wide staircases, panoramic windows, a gym and bunk rooms on the second floor.

– Are all the cottages different in this village? – check with Kirill.

– Absolutely. All are built according to individual projects. – Already saying goodbye, he says that he has been living in a cottage with a girl for two years.

– What you were told about the webcam studio is, of course, not true, – he assures. – I think it was my girlfriend’s ex-friends who could tell a story. They envy her. But we are decent people, I have my own business, I don’t need to do anything like that.

The same house in the village … Photo: Vladimir Prokushev/Novaya Gazeta

The same house in the Aurora village. Photo: Vladimir Prokushev/Novaya Gazeta

As “Novaya” found out, the studio was located in this house and worked at least as early as March of this year. This is confirmed by the interiors of the house, which, according to the correspondent’s observations, coincide with the interiors on the personal videos of the models [at the disposal of the editors], dated March this year. In the same month, Avito was selling a professional webcam, since it was replaced by an iMac computer. The house outside the window in the ad photo also matches the house next door to the mansion, and the phone number of the person who posted the ad matches that of the current tenant.

So, apparently, decent people misled the owner of the house.

High-ranking relatives

After meeting at Aurora, Kirill unexpectedly got in touch again … He offered to meet in the village again. By that time, it was already clear that the studio was indeed located in this cottage, and we asked to move the meeting to neutral territory. We agreed to talk in one of the shopping centers.

Arriving, Kirill asked us to get into his Mercedes: “There are too many ears in the shopping center,” he explained. Having closed the doors of the car, he asked to tell us once again what was the reason for our interest in the webcam industry. And when he got the answer, he unexpectedly announced that he had been working in the webcam business for five years.

– MagicMike are my studios. I was the director. And I would like to agree that you do not dig further. Now I work in the advertising field. I closed the site of MagicMike and the studio. I am ready to offer you any money. There is too much on the line.

Kirill explained his desire to stop the investigation by the fact that he has high-ranking relatives and he cannot “defame his name.”

According to Kirill, he did not disclose his name to either models or partners, usually introducing himself as Anton Morozov … The man assured that he had already left the webcam business for a year, and in a conversation he mentioned that one of the houses where the studio was located actually rented from some Chechens, but when they arrived, he removed the equipment.

Finally, he once again said that he was ready to pay any amount, as long as MagicMike and his name were not mentioned anywhere.

We thought whether to anonymize Kirill until we compared the facts and understood that he was lying.

  • Kirill said that he left the webcam business and closed the studios in early 2020. However, Christina stated that she was at the Aurora this spring. Moreover, she provided a video with the date.
  • When asked how he can explain this discrepancy, Kirill replied: “Yes, it is true that in the spring there were two girls – Sasha and Alina. These are our friends. They needed to earn extra money, and we let them go literally for two or three months. ”However, Kristina’s real name is not Sasha or Alina.
  • But even if Kristina had been called that, it would not have changed situation. Kirill also lied about something else: he said that he had closed the MagicMike site, but the site was still working at the time of the preparation of the material. Moreover, in the fall, one of the employees of “Novaya”, as part of the investigation, wrote to the studio administrator with a request to hire her. And the administrator responded by asking for photos and age.


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