Both, my husband and I are 34 years old. He runs a business; I am into design. We belong to conservative Marwari families, but what happens in the confines of our home is our business.
It was last year that my husband discussed a website. I think he discovered it while watching porn. He told me: "This is what people are doing these days". 'This' was couples performing live sex acts in front of an online audience. My husband wanted us to give it a shot. I was obviously apprehensive. It felt weird that someone would be watching our intimate moments. But, he insisted. He said since we were husband and wife, it would be fine. If anything, it would add excitement to our lovemaking. Within a month I agreed to give it a shot.
Going online was simple enough. On the site, my husband created a profile. All he was asked was his age. No other details needed. Not even an email ID or my age. Once this is done, you can add friends to your list. Friends here doesn't mean real-life friends, but other handles from the site that you allow to watch you as audience. It's quite like Facebook with one difference - this is a sex site.
We logged in and created our own handle. We had two options - either we could go live publicly [anyone who logs in to the site can watch] or invite our friends on the site to watch. Once you are done [performing the act], the live video disappears from the site. Since ours was a private handle, people would have to request us to allow them to watch us. It was our prerogative who got the permission.
I was clear that I didn't want any Indians watching. Neither did I want to watch any Indians. And even though I hid my face by only shooting at certain angles, I was more comfortable with people who showed their faces in the videos - I only allowed those people who went live themselves to see our videos. So, most of those who watched us were white men and women - single or couples. There are obviously more men online but women are aplenty too.
When we went live, I made sure that there was nothing visible of my home or of our personalities in the frame. So, the corners we picked to shoot from were always blank corners in the house. The webcam was also angled such that our faces could not be seen, and the lighting was slightly low. We watched a few videos and we made ours follow the same pattern.
Not everybody has sex during these videos, some just indulge in foreplay. So, we would start by sitting on the couch, talking and having wine. Sometimes, we would just indulge in foreplay with our clothes on. That's it. Sometimes, the clothes came off and we had intercourse. But, never did our faces show. That was my major concern.
During our first video, we just made out while watching a movie. It wasn't an awkward experience. If anything, I was really happy after the first time, because I got positive reactions from everyone who watched the video.
My initial apprehension melted soon, and I found myself having fun. People comment as you go about having sex and most comments were about how hot, sexy and beautiful I was. The exotic, Indian thing really attracts the white. I couldn't believe some of the comments - one of them said I was the sexiest woman he had seen. It served as validation.
My husband also enjoyed the attention I got. Unlike other Indian men, who tell you to button up and don't like it if another man looks at you, my husband was happy with all the attention I was getting. And, along with me, him. He would tell me, "They all want you, but I have you." At any time that we'd go alive, around 1,000 people would be watching. We used to go online once a week.
Soon, however, the charm started to wear off, especially when comments like "Do you want to share your wife?" started coming in. I would spend all day remembering what had been said. Disgust crept in; that I had allowed so many eyes on me. I told my husband that I didn't want to do this anymore. He was irritated.
There were arguments because he was keen we continue. After seven months, I decided there was no way I was going back to doing this. He kept resisting it, but then accepted my decision.
Now we don't fight over this anymore, and still have an active sex life.
I'd say that if people are inspired to do this, they should do it sensibly. We were married so we weren't afraid blackmail or lewd comments. But if you aren't, you should watch out; you could fall into a trap. There are many people who message obscene comments and it's not easy to ignore them.
Also, do not see it as a long-term hobby. Do it for a bit if you like, and get out, or you can get addicted. Use it to get the spark back into your sex life, but don't overdo it.
(As told to Aastha Atray Banan)
Live, with no sheets
In a bid to spice up their relationships, couples around the world and in India appear to be seeking an audience for their most private moments. This free-spiritedness could swing either way, say experts
As exhibitionism scales new heights on social media, intimacy too, it seems, no longer needs to be intimate.
The site on which the couple (see: 'My husband and I had sex on live webcam') from Delhi logged on, isn't the only site on which couples can broadcast their sexual acts to a live audience. So long as you have a web cam and zero inhibition, options are almost limitless and, in some cases, profitable too.
On a California-based live adult-cam website, one can connect with strangers across categories - men, women, transgenders, couples - to either have "cam sex" or watch couples you don't know make out with each other. There's another platform, again a web cam show site, sought after for its live sex shows. There are several others that provide similar services and let you, as a viewer partake in, voyeuristic pleasure. Signing in allows you greater access.
What you need
Signing up - be it as a model, i.e. one of the performers, or as audience - is easy. Websites ask you to provide a high resolution photo scan of your driver's license or passport along with a clear image of your face. Once verification is done (this typically takes two days according to the site), you are good to go. These forums are money-making machines wherein you can purchase "tokens" to watch a show. The shows can be private, where the performers can choose their audience - like the woman who spoke to mid-day did - or they can be for all to see, but, not necessarily free. After a certain point, presumably when things get hot and heavy, access is available only to registered users.
It's being tried in India, but not yet a fad
The question is why do the people in bedrooms want you there? Aside from the money angle, of course. Exhibitionism, for starters.
Mumbai-based sexologist and psychotherapist Dr Sagar Mundada says that even though in India, an experience such as this isn't common, it is not non-existent altogether. "I am certain, in metros this does happen, even though personally, I have not come across clients who've discussed this. That's also because they only come to you when there is a problem. Couples trying out various methods to spice up their relationship is common. And this aspect [of having sex on live web-cams] is another expression of what we call exhibitionism. Consent is key, of course. If both partners are into it, then there is nothing pathological. However, if this continues to be a regular affair and the couple finds themselves unable to enjoy sex minus an audience, it amounts to sexual perversion, even though they might not be aware of it," he says.
The world over, however, live sex cams are almost an open secret. Seattle-based sexologist, marriage and relationship counselor, Dr Roger Libby says that while live sex cams or videos of a couple making love are fairly popular, "the latter often leads to having more exciting sex, and more sex". Live sex cams, he says, are less popular.
But, is it healthy for the relationship? If both partners find pleasure in live cams, it can improve their intimacy, points out Dr Gloria Brame, a Georgia-based sexologist whose areas of speciality include fetishes and couple counselling. "Many sex therapists recommend that couples look at porn together or sext [text sexual messages] during the day to keep their sexual interest in each other lively. Working a video camera is another application of modern technology to spice things up. It is something new and different - like a new form of foreplay. For some, a camera is a chance to show off their beauty (exhibitionism). For others, it's just a new way of improving their private life," she says.
Impact of an audience
But, as the woman who shared her intimate experience with mid-day, narrated, comments from strangers can be a double-edged sword. "Live comments may facilitate or hurt [the relationship. You are getting comments from untrained strangers, after all. This is not as appropriate as working with a sex therapist. A couple might enjoy the comments and try new sexual positions, etc. but they also might be embarrassed that strangers are viewing them," says Dr Libby.
Yes, it could lead to more fantasies and act as fuel for their own intimacy, but, Dr Brame warns: Criticism could hurt feelings and may make the couples shrink from doing it again.
Would you take the risk?
Porn Vs live sex cam
If a live sex cam act is as mechanical as what we witnessed, why does it attract as much or more attention than porn?
"Porn is not real. It's got to a place that idealises the act, instead of showing it for what it is: something shared between two or more people in a happy, exciting, and safe way.
Porn, on most occasions, does not show what it means to be sexual, only to reach the end goal which is to climax; but sex can be so much more!" says Atlanta-based sexologist Dr Samantha Heuwagen.
The risk of live webcam sex
Even though the forum is a live one, the biggest danger could be getting caught, points out Dr Heuwagen. "You risk having someone at work, a family member, or a friend find the footage and use it against the couple. Even though this is a popular act, it doesn't mean the rest of the world is ready for such exploration of sexuality."
Recrimination and blackmail could also be an unwelcome consequence. "Having an audience might do more harm than help in such cases," says Dr Libby. But, more importantly, the dangers could lie within the bedroom itself. "The hazard is when one partner is forced into doing it or thinks it is shameful," Dr Brame says. "The idea might sound fun but the execution might be too much for one or both partners. As a professional, I would want my clients and your readers to really discuss what it means to be on camera before filming begins," Dr Heuwagen adds.
$500-$5,000 What models can make on a daily basis, according to a site
An faq sheet from one of the websites
Do webcam models get paid?
Webcam models get paid when they receive tips or when they enter group or private shows. If you enjoy the show, feel free to encourage them by sending them a tip [exclusively an online payment].
Can I broadcast my own webcam?
Absolutely! You can sign up to become a webcam model on our Hiring Models page.
What are group and private shows?
Group shows allow you to watch a cam show with just a few other people rather than having hundreds of other viewers in the room. This allows the model to give you more attention. Private shows are one-on-one shows with the model where nobody else but you gets to view the show.
Can I watch sex cams for free?
Most of the webcam sex shows on the site at free to watch. However, you will need to purchase credits in order to watch group or private shows.
(By Kusumita Das)