Mar 21, 2009

Adventures in Stickam

Adventures in Stickam (pronounced STICK CAM)
People with addictions know (if only at the level of the subconscious) that the addict is searching for the next big hit. The addict thinks
, "yeah, the next shot will be better than the last." Well, addictive websites act according to the same logic. On stickam the same addictive cycle plays itself out. I must confess (*wipes back tears*) I am an addict. I go to CA meetings monthly (camwhores anonymous). Hah hah. lolz. ROFL. (oh wait, this is a blog, not an I<) With that said, I do not intend for this blog to be a moral diatribe. If you are offended by this kind of thing, don't read my blog. Lots of ink has been spilled about the risks of stickam. I will reserve moral judgment for other plebes. If you don't know about stickam, it is a site where you can chat and cam with dozens of people simultaneously. The site allows you to register for free with a username, a profile page (where you can add personal information, stats, quotes) similar to facebook and myspace. In the chat rooms, stickam is a free-for-all.
The phenomenon called Stickam was started in 2004 and is owned (according to the site) by Advanced Video Communications. The site states that stickam is "the pioneer of live streaming video and the largest live community on the Internet." Yippie! Oh, stickam, I love you!

See, stickam chat rooms are created by stickam users, so chat groups can be anything from {str8.gay.bi} to {Vampire Nation™}. I am serious! Inside a chat room are usually dozens of users, having various conversations at once. The funny thing about stickam is that people are usually chatting. I have never been online and seen empty chat rooms.

Another feature of stickam is the option "to go live." This simply means that anyone, anywhere can view your web cam, not only the three million registered viewers, but anyone with a computer and a web browser. Or you can limit your live to friends and people you select. The live feature gives stickam an advantage over other cam sites because a user can embed their "live" into their websites and create, on the fly, instant personal web cam pages. In reality, live is so dumb: who cares if you are brushing your teeth, no one wants to see it.

Stickam is pure hilarity. It is mindless. Sometimes, utterly profound. A typical tour through stickam will desensitize even the most unsensitized of persons. To me, stickam is like a fast food drive-thru. Cheap, temporarily fulfilling and quick. Like most chat rooms, people are rude, crass, stupid, demoralizing, impish, inane, and usually vapid. All rules of grammar and spelling are void. Shallowness is the new deep, folks.

But, I am not knocking the experience. Stickam is fucking funny. Especially when someone is like super high, talking as if no one is listening (which is the charm of the live entertainer, btw) and having conversations with other cammers, reading their comments, and rocking out. It is hilarious. But, hey, maybe I am just shallow, man.

The quintessential feature that makes stickam unique is its egalitarian front. You got all kinds, dawling. Also, it is the one place on the web where you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, read with brain, all at the same time people just doing otherwise banal, stuff. It is so funny: some people actually are on stickam 24/7. You can tell: they are sleeping, eating, talking on their cell phones, or doing homework.

Some users I have met:
Mature guys like Cheech -- I met him and his parrot -- will demonstrate to anyone who will listen how to be a masculine, be a Puerto Rican top, wear leather properly, and at the same show professionalism and decorum (he is a social worker by trade). Immature folks (like lil gangsta) say whatever is on their mind ("I just farted" or "I am bored"). Calicob is from Atlanta and enjoys discussing quantum physics. Ender is an intriguing lad who loves to speak about Frederic Jameson, but he is usually shirtless, drinking, and a potty mouth. Mr.Brian lives in Oregon, mid-life, and says nothing except, "how is everyone tonight?" Canadabeef is scary. Patrick is Canadian and loves to hate on Americans; he splatters the chat with French phrases and he is super mean.

Although, I have to admit with lil gangsta, most stickam sessions are kinda boring. To be a true hard on, junkie, basically quit your job, stock up on food and booze, never leave your house and set yourself in front of the web cam and wait.

One user, Cocoboy, is a boy, but he likes to dress up like a girl and he is from Scotland. He is fucking hilarious. If he is on, I mute everone else and listen to his rambling monologue (it goes on for hours). Or lindababe: she is a girl, I think, and she has her iTunes on randomizer and she loves to jam out and make obscene comments.

Some Stickam vocabulary:
If you never say anything and don't go on cam you are called a "lurker". For example, "hey lurkerz, come in!" If you go on cam and say things but you are kinda scary you are called a "creeper". For example, "That dude is such a creeper." Mods are moderators. Dock and undock: on stickam the user chooses (docks) people they want to see or removes (undocks) people they don't want to see. Pedos = anyone who is creepy. Pedobears = hairy ones. The penis is called a peen (cuz you can't curse). If you want to send a private message you PM that person.

If you show pubes, you're out. Although, this rule is occasionally broken. Frontal nudity on stickam is actually hilarious. It happens sporadically. Lasts for about fifteen seconds, before a mod notices and kicks them out. The most disturbing incident I have ever seen on stickam was a drunk adolescent was with his friends, said he was gay, flashed his peen, then wrote "death to all faggots" and then wrote his phone number and location for all to see. Or another time: a girl was live and she was obviously severely overdosed, crying bitterly, and talking about killing herself. Her friend was also live, on the phone with 911, waiting for the cops to arrive. And we could call see the events transpiring.

Now Voyeurs!
Voyeurism is the attra
ction of stickam. No one ever says it but it is the reason why the cammers gather. Let's face it: we are a nation of secret voyeurs (well, not so secret). Stickam is Rear Window for the rest of us. If a user is not on cam he is instantly suspect. Doubly suspect if he or she is not on cam nor does she have a profile pic. Either you want to be seen or you want to see. Even though exhibitionism is banned, everyone loves the thrill of the occasional girl or guy who shows all. Because it is prohibited means it is more exciting when it happens. If stickam were unadulerated it would not be as fun. That's what porn is for! If you want skin on stickam you got to ask for it or just wait patiently. On stickam, most folks follow the rules. But, rules are made to be broken. When they are broken it gives everyone a thrill. Even the prudes. I would not be surprised if stickam's developers are forced to can the site. I have noticed the web watchers are getting nervous. It is only a matter of time before something hits the news: "teen commits suicide because someone on stickam told them"

Which brings me to my second to last point: sex. I guess sex underscores the entire stickam phenomenon. Sexuality is such a colorful cornucopia. I have never met so many bi people in my life. Everyone is bi. OMG. If you want sex it is not prudent to just start doing it on cam. Even the camwhores gets all puritan on you. Sex on stickam is like sex in real life: flirt, reveal some potent information, proposition yourself, exchange instant message names (or use stickam's C2C feature).

Stickam lies in that interstitial space: not so highly prohibited like pornography, but at the same time, most people would not want their colleauges (or their kids) to know that they cam every night in the {rock_with_your_cock_out} room.

Caveats:

It eats up your time

Mostly uninteresting

Don't forget to turn your cam off

Gender ambiguity is a given

People lie

Haters abound

But, hey, compared to other empty garbage like Reality TV and QVC, I'll take Stickcam anyday.


Read more about Stickam:


Encyclopedia Dramatica

Wikipedia Entry

Parental Concerns

Urban Dictionary

New York Times Article

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