Little Red Bunny is taking a breather outside the Eden Roc in Miami Beach when a soon-to-be fan approaches her. A middle-aged man wearing cargo shorts, an orange Polo and a visor waddles up as the famous cam girl takes in a pool-side view.
"Your look is cute," the dweeb says. "Where are you from?"
It's a question that Little Red Bunny is asked a lot on her site, but one she never answers outside of private chat. So typically, her honest response costs $4.99 per minute. In this case, the woman with a vaguely Eastern-European accent lies and says her distinct manner of speech is derived from her parents who are "Irish-French."
The random interloper doesn't seem to catch on to Little Red Bunny's sarcasm. He invites her to a party and tries to exchange contact information. When the stunning red-head hands over a card with her URL listed, the dorkus maximus tries to get further, saying he prefers telephone numbers.
"I don't do that," she replies coolly. "My life is very public, so I keep that information private."
Although the Eden Roc guest might not know who he's talking to, his conquest this past Friday afternoon was one of the most popular webcam models in the world. He's far from being the only dude who wants to know more about her. Every day, Little Red Bunny (real name Ophelia) broadcasts shows from her apartment in New York and attracts hundreds of customers. A trained ballet dancer, this model was named "Favorite Cam Girl" by the Adult Video Network this year. The distinction, along with her particular brand of burlesque, caused the Daily Beast to call her "The Queen of Cam Girls" in March.
Little Red Bunny spent the weekend in Miami Beach as part of Camming Con, the first such industry event in North America. She was the headliner, too, being the prime example of how someone can go from making $1.99 an hour (and giving 35 percent back to her hosting site) to charging more than double as an entrepreneur. She has an affiliate site off of Jasmin, which is pretty much the biggest cam site in the world. Hours before she was pestered by this random admirer, she sat down with New Times to discuss her business model and unusual calling.
How did you get started, and what was your background before camming? I saw a pop up of a girl sitting on the computer typing. Before that, I'd done a lot of artistic stuff. I've done years of classical ballet. I've done concert piano -- just years worth of stuff in New York City. So my relationship to my body has always been very close. I thought the idea of stripping could be nice, but it's not what it used to be. It's no longer glamorous or burlesque. I was curious how I could be sexy while dancing, but I didn't want to be a stripper.
What was attracting to me was that I wanted to work from home. I didn't want to go out and have a boss, so I started working for Jasmin instead. Now I work all night for them.
Some sites, like Playboy Live, provide training to their cam models. What were some of the challenges you faced in learning how it works on your own? I started from nowhere, and I was shy. It was trial and error. That's probably why I have my own style in a way -- I did not study other girls to see what they do in free chat or how they handle things.
I'm not the kind to show myself too much or go out with a super miniature skirt or all that. I thought I would see if i was comfortable and then keep doing it a little longer, so I did it for a week or two.
The first few days are really weird. I've never done stripping or porn or anything. There's the whole technological aspect of it, too. Learning how to position yourself with the cam to give people what they want. You have to understand the people and the dynamic, too.
So what's your 9-5? People ask me how much I work at the gym, because I'm so muscular and strong, but [camming] is what I do. I kind of apply belly moves in an erotic way in my bed. I can work the hours i want, but it's become like 6 to 6 or 4 to 4.
Twelve hours? Really? Sometimes I do 10. Sometimes 8. But there are nights where I pull up to 16 to 18 hours a night because you think you're going to go to bed and then there's that person from Belgium or France that just woke up and says "I've gotta see you." So I stay. People wonder how I get the energy, and I have no idea. But I think it's like a bubble where you lose sense of time and space.
What's the scene like at your site? There's that whole atmosphere at my free chat that's like having a party. People say to each other, "Where were you? I haven't seen you the past two weeks." They really interact between themselves. And then there's some people who see me and have a drink before they go to bed or who have had a bad day and know it's always a party in my room, really. It's a social event for most people. But in private chat there are people who come a few times a week, or a few times a month. It varies a lot.
How does camming interfere with your personal life? Do you have to keep up an air of mystery with your regulars? There are some people I've known for five years. Some people gain the kind of trust to gain something personal back. What's private, I keep private. Especially in free chat -- I keep that very separate. I think for your own health you have to keep some things to yourself. You have to have your own little world.
You're pretty much at the top tier of cam girls right now. Where do you hope to go? Sometimes there are bad nights. To make sure you're busy all the time is a big thing. Beyond that, as a person, I have much more to me than just the camming. The sexuality is kind of on the side, and I am good at what I do. But I have an artistic side. Maybe someday even the dance side is going to merge with that. But life is like a puzzle that gets created as you grow up, and you never know how it's gonna be until the end. I didn't expect to even be here today.
Does a site like Jasmin tell you what to do? There are a lot of restrictions, which is why a lot of models don't like to work on that site. But that's why I like to work there. You cannot show your breasts on free chat, for instance. But I would never do that. You cannot lick toys. You cannot have your cat walk on the bed. When you start, you question a lot of them, but when you think about it, it makes sense. They have their morality, too. They wanna make sure it's OK for children to come on their site, so that in free chat the kid wont come and see crazy stuff.
What does your family think of your career? People who know me would say I have always had an old-fashioned clothing style. That's followed me since I was a teenager. I was kind of on the hippie side. I had friends that were punks with the studs and friends that were totally nerds. There was a lot of variety-- my best friend was goth. I was always artistic and a good student, but not the kind that was always good at everything just like that, I had to work for it and study. [As for the AVN Award], nobody knows. I don't talk with them all the time. I say, "I do performance and work on some projects." But one thing that might make it better is if they knew that I did win the award, so even if they were like, "What the hell," I could say I was at least good at what I was doing. They do want to know that I'm financially secure and like what I do.
People say that camming is the new porn, but do you consider yourself a porn star? Hell no. But people say, "This a jerk off site, what are you doing, ballet?" There's more substance to what I do. If I was doing porn, people would be touching me and people would end up in my bed that would never be there in real life. What also makes me never want to do porn in real life is that i need a bubble. Sex is something that should only happen with the person you're with. Online I touch myself, but these guys don't touch me, they don't smell me, they don't taste me. This keeps something sacred for your real relationship. I still have a real sexuality.
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti
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