CAMGIRL by Isa Mazzei

CAMGIRL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A former internet live-action “camgirl” divulges the secrets and the snags of the provocative lifestyle.

In Mazzei’s debut memoir, she describes growing up in Santa Monica, California, as the daughter of a hip, bipolar cinematographer and an alcoholic makeup artist. After an earthquake and subsequent fire damage forced the family to relocate to Colorado, they thrived until her mother’s addiction became unmanageable. From a young age, Mazzei’s biggest desire was to be the center of attention, and, almost as a diversion from her home life, she attracted attention by being the “strangest girl in middle school,” embracing a seductive alter ego, “Isa, Queen of Boys,” and seducing her male classmates. Later, the author also began exploring different aspects of her sexuality, including an attraction to women, sex work for wealthy men, and a stealth introduction to “camming.” Mazzei writes about her online adventures with a self-assured, casual flow and never skimps on the details of her racy, erotic two-year tenure as a camgirl. She explains how she developed a unique, arousing identity named “Una” and began amassing donated “tokens” from fans for her increasingly sexual group and private room virtual interactions. Readers interested in the fascinating world of online chat-room hosts will get a fully guided tour courtesy of Mazzei’s intimate, interactive broadcasts. Her early on-camera fumbles with tangled garter belts and random insecurities (“was I really going to masturbate in front of three hundred strangers?”) gave way to a dominant yet playful online persona whose content’s intensity increased as she networked with other girls and promoted her cam profile page on Twitter. Mazzei ended up creating a mini empire for herself and banked thousands of dollars. Only in the concluding chapters does the author openly reveal her lifelong issues with self-control, anxiety, and depression, which resurfaced during a mental breakdown at the height of her cam business and contributed to its closure.

A vivacious chronicle of how Mazzei channeled her sexuality into a lucrative business, which became an epiphanic experience as well.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64428-035-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2019