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Last autumn I sat in a midtown cubicle sorting receipts for my boss’s month-to-month expense report. I had lately earned my master’s diploma from Harvard and had accepted a coveted but thankless entry-degree place at a well known philanthropic organization in New York City. My dad and mom were pleased with me, and I used to be cam jobs proud that they have been pleased with me. Convinced that I used to be doing the "proper thing," I spent a 12 months botching Excel spreadsheets and crying in office lavatory stalls. That is the American middle-class 20-something’s dream, I told myself.

At best, I completed easy administrative duties, resembling printing paper and hoarding Submit-its, with mild competence. I relished these peaceable moments, for the majority of the time I felt more like a 2-yr-old submitting estate taxes with crayons. At my annual worker overview, my boss positioned me on "Efficiency Probation," citing at the least 5 or 6 the explanation why I could not be trusted with so much as a stapler. She added that in spite of my attempts to succeed in out, touch base and other mildly suggestive workplace necessities, my communication abilities have been "not improving." Possibly I’m just dumb, I thought. Possibly I really can’t communicate with people. Perhaps I shouldn’t communicate at all.

Tell that to Marina, I now assume, staring at the unlikely reflection of a smoky-eyed 25-yr-old girl in my lipstick-strewn bathroom. Marina, my online alter ego on a popular adult webcamming web site, is the new and improved "me." She dazzles men with discussions of Indo-European languages whereas seducing them along with her perky derriere, bending over earlier than the camera to reach for her pen, with which she scrawls on a memo pad: Dyno_Schlong. That username, one among over 100 in her chat room, is simply too good to forget.

Upon first glance, the only semblance Marina bears to her office-dwelling predecessor is her penchant for Put up-its, which now testify to a to-do checklist decidedly extra perverse:

* Mail panties to Faroe Islands

* Ship cucumber video to HuckleberrySin

* Add Hitachi Magic Wand to Amazon wish list

And yet, as she poses in lacy white stockings – a present from a digital admirer – atop her squeaky Ikea armchair, the one factor that surprises her is how bizarre it all feels.

* * *

The afternoon that I used to be placed on Performance Probation, I left work early. Driving the N train back to Queens, I quietly wept upon the sympathetic cashmere shoulder of Ann Taylor and brainstormed responses to my imminent dismissal. Should I'm going back to school? I wondered. No method – my aversion to scholarly discussion is so intense that I nonetheless wince whenever I see a spherical table – even the kind with an umbrella. Another nonprofit job? A new set of directions to botch, a contemporary cohort from which to alienate myself! Motherhood? Now that’s a superbly respectable excuse not to pursue a profession! However who am I kidding? I hate kids.

For the primary time, my mind and perfectionist work ethic had failed me. With out these crutches, I had nothing. Except, perhaps, for my body. I remembered a dialog I had a number of months earlier with an acquaintance, whose ex-girlfriend, he claimed, made a good dwelling as a camgirl. "What precisely does a camgirl do?" I asked him, conversant in the phenomenon only by means of sidebar Web advertisements claiming that Jessie19, conveniently situated in my neighborhood, wished to fuck, like, tonight!!

"Nicely," he mentioned, "normally they just strip, tease and get themselves off in front of fellows on-line in exchange for money and gifts. It’s tremendous simple – most guys aren’t in search of some airbrushed Barbie. They need real, clever girls – like you."

Now I’ve heard everything, I thought. What guy in his right thoughts would pay to see someone like me to take off her … I paused, wanting down at my austere gray cardigan. While I’m not unattractive, my waxen face, sturdy brown glasses and easily detectable baggage (both below-eye and emotional) hardly counsel that I’m somebody you may wish to see naked. And while most camgirls are veritable social butterflies, fluttering from one flirtatious conversation to the following, I'm more like a moth, perched in the shadows for worry of crashing and burning into a ground lamp. Briefly, not your average adult entertainer.