Chatroulette was the site to be on about a decade ago, and it’s still online with a smaller, but just as active, and still predominantly male community. The site randomly pairs you with a user via so-called spins, with whom you have a chat via webcam. A 17-year old computer tech fan from Russia came up with the concept. At its peak time, the site was receiving tens of thousands of visitors a day.
An informal study reported by the New York Times in 2010 found that spins would show a single female (not a group with other females or males) on camera only 11% of the time. The likelihood of seeing a webcam featuring no person at all was higher than seeing one showing a sole female. A lot of the spins showed people exposing themselves or masturbating on camera – again, mostly men.
People under 18 are officially banned from this site, and moderators are making efforts to remove sexually explicit material. The number of female users has increased thanks to the cleanup.
In the early days, a lot of the guys reported feeling an adrenaline rush at the prospect of jacking off before a random person. Of course, precautions were taken – nobody could see your face. You had to be careful to hide tattoos, birthmarks, and other identifying marks.
Get the right equipment
To use Chatroulette, make sure that your webcam works and you’ve installed the latest version of Flash. If you want to chat, your microphone should work too.
It is now mandatory to sign up with a username and password and provide a valid email address. Accounts are still free – this procedure is just a safety precaution. When you go to the site, you test out your webcam and spin the Chatroulette wheel. Then, have fun with whomever you meet!