Money, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Work Industry
Published by: NYU Press
344 pages, 152.00 x 228.00 mm, 15 black and white illustrations
- ISBN: 9781479874873
- Published: February 2020
Honorable Mention, 2021 Sexualities Section Book Award, given by the American Sociological Association
The first inside look at how sex workers use webcams to make a living
The erotic webcam industry, also known as “camming,” is a thriving global business. Angela Jones takes readers inside this multi-billion dollar industry, revealing how its workers experience intimacy, community, empowerment—and, as she compellingly argues, pleasure.
Drawing on in-depth interviews, survey data, web analytics, and more, Jones highlights not only the dangers, but also the rewards, of working in one of the most taboo corners of the Internet. She provides an inside look at the public and private shows between cam models and their customers, from exotic dancing and pornographic videos, to masturbation shows and erotic chatrooms.
A fascinating, much-needed glimpse into the lives of cam models, Camming takes us behind the webcam lens to experience the power of erotic labor in the twenty-first century.
Angela Jones’s Camming offers a roller-coaster ride through the often and, according to mainstream norms, necessarily hidden world of online erotic performances and relationships, camera-guided sex work, and the joys and downsides of its many professional possibilities ... Jones’s book provides a lens through which we can witness what happens on both sides of cameras in the (online) sex industries as well as contemplate our taken-for-granted norms and biases about sexualities, as triggers of both consumption and discrimination or exclusion (e.g., via criminalization). ~American Journal of Sociology
Camming signifies a brilliant sociological analysis of race, ethnicity, class, nationality, gender, and sexuality while providing a detailed portrait of how cam models earn money and gain power and pleasure in the adult webcam industry. ~Teaching Sociology
Sex work and desire are complicated issues for a technologically mediated society. In Camming, Jones documents how pleasure is refracted through social structures that reproduce inequality, but also how pleasure and sex work may 'crack' capitalism by resisting alienation and other forms of inequality. ~Men and Masculinities
A thorough examination of the online sex-work industry and a theoretical treatise about pleasure, a topic long neglected in sociology [...] As quarantines resulting from the recent coronavirus pandemic have temporarily shut down most physical sex-work venues, Jones’s analysis of online sex work is an even more timely contribution to the field. ~Choice
Camming is an important study that offers an innovative paradigm for examining not only sex work but other intimate industries. ~Social Forces
Finally, a smart and profoundly feminist analysis of the webcamming industry. Readers get an inside look at what is worth celebrating about the emergence of erotic camming—namely that it is a relatively safe, often pleasurable, and accessible source of income during a time of tremendous global economic disparity. Angela Jones also shows us the ways that camming remains subject to broader social, political, and economic forces, such as racial hierarchies of desirability and transphobia/fetishization. This is a fascinating and deeply ethical and de-stigmatizing account of an understudied form of sex work. Sociology has never been this sexy! ~Jane Ward, author of Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men
A groundbreaking book by the leading expert on the erotic webcam industry. Jones illuminates key structural features of the business as well as the lived experiences of the performers. She shows that commercial webcamming is not only profitable but also safe and quite pleasurable for most of those engaged in this kind of sex work. ~Ronald Weitzer, author of Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business