Camming is the first book devoted solely to the erotic webcam industry, that empirically documents the history of the camming industry, the industry’s current size, the profitability of the camming industry, and that analyzes the motivations and the experiences of a relatively diverse sample of cam models. This chapter provides a brief background on the camming industry and discusses clients’ desire for embodied authenticity, and how interactive cam shows differ from traditional pornography. Given that many people view the consumption of virtual embodiment differently than they see the consumption of physical embodiment, and that these sexual interactions occur online, camming appeals to a wide range of workers and consumers. Importantly, these contextual elements create the conditions under which people open themselves up to experiencing new forms of pleasure, and in which workers can recapture pleasure as a fundamental part of their work. In addition to providing an overview of the industry, this chapter also outlines the analytical frameworks used throughout the book, which include the polymorphous paradigm of sex work and intersectionality. Finally, the critical pedagogies used in the book are described, which include progressive stacking, autoethnography, and a pornographic imagination.
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