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CammingMoney, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Work Industry$
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Angela Jones

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479842964

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479842964.001.0001

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Performing in a Sexual Field

Performing in a Sexual Field

Display Work, Manufactured Identities, and Gender Performance

(p.153) 7 Performing in a Sexual Field

Angela Jones

NYU Press

This chapter considers how the online context shapes display work, the economic outcomes of display work, and the experiences of display workers. Echoing Mears and Connell’s research, data from the present study shows that in camming female cam models outearn their male counterparts. The structure of desire in the camming field privileges women—albeit in uneven ways—because even though both trans women and cis women outpace men in earnings, trans and cis women’s bodies are valued differently and they have qualitatively different experiences of work. Using the sexual fields framework, this chapter examines how performers develop sexual capital by crafting “manufactured identities” and designing performances in ways that adhere to the logic of the camming field. In order to make money, performers must deliver performances of sex that are valued by participants within this sexual field. While many performers are hesitant to be dishonest about their identities because they know authenticity and realness are crucial in camming, many also change aspects of their identities on their profiles to enhance their marketability through the normative performance of sex. Using an intersectional framework, this chapter examines how cam models strategically perform femininities and masculinities in ways that adhere to the logic of the camming field.

Keywords:   display work, sexual fields, sexual capital, manufactured identities, performance, femininities, masculinities

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