In her new book, Camming: Money, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Work Industry
(NYU Press, 2020), Dr. Angela Jones
engages readers in a five-year mixed-methods study she conducted on the erotic webcam industry where she tells a pornographic story about the multibillion-dollar online sex industry that is colloquially known as “camming.”
Through camming, millions of people from all over the globe have found decent wages, friendship, intimacy, community, empowerment, and pleasure. This interview is full of stories from a diverse sample of cam models from all over the world whom Jones interviewed and observed as part of her five-year mixed-methods study. Cam models, like all sex workers, must grapple with exploitation, discrimination, harassment, and stigmatization. Using an intersectional lens, Jones was attentive to how the overlapping systems of neoliberal capitalism, White supremacy, patriarchy, cissexism, heterosexism, and ableism shape all cam models’ experiences in camming as a new global sex industry.
This thorough examination of the camming industry provides a unique vantage point from which to understand and theorize around gender, sexuality, race, and labor in a time when workers globally face increasing economic precariousness and worsened forms of alienation, and desperately desire to recapture pleasure in work. Despite the serious issues cam models face, Jones’s focus on pleasure will help people better understand the motivations for engaging in online sex work, as well as the complex social interactions between cam models and customers. In Camming
, Jones pioneers an entirely new subfield in sociology—the sociology of pleasure. The sociology of pleasure can provide new insights into the motivation for social behavior and assist sociologists in analyzing social interactions in everyday life.
Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He earned his doctoral degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Walden University. He researches place and the process of place making as it presents in everyday social interactions. You can find more about him on his website, follow him on Twitter @ProfessorJohnst or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.