The Power Implications of Sex Work Over Skype

Ad for Interlude, a sex tip game from the 1980’s. Computer sex has advanced far since then.

Today I came across an interesting comment on Jezebel:

…The way I started was I put up one free video on Youtube, got some fans, then I had some pay clips on clipsforsale as well as setting up skype appointments with people. Some of them just wanted to talk to me because they thought that I looked really interesting (I have a shaved head and facial piercing, but I wear fluffy dresses and make up, apparently that is strange to these men) Others wanted to just sit there quietly and watch me smoke/eat/ paint my toe nails.They pay through paypal.

YouTube, PayPal, Skype, (paid fetish clip site) Clips4Sale- are these the new frontiers of sex work? Is this even still sex work? I’d say yes, since there is a transaction of money for sexual arousal. Why am I writing about this on a digital activism blog? Because it’s an interesting case study of the way technology affects power dynamics. The commenter continues:

I have though, been propositioned to do porn since starting though. Not anything hardcore, but like tickle porn and foot worship stuff, I have not decided if I want to make that jump yet….But meh, it would help me pay off my student loans.

So, not only is this women earning money by doing things she considers weird but not degrading, there is no pimp or other economic exploiter – she’s an independent operator. Also, she’s not putting herself in danger physically, either of contracting an STI or of being raped of physically assaulted by a john. I’d say this is a positive development.

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