Apr 29 06 3:13 PM

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What is a Cam-Girl?

A ground breaking article from Salon about the amateur origins of
Commerical Video Chat and Cyber-Sexxing....

Candy from strangers

Teen girls flash some skin on their "cam sites," and fans shower them with gifts. Who's exploiting whom?- - - - - - - - - - - -

By Katharine Mieszkowski
Aug. 13, 2001 | One of the favorite gifts that Charisma, 17, has gotten from a fan of her Web site was a "Fantasia" DVD trilogy. It was just what she wanted, because she'd asked for it on her Amazon.com wish list.

But that's nothing compared to the loot that a fellow "cam girl" friend has raked in off of hers: "Somebody bought her a really nice digital camera, a graphing calculator and a $100 gift certificate," Charisma says. Sheila, 18, got a new $129 webcam, while "Katneko," 19, raked in teen reading classics like "Catcher in the Rye," "Of Mice and Men," "To Kill a Mockingbird," plus a Depeche Mode CD, a scanner and a $250 gift certificate to the site Fetish Factory.
The gifts came from total strangers and online friends alike, people the girls had gotten to know through their Web sites. Katneko's younger sister, 15-year-old Brandi, was so impressed by all of the goodies arriving at their home from people the girls had never met in person that Brandi set up a personal page on her big sis's site so she could beg for her own loot. Brandi's pages bear this label: "underaged piece of ass." (Her sister quickly points out that this is a joke.) Among Brandi's heart's desires on her wish list: four Sailor Moon dolls.
Teen webcams have met the e-commerce version of the wedding registry -- the wish list. And the result of this virtual marriage is an online beg-fest that makes it easy to take candy from strangers on the Internet. Kids as young as 15 are getting into the act of asking for handouts online -- toy and books and CDs and, of course, webcams -- so their online fans can get an even better look at them.
"I don't think that it's weird that people I don't know buy things for me," writes the 17-year-old who calls herself "Perfekt" on her Web site. "They're gifts, and like all good things, acceptable. ;-)" Even so, Perfekt got so much booty from her fans that she has since taken down her wish list: "A lot of people were very generous -- too generous in my opinion -- around the holidays and the guilt was too much for me to swallow."
Cam sites range from simple photo galleries to elaborate diaries and art projects; some have live cameras and others just feature stills captured from video cameras. They're as diverse as the girls who create them -- and, in the grand tradition of their ancestor, Jennicam, they offer a strange mixture of distance and intimacy. There are cam boys too, but -- chalk it up to hetero-horndogging -- it's girls who rule in the popularity game of the cam portals, gathering fan clubs and shaking down gifts.
The wish list is the perfect tool for cam kids because it allows them to ask for exactly what they want and have it sent to their house without ever revealing a home address -- the e-commerce vendor, whether it's Abercrombie & Fitch or Amazon, doesn't reveal the "wisher's" location. So the relationship between the online pen pal or fan can remain entirely virtual, yet still produce the goods.
The Internet may not be, as it is so often caricatured, one big cesspool of pedophiles and pervs searching for unsuspecting and underage kids to prey upon. But the spectacle of teenagers displaying themselves online in exchange for material favors is something that could make anyone a little queasy. Still, in the search for online sugar daddies, young or old, it's the kids who understand what power they have -- through what they choose to reveal and what they conceal -- to titillate and suggest, with just a smile, or a bit of a tummy, or more.
The cam universe is "basically like high school blown up exponentially," says Marissa, 24 (old, by the standards of this world). "It's a huge popularity contest. Popularity rules." Some of the better-known cam girls have fan clubs with hundreds of members who swap photos and exchange e-mail with their idols. Earlier this year, the cam world even had its own version of the reality TV show "Survivor" -- called Survivorcam -- where 16 cam kids competed for $300 by completing various silly, bawdy and outrageous immunity challenges in front of their cams, some claiming to be as young as 14. The Survivorcam motto: "Outpose. Outshine. Outwhore." Marissa won the contest, but was accused by other contestants of showing too much skin to do it.
Like everything else in the insular webcam community, the meaning and morality of the wish lists is hotly debated by the cam kids themselves. Are you a "cam whore" if you put up a wish list? If you don't show your tits, does that mean you're not "whoring for hits"? What if you put up a wish list, but don't show skin?
Katneko's site Linuxkitty self-consciously mocks some of the seductive come-ons of the cam world. Her cam and diary entries have won her 500 members in her fan club, along with those copies of "Catcher in the Rye" and other teen classics, but, she says, "The Internet community views me as untouchable because I won't get naked on my cam." She recently mused on her site: "Some people show tits, and some people don't. I wonder what it is I'm whoring to get presents exactly, since I'm not the showy-fleshy type of girl."
Other girls don't see wish lists that way. "To me, it's the newest form of prostitution," says Camilla, 19, from Trondheim, Norway, who has had her own site -- now at Wallflower.nu -- since she was 15. She doesn't have a wish list on her site because she sees such blatant solicitation as a quid pro quo transaction, where fans who give gifts expect something, like a topless or suggestive photo via e-mail, in return. None of the cam girls interviewed for this story copped to any such payoff.
Charisma says: "I never promise to do anything in return for the gifts other than to say thank you or send a thank you card. I'm not tricking people into sending me things. I think strangers on the Internet like to send things to other people because they're lonely, and they try to find their happiness in our surprise and thankfulness of their gifts. Sure, you could possibly argue that we're 'taking advantage' of these depressed people, but, if they aren't sending us gifts, they'd probably be doing something just as useless with their money."
Marissa, who in her offline life is a junior lobbyist in Washington, mocks the wish list phenomenon on her site. Her wish list parody begins: "If you love me, you'll buy me things." She says, "I'm boldly mocking the people who are buying people stuff, just totally mocking the prostitution angle of wish lists." Needless to say, no one has bought her anything.
Other cam kids abhor the begging and commercialism. "I don't have [a wish list] because I don't want strangers buying me stuff. My site isn't out there to make money for me, it's just for my pleasure only," says Ashley, 17, a self-described vegetarian Virgo with three pets -- "two dogs and a 13-year-old brother." Ashley gets so many e-mails from drooling fans begging for naked pictures of her that she offers this chilly FAQ on her site to fend them off. "I get annoyed by people asking about my appearance, and the same 20 questions repeatedly," she explains. This is from the same girl who has her fans show her the love by sending her digital images of themselves with the words "fuck frosty" in the picture, which she posts on her site. Go figure.
Actually, racier versions of such photos are the transgressive currency of the webcam world; fans take photos of their naked body parts, often with the name of the site written on their cleavage or naked butt, which the cam kids then proudly display on their sites. Galleries of such devotion can be found on sites like Infinity Decay, State of Confusion and Xeres.com.
All this butt-flashing and begging for goodies from strangers may seem tawdry or crass, but Lynn Ponton, M.D., author of "The Sex Lives of Teenagers," cautions against jumping to conclusions. Psychologists have found that offline diaries of teenage girls are filled with lists of things that they'd like friends and parents to buy for them; the online wish lists just represent the next step -- showing their desires to the world. "There's always a thought that someone like Santa Claus is going to come along and take care of you and not expect anything," Ponton says. "Kids still believe that they're going to get all these free gifts in life." For Ponton, the cam sites represent the kind of risk-taking kids engage in to form their identity -- and which can go too far.
What do the parents make of all this? Several kids said their parents wouldn't even know how to find their Web sites if they gave them the URLs, much less what their children do online. Others say their parents use the diaries on their sites to keep up with what's going on in their lives.
And Mom can be a big fan: "My mom loves the site," brags Katneko. "She thinks that I'm beyond hilarious, because I talk about everything from guys having dinky winkies to guides on butt sex." Other parents hope that all this monkeying around online could be the ticket to a hot career. Brittany, 19, says: "My dad thinks I should apply my skills to getting a computer-related job, and that's pretty much the only thing he says about it."
Brad Danielson, 35, a Maine Web designer, is one older guy who has seen a lot of cams. He's one of the creators of Eyefever.com -- one of the many cam portals from the tame to the explicit and smutty (like Stile Project, Superhyperdemonchild and Sinnocence) that cam kids submit to in hopes of getting listed and ranked by popularity.
"At 14, 15, 16, I also think that girls are really starting to come into their sense of what their sexuality can do," says Danielson. "I think that some really enjoy that attention for whatever reason." After all, isn't it potentially safer to show a little skin on a webcam than pretty much anywhere else? "They're pushing their sexuality out into the world a bit, pushing it out to the public to see what kind of response they get, while still in a safe environment," says Danielson. "It's even safer than if some young gal decided to wear something revealing on a beach or on a street -- you're not going to get whistled at or approached."
Of course, as Ponton points out, there may well be risks for young women in revealing themselves to strangers online, too -- just different kinds. And even Danielson admits a certain unease about the cam sites: "I don't know if I'd want my 14-year-old daughter doing that, if I had a daughter."
"I think that these girls are just now discovering that they can make men do things, buy them things, and especially say things just because the men think that they are desirable," says Bridget Therease Guildner, an 18-year-old from Corvallis, Ore., who posts her online diary, writing and photography on the Web, but no voyeuristic webcam. "However, I think that the reason why we don't see many 25-year-olds running cam girl sites is that with experience comes the realization that being used is unpleasant, even if you are using the person back."
In the do-it-yourself world of the cam sites, the girls choose exactly how much they want to reveal or conceal. "Some of the young girls really aren't showing that much skin to be worried about it," says Marissa. "They're showing enough to have that Lolita-esque hint of desire. It teases vulnerable men -- 'Maybe if I buy her stuff, she'll show me more.'"
But the Web has a way of making even the most straightforward picture of a 14-year-old caught on her webcam into a pornographic image. "Everything can be sexualized online because it all lies in your imagination," says Marissa. Some cam portal sites create databases of hundreds of images lifted without always asking permission of the girls in the images. The sites mix nude images with photos of ordinary girls that are hardly suggestive at all.
It's the mixing of soft-core porn with lifted photos that raises the ire of the cam community. Daign of Daign.com, who specializes in writing bitchy reviews of cam sites on his lunch hour at work, recently posted a call-to-arms to send hate e-mail to an especially egregious site: "Did you know that our friends over at the pedophile site ... are back up? So nice that a bunch of 40 year olds are jackin it to your daughter's webcam."
"I think that these databases take undue advantage of the girls. The line for me is drawn when they are divorced from their personalities and become literal objects," says Bridget Guildner.
It's the occupational hazard of being a cam girl to have your image stolen without your permission and put into a vast database of cam images without even your name on it. That's the contradiction of the cam girl world -- the technology that gives the girls a place to be themselves and show off is the technology that can strip them of their identity and reduce them to a nameless database of images.
For the girls themselves, running cam sites is about a lot more than scattering their image across the Web or nabbing wish-list booty. Brittany says that running her site since she was 17 has made her better able to deal with the scrutiny of others: "It's helped me be more open and accepting of myself. I used to be terribly shy. Now, I'm more comfortable with people passing judgment on me. That used to be one of my biggest fears, people judging me without knowing me. Now, I couldn't care less."
The girls also learn about the demands of a public life. Perfekt, who has had a site since she was 13 and is now 18, says, "Some days, I want to break my camera. I hate feeling obligated to take pictures, and yet, if you don't update your cam, it's like you're not in circulation."
- - - - - - - - - - - -
About the writer
Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon Technology.
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Apr 29 06 3:20 PM

What is a Cam-Girl? Take Two...

Cam-Girl Defined....

camgirl (CAM.gurl) n. A girl or young woman who broadcasts live pictures of herself over the World Wide Web. Also: cam-girl, cam girl, Webcam girl. Example Citation:

In the past couple of years there has been an online explosion in the number of personal Webcam sites. More people are choosing to live in front of a camera, hooked up to the Internet via a high-speed connection. Most are girls and young women broadcasting from the most private spaces of their bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms. These "camgirls" rule the world of amateur Web sites, attracting thousands of hits daily. Some have become self-made celebrities. Some are as young as 14, but the majority are in their late teens and 20s. The sites range from the crude to the sophisticated and are so diverse it is risky to make generalisations. But most feature live cameras and/or digital still shots, links to other places on the Internet, diary entries and biographical information.
The most controversial common feature of these worldwide cam sites is the amazon.com "wish list". Camgirls encourage their fans to buy them books, CDs and other gifts via the American online company.

—Susan Hopkins, "Girls Just Want To Be Seen," Sydney Morning Herald, August 10, 2002

Earliest Citation:
The search for an Internet "cam-girl" approaches its grubby conclusion. Of the three finalists for the Bravo TV competition, heavily plugged by the red top papers for the last few weeks, 23-year-old Essex girl Kate Bird looks favourite for the job of having her every bedroom move broadcast on the Internet by way of a "live" camera mounted on her bedpost.
—Edward Marriott and Lisa O'Carroll, "In the air," The Evening Standard (London), January 28, 1998

I strive to be a disinterested chronicler of new words, but sometimes I just have to shake my head. Who would offer up great gobs of their personal life as broadcast fodder for the online masses? Why would someone turn their life into a digital peepshow?

I was tempted to dismiss this as a bizarre hobby, just some phase that a few teenagers with exhibitionistic tendencies were going through. But then I read that there are actually thousands of camgirls out there. (And, yes, there are plenty of camboys, too.) Clearly there are larger forces at work here.

According to Susan Hopkins, the author of the example citation as well as the book Girl Heroes, for some kids the constant surveillance of a Webcam affirms their identity. Young people feel validated because they're like, you know, sorta kinda on TV, and only celebrities and important people appear on TV. It's the same impulse that provides a never-ending cast of unembarrassed guests for The Jerry Springer Show; it's why TV crews never seem to have trouble finding someone to interview after a disaster or tragedy, no matter how grief-stricken or shocked that person may be. The camgirls talk about "artistic expression" and "empowerment," and I'm sure that's true for some. But for most of them the omnipresent eye of the Webcam serves only to validate their existence. I cam, therefore I am.

Related Words:
alpha girl
kiddie cam
leather spinster
Subject Categories:
Computers - Internet
Sociology - Men and Women
Sociology - People
Posted on October 23, 2002 at 10:57 AM

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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Apr 29 06 3:24 PM

What is Cyber-Sex ???

The Diverse Forms of cyber-ring - which is mainly an amateur activity undertaken on a voluntary basis....not a commercial transaction.

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Cybersex or computer sex or net sex is a virtual sex encounter in which two or more persons connected remotely via a computer network send one another sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience. It is a form of role-playing in which the participants pretend they are having actual sexual intercourse, by describing their actions and responding to their chat partners in a mostly written form designed to stimulate their own sexual feelings and fantasies. It sometimes includes masturbation. The quality of a cybersex encounter typically depends upon the participants' abilities to evoke a vivid, visceral mental picture in the minds of their partners. Imagination and suspension of disbelief are also critically important. Cybersex can occur either within the context of existing or intimate relationships, e.g. among lovers who are geographically separated, or among individuals who have no prior knowledge of one another and meet in virtual spaces or cyberspaces and may even remain anonymous to one another. In some contexts cybersex is enhanced by the use of webcams to transmit real-time video of the partners.
Cybersex is sometimes colloquially called "cybering". Channels used to initiate cybersex are not necessarily exclusively devoted to that subject, and participants in any Internet chat may suddenly receive a message with any possible variation of the text "Wanna cyber?"
• 1 Characteristics
• 2 Dangers and advantages
o 2.1 Advantages
o 2.2 Disadvantages and problems associated with
• 3 References
• 4 See also
• 5 External links

Cybersex is seen by some as a humorous, pointless, insignificant and meaningless act that carries no real emotional weight or emotional repercussions. Others believe that the sexual feeling exhibited by participants in virtual intercourse is very real and can be just as emotionally significant as feelings that occur during sexual intercourse. It also can play an important role in long-distance relationships.
Cybersex is most commonly performed in Internet chat rooms (such as IRC, talkers or web chats) and on instant messaging systems.
It is also fairly frequent in on-line role-playing games, such as rpol, MUDs and MMORPGs, though approval of this activity varies greatly from game to game. Cybersex is sometimes called "mudsex" in MUDs. In TinyMUD variants, particularly MUCKs, the term "TinySex", abbreviated "TS", is very common. See also yiff.
The increasing popularity of webcams has also resulted in an increase in couples using two-way video connections to "expose" themselves to their online chat partners, enhancing the act by giving it a more visual aspect. There are a number popular commercial websites that have taken advantage of this and allow people to openly masturbate on camera while others watch them. Couples can also perfom on camera for the enjoyment of others. Usually those watching are masturbating to the arousing images. These websites often also contain videotapes that people have taken of themselves. Some of the most popular parts of these websites are videotapes of men who have powerfully strong ejaculations. The act of exchanging sexually explicit email or SMS messages is also sometimes considered cybersex. Such activities facilitated by webcams are often used for the purpose of enhancing masturbation or as an introduction to arranging a meeting for sex. While these activities are common, it is difficult to know just how widespread they are, and there is a paucity of statistical data on this subject.
Cybersex differs from phone sex in that it offers a greater degree of anonymity and allows participants to meet partners more easily. In fact, a good deal of cybersex takes place between strangers who have just met online, and unlike phone sex, cybersex is rarely commercial.
One approach to cybering is a simulation of "real" sex, when participants try to make the experience as close to real life as possible, with participants taking turns writing descriptive, sexually explicit passages. Alternatively, it can be considered a form of role playing that allows a couple to experience unusual sexual sensations and carry out sexual experiments they cannot try in reality. Amongst "serious" roleplayers, cybering may occur as part of a larger plot - the characters involved may be lovers or spouses, or a character could be raped to initiate a plotline. In situations like this, the people typing often consider themselves separate entities from the "people" engaging in the sexual acts, much as the author of a novel often does not completely identify with his or her characters.
Cybersex is often ridiculed because the partners frequently have little verifiable knowledge whatsoever about each other, not even their partner or partners' gender. However, since for many, the primary point of cybersex is the realistic simulation of sexual activity, this knowledge is not always desired or necessary.
Dangers and advantages
Cybersex is seen positively by its defenders - it satisfies sexual desires without the risk of sexually transmitted disease, is a safe way for young people who have not engaged in sexual activity to experiment, it allows participants to carry out elaborate sexual fantasies and allows "real-life" partners who are physically separated to continue to be sexually intimate. Additionally, some people with long-term ailments (including HIV) engage in cybersex as a way to safely achieve sexual release and gratification without putting their partners at risk. In long-distance relationships, it can have an important function in sustaining the sexual dimension of a relationship in which the partners see each other only infrequently face to face. Quite often, the activity of cybersex is carried out with the aid of webcam, so both parties can see each other, and there are many websites dedicated to this practice.
Cybersex can also enhance the role playing aspect of MUDs or MMORPGs, as it can give the characters that people are playing a more lifelike quality. It's very hard to portray a realistic relationship within a game without addressing the sexual aspects of the relationship.
It can enable people to participate in fantasies that might be too risky in real life, or are not possible or practical to pursue with their partner, such as BDSM, homosexuality, zoophilia or rape.
Cybesex has also been used in therapy to help those who are too shy or are unsure of how to (re)enter the dating and sexual scene. For example, some therapists have clients practice flirting skills and rehearse how to ask for what they want sexually in chat rooms.
Disadvantages and problems associated with
Debate continues among moralists on whether cybersex is a form of infidelity. While it does not involve physical contact, critics claim that the powerful emotions involved can cause marital stress, especially when cybersex culminates in an Internet romance. In several known cases Internet adultery became the ground for divorce.
There is also the separate risk factor of Internet addiction, which is perceived to be a cause of social isolation and loss of work productivity.
Cybersex during an on-line role playing game carries an extra disadvantage. It is possible for one of the participants to use the wrong command and end up sending an explicit and erotic message meant only for their partner to several other people, if not to everybody currently playing that game.
The relative anonymity of cybersex encourages pedophiles and ephebophiles to seek out underage cybersex partners; it is more often that ephebophiles seek out encounters through these means, not always illegally. In the course of such conversations, such individuals sometimes try to send child pornography to others or arrange real-life meetings. See also grooming a child and age of consent.
In the United States, police officers sometimes pose as minors in chat rooms in order to bait underage-sex predators (see "Who's 14, 'Kewl' and Flirty Online?; A 39-Year-Old Detective, and He Knows His Bra Size", The New York Times, April 7, 2003). On one occasion, an elderly man from Georgia flew into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta to meet what he thought was an underage girl he had met online with whom to have sex, only to meet sheriff's deputies instead. Another time, a teacher from Minnesota was arrested by FBI agents in Yuma, Arizona's airport, after he had arranged online to meet and have sex with what he thought were two eight-year-old girls.
This practice is sometimes somewhat controversial, and in some cases may be considered a form of entrapment. In one case, a gay male journalist who was known as an advocate for gay youth had been corresponding with a person he thought was a gay teenage boy; the journalist was arrested after the boy asked to meet him. The case was dismissed when it was revealed that all talk of sex had been initiated by the "boy", and the judge ruled that the prosecution had failed to show the journalist had any intention of meeting the "boy" for sex.
The prevalence of predatory pedophiles in some forms of online communication has attracted many civilians to mislead or troll those trying to groom underaged children. One example is a self-described civilian watchdog group Perverted-Justice.com.
Deuel, Nancy R. 1996. Our passionate response to virtual reality. Computer-mediated Communication: Linguistic, Social, and Cross-Cultural Perspectives, p. 129-146. Ed. by Susan C. Herring. John Benjamins Publishing Company, Philadelphia.

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"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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Apr 29 06 3:37 PM

The Secrets to Cyber-Sex Success??

Hot Tips From Regina Lynd, the Cyber Sex Columnist from Wired Magazine and the blogger on SexDrive...

Cybersex Talk: Walk the Walk

Commentary by Regina Lynn | Also by this reporter
02:00 AM Feb, 24, 2006 EST

Sex Drive
The problem is, I have what online dating veterans call "chemistry" with the founder and CEO of HighJoy.com, Amir Vatan. Awareness, sizzle, heat, philharmonical pheromones, whatever you want to call it -- a resonant heat underlies our professional interaction.
I noticed it the first time I interviewed him, when HighJoy -- an "online community and dating site with internet-enabled sex toys" -- officially launched. We both valiantly ignored the thrill of attraction, but neither of us have jobs where zing is a liability, either.
We met again few weeks ago when Canada's SexTV interviewed us for an upcoming episode.
I drove out to HighJoy's headquarters and waited while the SexTV team finished up with Amir's interview and product demo. Then they sat me outside on the patio and asked me general questions about teledildonics and online relationships.
Afterwards, Amir and I visited in the parking lot, talking about how his company has evolved (up to 50 new users daily), how his parents feel about his entrepreneurial direction (delighted) and whether he uses his product with a variety of online lovers or exclusively with his offline girlfriend (bingo). However, he does give demos and help newbies get started.
I then lamented that my internet-enabled Doc Johnson iVibe had fallen apart. I picked it up one day to toss into my suitcase and found that the shaft had almost completely separated from the base. I don't know if I left it too close to a radiator or if the glue just shriveled up and died, but I'd grown rather fond of the darn thing and hated to see it go.
Amir sympathized for a moment, then jogged back to the office and returned with a replacement. "Really?" I gushed. "For me?"
"Of course," he replied, gesturing valiantly. "Of course, this means we're going to have to, you know, practice."
"Ah, that's right. And of course it would be purely for work," I said.
"Right. For work."
I nodded, laughed, winked, agreed and distracted myself by taking off my "TV appearance" boots and stepping into my "all the rest of the time" Uggs.
But on the two-hour drive home, I kept reviewing the scenario. Last time I was sexually active in an online adult community, I wasn't going steady with anyone in the outside world. This time around, I have a boyfriend. And I didn't know how the boyfriend would feel about my "practicing."
Not to mention that I can't go around shagging my sources.
Or can I?
Sex Drive is not limited to reporting sex-tech news. (I leave the straight reporting to the reporters.) Sex Drive isn't just social commentary, either. It's also personal essay and a revealing look at a real person's journey -- mine -- into the modern sexual landscape.
My worry is that I haven't had full-blown cybersex with an online-only lover in three or four years. Can I continue to write knowledgeably about sex in virtual places if I'm no longer doing it?
On the other hand, I know exactly what goes on during remote sex. I have not forgotten my online sex life, from stone-age HTML chat to mIRC to IM to ICUII and a cheap long-distance plan.
And while the technologies become sleeker, better, faster, the way we relate remains much the same, which should comfort even The Luddite.
That's why I knew I couldn't just jump back into chat, webcam on, lighting adjusted just so, iVibe at the ready. First, we Had To Talk.
It took me forever to bring it up. All week long I composed and discarded scripts. I debated with myself: Mention it casually on our nightly phone call? Wait for the weekend to ask in person? Is it wrong to ask it in bed? Will it ruin our Saturday morning latte routine if I broach a sensitive subject at "our" café?
I've said many times, in this column, on the air and in private e-mails with you-know-who-you-are, that people have to let the discomfort happen. I will not tell you whether cybersex is cheating because I do not believe it's that simple. It's a question and probably an ongoing discussion between you and your partner, and if you don't have the discussion, then yes, you're cheating.
I could probably justify my actions by pointing out that the boyfriend knew about my job before we got together. He accepted certain perks and conditions that wouldn't exist if he were seeing a social worker or a biology professor.
You can't date a stripper and then ask her not to be naked with other men. You can't fall in love with a fireman and then expect him to change jobs because you worry about his safety.
Can you date a sex-tech columnist and expect her not to foray into, well, just about everything?
But what a hypocrite I would be if I used my profession to avoid the conversation you have to have if you want to explore cybersex without shattering your existing relationship.
Besides, he might just say, "Sure, go ahead," and then do that thing that he does that ensures I'm not going anywhere as long as he's willing to keep doing that thing that he does.
Finally, one night, while we were talking in a desultory fashion about career drama, I accidentally blurted out, "How would you feel about my going into a chat room and using teledildonics with other people?"
Poor boyfriend, to have this sprung on him after a long hard week, when he thought he was safe. But he rallied well. He paused, glanced around, started to speak, stopped, then started again. "I don't think I would be very happy about that," he said, "but you need to do what you need to do."
At which point I babbled. I don't even know what I said. Something about keeping in touch with what happens in cybersex these days, and about not being sure whether I could even get into it anymore, did he remember my column about whether you can go back.
I'm embarrassed still.
But by the end of that talk, I had an answer. He doesn't love the idea, but he knows it's something I might do, and he says he's not the boss of me. He won't dump me for doing it, although I imagine we might be awkward when I wrote about it in my column.
What's funny is that I suspect he would barely object to my Second Life avatar getting it on with someone else's, especially if I explored an alternate culture like furries or robots. I sense he would see that as more akin to watching a cartoon, or playing a video game, even knowing that it's real personal interaction.
But teledildonics is the closest thing we have to touching each other from more than six feet away. From an engineer's perspective, a HighJoy tryst is much closer to physical sex than is avatar-based chat.
Never mind that the emotional or mental connection can be strong with "weak" tools (text) or nonexistent with "strong" tools (audio, video, vibrator).
I think Amir and I would have incredibly hot cybersex. We're both well-spoken, with detailed erotic imaginations. We already know we have attraction magnétique.
But for now, I'm going to hold off. I don't expect the boyfriend to embrace every detail of my sex-tech explorations. Yet I'm not willing to move forward with any cybersex plans until we've had more time to reach an understanding we can live with.
And that will require old-fashioned communication, probably spiced with some of that thing that I do.
See you next Friday,
Regina Lynn

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#4 [url]

Apr 29 06 4:40 PM

What Is a Sex Worker.???

Working Definitions for Working Girls and Guys in a highly Complex and Stratified Industry - but notice no definition yet for cyber-prostitution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Prostitute)

Prostitution is the sale of sexual services, such as oral sex or sexual intercourse. A person selling sexual services is a prostitute, a type of sex worker. In a more general sense of the word, anyone selling his/her services for a cause thought to be unworthy can be described as prostituting him/herself. In the United Kingdom a prostitute is any individual, "who allows his/her body to be used for lewd purposes in return for payment".

Overview and definitions
While prostitutes and their clients represent all sexes and all sexual orientations and prostitutes are considered to be shameful or individuals of low standing in most societies; in some cultures, their customers are typically also looked down upon but are usually tolerated to a greater degree than the prostitute. Prostitution is illegal today in most countries.

The English word whore, referring to (female) prostitutes, is taken from the Old English word hōra (from the Indo-European root kā meaning "to like, desire") but usage of that word is widely considered pejorative while prostitute is simply a descriptive term.

Male prostitutes offering their services to male customers are called "escorts", "call boys", "hustlers", "rent boys", "gigolos", "trade", "man ho", "boy toys" or "bitches." Male prostitutes offering services to female customers are known as "escorts", "giglis", or "gigolos."

The term prostitution is sometimes used in the more general meaning of having sex in order to achieve a certain goal different from procreation or pleasure. This includes forms of religious prostitution in which sex is practiced in compliance with religious precepts. Prostitution in this broader sense is also used in spying or graft. Ancient China is replete with well-known instances of using sex to undermine an enemy. (See Xi Shi, Diao Chan)

Types of prostitution
Prostitution today occurs in various different settings.

In street prostitution the prostitute solicits customers while waiting at street corners or walking alongside a street.
Prostitution occurs in some massage parlors and in Asian countries in some barber shops where sexual services may be offered for an additional tip.
Where prostitution is more out in the open, solicitation is done at bars, even open-air bars. Thailand is famous world-wide for these establishments.
Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution.
Prostitution can also take place in the prostitute's apartment and in many countries this is the only legal form of prostitution. A hybrid between brothel and apartment prostitution exists in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, China and the Netherlands: female prostitutes rent tiny one-room apartments and solicit customers from behind windows or through advertising.
In escort or out-call prostitution, the customer calls an agency and the act takes place at the customer's place of residence or more commonly at his or her hotel room. This form of prostitution often shelters under the umbrella of escort agencies, who supply attractive escorts for social occasions. While some escort agencies provide non-sexual services only, many turn a blind eye to escorts who provide additional sexual services or actively encourage them. Alternately, an escort may work independently of an agency and place advertisements in newspapers and magazines for his or her own services. Even where this prostitution is legal, the euphemistic term "escort service" is common. See call girl. In the US, escort agencies advertise frequently on the World Wide Web and example advertisements can be readily found on any major search engine.
The setting common in Russia and other countries of the former USSR takes the form of an open-air girl market. One prostitute stands by a roadside, and directs cars to a so-called "tochka" (usually located in alleyways or carparks), where lines of women are paraded for customers in front of their car headlights. The client selects a prostitute, whom he takes away in his car. This leaves the woman (often very young girls) particularly open to abuse. Prevalent in the late 90s, this type of service has been steadily declining in the recent years.
A "lot lizard" is a commonly-encountered special case of street prostitution. Lot lizards mainly serve those in the trucking industry at truck stops and stopping centers. Prostitutes will often proposition truckers using a CB radio from vehicle parked in the non-commercial section of a truck stop parking lot, communicating through codes based on commercial driving slang, then join the driver in his truck.
Street prostitution

Stereotypical street-walker.
Main article: Street prostitution
In street prostitution, the prostitute solicits customers while waiting at street corners or walking alongside a street, usually dressed in skimpy, suggestive clothing. Often the prostitute (commonly called a "hooker", "street hooker", or "streetwalker" to distinguish them from other sex workers) appears to mind his or her own business and waits for the customer to initiate contact. The act is performed in the customer's car or in a nearby alley or rented room (motels that service prostitutes commonly rent rooms by the half or full hour).

Escort/Out-call Prostitution

Calling cards in phone boxes advertise the services of call girls
Main article: Call girl
Those who work for an escort agency may obtain the position by responding to an employment advertisement, usually placed in a regional newspaper. Escort agencies maintain a database or "stable" of employees of different types in order to cater to a wider client base. Some agencies may specifically deal in a certain type of prostitute. There are male-for-male, female-for-male, and female-for-female escort agencies, as well as a few male-for-female agencies. Agencies commonly specialise in only one sex. Transsexual prostitutes are available from some escort agencies.

Escort agencies typically advertise in regional publications and even telephone listings like the Yellow Pages. Many of them maintain websites with photo galleries of their employees. An interested client contacts an agency by telephone and offers a description of what kind of escort they are looking for. The agency will then suggest an employee who might fit the of a much client's need.

The agency collects the client's contact information and calls the escort. It is then up to the escort to contact directly the client to make arrangements for an appointment. The escort then makes a call to the agency to confirm the appointment's location and time. Generally the escort is also expected to call the agency upon arrival at the location and upon leaving to assure his or her safety.

The purpose of these details is to protect the escort agency (to some degree) from prosecution for breaking the law. If the employee is solely responsible for arranging any illegal aspects of their professional encounter the agency can maintain plausible deniability should an arrest be made.

The amount of money that is made by an escort is different depending on race, appearance, age, experience (eg. pornography and magazine work), gender, services rendered, and location. Generally male escorts command less on an hourly basis than do women, while white women quote higher rates than black women, and youth can be as much a premium. For one point of reference reflecting trends in the gay community, the gay escort agency "TOPPS", based in Washington, D.C., charges $150 an hour for male escorts, and $250 an hour for transsexuals. That agency takes $50 an hour from the contractor.

Typically, an agency will charge their escorts either a flat fee for each client connection or a percentage of the pre-arranged rate. In San Francisco, it is usual for typical heterosexual-market agencies to negotiate for as little as $100, up to a full 50 percent of a ladies reported earnings (not counting any gratuity received). Most transactions occur in cash, and optional tipping of escorts by clients in most major US cities is customary but not compulsory. Credit card processing offered by larger scale agencies is often available for a service charge.

Independent escorts, also known as providers or hobbyists, have differing fees depending on many factors. For example; different seasons bring about different costs, as do regular and semi-regular customers.

Socio-economic and legal status of prostitution
There is a superficial class divide among sex workers in Western countries. It is percieved that street based sex workers are at the low end of the scale, and that model-gorgeous sex workers are at the higher end. In between there are brothel workers, escort workers, independent escort workers and those who organize in collectives. The services do tend to all be very similar however, even if the locations vary, and prices are not always variant. For example, a street based sex worker who is paid $100 for sex may only take 15 minutes in the back seat of a clients car, however a brothel worker may have to do a full half hour sex job for less than $50.

The main difference in Western Countries between different forms of sex work is the legality. Street based sex work is illegal all over the world except for New South Wales Australia and New Zealand, and enforcement of prostitution laws fall to police vice units. Another major factor is migration status. Illegal immigrants from fellow western countries can travel freely and work without attention from authorities. However migrants such as Asians, Russians or citizens of countries in Latin America tend to be the focus of anti-trafficking attention and subject to being detained and deported. In Australia recent Senate inquiries have even heard about the un-investigated deportation of sex workers who may have actually been working legally in the sex industry. Although the motivation of many governmental and NGO efforts to end human trafficking in this way is sincere, some have levelled criticism at the amount of effort put into ending the trafficking of women and children for sex when compared to the trafficking of people for non-sex labor, which is a far larger enterprise, touching on hundreds of different industries.

In addition to the first world, this also takes place in countries of South Asia such as India and Thailand, where young girls are sometimes sold to brothel owners. In modern day Thailand and India this is becoming much rarer.

Thailand is a destination of sex tourists, travellers from rich countries in search of sexual services where their dollar is worth more. Other popular sex tourism destinations are Brazil, the Caribbean, and former eastern bloc countries.

Female prostitutes, especially street prostitutes, may be subject to violence and control of a pimp, a man who lives off the proceeds of several prostitutes. Pimping is one way in which disenfranchised young women are recruited into sex work; the pimp will provide financial and emotional support, acting as boyfriend/friend, but eventually ask the young woman to perform sex acts for money. The relationship is volatile and dangerous to the young woman.

There are other commercial sexual activities that are generally not classified as prostitution. These include acting and modeling for pornographic materials, even if this involves engaging in sexual intercourse; exotic dancing, which is naked, sexually provocative acting (sometimes involving masturbation) without physical contact with the customer; lap dancing, where the dancer may come into contact with the customer in sexually provocative but strictly limited ways; and the services of professional dominants.

In the case California v. Freeman, the California Supreme Court ruled that adult film makers could not be prosecuted under state laws against prostitution.

Legality of selling sex

Prostitutes working in their vans in Lyon, France-This form of prostitution, called BMC in France, is highly developed there
At one end of the legal spectrum, prostitution carries the death penalty in some Muslim countries; at the other end, prostitutes are tax-paying and unionised professionals in the Netherlands and brothels are legal and advertising businesses there (however, prostitutes must be at least 18 and the age of consent is 16 in other contexts). The legal situation in Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand is almost as liberal as in the Netherlands (see prostitution in the Netherlands, prostitution in Germany and prostitution in New Zealand). In New South Wales. Australia any person over the age of 18 may offer to provide sexual services in return for money. In Victoria, Australia prostitutes are required to be licenced. In some countries the legal status of prostitution may vary depending on the activity; in Japan, for example, vaginal prostitution is against the law and fellatio prostitution is legal (note that women who perform fellatio for money are not considered prostitutes in Japan).

In all but two U.S. states, the buying and selling of sexual services is illegal and usually classified as a misdemeanor. Regulated brothels are legal in a number of counties of Nevada (see prostitution in Nevada). In Rhode Island, the bare act of sex for money is not illegal, but street solicitation and operating a brothel are.

Rules vary as to which roles in prostitution are illegal: being a prostitute, being a client, or being a pimp. In Sweden it is legal to sell sex, but since 1999 it has been a crime to buy it. In the case of a prostitute under 18 in the Netherlands, being the client or pimp is illegal, but being the prostitute is not, except if the client is also underage (under 16). In most countries with criminalized prostitution, prostitutes are arrested and prosecuted at a far higher rate than their clients.

In Brazil prostitution per se is legal, but taking advantage or profit from others' prostitution is illegal.

In Spain prostitution is legal in buildings called puticlubs, but only Spanish citizens are allowed to be prostitutes.

In Thailand, prostitution is illegal as stated in Prevention and Suppression Act, B.E. 2539 (1996).

Establishments engaged in sexual slavery or owned by organized crime are the highest priority targets of law enforcement actions against prostitution. Police also frequently intervene when prompted by local resident complaints, often directed against street prostitution. In most countries where prostitution is illegal, at least some forms of it are tolerated. This ambiguous status allows the police to extort money or services, particularly information on criminal activities that prostitutes are often well-placed to obtain, from prostitutes in exchange for "looking the other way".

Pimping is a sex crime in almost all jurisdictions. Some other countries retain the ill-defined offence of "living off the proceeds of others' prostitution", one of the Prima facie evidences of which is co-habiting with a prostitute.

In 1949, the United Nations adopted a convention stating that prostitution is incompatible with human dignity, requiring all signing parties to punish pimps and brothel owners and operators and to abolish all special treatment or registration of prostitutes. The convention was ratified by 89 countries but Germany, the Netherlands and the United States did not participate.

Some municipalities in the Netherlands would like a "zero tolerance policy" for brothels, i.e. not allow any, on moral grounds, but by law this is not possible. However, regulations, including restrictions in number and location are common. Whether a zero policy on urban planning grounds is allowed is still unclear.

In his stand up comedy routine "Doin' It Again," George Carlin wonders why prostitution is illegal. In his words, "'Selling' is legal. 'Fucking' is legal. Why isn't 'selling fucking' legal?" He goes on to ask ". . . why should it be illegal to sell something that's perfectly legal to give away?"

Advertising prostitution
In countries where prostitution is legal, advertising it may be legal (as in the Netherlands) or illegal (as in Germany). In countries where prostitution is illegal, advertising it is usually also illegal.

Covert advertising for prostitution can take a number of forms:

by cards in newsagents' windows
by cards placed in public telephone enclosures: so-called tart cards
by euphemistic advertisements in regular magazines and newspapers (for instance, talking of "massages" or "relaxation")
in specialist contact magazines
via the World Wide Web
Regulated prostitution
Main article: Legalized prostitution
In some jurisdictions, such as Nevada (see prostitution in Nevada), Switzerland and in three Australian states (Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland), prostitution is legal but heavily regulated.

Such approaches are taken with the stance that prostitution is impossible to eliminate and thus these societies have chosen to regulate it in ways that reduce the more undesirable consequences. Goals of such regulations include controlling sexually transmitted disease, reducing sexual slavery, controlling where brothels may operate and dissociating prostitution from crime syndicates.

The Dutch legalisation of prostitution has similar objectives, as well as improving health and working conditions for the women and weakening the link between prostitution and criminality.

Daily Planet was a brothel in Melbourne, Australia whose shares were listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2003, before legal difficulties forced its closure. There are various regulatory regimes governing prostitution in Australia and a level of increasing professionalism is being seen in the industry with the establishment of business associations like the Queensland Adult Business Association [1] that ascribe to a strict ethical code which entrenches the independence of service providers.

Prostitution of children
Main article: prostitution of children
Regarding the prostitution of children the laws on prostitution as well as those on sex with a child apply. If prostitution in general is legal there is usually a minimum age requirement for legal prostitution that is higher than the general age of consent (see above for some examples). Although some countries do not single out patronage of child prostitution as a separate crime, same act is punishable as sex with an underage.

Prostitution and illegal immigration
A difficulty in many developed countries is the situation where persons immigrate illegally and work in the sex trade. (This is not quite the same issue as kidnapping and sex slavery). These people face deportation, and so do not have recourse to the law. Hence there are brothels that do not adhere to the usual legal standards intended to safeguard public health and the safety of the workers.

Sex tourism
Main article: Sex tourism
Sex tourism is tourism, partially or fully for the purpose of having sex, usually with prostitutes. Sex tourism destinations are typically poor countries, where poverty drives people into prostitution. Examples of these countries are: Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Cuba and Brazil. Cambodia has become a notorious destination for pedophiles and Argentina is now home to a significant number of so called sexpatriates, who have emigrated there to avail of the cheap peso and the opportunities for sexual exploitation Argentina's depressed economy gives them.

Some sex tourists organize themselves around a number of web sites where they boast about their conquests, share photos of their sex partners, discuss tips on finding prostitutes at the best possible rates in foreign countries and how to avoid detection both at home and abroad. Although most countries with a major sex tourism industry are working on attempting to reduce or eliminate sex tourism, the sex tourists have vested interests to promote their cause. Cities like Angeles City in the Philippines and Pattaya in Thailand can be seen as catering to foreigners who go there to buy sexual favors.

Some pedophiles use sex tourism to have access to sex with children that is unavailable in their home country. Several western countries have recently enacted laws with extraterritorial reach punishing citizens who, as sex tourists, engage in sex with minors in other countries. These laws are rarely enforced since the crime usually goes undiscovered. [2] [3] [4]

Violence against prostitutes
Prostitutes are often victims of violent crime. [5] Perpetrators include violent clients, pimps, and corrupt law-enforcement officers. Prostitutes (particularly those engaging in street prostitution) are also sometimes the targets of serial killers, who may consider them easy targets, or use the religious and social stigma associated with prostitutes as justification for their murder. Being criminals in most jurisdictions, prostitutes are less likely than the law-abiding to be looked for by police if they disappear, making them favored targets of predators. Robert Pickton, a Canadian who lived near Vancouver, made headlines after the bodies of several prostitutes were found buried on his farm. He now stands charged with the murder of 27 Vancouver area women.

Human (or sex) trafficking
Main article: Trafficking in human beings
The trafficking in human beings includes recruiting, harbouring, obtaining, and transporting people by use of force, deception, fraud or intimidation for the purpose of subjecting them to involuntary acts, such as prostitution and use physical force, debt bondage or even force-feeding with drugs of abuse to control their victims. Some see human trafficking as the modern form of slavery. The trafficking in human beings is not the same as people smuggling. A smuggler will facilitate illegal entry into a country for a fee, but on arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is free; in people trafficking, the trafficking victim is kidnapped and enslaved. The trafficker takes away the basic human rights of the victim. Victims do not agree to be trafficked: they are tricked and lured by false promises or physically forced.

Due to the illegal nature of trafficking (in this context, the illegal forced transportation of people), the exact extent of women and children forced into prostitution is unknown. A US Government report published in 2003, estimates that 800,000 – 900,000 people worldwide are trafficked across borders each year. [6] Between 80% and 90% of victims trafficked across international borders are women and girls who are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced into prostitution. In addition, internal passport controls in Russia and Ukraine have led to widespread internal sex trafficking.

The 1996 report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography estimates that about one million children in Asia alone are victims of the sex trade. According to the International Labour Organization, the problem is especially alarming in Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal and India. [7]

Human trafficking is so common now that it is the third most profitable criminal activity in the world after illegal drugs and arms trafficking. Globally, forced labour - which includes sexual exploitation - generates $31bn, half of it in the industrialised world, a tenth in transition countries, the International Labour Organization says in a report on forced labour ("A global alliance against forced labour", ILO, 11 May 2005). Trafficking in people has been facilitated by porous borders and advanced communication technologies, it has become increasingly transnational in scope and highly lucrative. Unlike drugs or arms, women and children can be "sold" several times.

Medical situation
Since prostitutes tend to have large numbers of sexual partners, prostitution has often been associated with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS.

However, in modern secular societies that have experienced the "sexual revolution" there is no real disparity in the number of sexual partners from prostitutes and non-prostitutes, as casual sex has become quite popular overall. Also, because prostitutes are well aware of the dangers of unprotected sex while the layperson may not, STD rates may actualy be lower in prostitutes then among the general population.

Typical responses to the problem are:

banning prostitution completely
introducing a system of registration for prostitutes that mandates health checks and other public health measures
educating prostitutes and their clients to encourage the use of barrier contraception and greater interaction with health care
Some think that the first two measures are counter-productive. Banning prostitution tends to drive it underground, making treatment and monitoring more difficult. Registering prostitutes makes the state complicit in prostitution and does not address the health risks of unregistered prostitutes. Both of the last two measures can be viewed as harm reduction policies.

In Australia where sex-work is largely legal, and registration of sex-work is not practiced, education campaigns have been extremely successful and the non-intravenous drug user (non-IDU) sex workers are among the lower HIV-risk communities in the nation. In part, this is probably due both to the legality of sex-work, and to the heavy general emphasis on education in regard to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Safer sex is heavily promoted as the major means of STI reduction in Australia, and sex education generally is at a high level. Sex-worker organisations regularly visit brothels and home workers, providing free condoms and lubricant, health information, and other forms of support.

The encouragement of safer sex practices, combined with regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases, has been very successful when applied consistently. Prostitution appears to have little effect as a vector of STDs when safer sex practices are applied consistently. However, in countries and areas where safer sex precautions are either unavailable or not practiced for cultural reasons, prostitution appears to be a very active disease vector for all STDs, including HIV/AIDS.

How common is prostitution?
According to the paper "Prostitution and the sex discrepancy in reported number of sexual partners", the number of full-time equivalent prostitutes in a typical area in the United States (Colorado Springs, CO, during 1970 - 1988) is estimated at 23 per 100,000 population (0.023%), of which fraction some 4% were under 18. The paper goes on to estimate a mean number of 868 male sexual partners per prostitute per year of active sex work, and offers the conclusion that men's self-reporting of prostitutes as sexual partners is seriously under-reported. The length of these prostitutes' working careers was estimated at a mean of 5 years.

A 1994 study found that 16 percent of 18 to 59-year-old men in a U.S. survey group had paid for sex (Gagnon, Laumann, and Kolata 1994). Unscientifically comparing the rates given by the two studies cited here alone, assuming a steady-state model, and adjusting for the five-year working career of women prostitutes, this can be used to estimate that [have-ever-been] male clients outnumbered [have-ever-been] female prostitutes by a ratio of roughly 80:1.

A number of reports over the last few decades have suggested that prostitution levels have fallen in sexually-liberal countries, perhaps as because of the increased availability of non-commercial non-marital sex.

Legal issues
Roughly speaking, the possible attitudes are:

abolition: "prostitution should be made to disappear"
"prostitution is immoral and prostitutes and their clients should be prosecuted": the prevailing attitude in much of the United States and Muslim countries;
"prostitution is a sad reality of exploitation of the prostitutes, especially women, but prostitutes should not be criminalized", the current situation in Turkey.
"the clients of prostitutes exploit the prostitutes": prostitutes are not prosecuted, but their clients are prosecuted, which is the current situation in Sweden.
prostitution is legal, but discouraged, while pimping is prohibited, the current situation in the United Kingdom and France among others;
regulation: prostitution may be considered a legitimate business; prostitution and the employment of prostitutes are legal, but regulated (with respect to health etc. concerns).
legalization: "prostitution is a victimless crime, and should be made completely legal so that it is no longer an underground activity, allowing the normal checks and balances of society and existing laws to apply"
decriminalization: "prostitution is labor like any other. Sex industry premises should not be subject to any special regulation or laws" such as in Australia and New Zealand. Proponents of this view often cite instances of government regulation under legalization that they consider intrusive, demeaning, or violent, but feel that criminalization adversely affects sex workers.
In some countries, there is controversy regarding the laws applicable to sex work. For instance, the legal stance of punishing pimping while keeping sex work legal but "underground" and risky is often denounced as hypocritical; opponents suggest either going the full abolition route and criminalize clients or making sex work a regulated business.

Many countries have sex worker advocacy groups which lobby against criminalization and discrimination of prostitutes. These groups generally oppose Nevada-style regulation and oversight, stating that prostitution should be treated like other professions. In the United States of America, one such group is COYOTE (an abbreviation for "Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics") and another is North American Task Force on Prostitution. In Australia the lead sex worker rights organisation is Scarlet Alliance, http://www.scarletalliance.org.au/ An international prostitute's rights organization is the International Committee for Prostitute's Rights as well as Network of Sex Work Projects http://www.nswp.org/

Other groups, often with religious backgrounds, focus on offering women a way out of the world of prostitution while not taking a position on the legal question.

Since most prostitutes are women, prostitution is a significant issue in feminist thought and activism. Feminists who believed prostitution was liberating for women developed a comprehensive body of theory that claimed to represent the interests of prostitutes. In the new discourse, the redefinition of prostitution as 'sex work' saw the development of the 'sex worker' movement, comprised of organisations such as the Australian Prostitutes Collective and COYOTE. The majority of these collectives were run by women who have never been prostitutes themselves.[citation needed] The development of a movement that believes in a right to prostitute, as opposed to a right to be free from prostitution, is thought to be due to a shift in attitudes towards prostitution caused by the academy and certain activists who believed that prostitution for women was tantamount to sexual liberation. [citation needed]

Feminists who believed that prostitution was exploitative, such as authors like Andrea Dworkin, herself an ex-prostitute and passionate defender of women's rights, argued in the 1980's that commercial sex is a form of rape enforced by poverty (and often overt violence by pimps). Proponents reject the idea that prostitution can be reformed, as these feminists believe that prostitution is an inherently exploitative, sexist practice. Sweden's 1999 law forbidding the purchase (but not sale) of sex - which interprets prostitution from the view of the woman rather than that of the buyer - is among the more radical of approaches.

Sheila Jeffreys, a prominent academic at Univerisity of Melbourne in Australia, argues that sex workers suffer from a false consciousness, and for that reason, sex workers who speak of any positive experiences in sex work must be disbelieved. This is in opposition to her proposal in her 1990's book 'Lesbian Heresy' which argues that all women should be believed.Jeffreys contributed to a recent crackdown and the criminalisation of all brothels in the Australian state of Tasmania and supports the anti-prostitution migration agency Project Respect, known among prostitutes as Project DIS-Respect.

Prostitution is often described as "the world's oldest profession". Prostitution (at least in the modern sense) cannot have emerged before the emergence of money, which can only have taken place after the emergence of several trades, and it has been claimed that midwives are really the world's oldest profession. However, prostitution has been noted in Bonobo chimpanzee behavior based around access to food and gifts of food, and in penguins in regard to access for suitable stones for nest building. Until the age of industrialization the world was basically agrarian, so goods and services were most often obtained by barter. Any item normally exchanged for other goods was likely acceptable for a prostitute's services.

One of the first forms is sacred prostitution, supposedly practiced among Sumerians. In ancient sources (Herodotus, Thucydides) there are many traces of sacred prostitution, starting perhaps with Babylon, where each woman had to reach, once in their lives, the sanctuary of Militta (Aphrodites or Nana/Anahita) and there have sex with a foreigner as a sign of hospitality for a symbolic price.

A similar type of prostitution was practiced in Cyprus (Paphus) and in Corinth, where the temple counted more than a thousand prostitutes (hierodules), according to Strabo. It was widely in use in Sardinia and in some of the Phoenician cultures, usually in honour of the goddess ‘Ashtart. Presumably by the Phoenicians, this practice was developed in other ports of the Mediterranean Sea, such as Erice (Sicily), Locri Epizephiri, Croton, Rossano Vaglio, and Sicca Veneria. Other hypotheses regard Asia Minor, Lydia, Syria and Etruscans.

It was common in Israel too, but some prophets, like Hosea and Ezekiel, strongly fought it; it is assumed that it was part of the cults of Canaan, where a significant portion of prostitutes were male.

In the Bible there is a story in which a woman (Tamar) poses as a false prostitute to seemingly commit incest with her father-in-law (Judah). In actuality, she was performing a Levirate Marriage; but Judah, taking her for a harlot, promised to give her a kid from the flock in order to sleep with her. In Jericho, a prostitute named Rahab assisted Israelite spies and she eventually married a member of the Jewish people.

In ancient Greek society, prostitutes were independent and sometimes influential women who were required to wear distinctive dresses and had to pay taxes. Some similarities have been found between the Greek Hetaera and the Japanese Geisha, complex figures that are perhaps in an intermediate position between prostitution and courtisanerie. (See also the Indian tawaif.) Some prostitutes in ancient Greece, such as Lais were as famous for their company as their beauty, and some of these women charged extraordinary sums for their services.

Roman Hetaera, Relief, around 2nd century, Head is missing
In Greece, Solon instituted the first of Athens' brothels (oik`iskoi) in the 6th century BC, and with the earnings of this business he built a temple dedicated to Aprodites Pandemo (or Qedesh), patron goddess of this commerce. The Greek word for prostitute is porne, derived from the verb pernemi (to sell), with the evident modern evolution. The procuring was however severely forbidden.

Each specialised category had its proper name, so there were the chamaitypa`i, working outdoor (lie-down), the perepatetikes who met their customers while walking (and then worked in their houses), the gephyrides, who worked near the bridges. In the 5th century, Ateneo informs us that the price was of 1 obole, a sixth of a drachma and the equivalent of an ordinary worker's day salary. The rare pictures describe that sex was performed on beds with covers and pillows, while triclinia usually didn't have these accessories.

In ancient Rome, while there were some commonalities with the Greek system, as the Empire grew prostitutes were often foreign slaves, caught, bought, or raised for that purpose, sometimes by large-scale "prostitute farmers". Enslavement into prostitution was sometimes used as a legal punishment against criminal free women. A large brothel found in Pompeii called the Lupanar attests to the widespread use of prostitutes in Rome around the turn of the century. Life expectancy for prostitutes was generally low, but some managed to get free and establish themselves e.g. as folk doctors. Like Greece, Roman prostitution was highly categorized, with titles for prostitutes and their places of trade including:

AElicariae, Amasiae, Amatrix, Ambubiae, Amica, Blitidae, Busturiae, Casuaria, Citharistriae, Copae, Cymbalistriae, Delicatae, Diobolares, Diversorium, Doris, Famosae, Forariae, Fornix, Gallinae, Lupae, Lupanaria, Meretrix, Mimae, Noctiluae, Nonariae, Pergulae, Proseda, Prostibula, Quadrantariae, Scorta erratica, Scortum, Stabulae, Tabernae, Tugurium, and Turturilla.
During the Middle Ages prostitution was commonly found in urban contexts. Although all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage were regarded as sinful by the Roman Catholic Church, prostitution was tolerated because it was held to prevent the greater evils of rape and sodomy. Augustine of Hippo held that prostitution was a necessary evil: just as a well-ordered palace needed good sewers, so a well-ordered city needed brothels. By the High Middle Ages it is common to find town governments ruling that prostitutes were not to ply their trade within the town walls, but they were tolerated outside if only because these areas were beyond the jurisdiction of the authorities. In the Languedoc region of France town governments came to set aside certain streets as areas where prostitution could be tolerated. Still later it became common in the major towns and cities of Southern Europe to establish civic brothels, whilst outlawing prostitution taking place outside these brothels. In much of Northern Europe a more laissez faire attitude tends to be found. By the very end of the fifteenth century attitudes seemed to have begun to harden against prostitution. With the advent of the Protestant Reformation numbers of Southern German towns closed their brothels in an attempt to eradicate prostitution. The prevalence of sexually transmitted disease from the earlier sixteenth century may also have influenced attitudes.

Kocek with tambourine
Recruited from the ranks of colonized ethnic groups, köçeks were cross-dressing entertainers and sex workers in the Ottoman empire. Photograph, late 19th c.
In some periods prostitutes had to distinguish themselves by particular signs, sometimes wearing very short hair or no hair at all, or wearing veils in societies where other women did not wear them. Ancient codes regulated in this case the crime of a prostitute that dissimulated her profession. In some cultures, prostitutes were the sole women allowed to sing in public or act in theatrical performances.

In the 18th century, presumably in Venice, prostitutes started using condoms, made with catgut or cow bowel.

Many of the women who posed in 19th and early 20th century vintage erotica were prostitutes. The most famous were the New Orleans women who posed for E. J. Bellocq.

In the 19th century legalized prostitution became a public controversy as France and then Britain passed the Contagious Diseases Acts, legislation mandating pelvic examinations for suspected prostitutes. Many early feminists fought for their repeal, either on the grounds that prostitution should be illegal and therefore not government regulated or because it forced degrading medical examinations upon women. This legislation applied not only to Britain and France, but also to their overseas colonies.

Originally, prostitution was widely legal in the United States. Prostitution was made illegal in almost all states between 1910 and 1915 largely due to the influence of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union which was influential in the banning of drug use and was a major force in the prohibition of alcohol. In 1917 the legally defined prostitution district Storyville in New Orleans was closed down by the Federal government over local objections. Prostitution remained legal in Alaska until 1953, and still is legal in some counties of Nevada. Beginning in the late 1980s, many states increased the penalties for prostitution in cases where the prostitute is knowingly HIV-positive. These laws, often known as felony prostitution laws, require anyone arrested for prostitution to be tested for HIV, and if the test comes back positive, the suspect is then informed that any future arrest for prostitution will be a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Penalties for felony prostitution vary in the states that have such laws, with maximum sentences of typically 10 to 15 years in prison.

In the 1970s some religious groups were discovered practicing religious prostitution as an instrument to make new adepts.

See also
Hierodule, religious prostitution
Köçek, tellak, baccha
Sex, sexual intercourse, human sexual behavior, sexually transmitted disease
Sex industry, sex worker, professional dominant, courtesan, hetaera, geisha, rentboy, sanky-panky, call girl, Shanghai woman, Pimp/Madame, Child prostitution
Red-light district, street prostitution, prostitution in Nevada, prostitution in New Zealand, prostitution in Germany, prostitution in the Netherlands, Victorian era, Jack the Ripper, Molly house, list of famous prostitutes
Prostitution in Thailand, bar fine, Clinton Plaza, Nana Plaza, Patpong, Pattaya, Soi Cowboy
Prostitution in Germany, Atlantis (large German brothel)
Prostitution in Japan
Prostitution in the People's Republic of China
Drug addiction, sexual slavery, trafficking in human beings, debt bondage, comfort women, white slavery, sex crime, Joy Division (World War II), Recreation and Amusement Association
Male prostitute
Feminism, sexually liberal feminism
Hooker Hill
Russell Campbell, Marked Women: Prostitutes and Prostitution in the Cinema, University of Wisconsin Press 2005
John Preston : Hustling, A Gentlemen's Guide to the Fine Art of Homosexual Prostitution, Badboy Books, 1997
Néstor Osvaldo Perlongher: O negócio do michê, prostituição viril am Sao Paulo, 1.a edição 1987, editora brasiliense
The UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949)
Full text: Status of ratifications, reservations and declarations
External links & other resources
Worldsexguide.org – Country index of prostitution legal status (warning: explicit content)
WorldSexArchives.info – Country index with firsthand reports about prostitution throughout the world. (warning: explicit content)
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) - big list of resources
Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others at Law-Ref.org - fully indexed and crosslinked with other documents
'Sex trade's reliance on forced labour - BBC
'A modern slave's brutal odyssey - BBC
'Asia's sex trade is 'slavery' - BBC
'Amnesty International UK - forced prostitution
'Amnesty International USA - Human Trafficking
'Anti Slavery
‘Mine for £1,300: Ileana, the teenage sex slave ready to work in London’ – The Sunday Telegraph
Radford, Robert, La prostitution féminine à Rome, entre -200 et 200 après Jésus-Christ : une approche pédagogique utilisant les N.T.I.C.. Sherbrooke, Université de Sherbrooke, 2000.
Ine Vanwesenbeeck (2001), "Another decade of social scientific work on sex work: A review of research 1990-2000", Annual Review of Sex Research, 12, p. 242

Sexual Freedom Coalition guide to UK prostitution law
D. Brewer et. al. Prostitution and the sex discrepancy in reported number of sexual partners. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 24 October; 97(22): 1238512388.
Arabian Sex Tourism by Daniel Pipes
The English Collective of Prostitutes
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution"

Categories: Articles lacking sources | Human sexuality | Prostitution | Sex workers

This page was last modified 12:46, 11 March 2006.
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"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#5 [url]

Jun 20 09 3:27 PM

Here's the latest attempt on Wikipedia to define the term "Cam-girl." As you can see it is used in two distinct senses: one non-american usage is to refer to a model who is available for commercial cyber-sex sessions over the Internet - what the Romanians would call a "videochatista."
The other usage which is American refers to an amateur model who may do "cyberring" but not for pay - but frequently in exchange for "gifts."


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Camgirl or Cam-girl is an Internet term for women who are featured on webcams. A conjunction of "cam" and "girl", it is used for women who operate their own webcams, such as Jennifer Ringley[1] and Ana Voog, as well as employees of webcam-based companies. The term is also used to describe women or girls who broadcast themselves via webcam without receiving any financial gain.[2] One of the original and most popular cam-girl sites was JenniCam.com.[3]

Some camgirls offer nude photographs or videos of themselves in exchange for gifts or money.[4] They also earn money by advertising pornographic websites, and earn commission by convincing customers to join adult paysites.[4] A typical rate is $10 for every customer who signs up to a site.[4]

[edit] Notes

1. ^ Wall, p.105
2. ^ Bocij, p.230
3. ^ Wall, p.171
4. ^ a b c Bocij, p.133

[edit] References

* Bocij, Paul (2004). Cyberstalking: harassment in the Internet age and how to protect your family. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275981185. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=q8NZLBE0sm0C.
* Wall, David (2007). Cybercrime: the transformation of crime in the information age. Polity. ISBN 0745627358. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=12A2LwzSX38C.

For an example of what Americans means by the term "Camgirl" look at this entry on Wikipedia for the online performance artist, Ana Voog, an early pioneer of "camming."

Ana Voog
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ana Clara Voog
Birth name Rachael Olson
Born 18 April 1966 (1966-04-18) (age 43)
Genre(s) Pop rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, Musician, Performance artist, Visual artist, Writer
Instrument(s) Guitar, Bass, Keyboard, Vocals
Years active 1986—present
Associated acts The Blue Up?

Ana Clara Voog (born April 18, 1966) [1] is a musician, visual artist, and writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. [2] Voog is the former front woman of The Blue Up? [3] , a pop rock band from the Minneapolis area.[4] On August 22, 1997 [5] Voog began anacam, the second webcam (after JenniCam) that broadcasts twenty-four hours a day live from a home.[6]

Early life

Ana Voog was born as Rachael Olson[7] on April 18, 1966 [8] to a Lutheran Minister father. [9] She later changed her name to Ana Clara Voog. Although it was never legally changed [10], Voog has used it as her primary name. Voog attended high school in Stillwater, Minnesota.


On 22 August 1997, Voog began a webcam project named anacam. Besides a view into Ana Voog's personal life, anacam also incorporated performance art and visual experimentation. Daily activities such as cooking dinner, vacuuming, and hosting visitors fill out the non-interactive periods on anacam. Other activities on the webcam range from chatting with cam-watchers, playing music, and ornate performance pieces involving household items.

Ana Voog has been criticized for the portrayal of nudity and sexual activity, including masturbation and intercourse[11] on her live webcam.

Voog distinguishes her site from pornography, stating that the "site isn't about sex, but sexuality and sensuality". [12] In contrast with isabellacam, which is self-described as “a completely original take on female produced erotic content”, Voog views sexuality on anacam as a part of her life.[citation needed]

From the beginning of anacam, Voog accompanied the webcam with a blog in a section of her site, analog and in her LiveJournal, started in 1999.[citation needed] Voog transcribed her earlier, hand-written journals to her online blog.[citation needed] In addition, she publishes poetry, stream-of-consciousness work, along with other writings. [13] Voog also produced many varieties of art, including paintings, drawings, video, and photographs.[14] A number of public archives of Voog's work have fallen into serious disrepair, although a representative selection has been published in J.D. Casten's book on Voog, Dreaming On Stage. Art installations by Voog have been hosted by the New York Museum of Modern Art, and in the Walker Art Center and the Weisman Art Museum.

In May 2002, [15] Voog began to freeform crochet hats. Each is unique, and she sells them via her website.

On Voog's online work, Jorn Barger, who is credited with creating the first blog[16][17], states:

She was trying to live her life 100 per cent openly, which I thought was a righteous ideal. I wanted to emulate it in my own way by logging everything I found interesting, whether art or politics or silliness or even occasionally good porn. [18]

A number of newspapers and magazines have written about Voog and anacam, including Newsweek, USA Today, Playboy, and Yahoo! Internet Life.

Television appearances include Hard Copy, Vibe, A&E, Net Cafe[19], and E!. She also appeared on an episode of the early "video blog" by Jennifer Ringley of Jennicam.[20]

A documentary,Camgirls, which has been in post-production for years, is still scheduled to be completed, according to Adakin Productions. [21]

Personal life

After over 10 years of debate, at the age of 30, Ana Voog had had saline breast implants inserted into her chest to increase their size. [22]

On July 30, 2007, she and her husband had their first child, Lili Zuzu Voog.[23] The child was conceived and birthed on cam. A second child, Violet Luna, was born on 8 February, 2009. [24]

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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#6 [url]

Jun 30 09 7:24 PM

Now. here's a definition of the strongly derogratory term for "Cam-girls" or "Cam-models" - Cam-Whore from Wikipedia.

Cam whore
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A cam whore (sometimes cam-whore or cam-slut)[1] is an individual who performs sexual services on the Internet with webcam software in exchange for money or goods, usually by a fixed per minute fee or by encouraging viewers to purchase items on their wish lists or add to their online accounts.[2] While the label is usually considered derogatory and insulting,[3] it is also used by these people to describe themselves, occasionally in a self-deprecating manner.

The term "cam whore" is also used to refer to individuals who post pictures or videos of themselves on the Internet to gain attention. The term disparages those who post pictures of themselves at inappropriate times or places, and usually implies self-absorption. This second usage of the term, deriding vanity and histrionics, is overtaking the prior, more intuitive definition. It is usually synonymous with attention whore.

The term camwhore was first used in print as early as November 2001,[4] but may have originated in Australia as early as 1999.[5]

Some insight into the world of underage cam whores was provided by a major article in the New York Times. It described the story of Justin Berry, a thirteen-year old boy who, after hooking up his webcam and listing himself on an online forum in order to make friends, was propositioned by older men to strip and masturbate on camera.[6] CNN referred to him as "in the language of cyberspace... a cam-whore".[7] He eventually started his own paysite, was molested for money, sold video recordings of his encounters with Mexican prostitutes, and helped hire other underage models.[6] He made several hundred thousand dollars over five years.[6] In the end he turned all information over to prosecutors in exchange for immunity.[6]

[edit] References

1. ^ Bannister-Andrews, Bethany. (April 14, 2006) UWIRE Indiana U.: COMMENTARY: Gaming sex-ploitation continues; women increase use, play.
2. ^ Prager, Michael. (May 29, 2002) Boston Globe Wired now looks as good as it is. Section: Li';l'kving; Pge D4.
3. ^ Chua, Grace. (July 30, 2006) The Straits Times Look, it's me - Babes who blog.
4. ^ Torpy, Kathryn. (November 10, 2001) The Courier-Mail Virtual lolitas. Page 4.
5. ^ Oppert, Allan; Mullens, Ken. (November 14, 2004) Sunday Mail (Adelaide, Australia). Surviving a great white: How it feels to be a webcam girl. Section: Features2; Page 66. (writing, "The first lot of cam girls coined the phrase "cam whores" as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek thing. [In 1999, we] were whoring ourselves for hits, getting on cam and flirting.")
6. ^ a b c d Eichenwald, Kurt (2005-12-19). The New York Times Through His Webcam, a Boy Joins a Sordid Online World..
7. ^ Phillips, Kyra. (December 21, 2005) CNN News Protecting Kids From Internet Dangers. Part 2.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cam_whore"
Categories: Pejorative terms for people | Internet culture | Erotica and pornography websites

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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