Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Bridget Hayden

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Allison Formanack

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Sharon Young

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies


This thesis addresses a form of online feminized labor in Brazil, which employs digital technology to relieve the urges for intimacy and monetary insecurity. Camming is a genre of online sex work, in which cam models sell their body image and attention online through computer-mediated interactions. It constitutes a profitable activity that employs body performance without physical contact between model and client, typical in most categories of sex work such as prostitution, and where the clients are not mere spectators as within the pornography industry because camming requires authenticity and communication. For that, I explored three conceptual spheres that combined offer the structure for camming establishment in Brazil and create the set of particular motivations. The sensual ethos is culturally and historically created and is the broader aspect of what constitutes the Brazilian sexual habitus and discourse. Camming is a feminized form of work that approaches the emotional labor categorization. And the digital landscape is where camming happens. Using digital non-participant observation conducted during the Fall of 2022, I explore the fraught intersections among sensual ethos, feminized labor, and digital landscape concluding that body and beauty, pleasure, intimacy, anonymity, safety, agency, labor and leisure, money, and freedom are motivations conveyed between the clients and online workers in this unsettled digital landscape that redesigns sex work in Brazil.