Is ‘Euphoria’ a Rare Positive Take on Sex Work, or Yet Another Pornographic Male Gaze?

Since its debut on HBO in June, “Euphoria” has provoked conversations around teen sexuality, trans representation, full-frontal male nudity, and One Direction slash fiction, to name just a few. Only one of the series’ many envelope-pushing plot-lines revolves around sex work, specifically online webcam modeling, otherwise known as camming. After losing her virginity at a party, Kat (the luminous Barbie Ferreira in a breakout role) discovers a video of the interaction has been uploaded to PornHub without her consent. Once she sees how many views it’s gotten, she decides to take matters into her own hands and turn a profit from her viral fame.

To some sex workers who watched the show, it’s the rare positive media portrayal of sex work; an empowering and relatable example of sex work as self-actualization, as Kat learns to love her body and take ownership of her sexuality. For others, the character
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