Under the umbrella of all things adult entertainment, is every profession equal? Some will tell you that there is no difference between what exotic dancers or strippers do in comparison to the work of escorts and prostitutes. Whether it really is sex work or not comes down to the individual; it can’t be said by you or me how someone else defines their career. Obviously the specific roles and tasks change profession to profession. A few are sexual only in their nature, and some are directly about sex. There are differences among adult entertainers; from strippers and cam girls to porn stars and escorts.
The Different Types of Adult Entertainment
Striptease and burlesque: The thing about striptease is exactly that; it’s a tease. The entertainer doesn’t get fully naked – they utilise cheeky nipple tassels and floss-like undergarments to create the illusion of nudity without going the full Monty. They also refrain from using toys, or penetrating themselves as part of the show. Plenty of burlesque and striptease artists are successful as dancers before going into the field, and won’t ever cross over into straight stripping. This is sexual, provocative entertainment that leaves just enough to the imagination and doesn’t involve the act of sex.
Strippers: Stripping and exotic dancing is similar to striptease except there’s usually a point where everything comes off, and they’re baring all. For more money, more clothes come off and the routines will shift in gear to include more bends, splits and pole-grinds. Exotic dancing is incredibly athletic, especially when poles are involved, and there’s no having sex. Modern strippers often include toy shows, doubles with other strippers, one on one private dances, and will operate from clubs or travel for parties and events.
Cam: It’s a virtual platform, meaning cam performers don’t have any physical interaction with their viewers, who provide them with tips. Technically, cam users don’t have to engage in anything sexual during their broadcast but it’s unlikely that their shows will attract attention or money without something raunchy. It’s considered adult entertainment over sex work, despite the nature of most broadcasts. Most will be strictly sexual, and use camming as a way to strip, do toy-shows and perform sexual acts without any physical contact, plus the relative anonymity of being online only. In some cases, they’ll give viewers the option to pay for private Skype sessions for a price per hour. During these, a viewer gets to see them masturbate or fulfil requests.
Escorts: When referring to sex workers, escorts are who you’re referring to. Whether they refer to themselves as prostitutes, hookers, call girls or escorts, their job is sex based. There are plenty of technical differences between their jobs and strippers or cam girls. They spend time in the physical company of their clients, rates are often higher and the laws and regulations are different altogether. They may work in brothels or as independent escorts with outcall services and incall locations. Escorting is always thought of as sex work, but it should definitely be classed under the broad umbrella of adult entertainment.
Porn Stars: Porn stars are pretty self-explanatory. They refer to themselves as adult film stars, but the “money for sex” aspect of the films classifies them as sex workers and of course pornography is adult entertainment! Whether or not the actors also work as escorts, cam performers or dancers, this category is a perfect blend of the adult entertainment and sex work industries, as they’re nearly impossible to separate.
While it seems kind of impossible to separate adult entertainment from sex work as the lines are often blurred, it really comes down to the individual. We won’t ever make assumptions about how people work. Unfortunately there are stereotypes between the adult entertainment roles, but at the end of the day everyone is working hard for their money albeit a little differently.