Me and My Webcam

Something…something…performative space… something… self objectification?

So I have been livestreaming daily life activities. Mundane stuff like me doing the dishes or yack-yack-yacking to people about safe anal sex.  Despite my reticence to put up static images, I actually enjoy interacting in this way.

It’s not precisely exhibitionism  because even though I’m under a barrage of sexual attention, it’s stimulating the upstairs not the downstairs, if you get my drift. It’s also rather interesting because I feel like I’m nudging up against the thorny issue of asking for attention.

I want positive attention. I mean, seriously, I wouldn’t be blogging and writing and talking to people if I didn’t adore hearing “Pearl, you’re the coooo0ooolest!” This isn’t even just a gender thing. Sure what I do is gendered, but guys who get attention deal with odd stuff too. But asking for attention has a certain degree of… I don’t know, social hazard?

Celebrity, even wimpy 10 person celebrity, is fun. I get a similar degree of fun being the person who organizes munches. As a nerd, I tend to be the GM in rpgs, or I admit a certain perverse desire to play characters that are different. Not different as in Mary Sue-esque “Oh my family was murdered!!!”  but characters with a reason to interact with people. Often i try to create underpowered character or other people’s villains.

Thing about getting attention is that it’s kinda like the double standard around beauty. You’re not supposed to put exceptional effort to get there because it’s supposed to be an anointed blessing from the gods. On the other hand it is supposed to be a good thing to be attractive, but being able to say “actually I’m kinda hot!” is a social faux pas.

You’re allowed to acknowledge your own cleverness. People polled generally see themselves as being slightly more intelligent than average, regardless of where they land on an IQ spectrum, as well as being a bit nicer than average. But if you say you’re more attractive than average… ouch! Prepare for a world of hurt. People are just as quick to assign people 4/10, would not bang scores as the are to croon at people calling themselves unattractive that they’re the contrary.

My hotness, incidentally seems to be one part context and one part related to the vagaries of how bloated I am and what my adult acne is doing. I can effect it in small part by what I wear and the application of makeup combined with the removal of eyebrows, but other than that…

Mostly I’m trading on nubile-ness, ultra pale skin and personality. Camming seems to have a positive effect on my perception of my looks even if I’m deeply distrusting about the actual nature of what people are perceiving. When I had an OKcupid account I got filed in the top 25%, but I still can’t trust it- I was generally considered “not hot” in other circles.

But give me a room to work and I start feeling more attractive. So there’s a definite push-pull going on there. There’s also a control issue. Which I will try to expand on.

Helen Mirren, of all people, talked about it pretty well

“I’m still trying to wriggle out from under that label. […] Being a sexual object is mortifying and irritating, yet it’s giving you power–an awful power that you’ve done nothing to deserve, a powerless power. I think some young women fall in love with that power, and it’s really objectifying.”

What she’s talking about is how when you put yourself out there to be desired, you’re simultaneously suffused with the ability to draw people in, but it encourages possessiveness on the part of the beholder. I don’t just mean the guys who project submission fantasies onto me, it’s that the attention other people give you is never really in your control.

My approach to camming generally comes with the caveats that I want to be able to limit it. It’s exhibitionism without vulnerability. But even beyond the persistent guy asking me to look at his penis… (and there’s always one without a fetish context) there’s the issue of always watching the crowd as much as they watch you.  As soon as you make yourself visible you need to be more conscious. On the other hand… I over thinka and…

Go on, say what you think!

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