I met Sydney Leathers in 2015 when she participated in a panel I organized for Exxxotica Dallas. I hadn’t met her before the actual event, and I was immediately taken with this sharp-yet-unassuming, brilliantly graceful woman (especially when you consider how poorly she’s been treated by the US public — holy shit).

Anyway, I recently had the opportunity to speak with Sydney again for a piece I wrote for YNOT Cam, a B2B space dedicated to webcam models and performers. Enjoy!

Read an excerpt below and the full piece on YNOT Cam right — here (August 5, 2016).

“Managing Scrutiny – Staying Private when your Entire World is Public”

Sydney Leathers is many things – sassy, intelligent, and insightful. She’s also widely known as a participant in one of the most notorious political downfalls of the twenty-teens.

“Most people were first introduced to me through a sexting scandal in 2013 involving me and a guy with a funny name,” Leathers laughs.

Leathers worked as an administrative assistant at a Midwestern law firm and was involved in local level civic organizing when she was unceremoniously exposed as a sexting partner of one “Carlos Danger,” aka former New York state politician Anthony Weiner. (You can read a recent rending of Leathers’ story in The Cut here.)

Now she works in sex. She also recently finished her undergraduate degree.

Sex work presented itself as a viable career option after Leathers was outed for engaging in an interpersonal relationship fraught with misrepresentation. (Sexting between consenting adults is not a crime, even if one of them is a scandalous hypocrite.) Today, she splits her time between conventional porn and work online, camming a few times a week and racking up fifteen hardcore scene credits to date.

“I’ve used Streammate a bit, but my main platform is Skype,” she explains. “I book a lot of one-on-one shows. I actually find it more comfortable to do private shows instead of performing for a whole room of guys online.”

“And porn has been great for me,” she continues. “It’s made me more comfortable and confident in my sexuality and with my body. It’s been a really great outlet for me, and I’ve had nothing but good experiences shooting.”

Leathers was “exposed” to the public before she ever got into professional sex work. As such, her path and experiences are a bit different from people who may be outed after working in the sex industry for some period of time. And the high-profile nature of the scandal she was attached to adds a unique intensity to her experiences. But Leathers has been in the trenches for several years now, maintaining her cool in the face of extreme slut shaming and sex worker discrimination.

I spoke to Leathers recently about what it’s like to maintain a private life when your work and persona are both highly public and highly stigmatized… (read the rest right here)

Visit Sydney Leathers on Twitter at @sydneyelainexo.

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(pictured: Sydney Leathers montage! image via YNOT Cam)

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Got a sociology question? Need some social justice informed life advice? Contact Dr. Chauntelle right here.

Get Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment on Amazon and CT.com

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