Projekt Melody: Avatar Sex Work, the Technological Prostitute Imagination, and Intimate Labor


May 2023


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Projekt Melody is an anime avatar sex worker, streamer, and content creator operated by anonymous individuals. Following their emergence in 2019, Melody has complicated the politics of the online sex work industry with their novel use of technology and their bodiless performance, amassing significant income and popularity in the process. An analysis of Projekt Melody raises questions on how their sex work complicates existing scholarship on sex work studies, media studies, and the economics and politics of gendered, intimate labor. As a digital character that is coded as an Asian woman in a technologically mediated body work position, Melody furthermore illuminates the relationship between technology, Orientalism, and erotics in a technologically mediated body work position. In this paper, I intend to provide an intersectional analysis of the ways in which Projekt Melody simultaneously subverts and reinforces structures of power and provides a compelling glimpse into the future of sex work in the age of adult content platforms.



Gender Studies