Contexts, Vol. 5, Issue 4, pp. 58-59, ISSN 1536-5042, electronic ISSN 1537-6052. © 2006 by the American Sociological Association. All rights reserved.
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filming white, middle-class girls
he disc jockey first announced the camera crew’s
arrival with a concert promoter’s flair: “Let’s give it up
Girls Gone Crazy
!” A wave of screams and a few
random boos ensued. Quickly and steadily, the fans flocked
to the back of the bar, where three of the crewmembers, all
men in referee outfits, coolly stood by. Fraternity brothers
shouted in their faces, “You have the best job, man!”
Women who approached the crew, eager to purchase pink
trucker hats with the company’s logo, were rebuffed. “You
have to earn it,” a tousled blonde cameraman teased them.
This was an invitation to flash their breasts on tape for hats.
Most of the women left on that note, huffing, “No way,”
or “You have got to be kidding,” but a few did not. Two
tipsy females grinned as they offered to kiss each other for
caps. The cameraman, Sunny, acquiesced with a begrudg-
ing yet flirtatious sigh, “OK. But you have to do it to the
count of ten.”
As the video spotlight opened on the pair and the count-
ing began, the crowd grew and the cheers grew louder.
Embracing but angled toward the camera, the women
French kissed with wide open mouths and visible tongues.
By the time Sunny got to ten, the room exploded in
applause. Afterwards, it seemed like a fair exchange. The
pleased women donned their prizes, and the crew now had
choice footage for a “Mardi Gras 2005” videotape.
Except, in this case, Sunny had never turned the camera
Knowing my motives for being there, he explained to
me, “This is for them,” pointing to the row of applauding
college men. “We’re recruiting. Someone here will see us
doing this and want to join.”
A soft-core reality videographer, Sunny was one of the
legions of men who descended on New Orleans every year,
regardless of hurricanes, to record women doing sexy things
in public places. Contract cameramen fanned throughout
the city’s nightclubs and infamous French Quarter streets in
search of women, preferably young and nubile, who would
flash their breasts and butts, and kiss their girlfriends in