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Other titles in the Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, & Culture series:
Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex (Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, & Culture)by Elizabeth Bernstein
Synopses & Reviews
Generations of social thinkers have assumed that access to legitimate paid employment and a decline in the and#8216;double standardand#8217; would eliminate the reasons behind womenand#8217;s participation in prostitution. Yet in both the developing world and in postindustrial cities of the West, sexual commerce has continued to flourish, diversifying along technological, spatial, and social lines. In this deeply engaging and theoretically provocative study, Elizabeth Bernstein examines the social features that undergird the expansion and diversification of commercialized sex, demonstrating the ways that postindustrial economic and cultural formations have spawned rapid and unforeseen changes in the forms, meanings, and spatial organization of sexual labor.
Drawing upon dynamic and innovative research with sex workers, their clients, and state actors, Bernstein argues that in cities such as San Francisco, Stockholm, and Amstersdam, the nature of what is purchased in commercial sexual encounters is also new. Rather than the expedient exchange of cash for sexual relations, what sex workers are increasingly paid to offer their clients is an erotic experience premised upon the performance of authentic interpersonal connection. As such, contemporary sex markets are emblematic of a cultural moment in which the boundaries between intimacy and commerceand#8212;and between public life and privateand#8212;have been radically redrawn. Not simply a compelling exploration of the changing landscape of sex-work, Temporarily Yours ultimately lays bare the intimate intersections of political economy, desire, and culture.
While much attention has been paid in recent years to heterosexual prostitution and sex tourism in Brazil, gay sex tourism has been almost completely overlooked. In Tourist Attractions, Gregory C. Mitchell presents a pioneering ethnography that focuses on the personal lives and identities of male sex workers who occupy a variety of roles in Brazilandrsquo;s sexual economy.
Mitchell takes us into the bath houses of Rio de Janeiro, where rent boys cruise for clients, and to the beaches of Salvador da Bahia, where African American gay men seek out hustlers while exploring cultural heritage tourist sites. His ethnography stretches into the Amazon, where indigenous fantasies are tinged with the erotic at eco-resorts, and into the homes of andldquo;kept men,andrdquo; who forge long-term, long-distance, transnational relationships that blur the boundaries of what counts as commercial sex. Mitchell asks how tourists perceive sex workersandrsquo; performances of Brazilianness, race, and masculinity, and, in turn, how these two groups of men make sense of differing models of racial and sexual identity across cultural boundaries. He proposes that in order to better understand how people experience difference sexually, we reframe prostitutionandmdash;which Marxist feminists have long conceptualized as sexual laborandmdash;as also being a form of performative labor. Tourist Attractions is an exceptional ethnography poised to make an indelible impact in the fields of anthropology, gender, and sexuality, and research on prostitution and tourism.
About the Author
Elizabeth Bernstein is assistant professor of sociology at Barnard College, Columbia University, and coeditor of Regulating Sex: The Politics of Intimacy and Identity.
Table of Contents
1and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Sexual Commerce in Postindustrial Culture
2and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Remapping the Boundaries of "Vice"
3and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Modern Prostitution and Its Remnants
4and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Privatization of Public Women
5and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Desire, Demand, and the Commerce of Sex
6and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The State, Sexuality, and the Market
7and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Sexuality Debates and Pleasure Wars
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