Synopses & Reviews
In locations around the world, sex tourism is a booming business. What's Love Got to Do with It?
is an in-depth examination of the motivations of workers, clients, and others connected to the sex tourism business in Sosanduacute;a, a town on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Denise Brennan considers why Dominican and Haitian women move to Sosanduacute;a to pursue sex work and describes how sex tourists, primarily Europeans, come to Sosanduacute;a to buy sex cheaply and live out racialized fantasies. For the sex workers, Brennan explains, the sex trade is more than a means of survivalandmdash;it is an advancement strategy that hinges on their successful andldquo;performanceandrdquo; of love. Many of these women seek to turn a commercialized sexual transaction into a long-term relationship that could lead to marriage, migration, and a way out of poverty.
Illuminating the complex world of Sosanduacute;aandrsquo;s sex business in rich detail, Brennan draws on extensive interviews not only with sex workers and clients, but also with others who facilitate and benefit from the sex trade. She weaves these voices into an analysis of Dominican economic and migration histories to consider the opportunitiesandmdash;or lack thereofandmdash;available to poor Dominican women. She shows how these women, local actors caught in a web of global economic relations, try to take advantage of the foreign men who are in Sosanduacute;a to take advantage of them. Through her detailed study of the lives and working conditions of the women in Sosanduacute;aandrsquo;s sex trade, Brennan raises important questions about womenandrsquo;s power, control, and opportunities in a globalized economy.
An ethnographic case study of sex tourism in the Dominican Republic, showing how the sex trade is linked to economic and cultural globalization.
About the Author
Denise Brennan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Georgetown University.