Queer Sex Work

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Sex work is a subject of significant contestation across academic disciplines, as well as within legal, medical, moral, feminist, political and socio-cultural discourses. A large body of research exists, but much of this focuses on the sale of sex by women to men and ignores other performances, practices, meanings and embodiments in the contemporary sex industry. A queer agenda is important in order to challenge hetero-centric gender norms and to develop new insights into how gender, sex, power, crime, work, migration, space/place, health and intimacy are understood in the context of commercial sexual encounters.

Queer Sex Work

explores what it might mean to ‘be’, ‘do’ and ‘think’ queer(ly) in the study and practice of commercial sex. It brings together a multiplicity of empirical case studies – including erotic dance venues, online sex working, pornography, grey sexual economies, and BSDM – and offers a variety of perspectives from academic scholars, policy practitioners, activists and sex workers themselves. In so doing, the book advances a queer politics of sex work that aims to disrupt heteronormative logics whilst also making space for different voices in academic and political debates about commercial sex.

This unique and multidisciplinary volume will be indispensable for scholars and students of the global sex trade and of gender, sexuality, feminism and queer theory more broadly, as well as policymakers, activists and practitioners interested in the politics and practice of sex work in local, national and international contexts.

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About the author

Mary Laing, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Northumbria University. Her research focuses on the criminalisation of sex and sexualities, with a specific focus on the sex industry. Most recently she has been working on a project exploring the licencing of adult work in Canada, as well as undertaking participatory research with sex workers in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She has approximately 8 years ‘on the ground’ experience as a volunteer outreach worker in both the UK and Canada, and has experience delivering harm minimisation services to both male and female indoor and outdoor sex workers. Mary is the joint academic board representative for the UK Network of Sex Work Projects and has publications in journals including Sexualities, Geoforum and the Journal of Law and Society.

Katy Pilcher, PhD, is a Lecturer in Sociology at Aston University. Her research interests centre around gender, sexualities, sex work, ageing, embodiment, work and employment relations, and visual research methods. Katy has completed research projects relating to erotic dance, sex work, and ageing and everyday life. She has published articles in Sexualities, Sociological Research Online, Leisure Studies, and Journal of International Women’s Studies. Katy is an executive committee member of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association UK and Ireland.

Nicola Smith, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Birmingham. Her research is broadly concerned with issues surrounding neo-liberal globalisation and social justice, particularly with respect to the (re)production of uneven gendered and sexualised power relations. Key publications include Global Social Justice (2010, Routledge, co-edited), Body/State (Ashgate, 2013, co-edited) and articles on commercial sex and queer theory in Sexualities, Review of International Political Economy and British Journal of Politics and International Relations.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Mar 5, 2015
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Pages
294
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ISBN
9781134495481
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Criminology
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Katy Pilcher
Erotic dance is one of the most contentious issues in feminist debates today and a source of fascination in media and popular cultural representations. Yet, why is it that we currently know so little about those who perform erotic dance for female customers, or the experiences of these spectators themselves?

The result of a unique investigation within two of the UK’s leisure venues, Erotic Performance and Spectatorship seeks to rectify the aforementioned lack of insight. Through vivid ethnographies of a lesbian leisure venue and a male strip show, Pilcher’s research advances key debates about the gender and sexual politics of erotic dance, whilst simultaneously relating these to debates about the sex industry more widely. This book also subverts previous assumptions that only women perform erotic dance and only men spectate. Thus, this book stands out amongst other academic accounts, developing the debate beyond the established focus on erotic dance as either empowering or degrading.

This new contribution to the study of erotic dance – which provides a fresh theoretical perspective combining queer and feminist theorising, in addition to rich empirical evidence – will appeal to academic researchers and both undergraduate and postgraduate students within the fields of sociology, gender studies, sexuality studies, gay & lesbian studies, feminism and other neighbouring disciplines. It will also be of interest to feminist and sex work activists, policy makers, and practitioners.

Katy Pilcher
Erotic dance is one of the most contentious issues in feminist debates today and a source of fascination in media and popular cultural representations. Yet, why is it that we currently know so little about those who perform erotic dance for female customers, or the experiences of these spectators themselves?

The result of a unique investigation within two of the UK’s leisure venues, Erotic Performance and Spectatorship seeks to rectify the aforementioned lack of insight. Through vivid ethnographies of a lesbian leisure venue and a male strip show, Pilcher’s research advances key debates about the gender and sexual politics of erotic dance, whilst simultaneously relating these to debates about the sex industry more widely. This book also subverts previous assumptions that only women perform erotic dance and only men spectate. Thus, this book stands out amongst other academic accounts, developing the debate beyond the established focus on erotic dance as either empowering or degrading.

This new contribution to the study of erotic dance – which provides a fresh theoretical perspective combining queer and feminist theorising, in addition to rich empirical evidence – will appeal to academic researchers and both undergraduate and postgraduate students within the fields of sociology, gender studies, sexuality studies, gay & lesbian studies, feminism and other neighbouring disciplines. It will also be of interest to feminist and sex work activists, policy makers, and practitioners.

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