Call for Papers - The Cultural Study of Commercial Sex
Call for Papers Date:
Call for Papers - Sexualities: Special Edition
The Cultural Study of Commercial Sex
Given the proliferation of forms of commercial sex, the scarcity of research – except on ‘prostitution’ – is remarkable. The focus is usually on personal motivations, the morality of the buying-and-selling relationship, stigma, violence and disease prevention. Questions of desire and love are usually sidelined; relationships are rarely contextualized culturally or conceived as complex; concrete sexual issues are hardly dealt with. Commercial sex is usually disqualified from cultural research and treated only as a moral issue. A new field of the cultural study of commercial sex would refer to all commercial goods and services with an erotic or sexual element – a rich field of human activities, every one operating in complex socio-cultural contexts where the meaning of buying and selling sex is not always the same.
The framework is addressed in ‘The Cultural Study of Commercial Sex’, by Laura Agustín, published in Sexualities 8(5), 2005. The goal of the special edition is to actively use a cultural framework for scholarly conceptualizations that do not fit comfortably in the ‘prostitution’ tradition. Scholars from any academic discipline are encouraged to contribute. Deadline for submission of articles of no more than 6500 words: 1 February 2006. For inquiries and to submit, contact Laura Agustín at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sexualities is a refereed academic journal, so please note that articles must be reviewed by two anonymous referees before decisions about publication are made.
Contributions are particularly welcome that:
• question the discursive division between commercial and non-commercial sex;
• examine the belief that sex-with-love or sex-with-partners is superior to paid sex;
• consider concepts of consumption, entertainment and ‘having a good time’;
• explore different notions of desire;
• take into account ethnicity and class, as well as gender.
*Sites of the sex industry*: Bars, restaurants, cabarets, clubs, brothels, discotheques, saunas, massage parlours, sex shops, peep shows, hotel rooms, flats, bookshops, striptease and lapdance venues, dungeons, internet sites, beauty parlours, clubhouses, cinemas, public toilets, phonelines and occasional sites such as stag and hen events, shipboard festivities and ‘modelling’, swinging and fetish parties.
*Participants in the sex industry*: Business owners, bartenders, waiters, maids, cashiers, guards, drivers, cooks, cleaners, accountants, lawyers, doctors, travel agents, tourist guides, estate agents, media editors and entrepreneurs, outreach personnel, researchers – as well as those who sell sex or its illusions and those who buy it.
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