Queer Sex Work
Edited by Mary Laing, Katy Pilcher, Nicola Smith
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
Commercial sex work is a subject of enormous contestation in contemporary legal, medical, moral, feminist, religious and social debates. Whilst there is a large body of research available on the commercial sex industry, much of this work remains focused on the sale of sex by women to men in a variety of contexts. While these debates are exceptionally valuable, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) sex work is rarely treated as an object of substantive concern. This is a notable lacuna, as theoretically, a queer focus which goes beyond the hetero-centric gender norm is important for developing new insights into how gender, sex, power, crime, work, migration, space/place, health and intimacy are conceptualised and theorised in the context of commercial sexual encounters.
Queer Sex Work seeks to develop both contemporary theorising and empirical analysis in two key ways. First, we aim to shine a spotlight onto 'queer' sex work (using the term here as an adjective) by exploring diverse forms, practices and embodiments of non-hetero/ homo-normative sex working in order to broaden the empirical focus beyond that of analyses which, are predicated on the imaginaries of the female worker and male client. Second, we seek to 'queer' sex work (using the term here as a verb) by exposing, interrogating and, ultimately, destabilising the dominant logics that continue to underpin academic and policy debates about commercial sex.
Introduction: Being and Doing ‘Queer’ in Debates about Commercial Sex, Mary Laing, Katy Pilcher and Nicola Smith Part 1: Sex/Work and Queer Theory 1. Serving It: How Work Queers Our Sex, Sex Queers Our Work, Zeb Tortorici and Michael McNamara 2. Queering the Myth of Non-Work: Sexual Labor, Sexuality, and Late Capital, Heather Berg 3. "What’s Queer About Het Sex Work?" A Dialogue on Mononormativity, Adultery and Polyamory in the Oldest Profession, Nathan Rambukkana and Careen Dion 4. Queer Sex, Queer Work? On the Issue of Labour in Pornography, Helen Hester 5. 'Mates From the Pub': The Importance of Relationships and Narrative Understandings in Exchanges of Money and Intimacy, Michael Atkins Part 2: Sex Work and Queer Identities 6. Dancing for Women: Subverting Heteronormativity in a Lesbian Erotic Dance Venue?, Katy Pilcher 7. Queer Neo-Burlesque Dancers: Subverting Laura Mulvey’s Foundational Concept of ‘the Male Gaze’?, Mary Shearman 8. Gay, Bi and Trans Men Negotiating Sex in Sex Environments: what works and what happens when it doesn’t, Catherine Bewley 9. Superfreaks: Queering Black Women’s Sex Cinema and Sex Work, Mireille Miller-Young 10. Older Age, Able-bodiness and Buying Commercial Sex: Reclaiming the Sexual Self, Teela Sanders 11. Dangerous Curves: The Political Experience of Being A Fat Queer Sex Worker, Kitty Stryker, Part 3: New Spaces of/and Queer Sex Work 12. Queering Tourism: Exploring Queer Desire and Mobilities in a Globalized World, Dana Collins 13. Researching and Representing Fractal Queerness, Nicola Mai 14. Topping, Bottoming and the Boys In-Between, Mark Vicars 15. M$M@gaydar: Queering the Social Network, Allan Tyler 16. Troubling the Margins between Intimacy and Anonymity: Queer(y)ing the Virtual Sex Industry in Second Life, Lesley Procter 17. Queering Porn Audiences, Clarissa Smith, Martin Barker and Feona Attwood, Part 4: Activism and Policy 18. Queer Sex Workers In Australia: Marching Since 1978, Elena Jeffreys 19. Strengthening a Movement: Unpacking Privilege within U.S. Based Queer Sex Worker Activism, Meg Panichelli, Moshoula Capous-Desyllas, Penelope Saunders and Stéphanie Wahab 20. Outdoor Brothel Culture: The Un/Making of a Transsexual Stroll in Vancouver’s West End, 1975-1984, Becki L. Ross 21. Male Escorting, Safety & National Ugly Mugs: Queering Policy & Practice on the Reporting of Crimes Against Sex Workers, Josh Brandon, Alex Bryce, Rosie Campbell and Mary Laing 22. Queer Sex Work as Political Resistance, Zahra Stardust Afterword: Reflecting on Being and Doing ‘Queer’ in Debates about Commercial Sex, Dennis Altman.
Mary Laing is Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Northumbria, UK. Katy Pilcher is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brunel University. Nicola Smith is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Birmingham.