Paid sex encounters are not simply about having sex, they are cultural acts informed by a complex sexual subjectivity at a particular historical moment and location. Sex tourism, as a practice of conspicuous consumption, enables the cultivation, and experience, of a particular form of subjectivity that relies upon (and exploits) historical differences in power and privilege. In this article, I discuss three interrelated discursive themes: sexual desire for Latinas as the sexual "Other," a comparative lack of desire for U.S. women, and the use of consumer products (e.g., Viagra) and the cultivation of sexual techniques, as a way to create, experience, and maintain a positive sexual self. By participating in a virtual community dedicated to their interest in sex tourism, customers are able to create a complex, gendered subjectivity that is continually reimagined and reinscribed, as well as construct a set of shared meanings related to paid encounters.
- emotional labor
- sex tourism
- sexual self
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Literature and Literary Theory