Friday, March 16, 2007

Prostitution, Power and Freedom by Julia O’Connell Davidson (1998)

much of this repeats the other literature that has been mentioned here previously. what she does well is her descriptions of very different kinds of prostitution, each with differing degrees of freedom and power. she describes those who for whom prostitution is the only option (whether by force or general circumstances) and those for whom prostitution is hardly their only option but the one they still choose because of the opportunities it presents. and when it comes to freedom and power, the range is from strict boundaries on payment, actions, and time to being given almost no boundaries. the former clearly seems safer and healthier except in the case of sex tourism, where the ambiguity and the relational nature of the event (a tourist hooks up with someone, who along with being involved romantically often helps out with little (cultural) things, and then receives presents or is ‘just helped out a bit because they’re having a bit of trouble now’) allows for being taken advantage of but also provides opportunity for extra generousity while keeping the natural boundaries found in most relationships.

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