‘It’s Just Acting’: Sex Workers’ Strategies for Capitalizing on Sexuality

Excellent Article from the periodical ‘Gender, Work and Organization.’ Vol. 12 No. 4 July 2005. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd

‘It’s Just Acting’: Sex Workers’ Strategies for Capitalizing on Sexuality
Teela Sanders

‘This article reports on an ethnographic study of female sex workers in Britain who work in the indoor prostitution markets. The empirical findings contribute to the sex-as-labour debate and add to the sociological literature regarding the gendered and sexualized nature of employment, particularly the aesthetic and emotional labour of service work. Grounding the empirical findings in the theory of identity management and emotional labour and work, the article reviews some of the existing examples of how sex workers create emotion management strategies and describes an additional strategy, that of the ‘manufactured identity’. I argue that sex workers create a manufactured identity specifically for the workplace as a self-protection mechanism to manage the stresses of selling sex as well as crafting the work image as a business strategy to attract and maintain clientele.
Drawing on comparisons between sex work and other feminized service occupations, I argue that sex workers who are involved in prostitution under certain conditions are able to capitalize on their own sexuality through the construction of a manufactured identity. The process of conforming to heterosexualized images in prostitution is conceptualized as
not simply accepting dominant discourses but as a calculated response made by sex workers to manipulate the erotic expectations and the cultural ideals of the male client.’

Advertisements
This entry was posted in The Fallen Woman and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ‘It’s Just Acting’: Sex Workers’ Strategies for Capitalizing on Sexuality

  1. Pingback: ‘It’s Just Acting’: Sex Workers’ Strategies for Capitalizing on Sexuality http://… « oracle fusion identity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s