Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex
Drawing upon dynamic and innovative research with sex workers, their clients, and state actors, Bernstein argues that in cities such as San Francisco, Stockholm, and Amstersdam, the nature of what is purchased in commercial sexual encounters is also new. Rather than the expedient exchange of cash for sexual relations, what sex workers are increasingly paid to offer their clients is an erotic experience premised upon the performance of authentic interpersonal connection. As such, contemporary sex markets are emblematic of a cultural moment in which the boundaries between intimacy and commerce—and between public life and private—have been radically redrawn. Not simply a compelling exploration of the changing landscape of sex-work, Temporarily Yours ultimately lays bare the intimate intersections of political economy, desire, and culture.
American Sociological Association: ASA-Sex and Gender Distinguished Book Award
"2009 Distinguished Book Award" from the ASA Sex and Gender Section
American Sociological Association Sociology of Sexualities section: ASA-Sociology of Sexualities Section Book Award
Norbert Elias Foundation: Norbert Elias Prize
"This is an ambitious book—highly readable, compelling, and original. Bernstein’s claim is that the character and organization of sex work has shifted between the modern industrial to late-capitalist periods. Whereas the signature form of sex work used to be the non-white streetwalker working in largely marginal neighborhoods, today, she reveals, sex work is largely private, relying heavily on the Internet, and provided by someone that is as often white and middle-class as non-white and poor."
“Combining bold claims about changes in the global sexual economy with deep empathy for sex workers themselves, Elizabeth Bernstein uses perceptive ethnography in San Francisco, Stockholm, and Amsterdam to illuminate contemporary change and variation in the sale of sexual services. We begin to see that in the world of commercial sex new forms of intimacy are emerging.”
1 Sexual Commerce in Postindustrial Culture
2 Remapping the Boundaries of "Vice"
3 Modern Prostitution and Its Remnants
4 The Privatization of Public Women
5 Desire, Demand, and the Commerce of Sex
6 The State, Sexuality, and the Market
7 Sexuality Debates and Pleasure Wars