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Sexual spaces, normally inhabited by (mostly) female sex workers, are understood as masculine spaces, and positioned for and around male consumers. However, red light zones and public sex performances are being explored and visually consumed by female tourists – in many venues not a small minority, but a majority in fact. Their numbers in red light districts and sexual venues in these locations seems odd – indeed, it is at odds with the ways in which sexual spaces have normally been positioned.
Addressing this incongruence, Woman and Sex Tourism Landscapes focuses on the ways in which women interact with and explore sexual spaces in two specific touristic contexts – Amsterdam and Thailand. It will explore the ways in which these spaces are constructed, and examine the different relations that govern the management of, and female tourist interactions with these liminal, sexual zones. Ethnographic data collected in both countries suggests that far from being male-centered spaces, the red light districts and associated sexual entertainment venues are very much open to female tourists. Drawing on this research the author argues that some women are indeed interested in exploring sexualized zones challenging assumptions about women’s involvements with sexual space. Public sex performance and red light areas have been under-theorized, and touristic engagements with these spaces have not been adaquatly discussed. By exploring these spaces with geography as a theoretical starting point, this analysis brings a new angle to understanding these types of sexual zones, with a feminist edge.
An important contribution to a range of debates this book will appeal to students and researchers in tourism, geography, sociology, gender studies and cultural theory.