Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity and the Commerce of Sex

Despite increased economic opportunities for women, sexual commerce has not only thrived in the Western world, it has diversified along technological, spatial, and social lines. For example, contemporary sex workers often meet their clinets through the Internet, offering new kinds of encounters that are a far cry from the quick and impersonal contacts that we normally associate with prostitution. For Temporarily Yours , sociologist Elizabeth Bernstein walked the streets and went behind closed doors, interviewing sex workers, their clients, and the government officials who regulate the business. Along the way, she discovered a significant transformation that is occurring in the urban sex trade. Many middle-class johns are now seeking to fulfill fantasies of intimacy and affection - to purchase an authentic interaction that is gratifying emotionally, not just physically. Drawing on innovative research in San Francisco, Stockholm, and Amsterdam, Bernstein paints a provocative picture of the current state of global sexual commerce and its relationship to a burgeoning consumer culture.