Post-Fordist Desires: The Commodity Aesthetics of Bangkok Sex Shows
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This essay investigates the political economy of sexuality through an interpretation of sex shows for foreigners in Bangkok, Thailand. Reading these performances as both symptoms of, and analytical commentaries on, Western consumer desire, the essay suggests the ‘pussy shows’ parody the mass production that was a hallmark of Western masculine identity under Fordism. This reading makes a case for the erotic generativity of capitalism, illuminating how Western, post-Fordist political economy of the post-1970s generated demand for these erotic services in Asia and how Western, heterosexual masculine desire is integrated into global capitalist circuits.
KeywordsBangkok Commodification Desire Markets Marxism Political economy Post-Fordism Sex tourism
This essay builds on a talk given at the Markets and Sexualities Centre LGS Workshop at the University of Kent in 2009. Warm thanks are due to participants there, especially the respondents and my host, Kate Bedford. Thanks also to Kadji Amin for late-hour editing. The material discussed in the essay draws on long-term fieldwork and secondary research on Bangkok.
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