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Bodies of Work

The Labour of Sex in the Digital Age

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Provides a comprehensive analysis of the most important areas of interaction between virtual modes of productivity and contemporary digital sexuality

  • Demonstrates that contemporary digital pornography has fundamentally changed the presentation of a labouring body

  • Uncovers a number of major new findings for the first time: the labour of visibility, the relationship between contemporary queer sexuality and precarious creative industry work online, and the refiguring of BDSM as an expression of capitalist hegemony

Part of the book series: Dynamics of Virtual Work (DVW)

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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-viii
  2. Introduction

    • Rebecca Saunders
    Pages 1-14
  3. Digital Labour and the Porn User

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 15-15
    2. Digital Excess and the Labour of Looking

      • Rebecca Saunders
      Pages 17-56
    3. Sexual Datafication

      • Rebecca Saunders
      Pages 57-94
  4. Material Labour and Contemporary Pornography

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 95-95
    2. Sex Is Hard Work

      • Rebecca Saunders
      Pages 97-132
    3. The Labour of Visibility

      • Rebecca Saunders
      Pages 133-162
  5. Pornography and Anti-Capitalism

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 193-193
    2. Interventionist Pornography

      • Rebecca Saunders
      Pages 251-290
  6. Back Matter

    Pages 291-328

About this book

This book is a timely and innovative exploration of the vital relationship between sex and capitalism in the digital age. It provides a lively, provocative analysis of how specifically digital forms of capitalist accumulation and labour shape and discipline the contemporary sexual body. Rebecca Saunders focuses on pornography in order to investigate the impact of digital forms of capitalism on contemporary sexuality and reveals the centrality of pornography to the digital attention economy, affective economics, the information economy, the creative industries and neoliberalism.

 

Saunders uncovers a fundamental shift in the aesthetics and meaning of pornographic film, from a genre concerned with representing sexual pleasure to one that has become focused on representing sex as labour. Contemporary pornographic film is therefore read as a sign and symptom of how digital forms of capitalism regulate the twenty-first century sexual body through digital interfaces and technologies. Bodies of Work analyses major porn studios, dominant streaming platforms, significant directors and performers and queer and alternative pornographies, and presents new and significant concepts such as sexual datafication, the labour of visibility and interventionist pornography. Discussing pornographic film, sexuality, digital culture, labour and capitalism, this book will be of interest to students and scholars across gender studies, media and cultural studies, digital humanities and economics. 


Keywords

  • Virtual economy
  • Sexual body
  • Productivity
  • Capitalism and sex
  • Pornification

Reviews

“Saunders has meticulously researched her subject and draws on history, sociology, literature, and media theory to develop her theoretical arguments. … Her unflinching eye and theoretical contemplation and innovation are impressive.” (Natasha Mulvihill, Affilia, March 21, 2022)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK

    Rebecca Saunders

About the author

Rebecca Saunders is Senior Lecturer in Digital Media and Communications at the University of Huddersfield, UK. 


Bibliographic Information

Buy it now

Buying options

eBook USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access