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Sexual Commodification: Pornography, Prostitution, and Personal Constructs

Abstract

Sexual desire is a personal, if not extremely intimate, aspect of most individuals’ lives. At the same time, it is an increasingly public part of everyday lives in the form of advertising and other components of global capitalism. In spite of periodic moral outrage and limited restrictive legislation, the sex industry continues to generate massive annual profits internationally. With the assistance of information technologies, this expansion continues with even fewer restrictions. Commercial sex is by no means unique to capitalist economies, but it takes on a particular form as a commodity with the massive reach of global capitalism. The market is not critical of what is bought, sold, and traded, as long as it generates a profit. The process of sexual commodification involves turning sexuality, in all its forms, from reproduction to bodies to sex acts, into objects of economic desire for exchange in the market. While sex as a commodity can be used to sell pleasant and benign objects like crimson lipstick through pictures of naked or near-naked bodies, the trouble with the commodification of sexuality is that sexuality can become detached from people’s experiences, intentionally exploitative, and downright harmful.

Keywords

  • Sexual Commodification
  • Benign Objects
  • Economic Desires
  • Sexual Depictions
  • Pornography Consumption

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Horley, J., Clarke, J. (2016). Sexual Commodification: Pornography, Prostitution, and Personal Constructs. In: Experience, Meaning, and Identity in Sexuality. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-40096-3_7

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