Sex-industry segments in Spain

29 September 2008 by laura agustin

I spent some years living in Spain, visiting, observing and thinking about different segments of the sex industry. It struck me from early on that the endless discussion of ‘prostitution’ failed to comprehend the variety within the industry – variety that could be seen as good, bad or indifferent but that is there. Here are descriptions of four: large highway clubs, private flats, small houses associated with agriculture and the international coastal zone. After each description, I highlight the socially interrelated themes that arise from even such a brief glance, in order to point out how a cultural study of commercial sex – not prostitution – might proceed.

Highway venues called clubs – not in the sense of having membership

Streams of cars and trucks roar along multi-laned routes that connect Spain with France, Germany and other states east and with Portugal to the west. For long-distance truck drivers, the backbone of European commerce, long stints of solitary driving must be broken up with places offering rest and recreation. The buildings strung along these superhighways, as well as along smaller, provincial roads, are known informally in Spanish society as puticlubes (whoring clubs), but to those that work there they are hoteles de plaza, a term that refers to the employment system used, in which those offering sex for sale pay a daily rate for a place to live and work for three-week stretches. These businesses may house 50 workers or more…

To read the rest of this blog post, please go to:

http://www.nodo50.org/Laura_Agustin/sex-industry-segments-in-spain

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