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Sex Tourism in Bahia

Ambiguous Entanglements

Erica Lorraine Williams

Publication Year: 2013

For nearly a decade, Brazil has surpassed Thailand as the world's premier sex tourism destination. As the first full-length ethnography of sex tourism in Brazil, this pioneering study treats sex tourism as a complex and multidimensional phenomenon that involves a range of activities and erotic connections, from sex work to romantic transnational relationships. Erica Lorraine Williams explores sex tourism in the Brazilian state of Bahia from the perspectives of foreign tourists, tourism industry workers, sex workers who engage in liaisons with foreigners, and Afro-Brazilian men and women who contend with foreigners' stereotypical assumptions about their licentiousness. She shows how the Bahian state strategically exploits the touristic desire for exotic culture by appropriating an eroticized blackness and commodifying the Afro-Brazilian culture in order to sell Bahia to foreign travelers.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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pp. C-ii


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pp. iii-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xiv

It seems like an insurmountable task to articulate my gratitude and apprecia-tion for everyone who has helped me along the path to completing this book. At Spelman College, I have been fortunate to have an amazing department with the most supportive colleagues. I am immensely grateful for the support, encouragement, and enthusiasm that I have received from Barbara Carter, ...

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pp. 1-17

One day while attending a weekly meeting of the Association of Prostitutes of Bahia (Aprosba), I met P?rola,uniF6DC a black Brazilian woman in her mid-thirties. Wearing a white miniskirt and red tank top, she sat next to a woman she referred to as her wife, a muscular, masculine woman with cornrows. Af_ter the meeting, I accompanied P?rola to distribute condoms to sex workers in ...

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Chapter 1. Geographies of Blackness

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pp. 18-43

Walking toward Pelourinho from the bus stop, one passes by an area with fountains and several benches. At any hour of the day or night, dozens of women?black, white, mixed, young, old, thin, and overweight?always sit idly on the benches. Before delving into this research, I did not know who they were or why they were there. In the summer of two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstylefive.oldstyle, I was taking an ...

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Chapter 2. Racial Hierarchies of Desire and the Specter of Sex Tourism

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pp. 44-63

I met Becky, a twenty-nine-year-old schoolteacher from Portland, Oregon, at the bus stop in Barra when I saw a ca?ador (hunter) f_lirting with her. A blond, blue-eyed American woman, she looked visibly annoyed and uninterested. When the Pra?a da S? bus came, she sat next to me, so we started a conversa-tion. On her third trip to Bahia, Becky was renting a two-bedroom apartment ...

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Chapter 3. Working-Class Kings in Paradise

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pp. 64-82

In Pelourinho, there is a graf_f_iti image of an old, overweight, bald, and bearded European man standing with his arms stretched wide. Wearing a yellow shirt and green shorts (the colors of the Brazilian f_lag), he holds the Italian f_lag in one hand and gives the thumbs-up sign with the other. A banner over his head reads, ?Benvenuti a Salvador? (Welcome to Salvador), and a comment ...

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Chapter 4. Tourist Tales and Erotic Adventures

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pp. 83-96

In the summer of two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstylefive.oldstyle, I interviewed Joe, a twenty-eight-year-old white public school teacher from New York City. We met at a party in a working-class neighborhood, Vasco da Gama. Certain cues suggested to me that he was American: his pale skin, his style of dress, his hip-hop-inf_lected dance movements, and his expression of sheer ecstasy at being at a crowded, sweaty, ...

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Chapter 5. Aprosba

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pp. 97-125

In November two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstylesix.oldstyle, I was invited to attend my f_irst meeting of the Associa-tion of Prostitutes of Bahia (Aprosba). When I walked into the group?s small headquarters, located near the Pra?a da S? bus stop, I encountered a group of seventeen women and three small children. As soon as I entered, Fabiana, the group?s cofounder and lead organizer, stood up and greeted me with a ...

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Chapter 6. Se Valorizando (Valuing Oneself)

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pp. 126-140

A two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstylefive.oldstyle Brazilian f_ilm set in Salvador, Cidade Baixa (Lower City), presents a scenario of the interactions between Brazilian sex workers and foreign ship workers in this touristscape. T_he two male protagonists, Deco (played by Wagner Moura) and Naldinha (L?zaro Ramos), of_fered Karinna (Alice Braga), a young sex worker, a ride to Salvador. While the expectation of sex ...

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Chapter 7. Moral Panics

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pp. 141-158

P?rola, a black sex worker whom I met at Aprosba, once told me a story that made me think about the possibilities of transnational mobility for Brazilian women who sell sex. P?rola showed me a picture of Ivete, a brown-skinned sex worker in her late thirties or early forties who had just come back from a month in Germany.uniF6DC Ivete had gone to visit a gringo whom she met in ...

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Conclusion. The Specter of Sex Tourism in a Globalized World

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pp. 159-168

I met Suel?, a nineteen-year-old morena, in the summer of two.oldstylezero.oldstylezero.oldstylefive.oldstyle through Nathan, her f_if_ty-year-old American expatriate boyfriend.uniF6DC At the time of our interview, she had been dating Nathan for six months. Born and raised in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Salvador, Suel? had recently moved into Nathan?s apartment in the beachfront neighborhood of Barra. She met ...


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pp. 169-178


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pp. 179-200


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pp. 201-210

E-ISBN-13: 9780252095191
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037931

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2013