At her blog, Laura Agustin, author of Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry, asks the question posed by this post. She explains:
With all uproar focused on the morality of buying and selling sex, most people have little idea what much of the sex industry actually looks like. Or rather, the media repeatedly show the same images of women in short skirts and high boots leaning into car windows, giving the impression that street hooking is the dominant situation, which is far from the truth. And, of course, we are constantly shown horrifying images of the worst sites and victims of trafficking and exploitation…
At the same time, millions of people the world over work in the sex industry, in jobs other than providing sexual services. And more millions visit, drive or walk past sites without even thinking about it because they look ordinary.
To offer an alternative view of the sex industry, she’s started an online album (here). I’ve selected some to reproduce here.
Am Sülzwall red light district, Lüneburg, Germany (photo by Claus Petersen):
Prostitutes’ vans (Lyon, France):
Soldiers’ brothel (France, WWII):
Brothel in Linz, Austria:
De Wallen, Amsterdam (The Netherlands):
Cottontail brothel, Nevada:
View of prostitutes in Yoshiwara, a red-light district in Tokyo from the 17th to 20th centuries (author possibly Kusakabe Kimbei):
Entrance to a Soho walk-up (New York, NY) (London) :
Brothel in Munich (Germany):
The expensive end of Basin Street, in New Orleans’s Storyville, Louisiana:
See Laura’s other contributions to Sociological Images: thinking critically about sex trafficking and questioning the benefits of “rescuing” prostitutes.