Selling French Sex
Prostitution, Trafficking, and Global Migrations
Author(s): Elisa Camiscioli
Publication Date: 25/1/24
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Selling French Sex is an illuminating account of the cultural, social, and economic history of the sale of 'French sex'. It explores the discourses and experiences surrounding the early twentieth century debate on sex trafficking, which mobilized various international reform movements to combat the coerced prostitution of young women abroad. According to popular legend and empirical studies, French women were present in brothels all over the world, where they were the most desired and best paid in the business. But were they trafficking victims or willing migrants? In this timely book, Elisa Camiscioli reconstructs the networks and mechanisms of cross-border migrations for sexual labor; elucidates women's motives for leaving and staying; and explains why French migrant sexual labor occupied such a prominent place in the underworld of prostitution, as well as in the imaginaries of anti-trafficking campaigners, immigration officials, and ordinary consumers of vice.
- Provides essential historical background to the contemporary debate on sex trafficking
- Centers the lived experience of migrants by exploring personal letters and consular records
- Offers a global study in both migratory prostitution and France's role in modern world history