1st Edition

(Sub)Urban Sexscapes Geographies and Regulation of the Sex Industry

Edited By Paul Maginn, Christine Steinmetz Copyright 2015
    286 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    312 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    (Sub)Urban Sexscapes brings together a collection of theoretically-informed and empirically rich case studies from internationally renowned and emerging scholars highlighting the contemporary and historical geographies and regulation of the commercial sex industry. Contributions in this edited volume examine the spatial and regulatory contours of the sex industry from a range of disciplinary perspectives—urban planning, urban geography, urban sociology, and, cultural and media studies—and geographical contexts—Australia, the UK, US and North Africa.

    In overall terms, (Sub)urban Sexscapes highlights the mainstreaming of commercial sex premises—sex shops, brothels, strip clubs and queer spaces—and products—sex toys, erotic literature and pornography—now being commonplace in night time economy spaces, the high street, suburban shopping centres and the home. In addition, the aesthetics of commercial and alternative sexual practices—BDSM and pornography—permeate the (sub)urban landscape via billboards, newspapers and magazines, television, music videos and the Internet.

    The role of sex, sexuality and commercialized sex, in contributing to the general character of our cities cannot be ignored. In short, there is a need for policy-makers to be realistic about the historical, contemporary and future presence of the sex industry. Ultimately, the regulation of the sex industry should be informed by evidence as opposed to moral panics.

    *** Winner of the Planning Institute of Australia (WA) 2015 Award for Excellence in Cutting Edge Research and Teaching ***

    Introduction  1. Spatial and Regulatory Contours of the (Sub)Urban Sexscape, Paul J. Maginn & Christine Steinmetz  Part I: Geographies of the Sex Industry  2. Cosmo-Sexual Sydney: Global city status, urban cosmopolitanism and the (sub)urban sexscape, Paul J. Maginn & Christine Steinmetz  3. Sex Shops in England’s Cities: From the backstreets to the high streets. Amber Martin  4. Conflict and Coexistence? Strip Clubs and Neighbors in ‘Pornland’, Oregon, Moriah McSharry McGrath  5. Telecommunications Impacts on the Structure and Organisation of the Male Sex Industry, John Scott, Catherine MacPhail & Victor Minichiello  6. Housing Sex within the City: The placement of sex services beyond respectable domesticity?, Jason Prior & Andrew Gorman-Murray  7. The Landscape of BDSM Venues: A view from down under, Christine Steinmetz & Paul J. Maginn Part II: Regulation of the Sex Industry  8. Sexual Entertainment, Dread Risks and the Heterosexualization of Community Space, Phil Hubbard & Billie Lister  9. Sex and the Virtual Suburbs: The pornosphere and community standards. Alan McKee, Brian McNair & Anne-Frances Watson  10. Planning prostitution in colonial Morocco: Bousbir, Casablanca’s Quartier reserve, Jean-François Staszak  11. Regulating Adult Business to Make Spaces Safe for Heterosexual Families in Atlanta, Petra L. Doan  12. Legal Landscapes of Erotic Cities: Comparing legal ‘prostitution’ in New South Wales and Nevada, Penny Crofts & Barbara G. Brents  13. From Perception to Reality: Negative secondary effects and effective regulation of sex businesses in the US, Eric Damian Kelly & Connie B. Cooper Conclusions  14. Conclusion: Towards pragmatic regulation of the sex industry, Paul J Maginn & Christine Steinmetz


    Paul J. Maginn is Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Western Australia. He is co-editor of three previous books: Planning Australia: An Overview of Urban and Regional Planning (with Susan Thompson); Qualitative Urban Analysis: An International Perspective; and Qualitative Housing Analysis: An International Perspective (both with Susan Thompson & Matthew Tonts). He has recently completed research on male sex workers/escorts in Ireland (with Graham Ellison, QUB) and undertaking research on the regulation of sex work in Scotland. In addition to his research on the sex industry, Paul is conducting research on strategic planning and planning reform in Australia.

    Christine Steinmetz is a Senior Lecturer in the Bachelor of Planning program at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research on contentious land-uses in the urban environment, particularly the adult entertainment and commercial sex industries in Sydney, focuses on planning and regulation around these land uses, progressive and best models 'in practice' from a global perspective, and the significant contribution commercial sex brings to the night time economy. Numerous publications reflect her main areas of interest: subcultural sex-on-premises venues and the regulatory framework that surrounds them; generational cohorts and their perceptions of the meaning of place on university campuses; and, postgraduate student experiences undertaking higher research degrees.

    This book is an impressive collection of studies of the geographical and regulatory dimensions of commercial sex. The breadth of the book is reflected in both the various kinds of sexual commerce examined and in its coverage of different nations. The tension between mainstreaming the sex industry and resistance to its growth, is a theme highlighted in several chapters and the book should be of interest to policy makers as well as scholars. Highly recommended.

    Ronald Weitzer, George Washington University, USA

    This book opens up a series of windows on the sex industry. Readers can dip in and out or read as a whole. Either way(Sub)Urban Sexscapes successfully highlights the importance of spatiality in commercialising sex. It is a must read for anyone interested in issues of sex, sexuality and space.

    Robyn Longhurst, University of Waikato, New Zealand

    This book is a valuable resource that prompts rethinking sex, work, sexuality, policies, bodies, place and space. Original and empirically rich, the collection advances theorising of commercial sex, adult entertainment, and subcultural sexual practices. Authors draw on contemporary themes and debates in geography, sociology, policy studies, planning, media studies, feminist and queer theories in order to engage with (sub)urban landscapes of sex work. Crucially, at the heart of the book is the critique of heteronormativity and an exposure of the regulation of bodies and places. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of agency and processes of regulation by which (im)moral geographies are constituted.

    Lynda Johnston, Professor in Geography, University of Waikato

    One of the most interesting developments in the recent study of sexuality has been an increasing focus on its spatial dimensions. Suburban Sexscapes ranges across the spaces and places of commercial sex, in private, public and virtual worlds and in mainstream and alternative spheres. This is a fascinating, thorough and comprehensive collection which will inspire and stimulate the future study of sexscapes.

    Feona Attwood, Middlesex University, UK

    (Sub)Urban Sexscapes... is a timely reminder of the value of a diverse range of international perspectives on a topic that has become increasingly contentious for policy-makers and communities... This collection is a very vigourous contribution to the field with chapters presenting both theoretical and empirically original work.

    Paul Ryan, Maynooth University, Ireland, Built Environment