Introduction: sex, consumption and commerce in the contemporary city

Philip Hubbard, Alan Collins, Andrew Gorman-Murray

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Recent accounts of sexual commerce have drawn attention to the proliferation of online and sexual consumption. Yet the mediated exchange of sexual images and content folds into the spaces of the city in a variety of complex ways. Drawing on a variety of social science perspectives, this paper provides an introductory overview of a collection of papers exploring the changing contours of sexual consumption in the city and the distribution of sexual commerce across – and between - private, domestic and public, commercial spaces. Exploring the ways in which diverse LGBT and heterosexual identities are differently marketised, commodified and consumed, this introduction argues that over the last decade, contradictory moments of sexual emancipation and repression have changed where (and how) sexual consumption is visible in the city, shaping rights to the city in complex ways which need to be more thoroughly acknowledged in ‘mainstream’ urban studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567–581
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number3
Early online date6 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • consumption
  • sexuality
  • queer studies
  • gender studies
  • sex work
  • planning


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