- Series: Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, and Culture
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (November 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226044580
- ISBN-13: 978-0226044583
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex (Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, and Culture) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It is pretty clear that this author knows almost nothing about the real issues related intimacy and authenticity in this context. And why would she? From a male perspective, you need to have had these types of relationships with women who are selling themselves to various extents before you can write about the topic.
Obviously, as a woman she has can not do that and apparently she has done nothing more than interview some women who are on the service side of the business and mainly serving the general public at that (gee, lot's of potential for real intimacy and authenticity there... not!). There are some big differences between Eastern European women working in the red light districts of Amsterdam and the American girls with "daddy issues" who want to give you a "dollar dance." She does not even begin to scratch the surface of the topic she purports to write about.
Bernstein's book is especially relevant given the media's fascination with the lives of escorts over the past year, ever since Eliot Spitzer was fingered in a federal prostitution ring bust. Now we have brothel prostitutes on *Tyra*, Showtime's *Secret Diary of a Call Girl*, and a host of news programs on the subject (Bernstein was featured in MSNBC's *Dirty Money*).
Before you get caught up in the hype, though, I urge you to read *Temporarily Yours*. Bernstein's even-handed analysis avoids sensationalizing the work of escorts by showing how what they do is part and parcel of well-established social structures and economic practices. In addition, excerpts from her interviews with prostitutes and johns illuminate the very real, even mundane, decisions that go into purchasing and selling sex. Bernstein's genius as an ethnographer lies in her ability to present her subjects in a way that makes us see their struggles as our own: caring for a dependent or wanting to succeed in running a small business; finding an intimate companion during a busy work week or enjoying safe, no-strings attached sex.
In addition to these highlights, *Temporarily Yours* includes a fascinating chapter on prostitution and the law in the United States and Europe, as well as a section critiquing so-called "John Schools" (where johns are penalized for purchasing sex and made to sit through a traffic school-type reeducation program) in San Francisco. All in all, then, Bernstein's study is smart, comprehensive, and endlessly generative of new questions and ideas. In its broadest interpretation, *Temporarily Yours* uses the domestic sex trade to offer up a mirror to our own conceptions of love, pleasure, risk, and work in our postindustrial age.