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Burke, Nathaniel B. “Intimate Commodities: Intimate Labor and the Production and Circulation of Inequality.” Sexualities 19, no. 7 (October 1, 2016): 780–801. doi:10.1177/1363460715616948.
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This article utilizes gay adult film as a means to understand the commodities generated through intimate labor. It offers a new concept, intimate commodities, in order to understand what, in addition to intimacy, is produced through intimate labor. Intimate commodities are material objects that are generated in conjunction with intimate labor, which are then traded or sold, and through their utilization generate intimate ties between individuals and themselves, other persons, or groups. Through ethnography and a survey of men who perform in the gay adult film industry, this study explores how the stratification of the conditions of production influence the commodities themselves, their use, and how, through their circulation, they may perpetuate inequalities. This conceptualization calls for increased attention to the illusory divide between productive and reproductive labor.
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This article discusses how staff at a gay adult film studio produce a local form of hegemonic masculinity to which adult film performers are held accountable, requiring performers to orient their gender strategies in specific ways to obtain employment. These findings contribute to understandings of how hegemonic masculinity is embodied, racialized, and sexualized at work in ways that subordinate femininity while affording privileges to those who meet these criteria. I conclude with a discussion of how this local form relates to regional hegemonic forms, implications for the workplace experiences of marginalized men, and how gay adult film studios may be complicit in the domination of gay and effeminate men.

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Can there be such a thing as feminist pornography? Many still say no. Echoing decades of anti-pornography feminist literature, Gail Dines told the Daily Beast in 2012 that “anyone willing to feed off women’s bodies and use them as raw materials to make a profit has no right to call themselves feminists.” But many feminists, including those who make porn, disagree. Despite decades of efforts to suppress it, porn is reaching larger audiences than ever. Making porn more politically progressive for those who consume it and making sets safer for performers are critical issues for feminist intervention—and feminist pornographers have chosen to take on both.

Shrage, Laura (2005): Exposing the fallacies of anti-porn feminism, in: Feminist Theory 6(1), pp. 45-65.

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This paper examines an issue at the centre of feminist debates about pornography and sex work, and that is whether these practices reduce women to sex objects. I question the assumption that the expression of sexual desire is unique in its power to degrade and dehumanize persons. I show that this assumption underlies Catharine MacKinnon’s attack on pornography by considering MacKinnon’s intellectual debt to the philosopher Immanuel Kant. I then examinerecent discussions of sexual objectification in the philosophical literature and argue that MacKinnon’s adaptation of Kant has flaws comparable to Kant’s original account of sexual desire.

Sex Work, Office Work: Women Working Behind the Scenes in the US Adult Film Industry

Author: Chauntelle Anne Tibbals
Gender, Work & Organization. Volume 20, Issue 1, pages 20–35, January 2013

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Women currently working behind the scenes in the adult film industry both inform considerations of the contemporary experiences of sex work in the USA and shed some light on differential experiences of gendered workplace organizations. Based on ethnographic observations and informal interviews conducted at a typical adult film production company and on examining the industry’s historical development, I have found that a diverse range of occupations and occupational opportunities are available for women in the adult film industry and women workers in the US adult film industry experience their gendered workplace in unique ways. I suggest that this is due in part to the adult film industry’s wider social network, which has itself been shaped by the historical development of the adult film industry and the stigma of sex work.

Read the full article here.

Shrage, Laurie, “Feminist Perspectives on Sex Markets”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .

Feminist debates over sex commerce extend to a number of social practices, including pornography, prostitution, trafficking in persons, erotic dance and performance, and the use of sexual images of women to promote products and entertainment. Feminist theorists are divided on the question of whether markets in sexually explicit materials and sexual services are generally harmful to women. Accordingly, some feminist philosophers have explored and developed arguments for restricting sex markets, while others have investigated political movements that aim to advance the rights of sex workers.