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Geographers have largely ignored the socio-spatial aspect of sex work in the non-Western context. Theorisation on place, sex and gender will aid in spatially situating sex work in the domain of geography. We present an empirical study to describe the spatial-cultural configuration of sex work as constituted by the places where sex is negotiated and transacted and the role of facilitators. The cultural part involves the understanding of combined meanings generated from the place-making process by sex workers, clients and facilitators. We base this paper on triangulated information from key informants, observations, interviews with clients and media reports. Urban places in Goa where sex work is negotiated and conducted are contested, gendered and veiled. Sex work is not merely about sex workers and their clients; it is much broader and intermeshed with different people playing the role of facilitators. The local place-specific meanings generated are important to understand spatiality of sex work.

Keywords: Goa-India; Sex work; place-based meanings; qualitative; urban places

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Population Research Centre/ Department of Demography. Faculty of Spatial Sciences University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, the Netherlands. s: ;;, Email: 2: Department of Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, the Netherlands., Email:

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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