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Immoral geographies and Soho’s sex shops: exploring spaces of sexual diversity in London

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London’s Soho, situated in the urban heart of the city has long been understood as both a cosmopolitan and diverse space where transgression and deviance, particularly in relation to the sex industry and sexual commerce, are constitutive of this area. Drawing on three years of ethnographic fieldwork, we add to some of the existing debates on sexual spaces in Soho by documenting the changes to the social/sexual landscape of sex shops in this area, and look to geographers interested in the spatial politics of gender and sexuality to understand the importance of this particular place. Looking at two particular sex shops in Soho, we argue that the spatial practices in this very specific part of the city encourage a disruption of traditional hierarchies that often govern gender and sexed practices, and invite women, LGBTQ and kink communities to inhabit more inclusive spaces of sexual citizenship.
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Keywords: BDSM and kink; LGBTQ; London; Soho; erotic retailing; sex shops

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK 2: Department of Criminology and Sociology, School of Law, Middlesex University, London, UK

Publication date: March 4, 2018

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