Thaddeus Blanchett
On the sale of sex & bodies The view from Rio de Janeiro

You don’t have to put on the red light

Those days are over

You don’t have to sell your body to the night

-- “Roxanne” (The Police)

Sting’s lyrics neatly frame how prostitution is often popularly conceived of, no less by anarchist abolitionists than by moralists and those in between.

Living and teaching in Rio de Janeiro for the last 15 years while doing anthropological research about female heterosexual prostitution has demonstrated to me what a deeply flawed description this is of sex work.