Economies of Desire

Sex and Tourism in Cuba and the Dominican Republic

Amalia L. Cabezas
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-750-3
Publication: Apr 09

HC: $76.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-749-7
Publication: Apr 09

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-751-0

232 pages
5.5 x 8.25
11 halftones

Money, sex, and love: Are they merely “market forces” in transnational tourism?

Read the Introduction (pdf).


Is a native-born tour guide who has sex with tourists—in exchange for dinner or gifts or cash—merely a prostitute or gigolo? What if the tourist continues to send gifts or money to the tour guide after returning home? As this original and provocative book demonstrates, when it comes to sex—and the effects of capitalism and globalization —nothing is as simple as it might seem. Based on ten years of research, Economies of Desire is the first ethnographic study to examine the erotic underpinnings of transnational tourism. It offers startling insights into the commingling of sex, intimacy, and market forces in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, two nations where tourism has had widespread effects. In her multi-layered analyses, Amalia Cabezas reconceptualizes our understandings of informal economies (particularly “affective economies”), “sex workers,” and “sexual tourism,” and she helps us appreciate how money, sex and love are intertwined within the structure of globalizing capitalism.

Table of Contents

Introduction - Affective Economies of Sexualized Tourism Chapter 1 - Tourism in Cuba and the Dominican Republic Chapter 2 - Neoliberal Times in Cuba and the Dominican Republic Chapter 3 - Eroticizing Labor in All-Inclusive Resorts Chapter 4 - Daughters of Yemaya and Other Luchadoras Chapter 5 - Tourism, Sex Work, and the Discourse of Human Rights Epilogue References

About the Author(s)

Amalia L. Cabezas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women's Studies at the University of California, Riverside and co-editor of The Wages of Empire: Neoliberal Policies, Repression and Women's Poverty.