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AAG 2012 New York City, 24-28 Feb CFP Erotic Cities: Geographies of the Sexual Economy Session Organisers: Assoc. Professor Paul J. Maginn (The University of Western Australia) Dr. Christine Steinmetz (University of New South Wales) Discussant: Professor Phil Hubbard (University of Kent, UK) In the last decade or so there has been a discernible 'spatial sexualisation' - some might even say 'pornification' - of many Western cities, with an increasingly visible presence of strip bars, gentleman's clubs, sex shops, sensuality boutiques, queer spaces/places and erotic conventions/expos on the urban landscape. In short, commercial sex activities appear to have moved from the periphery to the mainstream, spatially and socially. This visible spatial sexualisation of the city has also been complemented by an invisible spatial sexualisation of the city, with the internet providing a platform for those who want to convert their sexual desires into realities via various social networking sites linked to BDSM/fetish and 'swinging' experiences within private and 'underground' spaces within the city. The changing visibilities of sex in the city suggest that society has become relatively more liberal towards the groups and practices that make up the commercial sexual economy. However, as Hubbard et al (2009) note 'the presence of sex in the city provokes anxiety and controversy, with spaces of commercial sex - prostitution and pornography in particular - often regarded as disturbing signs of a city's potential to harbour sexual [and social] disorder (p.186). Whilst it has been argued that aspects of the sexual economy transmit negative externalities - aesthetic, economic and social - and that exploitation, especially of women, may be a facet of the commercial sex industry, this industry also plays an important, albeit somewhat controversial role in contributing to the vibrancy of the night-time economy; plays a role in branding the city for tourists, recreation and business; and, ultimately, contributes to the creation of a 'risque' urban experience. This session seeks papers from urban geographers/planners/sociologists from a diverse range of ideological and methodological standpoints conducting exploratory, theoretical, empirical and/or applied research. Papers can focus on the geographies, politics, regulation, and promotion of commercial sex activities that make a contribution - positive and/or negative - to the urban experience and economy and debates on the city as a space of/for promiscuity, deviance, eroticism, seduction, sexual adventure and liberation and pornification. Areas of interest include, but are by no means restricted to the following: (i) adult entertainment (e.g. strip bars); (ii) adult retailing (e.g. sex shops, book exchanges and video stores); (iii) sex work (e.g. brothel or street-based); (iv) 'underground' sex scenes and spaces (e.g. BDSM/fetish clubs); (v) commercial LGBT spaces and events; and (vi) the production, performance and consumption of pornography. If you are interested in presenting a paper in this special session please send an abstract of between 200-250 words together with the title of your proposed paper and the names and affiliation of all authors by no later than 7th September 2011 to Assoc. Professor Paul Maginn (email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>) and Dr. Christine Steinmetz (email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>).