ICC Collaborative Research Unit on Multiculturalism in Asian Societies presents a workshop on

Boundary Crossing - Sex & Gender in Context

a follow-up to the workshop entitled "Sexual Boundary Crossings and Sexual Contact Zones in East Asia"

Dec 10, 2011 (Saturday) at Room 301, 3F, Building 10, Sophia University

Abstracts for the morning session presentation

Sexual Capital, Sexual Commerce and Sexual Play in the Moral Regions of Urban Nightlife

James Farrer: Graduate Program of Global Studies, Sophia University

In 1916, sociologist Robert Park identified what he called "moral regions" of the city, "detached milieus in which vagrant and suppressed impulses, passions, and ideals emancipate themselves from the dominant moral order." This description could serve as a popular description of the nightlife zones of any city in the past century, which were also key sites for the development of a field of “plastic sexuality” (Giddens 1992), or relationships detached from family and reproduction. More recently, David Grazian (2008) has described the “hustle” of urban nightlife, or the ways in which nightlife is as much commercial scam as a liminal zone of sexual play and debauchery. Focusing on hostess bars in Dalian, Zheng Tiantian (2009) has described these Chinese nightlife venues as spaces of sexual commerce and exploitation. Nightlife thus is simultaneously a place of liminal play and calculated commerce. In this paper I try to analyze the relationship of the ludic to the commercial aspects of sexuality in Shanghai nightlife spaces, by investigating night clubs as erotic worlds (Green 2008) in which various forms of sexual capital are embodied and sought after. This paper is reflection upon fieldwork and interviews conducted over two decades in Shanghai’s nightlife zones, in and about a wide variety of spaces: mainstream dance clubs, ballroom dance halls, many types of bars, underground clubs, KTV lounges, straight saunas, gay saunas, massage parlors, gay ballroom dance clubs, gay dance clubs, gay bars, money boy bars, and so forth. The list is long and the types of services, clientele, norms of sociability and forms of sexual interaction differ greatly. What all of these places have in common however is the simultaneous construction of sex as an expression of personal choice and self-fulfillment, and also as a commoditized spectacle and a generic commodity.

The Business Trip: Sex and Romance in the Contact Zone
Jamie Paquin
: PhD Canadidate in Global Studies, Sophia University

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Date listed 2011-10-13 11:40
European business man, married but living separated from family in central Tokyo, slim, said to be very cool looking, conservative, but open minded, is looking for intelligent companion to add some spice to evenings, dinners.

Overseas business trips and postings involve not only work and a chance to take in a little local culture, but also – for a significant number of attached men – efforts to arrange sexual/romantic encounters.
It is not hard to imagine one common academic take on the desire and/or realization of short-term romances while on business abroad by men. Namely, that they are manifestations of (problematic) gender and post-colonial ideologies and structural forces. However, this paper takes a different direction by raising fundamental questions related to the harmony between long-term intimacy and sexual satisfaction. In other words, this paper considers sexual monogamy a problematic compact for many men, and by considering how the overseas contact zone may seem to many an opportunity to escapes its strictures for a time without dismantling the institution of monogamous intimacy in general. From this vantage point, overseas romances are as much a manifestation of a pervasive desire to take a break from the ambivalent compromise between sexuality and monogamous intimacy as they are a manifestation of broader problematic gender and post-colonial sensibilities and structural inequalities.

Situational Sexuality Paradigm: An Examination of Male Heterosexual Sexual Preferred Acts and Attitudes and the Impact on Sexual Negotiations with Female Sex Workers in Tijuana, Mexico
Emily Prieto Ph.D.
: Director, Latino Resource Center, Northern Illinois University

The current proposal builds on an existing NIH-NIDA funded 5 year study entitled, “Behavioral Intervention for High Risk Women in Mexico,” which focused on solely female sex workers and education/intervention strategies to reduce HIV infection. This study goes beyond the existing study and includes a focus on the male client population. This study is based upon narratives of 8 male heterosexual clients of female sex workers (FSWs) in Tijuana, Mexico. By using a conceptual framework of “situational sexuality” developed by Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, this dissertation sheds light on the factors that impact male heterosexual clients sexual preferred acts and attitudes and what leads them to engage in risky sexual behavior with FSWs. Specifically, this study examines male sexual preference, attitudes and the associated factors (e.g., economic, cultural and social) that impact sexual negotiations, which place clients and female sex workers (FSWs) from Tijuana, Mexico in high risk environments where condom use is minimized during a sexual transaction. This study explores the complexity of cultural and behavioral meanings of masculinity, how it is defined by men and the relation to gender power differentials among the female sex workers (FSWs) and their clients. The hypothesis of this study was that cultural, social and economic factors have a direct impact on whether male heterosexual clients of female sex workers will engage in risky sexual behavior.
This study represents a significant contribution in understanding gender differences and male sexual preferences so that intervention efforts will not be limited to only dimensions that focus on women’s sexual empowerment. Furthermore, data from this study demonstrates the importance of understanding male sexual preference and how this operates to influence sexual decision making. The findings from this study will help interventionists create effective risk reduction programs that are nuanced with important gendered cultural and behavioral differences.

Love and Chains: Filipino Women in Japan’s Intimate Spheres
Nobue Suzuki:
Professor, Faculty of Letters, Chiba University

In a critical discussion of Filipino nurses’ migration to the United States of America, Catherine Ceniza Choy (2003) has considered the Philippines to be constituting an empire of care. The state and together with the private sector there have indeed “manufactured” Filipinos, especially women, “for export” to be engaged in care and intimate labors (Guevarra 2009; Rodriguez 2010). Historically, due to discrimination and the lack of alternatives and transferrable skills, many immigrant women, not only Filipinas, have indeed taken up such work and created a niche in a foreign land. Today, this tendency has intensified.
This essay similarly situates Filipino women’s migration and work in Japan in the intensified consumer capitalism in which “love’s labor” has come to be massively traded. However, my discussion also departs from the previous research which has predominantly focused on a group of women taking up one kind of intimate labor for a short period of time. Based on data I have collected on Filipino immigrants to Japan over a span of nearly 20 years, the paper will show that Filipinos, compared to other ethnic-national groups, in Japan have been more significantly providing various paid and unpaid “love’s labor” at different stages in their lives.

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