Faculty of Social and Human Sciences (UNL) Conference System, 1st Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference

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“When I buy a round of drinks for others in a bar, a dozen attractive and successful men flatter me... But if they knew how I earned the money for the drinks, they would most likely regard me as scum”. Some ethnographic notes on the cosmobile gay escort
Peter Hörz

##manager.scheduler.building##: B Tower
##manager.scheduler.room##: T09
Date: 2015-09-27 06:30 PM – 08:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-09-10


Careful observers of certain ‘notorious’ websites have long noticed: Among the male escorts who are offering their sexual services to interested same sex oriented men there is a growing number of professional sex workers, whose major characteristics is mobility. Coming from the periphery of the EU, the Americas or even Australia, these GBQ identified young men decide to go on extensive travels for reasons which are corresponding with the urge to escape from the boredom and/or homophobia in their places of origin to temporarily join the open gay communities of the liberal and gay friendly countries in Central Europe. But due to their restricted access to European labor markets these trips can only be financed by professional sex work carried out at their travel destinations.

Based on multi sited ethnographic research, carried out in 2012-14, the paper aims to shed light on the multi local lifestyle of traveling escorts from an everyday perspective and to discuss it with respect to recent discourses on the "Circuits of Queer Mobility" (Jasbir Puar). Taking into consideration the interrelations of race/origin, class and economy, geopolitical contexts and queer sexualities, attention will be given to the question if the trips of the mobile escorts necessarily guide them from “repression to liberation” (Eithne Luibhéid) and from social disintegration to social acceptance. Within this context I will particularly discuss the question how sex work as a paradigmatic practice of non-monogamy is interlinked with imaginations of the ideal gay lifestyle as it is proclaimed in the gay communities of the Global North/West and how these imaginations are affecting self-perceptions and exterior views of mobile escorts.