While there is a growing literature focusing on clients in sexual economies, much of this relies on heteronormative and/or unproven assumptions about masculinity and men’s motivations for purchasing sex. This collaborative ethnographic research takes a comparative approach by studying performances of masculinity in heterosexual and homosexual commercial sex venues in Rio de Janeiro. The authors argue that masculine performances not only are about homosocial male bonding between clients but also are aspirational performances in which actors must work within and across particular class- and race-based structures to jockey for position within the local hierarchy of hegemonic masculinity. They conclude that the connection between masculinity in heterosexual and homosexual venues is fractal, refractive, and coconstituitive. That is, even though the performances of masculinity look different in outward appearance, they actually operate within a shared ideology of gender and are coconstructed through actors’ own pretensions toward class distinction.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.