Wares of Venus: The sensoriality of sex for purchase at a 19th-century Boston brothel

Author(s): Jade W Luiz

Year: 2018

Summary

The archaeological examination of brothel spaces has expanded significantly in recent decades to include compelling interpretations of these sites within the framework of embodiment, sexuality, and urbanization. By incorporating the sensory experiences of the individuals living, working, and seeking entertainment in places of prostitution, archaeologists have an opportunity to examine these spaces in terms of the fantasy experiences being sold. In terms of this paper’s case study, the 27/29 Endicott Street Brothel in Boston, Massachusetts, the smells, tastes, and sights within the space are evidence of attempts to sell the fantasy of comfortable, middle-class domesticity. These sensory experiences, when placed within the social context of "reform era" Boston, and considering the working-class and often rural backgrounds of the women employed at and running this brothel, further influenced the embodied experiences of the actors within this space.    

Cite this Record

Wares of Venus: The sensoriality of sex for purchase at a 19th-century Boston brothel. Jade W Luiz. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441813)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 523