Hotel Puta: A Hardcore Ethnography of a Luxury Brothel

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Hotel Puta’ is an unflinching and brutal account of the workings of a luxury brothel in Madrid. The text is based on 18 months of careful and risky covert ethnographic observation in the brothel in which I worked directly for a man
known as ‘el jefe’ (Pablo) by promoting the online porn forums and as an English teacher. Over the project period, I worked in the brothel a couple of nights a week doing these duties and came to know the women who worked there and the security staff, Pablo’s closest friends and family and his ‘inner circle’ of contacts and political support buffers. The book follows the stories of some of the women, predominantly the narrative of Gabriela, involved in the sale of sex. It also examines Pablo, the hotel manager, as I also got an intimate insight into how his incessant focus on business fed his aspiration for a class upgrade through the purchase of expensive cars, shopping and lavish holidays. The context for the lives of these people are the expansion of the sex industry and prominence of internet porn which manufactures desire in an era of neoliberal consumer society. The clients, who are generally well off men, work long hours and feel dislocated from their families yet are bound by a societal ‘injunction to enjoy’, and
nurture their sense of personal indulgence and self-gratification. Their ‘manufactured’ fantasies and desires are played out with the women who, in the face of austerity politics are bereft of formal labour market opportunities which catapults many into precarious situations in which selling sex becomes a rofitable option. This has crudely mixed with cultural change in Spain in the wake of increased neoliberal economics which emphasises autonomous meritocracy while, at the same time, has hollowed out notions of culture, family and tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRestorative Justice For All Publications
Number of pages146
ISBN (Electronic)9781911634645
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameRestorative Justice Series 39
PublisherRJ4ALL Publications

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