The power of Hima B.’s film and the 10 Percent articles is in their juxtaposition of the subjects’ self-described “real” sexuality with their professional, or performed sexuality. The juxtaposition of paid “straight” sexuality with lesbianism actually illustrates that there is nothing straight about sex work. What these women are doing is performing heterosexuality as they perform a sexual service for money. They do not go straight, they play straight. I would like to argue that the sex work in these texts represents a performance of heterosexuality, regardless of the sexual self-identity of the performer. Its defining characteristic is the exchange of money for a sexual service, which is, I would argue, a queer act. Selling sex is quite outside of the normative codes of sexual conduct, whereby sex is privileged as something you do for love or, in a more liberal world view, for fun or, if it is in a Hollywood film like Pretty Woman or Indecent Proposal, for a whole lot of money.

Eva Pendleton, “Love for Sale”, in Jill NAGLE, Whores and other feminists, Routledge, 1997, p. 75-76

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