Sugar Girls & Seamen: A Journey Into the World of Dockside Prostitution in South Africa

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Jacana Media, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 242 pages
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Sugar Girls & Seamen illuminates the shadowy world of dockside prostitution in South Africa, focusing on the women of Cape Town and Durban who sell their hospitality to foreign sailors. Dockside "sugar girls" work at one of the busiest cultural intersections in the world. Through their continual interactions with foreign seamen, they become major traffickers in culture, ideas, languages, styles, goods, currencies, genes and diseases. Many learn the seamen's tongues, develop emotional relationships with them, have their babies and become entangled in vast webs of connection. In many ways, these South African mermaids are the ultimate cosmopolitans, the unsung sirens of globalisation. Based on fifteen months of research at the seamen's nightclubs, plus countless interviews with sugar girls, sailors, club owners, cabbies, bouncers and barmaids, this book provides a comprehensive account of dockside "romance" at the southern tip of Africa. Through stories, analysis and first-hand experiences, it reveals thisgritty world in all its raw vitality and fragile humanity. Sugar Girls & Seamen is simultaneously racy and light, critical and profound.
 

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Contents

Brandy the Geisha
2
Coy Khoi
20
Dock Rats
29
Sea Dogs
36
The Game
44
Taverns of the Sea
108
Vice Lords
117
Brawlers
128
HalfCasteAways
158
Broads Abroad
168
Viruses
183
Dreamers Hardcores and Crackers
189
After the Game
199
In Way over My Head
210
Accidental Cosmopolitans
222
Glossary
230

Extortionists
139
Brokers
147
Acknowledgements
237
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About the author (2008)

Henry Trotter is a scholar whose research focuses on South African history and culture. He has contributed to numerous publications, including History Compass, Journal of African Travel-Writing, Journal of Southern African Studies, and Navigating African Maritime History. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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