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