"Johns" in the Spotlight: Anti-prostitution Efforts and the Surveillance of Clients

Ummni Khan
2015 Canadian Journal of Law and Society / Revue Canadienne Droit et Société  
This essay examines surveillant practices that subject sex trade clients ("clients") to socio-legal control. In particular, I employ the concepts of the gaze, voyeurism, and exhibitionism to unpack the surveillant dynamics, and consider how power and pleasure are harnessed, produced, and thwarted in the increasing scrutiny of the sex trade's demand side. I further examine my own research of the regulation of clients within this analytical framework. Following David Lyon's insights on the
more » ... ights on the scopophilic dimensions of surveillance (2006), I argue that the instrumental goals of surveillance are interconnected with a voyeurism that gratifies the pleasures of looking at, categorizing, defining and making sense of, clients. Yet, bearing in mind the multi-directionality of the gaze, I also analyze the controlled exhibition of sex work signifiers, as information is not just gathered, but also displayed and performed.
doi:10.1017/cls.2014.27 fatcat:ocniyxrmgfaltn24gwa2lp3ufi