μιρο 24γραμματαChristos Hadjichristos
University of Cyprus

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Prostitution, a phenomenon in many societies since the beginning of time, involves two quite basic and universal activities: exchange of services for money and some kind of sexual act. Still, the actual forms it has taken through time reveals and reflects the social, technological and other developments that take place in the culture they are found. The present research discusses the different forms of prostitution in Cyprus in the last fifty years or so, focusing on the spatial component of each setup. Apart from the information available through the limited bibliography on the topic (regarding prostitution in Cyprus), informal conversations with a variety of people have been supplemented by visits to places and spaces where prostitution, in one form or other, was or still is, taking place. It can be concluded that the forms prostitution takes keep increasing in number and complexity, where a variety of sex workers cater to the needs of ever more client types or groups, in a plethora of spatial setups.
Quite appropriately, Graham and Annette Scambler (1997) caution against observations which take prostitution to refer to a single transhistorical, transcultural activity, pointing out that the prostitutepriestesses of cultures flourishing around 3000BC had great political and economic power, something not true for their putative counterparts in Britain in the 1990’s. Xenophon’s fifth-century treatise Oeconomicus, clearly naturalizes and spatializes gender, opposing male mobility in the exterior to female stasis in the interior. Alberti’s text in the 15th C closely follows Xenophon’s treatise (Wigley, 1992). Furthermore, Alberti sees marriage as a form of friendship rather than
an erotic relationship, a friendship which needs to resist sexuality rather than house it (Wigley, 1992). The female body poses a problem in such an undertaking since it is seen as full of openings and thus in need of another enclosure, the house (Wigley, 1992). Ornament is also associated with the female and sexuality. free ebook