Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Südosteuropäische Geschichte

Priska Komaromi

Priska Komaromi

Buying Sex under Consumer Socialism: Western Clients and Transnational
Masculinities in Hungarian Sex Tourism, 1968-89.

My project investigates the history of sex tourism to Hungary between 1968-1989, focussing on the foreign, predominantly Western, male clients of female prostitution. This period was marked by an expansion of tourism aimed at Westerners, often explicitly marketed as sex tourism.
My research sits at the intersection of the history of prostitution, tourism and masculinities under socialism, covering new ground in all fields. Using trial documents of prostitution trials in Budapest and the Balaton region, interviews with women who sold sexand letters from clients it asks how male clients performed their masculinities and
"Western-ness" in the context of buying sex from Hungarian women.
Further, howdid Hungarian men involved in policing and documenting prostitution enact their masculinities in relation to these "foreign" men buying sex from "their" women?

Finally, how did women who sold sex react to these performances of masculinity?

It examines how understandings of masculinity were informed by ethno-sexual stereotypes of Hungarian women and racialized hierarchies of male clients.