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Whores in the Religious Marketplace: Sex-Positivity's Roots in Commercial Sex Cultures

Whores in the Religious Marketplace: Sex-Positivity's Roots in Commercial Sex Cultures Whores in the Religious Marketplace Sex- Positivity’s Roots in Commercial Sex Cultures Jayne Swift In late 1976 the Church of Venus opened its doors at 1414 First Avenue— “sandwiched” between adult bookstores and theaters on what, during the 1970s, was colloquially known as Seattle’s “Flesh Avenue.” Before it even opened its doors, a columnist for the Seattle Times, curious about the descrip- tor “Church” on a street known for sin, would begin chronicling the organiza- tion’s purported mission. Founded by local adult business entrepreneur Ron Peterson (who was principal owner of the adjacent peep show, the Amuse- ment Center), the Church of Venus distinguished itself from its neighbors through its professed spiritual commitment to sexuality as an arena of self- enrichment and a force for social good. Specifi cally, the Church sought to spread the word of “sex- positivity” to publics lacking a robust ethics from which to affi rm the value of sexuality untethered from the family form, repro- duction, or romantic love. Th e Church quickly achieved local notoriety for its ethics of sex- positivity and its mission to create both public and commercial spaces for the practice of sex- positivity. How did a small iconoclastic community http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

Whores in the Religious Marketplace: Sex-Positivity's Roots in Commercial Sex Cultures

Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , Volume 40 (2) – Jul 25, 2019

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © Frontiers Editorial Collective, Inc
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

Whores in the Religious Marketplace Sex- Positivity’s Roots in Commercial Sex Cultures Jayne Swift In late 1976 the Church of Venus opened its doors at 1414 First Avenue— “sandwiched” between adult bookstores and theaters on what, during the 1970s, was colloquially known as Seattle’s “Flesh Avenue.” Before it even opened its doors, a columnist for the Seattle Times, curious about the descrip- tor “Church” on a street known for sin, would begin chronicling the organiza- tion’s purported mission. Founded by local adult business entrepreneur Ron Peterson (who was principal owner of the adjacent peep show, the Amuse- ment Center), the Church of Venus distinguished itself from its neighbors through its professed spiritual commitment to sexuality as an arena of self- enrichment and a force for social good. Specifi cally, the Church sought to spread the word of “sex- positivity” to publics lacking a robust ethics from which to affi rm the value of sexuality untethered from the family form, repro- duction, or romantic love. Th e Church quickly achieved local notoriety for its ethics of sex- positivity and its mission to create both public and commercial spaces for the practice of sex- positivity. How did a small iconoclastic community

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jul 25, 2019

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