This chapter explores the relationship between client demand and the marketing of female bodies and the extent to which it affects value, profit, and employment trajectories of sex workers. Human trafficking literature commonly assumes that there is a correlation between market value of female bodies, profitability, and recruitment. This assumption intertwines the profitability of nonconsensual recruitment with essentialist notions of female bodies (for example, the commodification of virginity). This chapter considers whether the physical appearance of the girls is a major factor in assessing their value as a commodity. More generally, it asks whether client demand, profit, price hierarchies, and deceptive recruitment are interrelated. It argues that the sex industries of Nong Kai and Vientiane, as well as the recruitment practices within them, constitute a mixture of capitalist penetration and patron–client relationships.
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