After Love: Queer Intimacy and Erotic Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba

Noelle Stout's book cover After Love.

Noelle Stout, Duke University Press, 2014.

Focused on the intimate effects of the post-communist transition in Cuba, After Love illuminates how everyday efforts to imagine and enact market reforms shape queer desire and subjectivity.

The sex trade was largely eradicated in Cuba following the 1959 revolution. After the reintroduction of foreign tourism to Cuba in the 1990s, sex work exploded in Havana. The rise of the tourist sex trade inspired robust homoerotic economies. This sudden commodification of sex and intimacy led to profound changes in the lives of Cubans with nonconforming genders and sexualities, changes that threatened to undermine the fragile rise of gay tolerance in Cuba.

By detailing the unprecedented encounters among sex workers, gay foreign tourists, and queer Cubans, After Love shows how the transition to post-communism raised fundamental questions about the boundaries between labor and love. After Love was awarded the 2014 Ruth Benedict Prize by the Association for Queer Anthropology and Honorable Mention for the 2015 Gregory Bateson Book Prize by the Society for Cultural Anthropology, and the book was a finalist for the 2015 Lambda Literary Award.

Read the introduction to After Love: Queer Intimacy and Erotic Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba or purchase a copy on

“Lusty, warm, wide-ranging, and incisive, After Love takes us on a vivid journey through queer Havana today. It shows us how middle-class respectability, socialist rhetoric, consumer desire, and sexual elasticity both mesh and conflict with an increasingly free-for-all markeNoelle Stout's photo from After Love.t economy, where sex work, foreign tourists, and the looming collapse of the socialist state have transformed life into a froth of difficulty, uncertainty,  and possibility.”

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