Money Isn't Everything

Buying and Selling Sex in Twentieth-Century Argentina

By Patricio Simonetto

Translated by Sarah Booker

Money Isn't Everything

Approx. 240 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 1 halftone, 2 graphs

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8123-8
    Published: December 2024
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-8122-1
    Published: December 2024

Latin America in Translation

Paperback Available December 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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Just a few years before becoming President, Juan Domingo Perón penned a letter demanding the reopening of government sponsored brothels near military bases. This, he believed, was a necessary preventative for homosexuality. His letter exemplified the then widespread panic over sexual deviance that came just a few years after a panic surrounding immigrant sexualities led to the criminalization of prostitution. In this book, available for the first time in English, Patricio Simonetto captures the anxiety, regulation, and tolerance of sex work that has defined Argentina's heterosexual and patriarchal national identity.

Consulting judicial papers, prison archives, and secret police reports, Simonetto illustrates the state's authoritarian, violent, and moralistic interventions against dissident sexualities and how they transcended political shifts across liberal and military governments. He narrates the life stories of those who offered, exploited, or were consumers of sex work and draws connections between sex work, government policy, and Argentina's economy. This impressive study provides a lens into the ever-shifting constructions of heteronormative masculinities that produced political agendas and social hierarchies that continue to influence Argentina today.

About the Authors

Patricio Simonetto is lecturer in gender and social policy at the University of Leeds. He is author of A Body of One's Own: A Trans History of Argentina.

For more information about Patricio Simonetto, visit the Author Page.

Sarah Booker is a translator, editor, and educator living in Morganton, North Carolina. She is translator of works by Cristina Rivera Garza, Mónica Ojeda, and Gabriela Ponce.
For more information about Sarah Booker, visit the Author Page.


"A pathbreaking study of gender and sexuality in modern Argentina. Patricio Simonetto's cutting-edge analysis of sexual commerce and the construction of modern masculinities takes us beyond limited US and European models."—Donna Guy, The Ohio State University