Sexuality in Conversation

Fast Cars, Faster Sex: Why the Grand Prix is Dividing Feminists

It’s mid-June at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve race track on Montreal’s Notre Dame Island, home of the Canadian Grand Prix, and a beautiful day by French Canadian standards. Since 1967, the Canadian Grand Prix has been part of the Formula 1 World Championship, a racing series whose parent organization has pulled in more than $16 billion since 2000. After alternating between towns, this so-called “Nascar for millionaires” found its permanent home in Montreal, a busy but charming French-English city some 100 miles from Vermont’s border that’s become known as the "Sex Capital of Canada.” That’s because in just the past few years, the city of four million, which just so happens to be the birthplace of Pornhub, has stepped up its erotic game with more burlesque clubs, gentlemen’s clubs, brothels, massage parlors and escorts burrowing into its culture than ever before. It is widely known, at least among locals, that Grand Prix weekend is the busiest for the city’s sex workers, and that’s why I’m here: to absorb the scene and talk to the women who participate in a line of work that toes the line of legality.


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