This article reviews the literature on sex work, highlighting ways in which women working in the sex industry are represented. The subjective experiences and voices of sex workers are seldom heard and their needs are consistently defined and represented by non-sex workers throughout history, in society and within academia. Historical representations have contributed to the stereotyping and stigmatization of sex workers. Academic research is consistently being done on sex workers instead of with them. However, arts-based methods allow for participatory, shared knowledge creation. Arts-based research also has the potential for empowerment, reaching the general public and changing negative stereotypes.