Monthly Archives: December 2013

Teela Sanders and Rosie Campbell, “Designing out vulnerability, building in respect: violence, safety and sex work policy”. British Journal of Sociology, March 2007; 58(1):1-19.


One recent finding about the prostitution market is the differences in the extent and nature of violence experienced between women who work on the street and those who work from indoor sex work venues. This paper brings together extensive qualitative fieldwork from two cities in the UK to unpack the intricacies in relation to violence and safety for indoor workers. Firstly, we document the types of violence women experience in indoor venues noting how the vulnerabilities surrounding work-based hazards are dependent on the environment in which sex is sold. Secondly, we highlight the protection strategies that indoor workers and management develop to maintain safety and order in the establishment. Thirdly, we use these empirical findings to suggest that violence should be a high priority on the policy agenda. Here we contend that the organizational and cultural conditions that seem to offer some protection from violence in indoor settings could be useful for informing the management of street sex work. Finally, drawing on the crime prevention literature, we argue that it is possible to go a considerable way to designing out vulnerability in sex work, but not only through physical and organizational change but building in respect for sex workers rights by developing policies that promote the employment/human rights and citizenship for sex workers. This argument is made in light of the Coordinated Prostitution Strategy.

Full text available here.

Ine Vanwesenbeeck, (2013) Prostitution Push and Pull: Male and Female Perspectives. Journal of
Sex Research 50:1, pages 11-16.


Smith, Grov, Seal, and McCall’s (2012) analysis, focusing on how
young men become, and stay, involved in male escorting, is a
welcome contribution to the still relatively thin male sex worker
literature. For this study group, notably supportive working
surroundings, effective coping strategies, and a growing sense of
“self-efficacy” eventually turn sex work into an increasingly
comfortable experience and viable moneymaking option. In this
commentary, I add some reflections from a broader perspective to
these insights. I also consider some evidence on the numbers of men
and women in sex work and make some observations on male versus
female positions related to push and pull factors, stigma, and the
experience of sex work.

Special Issue on “Demystifying Sex Work and Sex Workers (2010)

Sex workers throughout the world share a uniquely maligned mystique that simultaneously positions them as sexually desirable and socially stigmatized. In order to better understand how these processes function cross-culturally, ‘Demystifying Sex Work and Sex Workers’ combines thirteen articles by scholar-activists and sex workers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Thailand, Uganda and the U.S. that focus on the everyday lives of sex workers, broadly defined as those who exchange sexual services for something of value. Papers in this issue locate sex workers as actors and agents despite pervasive social messages and discourses to the contrary.