Monthly Archives: August 2014

Büschi, Eva, ‘Sex Work and Violence: Focusing on Managers in the Indoor Sex Industry’, Sexualities, 17 (2014), 724–41 <;


Sex work is defined from a liberal-feminist view as the negotiating and provision of sexual services by adults in return for payment. In Switzerland, sex work is basically legal and tolerated. The present study does not problematize the nature of sex work. It is considered here as a form of gainful employment rather than deviant behaviour, sexual risk behaviour or violence per se. In a qualitative study using problem focused guided interviews, 13 managers of brothels and contact bars in a Swiss city were questioned about their organizing of work, about working conditions, violence and its prevention. The content analysis of the data (Mayring, 2007) generated a manager typology (based on Kelle and Kluge, 1999). The results project four manager types: (I) collegial all-rounders who run small establishments; (II) co-operative managers of medium-size commercial premises; (III) authoritarian managers of medium-size and large brothels or contact bars and (IV) self-sacrificing managers of medium-size brothels. In respect to violence, these four types are characterized by association with differential degrees of potential risk for sex workers. While types I and IV can be classified as more risky in relation to violence and safety due to their specific characteristics, types II and III are clearly less dangerous for the sex workers. All the managers have introduced protective measures to prevent violence, yet they do not have a specific (explicitly formulated) strategy. In conclusion, the study shows that structural basic conditions and specific organizational working conditions impact on the risk of violence.


The increasing incidence of ‘trafficking’ has added an incontestably disturbing dimension to the contestable nature of a ‘non-trafficked’ UK sex industry. Men who buy sex remain under-researched, though some studies have indicated ambivalence within men’s attitudes. This study combines a critical discursive psychology in support of dialogical self theory. Secondary data, from prominent UK media resources, were analysed using Edley’s (2001) method of combining ‘interpretative repertoires’, ‘ideological dilemmas’ and ‘subject positions’. Contrasting discursive practices indicative of wider ideological conflict were found. Discursive concepts were ‘mapped’ onto Hermans and Hermans-Konopka’s (2010) ‘I-positions’ to explore how these potentially dilemmatic positions might be understood in terms of identity production. The function of ‘uncertainty’, particularly salient with the increasing complexity of globalisation, was considered a factor in how men’s identities might be limited by the current discursive space. A ‘dialogical’ model of self is introduced as a framework for understanding how men who buy sex might take up new, inclusive, positions. A corollary is reflected upon; that researchers, activists and buyers alike, who remain ideologically inflexible, may be sustaining the conditions for coercion through their contribution to the discursive conflict. The synthesis of discursive and dialogical analytical tools is recommended for investigating the production of selves in contested spaces.

Basil Donovan, Christine Harcourt, Sandra Egger and Christopher K. Fairley, “Improving the health of sex workers in NSW: maintaining success” (2010) New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 21(4) 74–77.


NSW has a diverse sex industry that is limited in its size by modest demand. There is no evidence that decriminalisation in 1995 increased the frequency of commercial sex in NSW. Though the largest sector, female brothels, is now mainly staffed by Asian women, condom use for vaginal and anal sex exceeds 99% and sexually transmissible infection rates are at historic lows. These gains are attributable to the long-term support of the NSW Department of Health in collaboration with the community-based Sex Workers Outreach Project and sexual health services, facilitated by the removal of criminal sanctions without the expense and access barriers of licensing systems.

Full text available here.