Monthly Archives: May 2015

Khan, Ummni (2015):  “Johns” in the Spotlight: Anti-prostitution Efforts and the Surveillance of Clients. Canadian Journal of Law and Society 30, pp 9-29, doi:10.1017/cls.2014.27

Full article available here (Open Access)


This essay examines surveillant practices that subject sex trade clients (“clients”) to socio-legal control. In particular, I employ the concepts of the gaze, voyeurism, and exhibitionism to unpack the surveillant dynamics, and consider how power and pleasure are harnessed, produced, and thwarted in the increasing scrutiny of the sex trade’s demand side. I further examine my own research of the regulation of clients within this analytical framework. Following David Lyon’s insights on the scopophilic dimensions of surveillance (2006), I argue that the instrumental goals of surveillance are interconnected with a voyeurism that gratifies the pleasures of looking at, categorizing, defining and making sense of, clients. Yet, bearing in mind the multi-directionality of the gaze, I also analyze the controlled exhibition of sex work signifiers, as information is not just gathered, but also displayed and performed.


Cet article examine les pratiques de surveillance qui assujettissent les clients de l’industrie du sexe (les « clients ») à un contrôle sociojuridique. En particulier, j’emplois les concepts du regard, du voyeurisme et de l’exhibitionnisme afin de révéler les dynamiques de surveillance, et d’examiner comment le pouvoir et le plaisir sont canalisés, produits et entravés par l’examen de plus en plus minutieux de la demande dans le commerce du sexe. Dans ce cadre analytique, j’approfondie ma propre recherche sur la réglementation des clients. En m’appuyant sur les idées de David Lyon portant sur les dimensions scopophiliques de la surveillance (2006), je soutiens que les objectifs fondamentaux de la surveillance sont liés au voyeurisme, donnant ainsi plaisir à regarder, classer, définir et donner un sens aux clients. Toutefois, compte tenu du caractère multidirectionnel du regard, j’analyse également l’exhibition contrôlée des signifiants propres au travail du sexe, puisque l’information n’est pas seulement recueillie mais aussi exposée et représentée.

Jeal, Nikki, and Chris Salisbury. “Self-Reported Experiences of Health Services among Female Street-Based Prostitutes: A Cross-Sectional Survey.” The British Journal of General Practice 54.504 (2004): 515–519.


Background: Previous studies show that women working in prostitution do not use routine health services appropriately. Little is known about the nature and frequency of service contacts or barriers to access. This information is needed if use of current services by this group is to improve.
Aim: To identify barriers reducing access to health services by street prostitutes, and to identify current patterns of use.
Design of study: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Inner-city Bristol.
Method: Seventy-one female street-based prostitutes were interviewed about their experiences of health services.
Results: The women had frequent contacts with healthcare providers. The general practitioner (GP) was the main source of all types of care. Although 83% (59/71) were registered with a GP, 62% (36/59) had not disclosed their work. Only 46% (33/71) had been screened for sexually transmitted infection in the previous year and 24% (17/71) were vaccinated against hepatitis B, a national recommendation for sex workers. Only 38% (25/65) had had cervical smears according to screening guidelines. Opportunistic screening and care was important. While pregnant with their last child, only 30% (14/47) booked in the first trimester and attended all antenatal appointments, with 13% (6/47) receiving no antenatal care until admitted in labour. Appointments, waiting times, and fear of judgement and other patients staring, were considered significant barriers to service use. The model suggested by the women was an integrated service providing basic living needs alongside health care.
Conclusion: Non-disclosure and poor attendance for follow-up make appropriate care difficult, and may contribute to poor health. Despite frequent service contacts, opportunities for care are being missed.
Keywords: cross-sectional survey; health services accessibility; interviews; prostitution; sexually transmitted diseases.

Full text available here.