Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry

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Changing the language we use to talk about sex for money.

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Article number:
cle0046

The first (and only?) book to be reviewed favorably in both The Women's Review of Books and Hustler, Sex Work popularized the term "sex work" to describe the occupations of street prostitutes, exotic dancers, nude models, escorts, porn actresses, and workers in massage parlors. Since publication in 1987, Sex Work has generated discussion among sex workers, feminists, and academics, and changed the language we use to talk about sex for money. Features the original stories of women in the life, including writings by Sapphire, Nina Hartley, and Joan Nestle.

Updated for the 1998 second edition:

  • Sex workers' response to AIDS
  • Latest information on the legal status of sex work in the United States, Europe, and Asia
  • Growth of the international prostitutes' rights movement
  • Bibliography, revised to reflect a decades’ worth of writing and publishing on sex work
  • Resources, including activist organizations and publications — many just a click away
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