Dr Kate Lister invited five contributors to share their diverse, profound and often heartbreaking personal experiences of sex work, with each reflecting upon how the stigma of sex work can have a significant impact on sex workers’ mental health, on their place in society and on their physical safety. The result is a series of unique perspectives that question the political and societal reluctance to legitimise sex work and how it might better protect those who are the most vulnerable.
Unstable. Predatory. Risk takers. Dr Adrienne Macartney sheds stark light on the hostile and negative assumptions faced by trans sex workers.
In care at four, on the streets at nine, Charmaine has had a traumatic journey to reach life as it is now: no drugs, no sex work, looking after her mum, and enjoying her grandchildren. Here she writes honestly about her past.
When campaigners filmed secretly in the club where she worked, exotic dancer Ella Smith felt frightened and degraded. Here she speaks out about the attack on her livelihood.
Sex workers who report crimes against them can face a “what do you expect?” attitude. But one organisation is working to protect vulnerable people in the sex industry.
About the editor
Dr Kate Lister
Dr Kate Lister is a lecturer at Leeds Trinity University, where she researches the history of sexuality and curates Whores of Yore, a project exploring the history of sexuality.