1st Edition

Women Who Buy Sex Converging Sexualities?

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    Drawing on empirical data from women who pay for sexual services and those who provide services to women, this ground-breaking study is the first of its kind in the UK, detailing the experiences of women who pay for sex in an explicit, direct, prearranged way.

    Unlike previous research on clients, which has predominantly focused on men who buy sex or women who engage in romance tourism in places such as the Caribbean, this innovative research offers new and original insights into the demand side of commercial sex. Too often, it is assumed that only men pay for sex from women or other men. Women are assumed to be service providers and are unimaginable as clients. This book therefore offers a radical departure from existing scholarship on commercial sex. In addition, the book examines the experiences of couples who pay for commercial sex, a client group that has received scant investigation. The book explores women’s reasons for their engagement in commercial sex services, their backgrounds and characteristics, their strategies for remaining safe and managing potential risks, as well as their sexual health strategies. The nature of sexual service bookings with women clients is also examined, exploring the types of services women seek, the places where bookings occur and the fess they pay. Finally, the experiences of men, women and trans sex workers who provide sexual services to women are examined.

    By drawing on our unique data and comparing it to the literature on men clients, we present our theory ‘Converging Sexualities’. We argue that commercial sex is a site of behavioural convergence and that women clients are behaving in ways that could be described as masculine or feminine. Our study therefore offers new ways to understand sexuality. This book will be of interest to researchers in the field of sexuality, sex work and women’s behaviour.

    1. Introduction

    2. Sexuality and Sexual Consumption

    3. Researching Female Clients

    4. Motivations and Characteristics of Women Who Buy Sex

    5. The Sexual Service Booking

    6. Staying Safe: Perceptions and Negotiations around Safety and Violence

    7. Selling Sex to Women Clients

    8. Converging Sexualities?


    Sarah Kingston is a Professor of Criminal Justice and Policing at the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire. Her research focuses primarily around gender, sexuality, sexual offences and sex work.  

    Natalie Hammond is a sociologist and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Care and Social Work, Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests focus around sex work, sexual health, gender and technology.

    Scarlett Redman is an independent post-doctoral researcher. Her research mainly revolves around sex work, and has significant front-line practice working with sex workers.