Sex work has always attracted policy, public and prurient interest. Currently, legal frameworks in developed countries range from prohibition, through partial legalisation to active regulation. Globalisation has increased women’s mobility between developing and developed countries at the same time as women’s employment opportunities in the developed world are shifting. Family and intimate relationships are being transformed by changing demographics, shifting social mores and new intersections between intimate lives and global markets. Sex work is located at the nexus of new intimacies, shifting employment patterns and changing global mobilities.
This volume examines the working lives of contemporary sex workers; their practices, their labour market conditions and their engagement with domestic and international regulatory frameworks. It locates the voices and experiences of workers in Melbourne, Australia, at the centre of the sexual services industry as they reflect on brothels and independent escort work, on working conditions and managers, and on the relationships they form with clients. It offers a new account of sex work where women’s labour and mobility is understood as central in local and global imperatives to offer sexual services. It examines how these new imperatives intersect with, challenge and exceed existing regulatory frameworks for sex work.
Sex work: labour, mobility and sexual services draws together the everyday practices of sex workers and the broader global markets in which workers negotiate employment. In bringing together these two important intersecting areas, it offers a grounded and innovative account of sex work which will be of interest to academics and policy makers concerned with sex work, gender studies and the sociology of labour.
"Sex Work is, overall, a must-read for sex workers, scholars and activists who are concerned with the sex industry, as well as with issues of sexuality, labor and mobility more broadly." - Samantha Majic, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books, May 2013
"Unlike predominant public and policy discourses focused only on sex workers’ mobility as it relates to exiting the sex industry, these authors consider this within the sex industry (between legal and illegal sectors), between regulated and unregulated spaces, and across state and national borders. Drawing from extensive interviews with sex workers in Melbourne, Australia to examine how they negotiate their labor in relation to existing local and border regulatory systems, and to changing conceptualizations of sex, intimacy and embodiment, Maher, et al. argue that understanding mobility is central to understanding sex work as an everyday practice, as a regulatory site, and as part of a global employment sector…Sex Work is, overall, a must-read for sex workers, scholars and activists who are concerned with the sex industry, as well as with issues of sexuality, labor and mobility more broadly"–Dr Samantha Majic, Jay College/CUNY.
1. The New Intimacies and Mobilities of Sex Work: Who does it, where and why? 2. Money, Women’s Work Conditions and Sexual Services 3. In The Room and Beyond: Keeping it Nice with the Clients 4. ‘Giving my Body a Break’: Health, Well-Being and the Physical Economies of Sexual Service 5. Regulating Sex Work: The Noise and Confusion of Sexual Regulation 6. Sexual Services in the Contemporary World 7. Conclusion