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.