It is commonly said that ‘prostitution’ is one of the ‘oldest professions’ and if

this cliché is to be believed, then there must, also, be a long history of those who

have been willing to pay for sex. Whilst not suggesting that sex work is a single

trans-historical and trans-cultural activity (Scambler and Scambler, 1997) it seems

fair to argue that within contemporary western societies, paying for sex is both a

discreditable and a discrediting activity and those involved in selling sex, or indeed

those involved in any aspect of the sex industry, are on the whole considered deviant

(Sharp and Earle, 2003).