Indoor Sex Workers: Challenging The Victimhood Stereotype? Dr Teela Sanders University of Leeds School of Sociology & Social Policy
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Presentation on theme: "Indoor Sex Workers: Challenging The Victimhood Stereotype? Dr Teela Sanders University of Leeds School of Sociology & Social Policy"— Presentation transcript:
Indoor Sex Workers: Challenging The Victimhood Stereotype? Dr Teela Sanders University of Leeds School of Sociology & Social Policy firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming to know the industry Coming to know the industry... Ten month study in 2000 – 2001 with the Safe project in Birmingham Challenge the negative stereotypes as the only reality What types of risks do women experience? How are these risks managed?
Participants 300 industry workers 55 interviews (45 indoor / 5 street / 5 owners) Age range 18-52 years Average working career 9 years 4/55 Class A drug use 41/55 children majority experienced more than one market Criteria for participation: 18 years + British citizenship ‘Voluntary’ involvement
Is the harsh reality the only story….. Violence at work Domestic violence Welfare benefits Limited work chances Single parenthood Drug addiction Coercion Criminalisation - ASBOs Exclusion from the wider community Stigma - ‘double life’ Psychological distress or is there another side?
Some of the indoor sex workers…. Economic choice / entrepreneurs Strong female networks / business relations Mentoring, camaraderie, trust, humour Sexual Services as functional to society Relationships with ‘regulars’ = not all dodgy punters Were Far From Passive Victims
Regulations and Rules = Safety - strategies to maximise profit & minimise risk Relations with Police - allies not necessarily enemies Manage emotions - condom as psychological barrier, - separating meaning of sex as work, - private / personal Order and Organisation
Good Practice Indoors: Workplace Models Physical organisation to promote safety Sexual practices and expectations promotes respect, rights and choice Independent escorts - strict rules of engagement on their terms Parlours that put the rights of women before profit & needs of clients.
There is always another side…. Highly regulated and organised Standards, rules, etiquette Similar to other businesses - transferring skills from mainstream jobs Resistance, strategies, rational actions & good practice Agency, choice and diversity