Popular Sex Work Books

19+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Sex Work

Discover the list of some best books written on Sex Work by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Sex Work highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4/5

Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work by Melissa Gira Grant

The sex industry is an endless source of prurient drama for the mainstream media. Recent years have seen a panic over "online red-light districts," which supposedly seduce vulnerable young women into a life of degradation, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's live tweeting of a Cambodian brothel raid. The current trend for writing about and describing actual exp The sex industry is an endless source of prurient drama for the mainstream media. Recent years have seen a panic over "online red-light districts," which supposedly seduce vulnerable young women into a life of degradation, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's live tweeting of a Cambodian brothel raid. The current trend for writing about and describing actual experiences of sex work fuels a culture obsessed with the behaviour of sex workers. Rarely do these fearful dispatches come from sex workers themselves, and they never seem to deviate from the position that sex workers must be rescued from their condition, and the industry simply abolished—a position common among feminists and conservatives alike. In Playing the Whore, journalist Melissa Gira Grant turns these pieties on their head, arguing for an overhaul in the way we think about sex work. Based on ten years of writing and reporting on the sex trade, and grounded in her experience as an organizer, advocate, and former sex worker, Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths about sex work, criticizes both conditions within the sex industry and its criminalization, and argues that separating sex work from the "legitimate" economy only harms those who perform sexual labor. In Playing the Whore, sex workers' demands, too long relegated to the margins, take center stage: sex work is work, and sex workers' rights are human rights.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.2/5

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex by David Henry Sterry , Audacia Ray (Contributor) , Jennifer Blowdryer (Contributor) , Georgina Spelvin (Contributor) , Kirk Read (Contributor) , Veron

The only thing the writers in this book have in common is that they've exchanged sex for money. They're PhDs and dropouts, soccer moms and jailbirds, $2,500-a-night call girls and $10 crack hos, and everything in between. This anthology lends a voice to an underrepresented population that is simultaneously reviled and worshipped. Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys is a The only thing the writers in this book have in common is that they've exchanged sex for money. They're PhDs and dropouts, soccer moms and jailbirds, $2,500-a-night call girls and $10 crack hos, and everything in between. This anthology lends a voice to an underrepresented population that is simultaneously reviled and worshipped. Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys is a collection of short memoirs, rants, confessions, nightmares, journalism, and poetry covering life, love, work, family, and yes, sex. The editors gather pieces from the world of industrial sex, including contributions from art-porn priestess Dr. Annie Sprinkle, best-selling memoirist David Henry Sterry (Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent), sex activist and musical diva Candye Kane, women and men right off the streets, girls participating in the first-ever National Summit of Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth, and Ruth Morgan Thomas, one of the organizers of the European Sex Work, Human Rights, and Migration Conference. Sex is a billion-dollar industry. Meet the real people who are its flesh and blood.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4/5

Working Sex: Sex Workers Write About a Changing Industry by Annie Oakley (Editor)

Being a sex worker isn’t something to write home about for most women (and men) in the $12 billion-a-year sex industry. Prostitutes, strippers, and adult film stars put themselves, and what they do for a living, out on the street, stage, and TV screen every day, but they often keep their working lives hidden from friends, family, and other employers. They do this because se Being a sex worker isn’t something to write home about for most women (and men) in the $12 billion-a-year sex industry. Prostitutes, strippers, and adult film stars put themselves, and what they do for a living, out on the street, stage, and TV screen every day, but they often keep their working lives hidden from friends, family, and other employers. They do this because sex work is widely considered illegal, unhealthy, and immoral. Edited by Annie Oakley, Working Sex, New Voices from a Changing Industry features stories and contributions from sex workers—strippers, prostitutes, domes, film stars, phone sex operators, and internet models—who are speaking out. This provocative anthology showcases voices from a vibrant community intent on unmasking the jobs they do with dignity and pride. Contributors tackling issues of class, gender, race, labor, and sexuality with blazing insight and critical observations include Michelle Tea, Stephen Elliot, Nomy Lamm, Ana Voog, Vaginal Davis, and Mirha-Soleil Ross.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4/5

Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry by Laura María Agustín

This groundbreaking work explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims, and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe mi This groundbreaking work explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims, and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' disempowers them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radical analysis. Frequently, says Agustín, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry. Although they are treated as a marginalised group, they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. -from the back cover

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.9/5

Rent Girl by Michelle Tea , Laurenn McCubbin (Illustrator)

A graphic and uncompromising autobiographical bender, the story of Tea's years as a prostitute, with provocative illustrations by Laurenn McCubbin.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.3/5

Whores and Other Feminists by Jill Nagle (Editor)

Whores and Other Feminists is the first volume to examine sex work and the sex industry through the eyes of self-identified feminist sex workers - strippers, prostitutes, porn writers, producers and performers, dominatrices - and their allies. Comprising a range of voices from both within and outside the academy, this collection draws from traditional feminisms, postmodern Whores and Other Feminists is the first volume to examine sex work and the sex industry through the eyes of self-identified feminist sex workers - strippers, prostitutes, porn writers, producers and performers, dominatrices - and their allies. Comprising a range of voices from both within and outside the academy, this collection draws from traditional feminisms, postmodern feminism, queer theory, libertarianism, and sex radicalism. Through essay and personal narrative, the contributors liberate the exchange of sex for money from its arranged ideological marriage with sexist oppression, highlighting instead more local questions about particular sex work practices and their interface with feminist thought.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.8/5

Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry by Frederique Delacoste (Editor) , Frederique Delacoste (Editor)

The first and possibly only book to be reviewed favorably in both The Women's Review of Books and Hustler, Sex Work popularized the term "sex work" to describe the occupations of street prostitutes, exotic dancers, nude models, escorts, porn actresses, and workers in massage parlors, and so changed the way we talk about sex and money. Features the original stories of women The first and possibly only book to be reviewed favorably in both The Women's Review of Books and Hustler, Sex Work popularized the term "sex work" to describe the occupations of street prostitutes, exotic dancers, nude models, escorts, porn actresses, and workers in massage parlors, and so changed the way we talk about sex and money. Features the original stories of women in the life, including writings by Sapphire, Nina Hartley, and Joan Nestle. Updated for the Second Edition: * Sex Workers' response to AIDS * Latest information on the legal status of sex work in the United States, Europe, and Asia * Growth of the international prostitutes' rights movement * Bibliography, revised to reflect a decades’ worth of writing and publishing on sex work * Resources, including activist organizations and publications—many just a Web click away

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.9/5

Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk by Melinda Chateauvert

A provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom   Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite is a fresh history that places prostitutes, hustlers, escorts, cal A provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom   Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite is a fresh history that places prostitutes, hustlers, escorts, call girls, strippers, and porn stars in the center of America’s major civil rights struggles. Although their presence has largely been ignored and obscured, in this provocative history Melinda Chateauvert recasts sex workers as savvy political organizers—not as helpless victims in need of rescue.   Even before transgender sex worker Sylvia Rivera threw a brick and sparked the Stonewall Riot in 1969, these trailblazing activists and allies challenged criminal sex laws and “whorephobia,” and were active in struggles for gay liberation, women’s rights, reproductive justice, union organizing, and prison abolition.   Although the multibillion-dollar international sex industry thrives, the United States remains one of the few industrialized nations that continues to criminalize prostitution, and these discriminatory laws put workers at risk. In response, sex workers have organized to improve their working conditions and to challenge police and structural violence. Through individual confrontations and collective campaigns, they have pushed the boundaries of conventional organizing, called for decriminalization, and have reframed sex workers’ rights as human rights.   Telling stories of sex workers, from the frontlines of the 1970s sex wars to the modern-day streets of SlutWalk, Chateauvert illuminates an underrepresented movement, introducing skilled activists who have organized a global campaign for self-determination and sexual freedom that is as multifaceted as the sex industry and as diverse as human sexuality. 

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.9/5

Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex by Elizabeth Bernstein

Generations of social thinkers have assumed that access to legitimate paid employment and a decline in the ‘double standard’ would eliminate the reasons behind women’s participation in prostitution. Yet in both the developing world and in postindustrial cities of the West, sexual commerce has continued to flourish, diversifying along technological, spatial, and social line Generations of social thinkers have assumed that access to legitimate paid employment and a decline in the ‘double standard’ would eliminate the reasons behind women’s participation in prostitution. Yet in both the developing world and in postindustrial cities of the West, sexual commerce has continued to flourish, diversifying along technological, spatial, and social lines. In this deeply engaging and theoretically provocative study, Elizabeth Bernstein examines the social features that undergird the expansion and diversification of commercialized sex, demonstrating the ways that postindustrial economic and cultural formations have spawned rapid and unforeseen changes in the forms, meanings, and spatial organization of sexual labor. Drawing upon dynamic and innovative research with sex workers, their clients, and state actors, Bernstein argues that in cities such as San Francisco, Stockholm, and Amstersdam, the nature of what is purchased in commercial sexual encounters is also new. Rather than the expedient exchange of cash for sexual relations, what sex workers are increasingly paid to offer their clients is an erotic experience premised upon the performance of authentic interpersonal connection. As such, contemporary sex markets are emblematic of a cultural moment in which the boundaries between intimacy and commerce—and between public life and private—have been radically redrawn. Not simply a compelling exploration of the changing landscape of sex-work, Temporarily Yours ultimately lays bare the intimate intersections of political economy, desire, and culture.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.2/5

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody

Decreed by David Letterman (tongue in cheek) on CBS TV’s The Late Show to be the pick of “Dave’s Book Club 2006,” Candy Girl is the story of a young writer who dared to bare it all as a stripper. At the age of twenty-four, Diablo Cody decided there had to be more to life than typing copy at an ad agency. She soon managed to find inspiration from a most unlikely source— ama Decreed by David Letterman (tongue in cheek) on CBS TV’s The Late Show to be the pick of “Dave’s Book Club 2006,” Candy Girl is the story of a young writer who dared to bare it all as a stripper. At the age of twenty-four, Diablo Cody decided there had to be more to life than typing copy at an ad agency. She soon managed to find inspiration from a most unlikely source— amateur night at the seedy Skyway Lounge. While she doesn’t take home the prize that night, Diablo discovers to her surprise the act of stripping is an absolute thrill. This is Diablo’s captivating fish-out-of-water story of her yearlong walk on the wild side, from quiet gentlemen’s clubs to multilevel sex palaces and glassed-in peep shows. In witty prose she gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at this industry through a writer’s keen eye, chronicling her descent into the skin trade and the effect it had on her self-image and her relationship with her now husband.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.2/5

Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women by Alexa Albert

When Harvard medical student Alexa Albert conducted a public-health study as the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada, the only state in the union where prostitution is legal, neither she nor the brothel could have predicted the end result. Having worked with homeless prostitutes in Times Square, Albert was intimate with human devastation cause by the sex trade, and curious to When Harvard medical student Alexa Albert conducted a public-health study as the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada, the only state in the union where prostitution is legal, neither she nor the brothel could have predicted the end result. Having worked with homeless prostitutes in Times Square, Albert was intimate with human devastation cause by the sex trade, and curious to see if Nevada’s brothels offered a less harmful model for a business that will always be with us. The Mustang Ranch has never before given an outsider such access, but fear of AIDS was hurting the business, and the Ranch was eager to get publicity for its rigorous standards of sexual hygiene. Albert was drawn into the lives of the women of the Mustang Ranch, and what began as a public-health project evolved into something more intimate and ambitious, a six-year study of the brothel ecosystem, its lessons and significance. The women of the Mustang Ranch poured their stories out to Albert: how they came to be there, their surprisingly deep sense of craft and vocation, how they reconciled their profession with life on the outside. Dr. Albert went as far into this world as it is possible to go — some will say too far — including sitting in on sessions with customers, and the result is a book that puts an unforgettable face on America’s maligned and caricatured subculture. From the Hardcover edition.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.7/5

Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights by Molly Smith , Juno Mac

You hear that selling sex is degrading; you hear that no one would ever choose to do it; you hear that it's dangerous; that women get abused and killed. You often hear, "There should be a law against it!" Or, perhaps just against the buyers. What do sex workers want? That's not something you hear asked very often. In this accessible manifesto, the strong argument for full You hear that selling sex is degrading; you hear that no one would ever choose to do it; you hear that it's dangerous; that women get abused and killed. You often hear, "There should be a law against it!" Or, perhaps just against the buyers. What do sex workers want? That's not something you hear asked very often. In this accessible manifesto, the strong argument for full decriminalization of sex work is explored through personal experience and looking at laws around the world. In some places, like New York, selling sex is illegal. In others, like Sweden, only buying it is. In some, like the UK and France, it's legal to sell sex and to buy it, but not to run a brothel or solicit a sale. In New Zealand, it's not illegal at all. In What Do Sex Workers Want?, Juno Mac and Molly Smith - both sex workers - explain what each of these laws do in practice to those doing the work. Addressing each model in turn, they show that prohibiting the sex industry actually exacerbates every harm that sex workers are vulnerable to.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.6/5

Indecent: How I Make It and Fake It as a Girl for Hire by Sarah Katherine Lewis

Indecent is not your average I-stripped-my-way-through-college memoir. Sarah Katherine Lewis is a veteran of the sex industry who started small — doing lingerie modeling and striptease shows — but for reasons including the desire to earn more money and curiosity about other types of sex work, she moved into porn, and ultimately into illegal work. Lewis is smart, self-aware, Indecent is not your average I-stripped-my-way-through-college memoir. Sarah Katherine Lewis is a veteran of the sex industry who started small — doing lingerie modeling and striptease shows — but for reasons including the desire to earn more money and curiosity about other types of sex work, she moved into porn, and ultimately into illegal work. Lewis is smart, self-aware, and bitingly funny. Where other writers in this genre have generally shielded themselves from letting things get too bad or go too far, Lewis comes face-to-face with the unimaginable. Her experiences with customers, whose fetishes and behaviors range from obscene to bizarre to twisted, are often recounted with outrageous and caustic humor. Lewis is a brilliant observer of human nature and has a read on her employers and coworkers that lends unique insight into the seedy underground of the more hardcore sex industry. Lewis is a sex worker by choice. She neither condemns nor condones the work, though she depicts her experiences with a gallows humor that reveals the complexity of professional adult sex work. Indecent offers readers an insider's account of hard-earned lessons and acute insight gained from over a decade in the trenches of one of America's most insidious and lucrative industries.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.3/5

$pread: The Best of the Magazine that Illuminated the Sex Industry and Started a Media Revolution by Rachel Aimee (Editor) , Eliyanna Kaiser (Editor) , Audacia Ray (Editor)

$pread, an Utne Award–winning magazine by and for sex workers, was independently published from 2005 to 2011. This collection features enduring essays about sex work around the world, first-person stories that range from deeply traumatic to totally hilarious, analysis of media and culture, and fantastic illustrations and photos produced just for the magazine. The book also $pread, an Utne Award–winning magazine by and for sex workers, was independently published from 2005 to 2011. This collection features enduring essays about sex work around the world, first-person stories that range from deeply traumatic to totally hilarious, analysis of media and culture, and fantastic illustrations and photos produced just for the magazine. The book also features the previously untold story of $pread and how it has built a wider audience in its posthumous years. What started as a community tool and trade magazine for the sex industry quickly emerged as the essential guide for people curious about sex work, for independent magazine enthusiasts, and for labor and civil rights activists.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.4/5

Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition by Kamala Kempadoo (Editor) , Jo Doezema (Editor)

Global Sex Workers presents the personal experiences of sex workers around the world. Drawing on their individual narratives, it explores international struggles to uphold the rights of this often marginalized group.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.5/5

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

"You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine" is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling novel. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter prin "You're gonna need a rock and a whole lotta medicine" is a mantra that Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, repeats to himself in this vivid and utterly compelling novel. Off the reserve and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Self-ordained as an NDN glitter princess, Jonny has one week before he must return to the "rez," and his former life, to attend the funeral of his stepfather. The next seven days are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny's world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages--and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.

I WANT TO READ THIS
3.6/5

Little Fish by Casey Plett

In this extraordinary debut novel by the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning story collection A Safe Girl to Love, Wendy Reimer is a thirty-year-old trans woman who comes across evidence that her late grandfather--a devout Mennonite farmer--might have been transgender himself. At first she dismisses this revelation, having other problems at hand, but as she and her In this extraordinary debut novel by the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning story collection A Safe Girl to Love, Wendy Reimer is a thirty-year-old trans woman who comes across evidence that her late grandfather--a devout Mennonite farmer--might have been transgender himself. At first she dismisses this revelation, having other problems at hand, but as she and her friends struggle to cope with the challenges of their increasingly volatile lives--from alcoholism, to sex work, to suicide--Wendy is drawn to the lost pieces of her grandfather's life, becoming determined to unravel the mystery of his truth. Alternately warm-hearted and dark-spirited, desperate and mirthful, Little Fish explores the winter of discontent in the life of one transgender woman as her past and future become irrevocably entwined.

I WANT TO READ THIS
4.2/5

Madam: A Novel of New Orleans by Cari Lynn , Kellie Martin

When vice had a legal home and jazz was being born—the captivating story of an infamous true-life madam   New Orleans, 1900. Mary Deubler makes a meager living as an “alley whore.” That all changes when bible-thumping Alderman Sidney Story forces the creation of a red-light district that’s mockingly dubbed “Storyville.” Mary believes there’s no place for a lowly girl like he When vice had a legal home and jazz was being born—the captivating story of an infamous true-life madam   New Orleans, 1900. Mary Deubler makes a meager living as an “alley whore.” That all changes when bible-thumping Alderman Sidney Story forces the creation of a red-light district that’s mockingly dubbed “Storyville.” Mary believes there’s no place for a lowly girl like her in the high-class bordellos of Storyville’s Basin Street, where Champagne flows and beautiful girls turn tricks in luxurious bedrooms.  But with gumption, twists of fate, even a touch of Voodoo, Mary rises above her hopeless lot to become the notorious Madame Josie Arlington.   Filled with fascinating historical details and cameos by Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, and E. J. Bellocq, Madam is a fantastic romp through The Big Easy and the irresistible story of a woman who rose to power long before the era of equal rights.

I WANT TO READ THIS
5/5

Abandon Me: Memoirs by Melissa Febos

For readers of Maggie Nelson and Leslie Jamison, a fierce and dazzling personal narrative that explores the many ways identity and art are shaped by love and loss. In her critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a lyrical study of power, desire, and fulf For readers of Maggie Nelson and Leslie Jamison, a fierce and dazzling personal narrative that explores the many ways identity and art are shaped by love and loss. In her critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart, Melissa Febos laid bare the intimate world of the professional dominatrix, turning an honest examination of her life into a lyrical study of power, desire, and fulfillment. In her dazzling Abandon Me, Febos captures the intense bonds of love and the need for connection -- with family, lovers, and oneself. First, her birth father, who left her with only an inheritance of addiction and Native American blood, its meaning a mystery. As Febos tentatively reconnects, she sees how both these lineages manifest in her own life, marked by compulsion and an instinct for self-erasure. Meanwhile, she remains closely tied to the sea captain who raised her, his parenting ardent but intermittent as his work took him away for months at a time. Woven throughout is the hypnotic story of an all-consuming, long-distance love affair with a woman, marked equally by worship and withdrawal. In visceral, erotic prose, Febos captures their mutual abandonment to passion and obsession -- and the terror and exhilaration of losing herself in another. At once a fearlessly vulnerable memoir and an incisive investigation of art, love, and identity, Abandon Me draws on childhood stories, religion, psychology, mythology, popular culture, and the intimacies of one writer's life to reveal intellectual and emotional truths that feel startlingly universal.

I WANT TO READ THIS