Sex work remains a contentious area of debate. Whether or not sex work is considered to be a form of labour is in itself contested. As discussion is often about rather than with sex workers, this article brings Sarah’s experiences of being both a student and a sex worker, in two different areas of the UK, to centre stage. This candid account highlights the precarious and competitive nature of being self-employed within the current neoliberal climate, as well as the similarities sex work shares with other ‘mainstream’ forms of labour particularly within the ‘gig economy’. Existing research has focused on how/why students enter the sex industry leaving a gap in the literature regarding what happens after university in this context. It appears from Sarah’s account that leaving sex work behind may not be as straightforward as she had originally anticipated, for reasons other than just making money.
This post was collated from Sex Work Research: A repository of writings on sex work, academic research, organizational reports, media reports, and independent research. Sex work research is not funded by any organization and it lives solely through the efforts, the time and work of currently two individuals Sonja Dolinsek (Twitter: @sonjdol) and Wendy Lyon (@wendylyon). Both are interested in spreading peer-reviewed research on sex work across various disciplines. Click to read more about Sex Work Research here.