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Title: On Our Own Terms: The Working Conditions of Internet-Based Sex Workers in the UK
Authors: Sanders, Teela
Connelly, Laura
Jarvis-King, Laura
First Published: 30-Nov-2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Citation: Sociological Research Online (2016), 21 (4), 15
Abstract: The sex industry is increasingly operated through online technologies, whether this is selling services online through webcam or advertising, marketing and organising sex work through the Internet. Using data from a survey of 240 internet-based sex workers (taken from a specific sample of members of the National Ugly Mugs reporting scheme in the UK), we discuss the working conditions of this type of work experienced by this specific sample of mainly white British female who work as independent escorts. We look at their basic working patterns, trajectories and everyday experiences of doing sex work via an online medium and the impact this has on the lives of sex workers. For instance, we look at levels of control individuals have over their working conditions, prices, clientele and services sold and job satisfaction. The second key finding is the experience of different forms of crimes individuals are exposed to such as harassment and blackmail via the new technologies. We explore the relationship internet-based sex workers have with the police and discuss how current laws in the UK have detrimental effects in terms of safety and access to justice. These findings are placed in the context of the changing landscape of sex markets as the ‘digital turn’ determines the nature of the majority of commercial sex encounters. Although the sample informing this paper is a specific group of people with a set of common characteristics these findings contribute significantly to the populist coercion/choice political debates by demonstrating levels and types of agency and autonomy experienced by some sex workers despite working in a criminalized, precarious and sometimes dangerous context.
DOI Link: 10.5153/sro.4152
eISSN: 1360-7804
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Creative Commons “Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives” licence CC BY-NC-ND, further details of which can be found via the following link: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

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