Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Selling Sex: Experience, Advocacy, and Research on Sex Work in Canada

Document type Book
Editor Durisin, Elya M.
Editor Van der Meulen, Emily
Editor Love, Victoria
Publisher UBC Press; Vancouver, B.C.
Date 2013
ISBN 9780774824
Pages 349


Despite being dubbed "the world's oldest profession," prostitution has rarely been viewed as a legitimate form of labour. Instead, it has been criminalized, sensationalized, and polemicized across the socio-political spectrum by everyone from politicians to journalists to women's groups. Interest in and concern over sex work is not grounded in the lived realities of those who work in the industry, but rather in inflammatory ideas about who is participating, how they wound up in this line of work, and what form it takes. In Selling Sex, Emily van der Meulen, Elya M. Durisin, and Victoria Love present a more nuanced, balanced, and realistic view of the sex industry. They bring together a vast collection of voices - including researchers, feminists, academics, and advocates, as well as sex workers of differing ages, genders, and sectors - to engage in a dialogue that challenges the dominant narratives surrounding the sex industry and advances the idea that sex work is in fact work. Presenting a variety of opinions and perspectives on such diverse topics as the social stigma of sex work, police violence, labour organizing, anti-prostitution feminism, human trafficking, and harm reduction, Selling Sex is an eye-opening, challenging, and necessary book. --Publisher's description


Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of Contents: Introduction / Emily van der Meulen, Elya M. Durisin, and Victoria Love. -- Part 1: Realities, Experiences, and Perspectives. Work, Sex, or Theatre? A Brief History of Toronto Strippers and Sex Work Identity / Deborah Clipperton ; Myths and Realities of Male Sex Work: A Personal Perspective / River Redwood ; Champagne, Strawberries, and Truck-Stop Motels: On Subjectivity and Sex Work / Victoria Love ; Trans Sex Workers: Negotiating Sex, Gender, and Non-Normative Desire / Tor Fletcher ; We Speak for Ourselves: Anti-Colonial and Self-Determined Responses to Young People Involved in the Sex Trade / JJ ; Decolonizing Sex Work: Developing an Intersectional Indigenous Approach / Sarah Hunt ; Transitioning Out of Sex Work: Exploring Sex Workers' Experiences and Perspectives / Tuulia Law. -- Part 2: Organizing and Social Change. Working for Change: Sex Workers in the Union Struggle / Jenn Clamen, Kara Gillies, and Trish Salah ; Overcoming Challenges: Vancouver's Sex Worker Movement / Joyce Arthur, Susan Davis, and Esther Shannon ; Né dans le Redlight: The Sex Workers' Movement in Montreal / Anna-Louise Crago and Jenn Clamen ; Stepping All Over the Stones: Negotiating Feminism and Harm Reduction in Halifax / Gayle MacDonald, Leslie Ann Jeffrey, Karolyn Martin, and Rene Ross ; Are Feminists Leaving Women Behind? The Casting of Sexually Assaulted and Sex-Working Women / Jane Doe ; Going 'round Again: The Persistence of Prostitution-Related Stigma / Jacqueline Lewis, Frances M. Shaver, and Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale. -- Part 3: The Politics of Regulation. Regulating Women's Sexuality: Social Movements and Internal Exclusion / Michael Goodyear and Cheryl Auger ; Crown Expert-Witness Testimony in Bedford v. Canada: Evidence-Based Argument or Victim-Paradigm Hyperbole? / John Lowman ; Repeat Performance? Human Trafficking and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games / Annalee Lepp ; A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Canadian Anti-Pimping Law and How It Harms Sex Workers / Kara Gillies ; Still Punishing to "Protect": Youth Prostitution Law and Policy Reform / Steven Bittle ; To Serve and Protect? Structural Stigma, Social Profiling, and the Abuse of Police Power in Ottawa / Chris Bruckert and Stacey Hannem ; Beyond the Criminal Code: Municipal Licensing and Zoning Bylaws / Emily van der Meulen and Mariana Valverde.