How Sex Workers Taught Me to Hustle

Twenty years ago, Friday and Species were blowing up at the box office. Groove Theory’s “Tell Me” and Notorious B.I.G’s “One More Chance (Remix)” were in heavy rotation on my Sony Walkman. I had just graduated from high school in Philadelphia and was finally dealing with my sexuality. This was the summer sex workers… »8/21/15 4:03pm8/21/15 4:03pm


Hero Woman Acting in Self-Defense May Have Just Offed a Serial Killer

A sex worker in Charleston, West Virginia shot and killed a man in self-defense who had a list of prostitutes in his pocket and a “kill kit” in his Subaru. Police are now beginning to link the 45-year-old man, Neal Falls, to the unsolved murders of sex workers in the Las Vegas area and in Chillicothe, Ohio. »7/24/15 2:10pm7/24/15 2:10pm

Massive Study Concludes Pimping Ain't Easy, But It Is Kinda Evil

New research out today claims to offer a window into the massive, murky world of the underground commercial sex economy in eight major American cities, relying on interviews with 250 law enforcement officials, sex workers, and pimps. And, like one might expect, this unprecedented peek inside shows that there's huge… »3/12/14 3:46pm3/12/14 3:46pm

Some Disgruntled British Dude Is Suing Belle de Jour for Defamation

Brooke Magnanti, the research scientist/former sex worker behind Belle de Jour, is being sued for defamation by an ex-lover, who’s pursuing damages for defamation and breach of privacy, and wondering (quite vociferously) out loud to anyone who will listen, i.e. the Mail, if Magnanti ever really was a sex worker. »8/11/13 5:00pm8/11/13 5:00pm

Police Put on the Spot by Camera-Wielding ‘Coparazzi’ Sex Worker

Here's one way sex workers can hold clients and cops accountable: videotape them. Raven Nicole Masterson, a self-described "coparazzi," uses her cellphone camera to document how often the basic rights of sex workers — especially those who are women of color — are completely ignored. Masterson's guerrilla tactics… »7/11/13 4:00pm7/11/13 4:00pm

George W. Bush's Awful "Anti-Prostitution Oath" Is Unconstitutional

Man, the Supreme Court wants to go on summer vacay so bad! All it wants to do is head to the cabin upstate, chill at the lake, and make out with its boyfriend (he’s from Canada, you don’t know him), but Dad is being a total knob about driving privileges. “No driving until you finish all your opinions from last term… »6/21/13 7:15pm6/21/13 7:15pm

Sex Workers and Anti-Trafficking Groups Want To End Condoms as Evidence

Sex workers, anti-trafficking groups, the New York Civil Liberties Union, public health advocates, and LGBTQ organizations are today lobbying the lawmakers of New York state to pass a bill that would make the possession of condoms inadmissible as evidence in criminal prosecutions of prostitution and related offenses.… »4/23/13 2:05pm4/23/13 2:05pm

Sex Workers and Drug Addicts Open Up in 'Faces of Addiction'

It's hard to write about Chris Arnade's "Faces of Addiction" photo series because I keep getting distracted and drawn in by photos of women like Vanessa, a sex worker and survivor of domestic violence, and Beauty, who has bright neon green pants and hopes to go into childcare because she likes "to make people happy." »2/07/13 2:20pm2/07/13 2:20pm

Some Feminists Are Wrongfully Fighting Against Sex Workers

Many people who think sex workers are exploited — perhaps even most of them — have positive intentions. But, as Melissa Gira Grant explains in an excellent Reason must-read, the war on sex workers is a war on women that "has actual prisoners and a body count" and is " waged by women who will not hesitate to use their… »1/22/13 2:20pm1/22/13 2:20pm

They Still Have Rights: The Search for Humanity and Justice for Sex Workers

Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer, confessed to the murder of between 48 and 71 prostitutes in the 80s and 90s: "I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught." Earlier this month — December 17th, 2012 — was the 10th annual International Day to End Violence… »12/30/12 11:00am12/30/12 11:00am

New Website Lets Users Shame 'Potential Prostitutes' Unless They Pay Up

The platonic ideal of internet vigilante justice (see: Anonymous holding Stuebenville accountable for the nearly covered-up rape of a teenage girl) is awesome. But there's a frightening downside: what if the accused are innocent? Even worse, what if the accusers are masquerading as do-gooders and purposefully slander… »12/27/12 4:15pm12/27/12 4:15pm

Wider Cellphone Use Among India’s Sex Workers Threatens HIV-Prevention Programs

India, which has been a surprising success story in AIDS prevention throughout the aughts, might be on the verge of a serious health crisis thanks to the more widespread use among sex workers of cellphones, those fragile, rectangular amulets of modern independence. Though India's sex trade used to be largely localized… »11/25/12 2:00pm11/25/12 2:00pm