The sex industry is not some corporation. It is not faceless. Mostly it is individual people working for themselves. When you hear someone say sex worker rights, they are talking about the rights of individual people.

It can be a politically charged subject but it is also one that more and more people are seeking their own answers for. If  you don’t know where to start, then the following list has been put together and reproduced in full with permission from the Glasgow Sex Worker .

Some suggested reading

It should go without saying that this list is in no way comprehensive. However, if you’re interested in learning more about sex worker rights and aren’t sure where to start, these are some pointers.

I suggest you follow your own interest when deciding how to approach this reading list, rather than necessarily attempting to read each item in the order I’ve presented them – especially as part two is in an arbitrary order, and does not reflect an alphabetical approach, a thematic one, or one based on my views as to the quality of the pieces (all of which are brilliant, hence their inclusion).

Please note: these texts discuss sexual violence, state violence, racism and poverty.


Part One: The Swedish model/the criminalisation of clients

Summary of Amnesty International Research Findings, p12 – 15, Amnesty International, 2015.

The European Parliament’s Attempt to Reduce Prostitution Fails Women, Ruth Jacobs, Women News Network, 2014.

The Swedish Law to Criminalise Clients, Ann Jordan, American University
Washington College of Law, 2012.

Criminalisation of clients: reproducing vulnerabilities for violence and poor health among street-based sex workers in Canada, A Krusi et al, British Medical Journal, 2014.

Client Criminalisation and Sex Workers’ Right To Health, Wendy Lyon, Hibernian Law Journal, 2014.

Norwegian Ban On Buying Sex Affects Immigrant Women, Heidi Elisabeth SandnesInformation Centre for Gender Research in Norway, 2014.

Statement on Poverty, Sex Work & The Swedish Model, SWOU, 2014.

Taking Ideology to the Streets: sex work, and how to make bad things worse, Nine, Feminist Ire, 2012.

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Part Two: Writing that’s not so exclusively focused on the Swedish model

Arguing Right(s), Eithne Crow.

The Case for Decriminalization of Sex Work in South Africa, Chi Adanna Mgbako et al.

‘Junkie Whore’: What It’s Really Like For Sex Workers on Heroin, Caty Simon.

Report on Migrant Sex Workers Justice and the Trouble with ‘Anti-Trafficking’: Research, Activism, Art, the Migrant Sex Workers Project.

Building a Sex Workers’ Trade Union: Challenges and Perspectives, Morgane Merteuil.

October 22nd And After: The Movement Against Police Violence And Black Sex Workers, Cherno Biko.

Just Don’t Call It Slut-Shaming: a feminist guide to silencing sex workers, Nine.

A Few Thoughts On The Demise of Page Three, @desiredxthings.

Men Consume, Women Are Consumed: 15 Thoughts on the Stigma of Sex Work, Charlotte Shane.

Why the Sex Positive Movement is Bad for Sex Worker Rights, Audacia Ray.

Whorephobia and the politics of penetration, Jet Young.

Daniel Holtzclaw, Black Women, And The Myth of Police Protection, N’Jaila Rhee.

Nothing Scarier Than a Black Trans Woman With a Degree, Caty Simon interviewing Monica Jones.

‘Hey Baby, How Much?’: Stop Blaming Sex Workers for Street Harassment, Juliet November.

‘Ouch!’: Western Feminists’ ‘Wounded Attachment’ to The ‘Third World Prostitute’, Jo Doezema.

Rentboy wasn’t my ‘brothel’. It was a tool to stay alive in this economy of violence, anonymous.

“Getting Away” With Hating It: Consent in the Context of Sex Work, Charlotte Shane.

Black Sex Workers’ Lives Matter: Appropriation of Black Suffering, Robyn Maynard.

‘You’re not representative’: Identity politics in sex industry debates, Alison Phipps.

What Antis Can Do To Help, Lori Adorable.

What’s Missing from the Conversation On Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Colleen Hele, Naomi Sayers, & Jessica Wood.

One Black Trans Sex Worker’s December 17th, A. Passion

I’m Katha Pollitt’s ‘Highly Educated Leftist’ – and a Trafficking Victim, Tara Burns.

Sex work, migration and anti-trafficking, Robyn Maynard interviewing Nandita Sharma.

I Did Not Consent To Being Tokenized, Emmy.

Reflections on Being a Mixed Race Black Sex Worker, @CassLeChat.

Understanding the Complexities of Sex Trafficking and Sex Work/Trade: Ten Observations from a Sex Worker Activist/Survivor/Feminist, Emi Koyama.

Outcasts Among Outcasts: Injection Drug-Users in the Sex Workers’ Rights Movement,part one & part two, Olive Seraphim, Kitty Carr, Inane Moniker, Lily Fury, Andrew Hunter, The Specialist, and Caty Simon.

Sex Trafficking: How I Survived Foster Care, Tara Burns.

Transforming Pornography: Black Porn for Black Women, Cinnamon Love.

Moving Beyond Supply and Demand, the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women.

We Are Here To Win, Philipine Sex Workers’ Collective.

How New York City’s Treatment of Sex Workers Continues to Harm Us, Jenna Torres, Red Umbrella Project.

Last Rescue In Siam, Empower (Thailand).

Abolition of Sex Work Won’t End Violence Against Native Women, Naomi Sayers and Sarah Hunt.

Cozy Bedfellows: Prostitution Abolitionists and Anti-Abortionists, Joyce Arthur (read the comments!).

Trans Rentboys: Love Don’t Pay The Rent, SWOU/various.

We March On, Raven Bowen.

More pages and information will be added to this section in due course.

If you’d like to know more about the Glasgow Sex Worker you can also find her on Twitter.