Faculty Mentor

Diogo Pinheiro

Proposal Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

2-11-2019 2:10 PM

End Date

2-11-2019 3:10 PM

Location

Nesbitt 3201

Abstract

Sex work is a complex and often controversial topic that frequently frames the female sex worker as a powerless victim whose services are materialized through the patriarchal structure of society. This is evident is 2018 public policies such as The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) that fail to recognize a sector of sex workers that neither self-identify as victims nor feel dominated by traditional gender roles. Traditionally, research has been conducted on outdoor prostitution, the transactional component of sex work, and the power imbalance regarding male clients and female providers that perpetuates the victim narrative to encompass all sex workers. This qualitative study aims to complete the gaps in research pertaining to indoor prostitution, specifically, top-tiered earning sex workers and the women and couples who seek their services. Interviews were conducted with four top-tiered indoor sex workers who charge a minimum session rate of $400USD per hour and four women who have paid for the services of a top-tiered indoor sex worker. The major findings of this study are that female clients do not consider themselves gay or bisexual. In both female only and couples’ experiences, two findings occur: the sex worker takes on the role of a teacher to the couple demonstrating new ways to please their partner and second, the experience is typically experienced by both the female or couple and the sex worker as mutually satisfying emotionally and physically. This contradicts many research narratives that suggest counterfeit intimacy within the girlfriend experience and the traditional power imbalances in gender roles during the client-provider transaction (Weitzer 2009). This research concludes that further research should be explored with the male part of the couple to determine if experiences are shared.

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Nov 2nd, 2:10 PM Nov 2nd, 3:10 PM

Women on Top: Sex Workers for Women and Couples

Nesbitt 3201

Sex work is a complex and often controversial topic that frequently frames the female sex worker as a powerless victim whose services are materialized through the patriarchal structure of society. This is evident is 2018 public policies such as The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) that fail to recognize a sector of sex workers that neither self-identify as victims nor feel dominated by traditional gender roles. Traditionally, research has been conducted on outdoor prostitution, the transactional component of sex work, and the power imbalance regarding male clients and female providers that perpetuates the victim narrative to encompass all sex workers. This qualitative study aims to complete the gaps in research pertaining to indoor prostitution, specifically, top-tiered earning sex workers and the women and couples who seek their services. Interviews were conducted with four top-tiered indoor sex workers who charge a minimum session rate of $400USD per hour and four women who have paid for the services of a top-tiered indoor sex worker. The major findings of this study are that female clients do not consider themselves gay or bisexual. In both female only and couples’ experiences, two findings occur: the sex worker takes on the role of a teacher to the couple demonstrating new ways to please their partner and second, the experience is typically experienced by both the female or couple and the sex worker as mutually satisfying emotionally and physically. This contradicts many research narratives that suggest counterfeit intimacy within the girlfriend experience and the traditional power imbalances in gender roles during the client-provider transaction (Weitzer 2009). This research concludes that further research should be explored with the male part of the couple to determine if experiences are shared.