Sex work

The sex work divide in British politics

They seem like completely unrelated questions: ‘Is sex work real work?, and ‘Who will replace Yvette Cooper as chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee?’ Yet the two are deeply linked. Sex work first. If you’re not familiar with the phrase ‘sex work is work’, get used to it, because you’re going to be hearing it a lot more in public debate in the next few years. The phrase has been around since at least the 1970s, but is now being used with growing frequency and energy by people on the self-appointed ‘progressive’ side of politics. As a result, ‘sex work is work’ is looking like being a new dividing

Why is Durham offering training for student sex workers?

As a first year university student from a disadvantaged background, I know all too well the constant struggle students can face to make ends meet. Before starting my studies at Durham, I worked three jobs to keep food in my mouth and clothes on my back while in full-time education. Living in group homes and emergency accommodation, I saw those around me searching desperately for any way to earn a living, even if it meant endangering their health and their lives. So it was both surprising and disturbing to find when I arrived at Durham that the university’s student union was encouraging young people down an incredibly dangerous path by

Mesmerising and monstrous: @zola reviewed

The distinction between on and offline life blurred long ago. The greatest spats, sexual self-fashionings and mad soliloquies now unfurl on social media. The splenetic rhythms and fundamental shallowness of this medium make it a questionable source for art, but Janicza Bravo’s @zola — the first film ever released based entirely on a series of viral tweets — makes a tight, original fist of such material. @zola is A’Ziah ‘Zola’ Wells King, who in 2015 as a 19-year-old exotic dancer and stripper living in Detroit unleashed a 148-tweet thread, billed as #thestory, which detailed a chain of nasty but fascinating events during a surreal trip to Tampa. Full of sex,

So long to Leeds’s appalling prostitution zone

Goodbye and good riddance to the Leeds ‘Managed Zone’ in which punters were given amnesty to buy the most disenfranchised and desperate women. Following a seven-year campaign by feminists, residents and some of the women who had previously been prostituted in the zone, this week Leeds City Council announced that the zone will not be re-opening following the end of the Covid lockdown. The zone originated following pressure on the police and council to tackle street prostitution in the centre of Leeds. Residents and workers, sick of stepping over used condoms and fending off harassment from kerb crawlers, complained so regularly that the zone was set up by way of

There’s nothing ’empowering’ about the sex work on OnlyFans (OF) is the latest kid on the block to be billed as a safe, consequence-free way of selling sex and home-grown porn that empowers women. The social media site is similar to Instagram, but users pay to subscribe to creators’ feeds. The top earners on OF are women whose subscribers are male. These men pay between £5 to £20 a month to view images considered too pornographic for Instagram. Subscribers can also direct message women and pay tips to get personalised videos or photos, ‘depending on his individual sexual tastes.’ OF is a huge money machine and is doing extremely well during the Covid-19 lockdown. It now has around