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Click here for: Reviews #2: History and Sociology
Click here for: Reviews#3:Artists and Sexual Evolutionaries: Annie Sprinkle, Tracy Quan, Carol Queen, Magdalene Meretrix and Webmistress: Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot Harlot

These books are essential reading on the subject of sex workers' rights.
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Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry by Laura María Agustín

Zed Books and Palgrave Macmillan announce a compelling new book about the sex industry!

This groundbreaking book sets out to explode several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work;that migrants who sell sex are passive victims;and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' disempowers them. Based on extensive research amongst migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustín, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry. Although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. Laura María Agustín studies cultural and postcolonial issues linking commercial sex, migration, informal economies and feminist theory. She currently lives in London, researching the situation of migrant workers in the city's sex industry. Her website is

'Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour, set to be a trailblazer in the study of the sex industry'
- Lisa Adkins, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

'Undermines our stereotypes and provides a challenging but unforgettable picture'
- Jeffrey Weeks, Professor of Sociology, London South Bank University

'Questions some of our most cherished modern assumptions, and shows that a different ethics of concern is possible.'
- Arturo Escobar, Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina


Global Sex Workers : Rights, Resistance, and Redefinition edited by Kamala Kempadoo and Jo Doezema
The very latest collection of materials outlining the progress of the sex workers' rights movement in 'developing countries' as well as in 'the first world.' The pieces demonstrate how the discourse of prostitution-as-labor and sex worker rights is relevant and essential to sex workers in diverse contexts.

Unrepentant Whore: Collected Works of Scarlot Harlot by Carol Leigh

A declared feminist activist, Carol Leigh refers to herself as a life artist, an "autobiographical journalist ... using myself and my life as an example, employing the image of whore in order to reclaim female sexual symbolism." Scarlot Harlot, Leigh's alter ego, is a clown, a burlesque-drag-queen whore decked out in southern belle American flag attire. Taking her political messages onto the street, she presents short, spontaneous guerrilla pieces relating to prostitution, AIDS, and other feminist issues. 150 photographs enhance this performance artist's outrageous look at the world.

Whores and Other Feminists edited by Jill Nagle ----$15.19 ( discount!)

Eclectic collection of journalism from by sex worker rights activists, sometimes academic, sometimes chatty, sometimes sexy and often intellectual. The journalistic styles are diverse, some more straightforward such as one story by Tracy Quan on the history of Barbie. A roundtable discussion highlights issues for "sex workers of color" within the movement and in the industry. In Inventing Sex Work, Carol Leigh (aka Scarlot Harlot) describes the origins of the phrase in feminist herstory. Cosi Fabian discusses Holy Whores, and Julian Marlowe explains how "It's Different for Boys." This book would be of particular interest to all sex workers who are trying to make sense of contemporary attitudes about sex work, and feminists who are looking for a comprehensive survey of perspectives within the sex worker rights movement in the US.

Sex Work : Writings by Women in the Sex Industry edited by Frederique Delacoste and Priscilla Alexander Newly reprinted- Order it now!

A must read! A new edition was released recently. This is the original compilation of material about contemporary views on prostitution including tracts by sex workers' rights activists as well as anti-prostitution activists. This book is very readable, and mostly depressing in it's first person accounts by prostitutes and strippers on the edge of awareness about their rights. Political statements by various parties are included, so that this book provides a good understanding of just what the issues of contention are between feminist factions.

Whores in History : Prostitution in Western Society by Nickie Roberts---Out of print, but put in a request!

This book is definitely the best, most readable history of prostitution yet. Written by a sex worker, this thick (368 pages), well documented book covers diverse aspects of the history of the trade. Students will find this book supremely helpful. "Compulsive Reading," says the (U.K.) Sunday Express. Although they say it's out of print, they should be able to find it.

Live Sex Acts : Women Performing Erotic Labor by Wendy Chapkis, Annie Sprinkle (Photographer), Jill Posener----$13.59 ( discount!)

Synopsis -This expansive analytic perspective draws on more than 50 interviews in both the illegal sex industry of the United States and in the free and open trade in the Netherlands to capture the wide-ranging experiences of women performing erotic labor. Wendy Chapkis also wrote Beauty Secrets. She's a pros rights supporter and anti-censorship feminist. 12 photos.

The Prostitution Prism by Gail Pheterson ----$32.50 ( discount!)

Excellent articles that counter current witchhunts on issues of sex and marginalization. Chapters include 'Street Kids,' which counters inflammatory rhetoric about child prostitution, and 'Right To Asylum, Migration and Prostitution,' which provides another view on the issue of trafficking. 'The Whore Stigma' is a classic article, linking discrimination against diverse minorities with discrimination against sex workers. This is another 'must read' for an up to date analysis of many of the issues that form the basis of the current inquisitions against prostitutes, immigrants, youth and the poor. This collection of essays is a welcome antidote to some current feminist discourse which promotes criminal justice solutions to problems of poverty and marginalization.

Gauntlet : Exploring the Limits of Free Expression : In Defense of Prostitution, No 7, Carol Leigh ( Guest Editor) ----$9.95 + 0.85 ( discount!)

An excellent compilation of material by and about sex workers, much of which is included at this website. This collection includes first person accounts emphasizing issues such as discrimination, racism and transgender issues in the context of prostitution. Although the cover is sensationalist and sleazy, the material on prostitution in this issue of Gauntlet Magazine is first rate and readable. This volume also provides an accurate summary of contemporary issues in prostitutes' rights.

Making It Work : The Prostitute's Rights Movement in Perspective(Social Problems and Social Issues) by Valerie Jenness ----$20.95 ( discount!)

Jenness describes the early days of the prostitutes' rights movement and the struggles within the movement. Well-done, short and concise.

Cop to Call Girl/Why I Left the LAPD to Make an Honest Living As a Beverly Hills Prostitute by Norma Jean Almodovar ----Out of Print! Try Back!

Those familiar with Norma Jean's tireless activism, but unfamiliar with her writing will be surprised at the excellence of this autobiographical work. Very well written, painfully honest, sad and triumphant, this book is excellent reading apart from politics or juicy details about police corruption.

Working: My Life As A Prostitute ----$9.95 ( discount!)

A bold and frank account of Dolores' international adventures in prostitution- a modern happy hooker, French's story is informed by her feminism and humanist politics. She began her working life as a fund raiser and civil rights activist. Brainy, political and daring, this woman goes where most do not dare, and returns with her sense of humor intact. French offers an explicit, sympathetic, and illuminating first-hand account of Working. She was appointed to the Mayor's Task Force on Prostitution in Atlanta, Georgia; she was also a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control's study on prostitution and AIDS.

Sex Work and Sex Workers in Australia edited by Roberta Perkins & Garrett Prestage----Out of Print! Try Back!

Perkins is an excellent writer and advocate for sex workers' rights.

A Vindication of the Rights of Whores edited by Gail Pheterson and Margo St. James ----$16.95 ( discount!)

This book contains raw testimony by sex workers around the world who congregated at the World's Whores Congress in the mid 80's. It contains valuable, first person, uninterpreted information, as well as sex workers' collective demands and position papers including the World Whores' Charter compiled by the International Congress on Prostitutes' Rights.

Social Text 37 editby Anne McClintock ----$12.00 ( discount!)

This is a must read for sociologists, social workers and feminists. It includes feminist perspectives on prostitution that challenge anti-prostitution abolitionist theories.

Edited by, including or featuring Director, Carol Leigh

Whore Carnival by Shannon Bell----$8.00 ( discount!)

Interviews with assorted sex workers, whores, dancers, artists, activists and a client primarily from Canada and the U.S. Interviews are candid and colloquial. They provide a glimpse at the casual side of sex worker rights rhetoric.

Reading, Writing, and Rewriting the Prostitute Body by Shannon Bell----$11.16 ( discount!)

This book is for a specialized audience... art historians, philosophers, academics and feminists or sex workers with one or more of the above interests. Basically a playful and intellectual romp into the junction of Greek philosophy/history, post modern theory and slut political art. Includes extensive material on Scarlot Harlot, Gwendolyn, Veronica Vera and Annie Sprinkle among others. Very creative...

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