This study is about exploring women’s experiences of buying sexual services in the UK. We know very little about women who buy sexual services, despite the existence of online escort sites, strip clubs that cater for women, and international research that shows that women buy sex. We want to know more about female clients from both women who buy sexual services themselves or as a couple, and from men or women who sell sexual services to female clients.
Some of our key questions include:
UK prostitution policy and policing is inherently gendered, overlooking female sex buyers.
We know little about whether women buy sex in the UK, what they buy, how they buy it, when in their lives, who from and what it means to their lives.
Prostitution is often seen as “violence against women” and recent policy debates make these links, but can this/does this apply to women who buy sex, and what do women who buy sex think about these suggestions?
The study has support from local sex work charities/services including Genesis Leeds and MASH, Manchester.
The study has been funded jointly by The British Academy and The Leverhulme Trust, which we believe is recognition that this study is needed and is important.
Involvement in the research will include an interview with a member of the research team, either face-to-face, over the telephone, via email, Skype or instant messenger. This interview would be recorded with your consent, and then transcribed. You will be able to give yourself a fake name to protect your anonymity, and you will be given a copy of the interview transcript to review.
Involvement is CONFIDENTIAL and you can remain ANONYMOUS. The study has gained ethical approval and we have very strict ethical protocols in place to protect your privacy.
You will be able to withdraw at any time, and any material will be destroyed.
Sarah is a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Lancaster. Her research interests focus around sex work/prostitution policy and law, sex worker/client/community perspectives. She is a member of the UK Network of Sex Work Projects and volunteers for Genesis in Leeds and StreetLink in Preston as an outreach worker. He recent books include “Prostitution in the Community: Attitudes, Action and Resistance” (Routledge, 2013) and “New Sociologies of Sex Work” (Ashgate, 2010).
Natalie is a Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests focus around sexuality, gender, bodies and health. She has conducted research previously with men who pay for sex with women. She is a member of ProsPol a European wide network comparing prostitution policy. She is a member of the Morgan Centre for Personal Life at the University of Manchester. Natalie is guest editor alongside, Prof. Feona Attwood (University of Middlesex) of a themed section of the Journal Social Policy and Society, which takes a cultural studies approach to sex work policy.
Scarlett is Research Associate on this project. She has previously conducted research addressing the experiences of female escorts, as well as partners of sex workers. More recent work examines and compares experiences of heterosexual male and female escorts.