Selling Sex

Experience, Advocacy, and Research on Sex Work in Canada

Edited by Emily van der Meulen, Elya M. Durisin, and Victoria Love

  • Published: 2008. Paperback 2014
  • Subject Listing: Anthropology
  • Bibliographic information: 364 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: North American rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Despite being dubbed "the world's oldest profession," prostitution has rarely been viewed as a legitimate form of labor. Instead, it is often criminalized, sensationalized, and polemicized. In Selling Sex, Emily van der Meulen, Elya Durisin, and Victoria Love present a more nuanced view of the sex industry. They bring together a vast collection of voices - including feminists, researchers, advocates, and sex workers of every stripe - to challenge dominant narratives surrounding sex work. Presenting a variety of perspectives on such diverse topics as social stigma, police violence, labor organizing, and human trafficking, Selling Sex is an eye-opening, challenging, and necessary book.
Emily van der Meulen is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at RyersonUniversity. Elya M. Durisin is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at York University. Victoria Love is a sex worker, activist, and member of Maggie's: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project. Contributors: Joyce Arthur, Cheryl Auger, Steven Bittle, Chris Bruckert, Jenn Clamen, Deborah Clipperton, Anna-Louise Crago, Susan Davis, Jane Doe, Tor Fletcher, Kara Gillies, Michael Goodyear, Stacey Hannem, Sarah Hunt, JJ, Leslie Ann Jeffrey, Tuulia Law, Annalee Lepp, Jacqueline Lewis, John Lowman, Gayle MacDonald, Karolyn Martin, Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, River Redwood, Rene Ross, Trish Salah, Esther Shannon, Frances M. Shaver, Mariana Valverde, and Alan Young

"Selling Sex avoids the sensationalism favoured by other books on the subject and presents a wide range of perspectives to produce a timely and balanced account of an important issue."
-Meredith Ralston, Professor of Women's Studies and Political Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University, and documentary filmmaker of Hope in Heaven
Introduction / Emily van der Meulen, Elya M. Durisin, and Victoria Love

Part 1: Realities, Experiences, and Perspectives
1. Work, Sex, or Theatre? A Brief History of Toronto Strippers and Sex Work Identity / Deborah Clipperton

2. Myths and Realities of Male Sex Work: A Personal Perspective / River Redwood

3. Champagne, Strawberries, and Truck-Stop Motels: On Subjectivity and Sex Work / Victoria Love

4. Trans Sex Workers: Negotiating Sex, Gender, and Non-Normative Desire / Tor Fletcher

5. We Speak for Ourselves: Anti-Colonial and Self-Determined Responses to Young People Involved in the Sex Trade / JJ

6. Decolonizing Sex Work: Developing an Intersectional Indigenous Approach / Sarah Hunt

7. Transitioning Out of Sex Work: Exploring Sex Workers' Experiences and Perspectives / Tuulia Law

Part 2: Organizing and Social Change
8. Working for Change: Sex Workers in the Union Struggle / Jenn Clamen, Kara Gillies, and Trish Salah

9. Overcoming Challenges: Vancouver's Sex Worker Movement / Joyce Arthur, Susan Davis, and Esther Shannon

10. Né dans le Redlight: The Sex Workers' Movement in Montreal / Anna-Louise Crago and Jenn Clamen

11. Stepping All Over the Stones: Negotiating Feminism and Harm Reduction in Halifax / Gayle MacDonald, Leslie Ann Jeffrey, Karolyn Martin, and Rene Ross

12. Are Feminists Leaving Women Behind? The Casting of Sexually Assaulted and Sex-Working Women / Jane Doe

13. Going 'round Again: The Persistence of Prostitution-Related Stigma / Jacqueline Lewis, Frances M. Shaver, and Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale

Part 3: The Politics of Regulation
14. Regulating Women's Sexuality: Social Movements and Internal Exclusion / Michael Goodyear and Cheryl Auger

15. Crown Expert-Witness Testimony in Bedford v. Canada: Evidence-Based Argument or Victim-Paradigm Hyperbole? / John

16. Repeat Performance? Human Trafficking and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games / Annalee Lepp

17. A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Canadian Anti-Pimping Law and How It Harms Sex Workers / Kara Gillies

18. Still Punishing to "Protect": Youth Prostitution Law and Policy Reform / Steven Bittle

19. To Serve and Protect? Structural Stigma, Social Profiling, and the Abuse of Police Power in Ottawa / Chris Bruckert and Stacey

20. Beyond the Criminal Code: Municipal Licensing and Zoning Bylaws / Emily van der Meulen and Mariana Valverde

Afterword / Alan Young