In Plain Sight : Sex Worker Participants Required

As sent to Whoretography

My name is Raven, I've been an advocate for sex worker health, safety and recognition for many years in Canada. I used to run a sex worker organization called PACE Society in Vancouver and I coordinated the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities, a regional sex worker research and advocacy group. My most recent advocacy project was Hooker Monologues, performed March 2016 in Canada. I'm now at the University of York doing my PhD and I'm proud to be on the board of ScotPEP, a sex worker organization. See my Bio https://www.york.ac.uk/sociology/our-staff/students/raven-bowen/

My past academic work was about how people transition in and out of sex work, deal with 'whore stigma' and challenge those who see sex work only as harm. I highlight that some people are not entering or leaving sex work, instead they find ways to balance jobs in both sex work and square (non sexual) work at the same time. I call this 'duality.' 

 I'm seeking participants to interview to explore how people manage information about themselves, decide who to disclose to and who not to, carve out different work identities, keep secrets, switch back and forth between jobs, and how experiences in either job to helps or hinders performance in the other. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of working in this very versatile way and discover tips and strategies to help others who do the same. 

More details are on the project blog https://dualitystudy.blogspot.co.uk/ but here are the basics:

 Participants must:

·         be over 18 years old

·         work in the off-street sex industry

·         hold at least one non sex work paid job (all paid work included, casual, part or full-time,  self-employed, etc.)

·         live and work in the UK and

·         have relevant experience juggling both kinds of work

Other info:

·         This study is open to all genders and nationalities. Since everyone has such busy lives, I am very open to doing interviews over the phone or via Skype™, or face to face where possible.

·         Participants will receive a £25 Amazon gift card or an electronic Amazon gift card if you've done a phone or Skype™ interview as a thank you for providing your insights.

·         This study received ethics approval from the University of York on May 13th 2016 and I will do everything possible to make sure your participation is safe. I will not collect or disclose personal information about participants outside of an email address to send gift cards as needed.

The goal of the study is to expand the ways that people define and describe sex work and sex workers. Some discourses discuss sex work as something that someone is 'trapped' in or has 'survived', or as something that people are either ‘in’ or ‘out’ of. There is very little academic work on strategic involvement in sex work and few studies challenge mainstream notions of who a sex worker is or can be.

I argue that sex workers participate in all kinds of skilled work across jobs in sex work and square work and unless outed, most people can be in a room with or work with sex workers and not know it...and for good reason! The violence of stigma perpetrated by mainstream society keeps people in hiding, hence the title of the study 'In Plain Sight: an examination of 'duality', the simultaneous involvement in sex work and square work.' 

This study will be a way to talk about duality safely and challenge the simplistic understandings of people who do both kinds of work and the biased representations sex workers.

 If you're interested, email me at dualitystudy@gmail.com