What are we talking about when we talk of the sex industry? booklet

Given how the media relentlessly sanitises the sex industry, it’s not surprising that most discussions about ‘sex work’ on social media lack any real explanation about what it really is and how it works. Those who argue for full decriminalisation of the industry often claim that they only mean sex between consenting adults – implying that both parties are equally able to say no to specific practices and to withdraw from the arrangement at will. But that’s not how the industry works in practice.

Drawing on research and survivor testimony, this 48-page A5-sized booklet aims to rectify these misconceptions and to provide a realistic understanding of the sex industry. By ‘sex industry’ we mean all forms of commercial sexual activity, including prostitution, pornography, and ‘sexual entertainment’.

This booklet is based on the What are we talking about when we talk of the sex industry? chapter in the Nordic Model Now! Handbook for Universities.

Download the booklet

Buy printed copies of the booklet (UK only)

If you would like to order copies of the booklet in larger quantities to distribute in your organisation, union, or political party, please email us on nordicmodelnow@gmail.com.


‘What are we talking about when we talk of the sex industry?’ booklet
  • Introduction
  • Webcamming
  • OnlyFans
  • Sugar dating & escorting
  • Stripping & lap dancing
  • ‘Full service’ prostitution
  • Sex for rent
  • Boyfriends, drug dealers, & pimps
  • Racism & structural oppression
  • Implications for physical health
  • Implications for mental health
  • Safety considerations
  • Getting stuck
  • Is it really easy money?
  • Other long-term considerations
  • Stigma
  • Implications for men

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