We recommend these books. Each one provides important insights into the realities of prostitution, pornography and the global sex trade, and how we can resist.
ANY GIRL by Mia Döring
“Any Girl is a ferociously honest, intensely tender and utterly unforgettable book that is as thought-provoking as it is timely.”
The Sex Economy by Monica O’Connor
Drawing on extensive research, O’Connor challenges the idea that the sale of women’s bodies as commodities is acceptable and that men have a right to buy sexual acts from another person. She shows that ‘sex work’ is not a lucrative occupation for impoverished women and girls, and exposes the harm that normalising the sex trade does on women’s lives, gender equality and society as a whole.
Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade edited by Melinda Tankard Reist and Caroline Norma
This book documents the reality of prostitution through the lived experience of women who have survived it.
Pimp State: Sex, money and the future of equality by Kat Banyard
Skilfully weaving together first-hand investigation, interviews and the latest research, Pimp State powerfully argues that sex trade myth-makers will find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Being and Being Bought by Kajsa Ekis Ekman
“This is a riveting analysis of prostitution and surrogacy that shatters the great wall of lies about these two institutions. Brilliantly analyzing the parallels, Kajsa Ekis Ekman wages a multi-pronged attack on sexism and classism that leaves the reader with hope for change.” Melissa Farley, PhD.
Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution by Rachel Moran
“The best work by anyone on prostitution ever, Rachel Moran’s Paid For fuses the memoirist’s lived poignancy with the philosopher’s conceptual sophistication. The result is riveting, compelling, incontestable. Impossible to put down. This book provides all anyone needs to know about the reality of prostitution in moving, insightful prose that engages and disposes of every argument ever raised in its favor.” Catharine A. MacKinnon
Exit! by Grizelda Grootboom
Grizelda Grootboom’s life was dramatically changed when she was gang raped at the age of nine by teenagers in her township. Her story starts there. It is a story about the cycle of poverty, family abandonment, dislocation and survival in the streets of Cape Town. She reveals the seedy and often demonised life of a prostitute and her ultimate escape from it.
Body for Rent by Anna Hendriks and Olivia Smit
Childhood best friends Anna and Olivia were just 15 years old when they met Ricardo. He was older, charming and good-looking – and Anna and Oliva were easy prey. Manipulated, groomed and abused, within three years he had pimped the girls into the neon-lit windows of Amsterdam’s red light district.
Shadow’s Law: The True Story of a Swedish Detective Inspector Fighting Prostitution by Simon Häggström
Detective inspector Simon Häggström is head of the Stockholm Police Prostitution Unit. He tells the true stories of the people he meets every day; young girls facing dangers they did not foresee, seven foreign women working and living together in a one bedroom apartment, Lovisa, born into a life of drugs and prostitution, and of course, the men who buy sex.
Not a choice, Not a job by Janice G Raymond
“This book dispels the smoke and mirrors and uncovers the horrific and complex truths of prostitution and the global sex trade. This is a must read for those who want to understand the facts about the harsh realities that so many experience.” Vednita Carter
The Pimping of Prostitution: Abolishing the Sex Work Myth by Julie Bindel
“Bold, brilliant and brave. This is Julie Bindel at her best, demolishing the myths around prostitution and asking us to listen to survivors, the women and men who know the ugly reality first-hand.” Joan Smith
The Nordic Model by Trine Rogg Korsvik and Ane Stø
In this book, feminists activists write about their enduring struggle for the abolition of prostitution. The authors offer valuable insights into the movement’s strategies, as well as its allies and opponents. The book unmasks the pro-prostitution lobby and confronts the myth that the Nordic model is harmful to women in prostitution.
The Macho Paradox: Why some men hurt women and how all men can help by Jackson Katz
“With integrity and courage, Jackson Katz has taken his message – that the epidemic of violence against women is a men’s issue – into athletic terms, the military and frat houses across the country. His book explains carefully and convincingly why – and how – men can become part of the solution, and work with women to build a world in which everyone is safer.” Michael Kimmel.
River of Flesh and Other Stories edited by Ruchira Gupta
Twenty-one stories about trafficked and prostituted women by some of India’s most celebrated writers: Amrita Pritam, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, Indira Goswami, Ismat Chughtai, J. P. Das, Kamala Das, Kamleshwar, Krishan Chander, Munshi Premchand, Nabendu Ghosh, Qurratulain Hyder, Saadat Hasan Manto and Siddique Alam, among others.
Not for Sale: Feminists resisting prostitution and pornography edited by Christine Stark and Rebecca Whisnant
This collection of essays connect feminist perspectives on the sex industry with radical critiques of racism, poverty, militarism, and unbridled corporate capitalism, and shows how the harms of prostitution and pornography are amplified by modern technologies.
The Natashas: Inside the new global sex trade by Victor Malarek
They’re the third most profitable black market commodity, after illegal weapons and drugs. They are women and girls, some as young as 12. They are sold into prostitution and kept enslaved; those who resist are beaten, raped, and sometimes killed as examples. In many cases, the men who should be rescuing them –from immigration officials to police officers and international peacekeepers – are among their aggressors.
The Johns: Sex for sale and the men who buy it by Victor Malarek
This book dispels the myths that justify prostitution and puts on display the rationales of ordinary johns, their beliefs, their behaviours, and their astounding brotherhood. It also shows us the darker side: the rise of sex tourism, the predators, the role of the Internet. Lambasting the pro-prostitution lobby, he explains why legalising prostitution can lead only to the greater enslavement of women.
The Industrial Vagina by Sheila Jeffreys
“This is an insightful analysis into the globalization and industrialization of the modern sex industry. Sheila Jeffreys makes the connections between prostitution, marriage, pornography, strip clubs, and sex tourism and how they all combine to exploit women who are most harmed. This book opens a window on global sexual exploitation and the institutions that support it.” Janice G. Raymond
Pornland: How porn has hijacked our sexuality by Gail Dines
“Dines brilliantly exposes porn’s economics, pervasiveness, and impact with scholarship as impeccable as her tone is reasonable. This book will change your life. Ignore it at your peril.” Robin Morgan
The Idea of Prostitution by Sheila Jeffreys
This book investigates the claims of the pro-prostitution movement and the burgeoning sex industry, arguing that the sex of prostitution is not just sex; the work of prostitution is not ordinary work; and prostitution is a choice for the men who abuse rather than for the prostituted women.
And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom by Wendy Barnes
Wendy Barnes was introduced to sex trafficking by her first love, the father of her children. And Life Continues is her story: how she became a victim of human trafficking, why she was unable to leave the man who enslaved her for fifteen years, and the obstacles she overcame to heal and rebuild her life after she was rescued.
Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation by Renate Klein
A radical feminist introduction to the reality of surrogacy as the commissioning / buying / renting of a woman into whose womb an embryo is inserted and who thus becomes a ‘breeder’ for a third party and how it is being heavily promoted by the stagnating IVF industry which seeks new markets.