This page provides a list of recommended books about prostitution, pornography, the global sex trade, and surrogacy.


ANY GIRL by Mia Döring

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.”

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BODY SHELL GIRL by Rose Hunter

Body Shell Girl is incredible. It is a captivating and honest account of a woman’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings in the sex trade.” – Cherry Smiley

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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.

Being and Being Bought by Kajsa Ekis Ekman

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.

See: A brief history of the ‘Sex work is work’ movement

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

Last Girl First! Prostitution at the intersection of sex, race & class-based oppressions

A study into how all over the world and throughout history, women and girls from the most discriminated communities are over-represented in prostitution. Poor, Indigenous, migrant, asylum-seeking, displaced women, those from the lowest castes and from ethnic, religious and racial minorities are the first victims of pimps and sex buyers.

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Pimp State: Sex, money and the future of equality by Kat Banyard

Pimp State 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.

Prostitution Narratives: Stories of Survival in the Sex Trade edited by Melinda Tankard Reist and Caroline Norma

Prostitution Narratives

This book documents the reality of prostitution through the lived experience of women who have survived it.

Exit! by Grizelda Grootboom

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.

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Body for Rent by Anna Hendriks and Olivia Smit

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.

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Shadow’s Law: The True Story of a Swedish Detective Inspector Fighting Prostitution by Simon Häggström

Shadow's Law

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

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

The Pimping of Prostitution 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

The Nordic Model by Trine Rogg Korsvik and Ane Sto

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.

River of Flesh 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

Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography

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

The Natahas 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

The Johns 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

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

The Idea of Prostitution by Sheila Jeffreys

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.

See The Idea of Prostitution: Q&A with Sheila Jeffreys and Rose Hunter.

And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom by Wendy Barnes

And Life Continues 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.


Pornland: How porn has hijacked our sexuality by Gail Dines

Pornland 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

He Chose Porn Over Me edited by Melinda Tankard Reist

“Shattering the popular myth that porn is harmless, the personal accounts of 25 brave women in “He Chose Porn over Me” reveal the real-life trauma experienced by women at the hands of their porn-consuming partners – men who were supposed to care for them.”

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Your Brain on Porn by Gary Wilson

Your Brain on Porn is written in a simple clear language appropriate for expert and layperson alike and is rooted firmly within the principles of neuroscience, behavioural psychology and evolution theory … As an experimental psychologist, I have spent over forty years researching the bases of motivation and I can confirm that Wilson’s analysis fits very well with all that I have found.” Professor Frederick Toates, Open University.

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Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Porn Industry edited by Abigail Bray and Melinda Tankard Reist

“With contributions from leading world experts and activists, Big Porn Inc offers a cutting edge exposé of the hidden realities of a multi-billion dollar global industry that promotes itself as a fashionable life-style choice.

“Unmasking the lies behind the selling of porn as ‘just a bit of fun’ Big Porn Inc reveals the shocking truths of an industry that trades in violence, crime and degradation. This fearless book will change the way you think about pornography forever.”

Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity by Robert Jensen

In our culture, porn makes the man. So argues Robert Jensen in Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. Jensen’s treatise begins with a simple demand: “Be a man.” It ends with a defiant response: “I chose to struggle to be a human being.” The journey from masculinity to humanity is found in the candid and intelligent exploration of porn’s devastating role in defining masculinity.

You can download a free PDF of this book from Robert Jensen’s website.


Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation by Renate Klein

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.

Towards the Abolition of Surrogate Motherhood edited by Marie-Josèphe Devillers and Ana-Luana Stoicea-Deram

“In this eloquent and blistering rejection of surrogacy, a range of international activists and experts in the field outline the fundamental human rights abuses that occur when surrogacy is legalised and reject neoliberal notions that the commodification of women’s bodies can ever be about the ‘choices’ women make.”

Read our review >>

By and for men

The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men by Robert Jensen

“The End of Patriarchy asks one key question: what do we need to create stable and decent human communities that can thrive in a sustainable relationship with the larger living world? Robert Jensen’s answer is feminism and a critique of patriarchy. He calls for a radical feminist challenge to institutionalized male dominance; an uncompromising rejection of men’s assertion of a right to control women’s sexuality; and a demand for an end to the violence and coercion that are at the heart of all systems of domination and subordination. The End of Patriarchy makes a powerful argument that a socially just society requires no less than a radical feminist overhaul of the dominant patriarchal structures.”

The Macho Paradox: Why some men hurt women and how all men can help by Jackson Katz

The Macho Paradox 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.

Sex dolls

Sex Dolls, Robots, and Woman Hating by Caitlin Roper

Sex Dolls, Robots and Woman Hating exposes the inherent misogyny in the trade in sex dolls and robots modelled on the bodies of women and girls for men’s unlimited sexual use. From doll owners enacting violence and torture on their dolls, men choosing their dolls over their wives, dolls made in the likeness of specific women and the production of child sex abuse dolls, sex dolls and robots pose a serious threat to the status of women and girls.”

Page first published: 17 May 2016. Page last updated: 1 August 2023.