Stories

Reframing sex work

  • Series
Artwork made up of a black and white photograph of a female figure from behind, from the waist up, against a black background. Her arms are held above her head and her wrists cross, fingers extended. Embroidered into the photographic print with grey thread is a crisscross floral pattern which exactly covers her head and hair. Across her back, embroidered in silver thread is a large triangle connected to a smaller triangle. Either side of the figure are two large curved forms made up of a layered texture of dots.
Sex work, stigma and whorephobia. © Jessa Fairbrother for Wellcome Collection.

Dr Kate Lister invited five contributors to share their diverse, profound and often heartbreaking personal experiences of sex work, with each reflecting upon how the stigma of sex work can have a significant impact on sex workers’ mental health, on their place in society and on their physical safety. The result is a series of unique perspectives that question the political and societal reluctance to legitimise sex work and how it might better protect those who are the most vulnerable.

About the editor

Photograph of Dr Kate Lister

Dr Kate Lister

@WhoresofYore

Dr Kate Lister is a lecturer at Leeds Trinity University, where she researches the history of sexuality and curates Whores of Yore, a project exploring the history of sexuality.