Transformational Sexualities: Motivations of women who pay for sexual services

Kingston, Sarah orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9226-1915, Hammond, Natalie and Redman, Scarlett (2021) Transformational Sexualities: Motivations of women who pay for sexual services. Sexualities, 24 (4). pp. 527-548. ISSN 1363-4607

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Previous research on client motivations to purchase sexual services in the UK has predominantly focused on the experiences of men. Women who buy sex have largely been overlooked, as it is commonly assumed that women provide, rather than purchase sexual services. In addressing this empirical absence, this article examines data gained from 50 interviews with women clients and sex workers. It examines the reasons why women decide to purchase sexual services in the UK. We argue that the increasing importance of contemporary capitalism and consumerism has shaped women’s engagement in the sex industry as clients. We show how women’s sexual agency and assertiveness as clients, inverts the female sex worker/male client binary assumed to characterize commercial sex and illustrates the overlap and convergence of male and female sexuality. Our research thus contributes to an understanding of female sexuality more broadly, as exemplifying the hallmarks of ‘transformational sexualities’ in cosmopolitanism (Plummer, 2015).

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