Technology mediated sex work: Fluidity, networking & regulation in the UK

Rosemary Campbell, Yigit Aydin, Stewart Cunningham, Rebecca Hamer, Kathleen Hill, Camille Melissa, Jane Pitcher, Jane Scoular, Teela Sanders, Matt Valentine-Chase

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter draws on findings from the Beyond the Gaze (BtG) research project, the largest UK study to date of the working practices, safety and regulation of the online sex markets. BtG has produced some significant data sets which shed light on the characteristics and regulation of contemporary sex work, particularly for independent escorts and webcammers. It explores how the internet has significantly re-shaped and created; business opportunities, work patterns, flexible working and the mobility/fluidity (over time, space and job roles) of postmodern forms of sex work online. It highlights how online spaces are now vital for connectivity and peer support, with sex workers are using virtual spaces, social media and other online platforms and applications to establish and cement professional and peer support networks, some based around safety but equally around collegiate or social chat as well as advocacy. It also illustrates how policing intersects with the online sex work world, highlighting how UK policing is in it’s infancy in engaging with online markets and the primary focus has been through the modern slavery and trafficking remit. It argues that in the UK and globally online and digital technology has transformed and will continue to reshape the sex industry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge International Handbook of Sex Industry Research
EditorsSusan Dewey, Isabel Crowhurst, Chimaraoke Izugbara
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)0815354126, 9781351133906
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Handbook Series

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Sex work
  • Prostitution
  • Rights
  • Technology
  • Research Methods

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