Archive for the ‘sudhir venkatesh’ tag

#  Sex Industry Q&A →

March 27th, 2008 at 17:55 // In Worth Reading 

Sudhir Venkatesh has some answers from Mindy and Dorothy, two sex workers, about their profession. They had some interesting things to say; this bit about legalization surprised me:

DOROTHY: I think legalization is really bad for the women because they will just get exploited. They’ll get paid a lot less and be forced to do a lot more.

I don’t condone prostitution, but I do understand survival.

Women sell their bodies for survival — I don’t care how much money they make. You don’t want to make that a permanent thing.

#  Spitzer Was Too Cheap? →

March 12th, 2008 at 20:27 // In Worth Considering 

That’s roughly the argument made by sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh.

At the lucrative end of the market, I have found it useful to think of three tiers of women (men constitute only about 10 percent of high-end prostitutes). Spitzer was paying for “Tier 1” sex workers: Fees usually range from $2,000 to $5,000 per session; women come in all ages and ethnic stripes; they rigorously guard their health and watch for STDs; and most have a high-school degree but have limited work experience. They can promise you discretion, but most work through escort services that are routinely under surveillance. In practice, this means buyer beware. […]

Both Tier 2 and Tier 3 workers can typically do more to safeguard a client’s privacy. There are no guarantees, of course, but they tend to shun contractual relationships with agencies that advertise their services. There is less of a paper trail. They typically will only take a john via a referral, and even then, they may require that the john “date” them for weeks before deciding to offer up sex. I have heard of Tier 2 and 3 sex workers who vet prospective clients for months, sometimes hiring a private detective to see if the john is stable—psychologically and financially. As a former attorney general, Spitzer must have known all this.

It’s also worth noting that he’s not too sanguine on the trade in general.