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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

5 - Dreams and Strategies of Women Selling Sex


Chapter 5 examines how interactions between global and local systems of meaning within the neoliberal political economy shape sex workers’ dreams and plans for the future. This is done by examining the notion of a ‘good life’ that prevails in sex worker narratives. The first part of the chapter considers what such a ‘good life’ consists of and how an understanding of the ‘good life’ differs according to how successful a sex worker is in her trade. The second and the third parts of the chapter analyse what strategies and plans women have to reach their aims. The second part concentrates on women’s ideas about attaining the ‘good life’ through marriage; the third focuses on how a ‘good life’ can be secured through business and work. The final part of this chapter discusses what differences sex workers show in their dreams for themselves and their children, and what might be the reasons behind these. The argument put forward points to the duality of neoliberal logic: some women who live in precarity dream about a 'good life' that means basic survival and living conditions, while women who have already secured their basic needs dream about accumulation and social progress.

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