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

6 - A Vicious Circle


Chapter 6 explores the structural obstacles to achieving a post-sex-work ‘good life’, with an emphasis on gendered structural violence and neoliberal agency. Some individuals manage to negotitate sex work better than others, thus reproducing the distinction between winners and losers, and this chapter interrogates what obstacles are important when producing this distinction. The cycle of success in the sex industries, the ability to earn money and spending patterns are investigated to show the difficulties of balancing spending in a way that is compatible with future plans for a ‘good life’. Furthermore, the dangers that define everyday experiences in the sex industries, such as the possibility of unplanned pregnancies, the financial strains of raising children, the probability of alcohol and drug addiction and health risks, are discussed to show how these factors contribute to making an exit from sex work to a ‘good life’ complicated. Thus the chapter points to the limits of gendered agency in the commercial sex.

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