Male sex work: exploring regulation in England and Wales

Mary Laing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Whilst sex-work policy in England and Wales claims gender-neutrality, local and national prostitution strategies primarily focus on female street-based sex workers. Men who sell sex are generally absent or inadequately considered in such policies, and measures to regulate commercial sex markets are rarely considered in terms of their impact on male working practice. Drawing on the Coordinated Prostitution Strategy for England and Wales, this paper has two aims: first, to offer a gender-based critique of the current policy framework for England and Wales by arguing that sex-work policy is infused by a gendered understanding of sex work in which male identities are neglected or assumed deviant; and second to explore the notion that understanding sex work as it is performed locally is valuable when generating local and national policy. Informed by gendered readings of policy, social understandings of masculinity, and the (in)visibility of male sexual commerce this paper explores male sex work in the context of Manchester, England.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-144
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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