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Where is the intimacy in sex work? A discussion with Claire Jayne and Sophie Day

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We invite you all to a discussion about sex work between Claire Jayne and Professor Sophie Day (Goldsmiths). Claire Jayne has been a full time sex worker for seven years, mainly catering to married men seeking out intimacy. Sophie Day has worked academically on issues of sex work in London.

We constructed the current issue of the King’s Review around questions of intimacy and at the event we will try to address how this concept relates to understandings of sex work, as well as surrounding discourses and legislation. We will start with two brief accounts of Claire Jayne and Prof. Day addressing questions such as: How is intimacy constructed and conceived in the context of sex work and how can these understandings be problematic? How do reductive and heteronormative understandings of intimacy and the body further stigmatize sex workers? How does the state and law disrupt the intimate personal space of sex workers’ domestic lives? We will focus on questions from the audience for the remainder of the time.

We want to use this event to launch our new print issue, featuring articles on intimacy, which you will be able to buy fresh from the press.

A brief reception will follow the discussion.

All are welcome and we invite sex workers especially to attend and participate in the discussion. In order to allow for a safe space we will follow Chatham House Rules (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham_House_Rule). Should anyone have any special requirements or concerns please contact us on editors@kingsreview.co.uk.

Biographical information:

Claire Jayne (pseudonym) has for 7 years been a full time Sex Worker. She is also a published Photographer in London, who holds a degree in Biochemistry and Genetics from La Trobe University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Criminology from Melbourne University and will in 2015 commence a Masters program. In this, she will explore the role of gender representation of women though the photographic image with an emphasis on the sex worker community of central London. The Masters will examine the extent to which many current images of sex workers reduce them to providers of the mechanics of sex , often at the price of reducing not only their humanity but also their sensuality, thus contributing to the stigma of sex work. She is currently working an a photographic essay called ‘Whoretography’ The project is a serious of portraits of sex workers, those in sex worker support roles and the men who use the services of sex workers. The project aims to humanise sex workers and the men who pay for sex. The will be an exhibition with an accompany website and a fine art coffee table book.

Professor Sophie Day studied at Cambridge University, Stanford University, Ca., and the London School of Economic and Political Sciences, where she completed a PhD on spirit possession in Ladakh, North India. She holds a Visiting Chair at the School of Public Health, Imperial College, London and is currently working there half-time alongside her post at Goldsmiths. She was awarded the Eileen Basker Prize and the Wellcome Medal for Anthropology as Applied to Medical Problems for her 2007 monograph, ‘On the Game: Women and Sex Work’. London: Pluto Press.

This talk is part of the King's Review series.

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