There are a number of aims of the research. Firstly, I aim to identify how economic conditions affect indoor sex workers’ working decisions. In particular, as time becomes more and more important for our working lives, I am interested in hearing about how you manage your time at work and in preparation for work. Also, the research is interested in changes to the relationships between sex workers and their clients which may have occurred following the financial crisis, particularly in relation to your time at work. For example, you may find that clients have less money to spend or are visiting less often. I am also interested in hearing about how you perceive differences between regular and new clients.
I would like to meet research participants 1-3 times over a period of 12 months to discuss the issues above. Each meeting will take between 1-2 hours. During these meetings, participants will be asked to draw, write and talk about experiences of their finances, client requests, how they advertise and the time they spend at work.
Of course, the amount you wish to participate, or the way you wish to participate is completely up to you. If you would prefer to take part in an online interview/conversation, we can do this instead.
I am looking for indoor, independent sex workers in the North of England. You will have had significant experience of the issues under study, such as client negotiations, transactions, and advertising as these experiences are important to the research. Your opinions and point of view are considered crucial to the validity, legitimacy and thoroughness of the research.
It is entirely up to you to decide whether or not you wish to take part. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason.
Participants are offered compensation for their time in the form of gift vouchers as a way of saying thank you for their involvement. For the first and second meetings you will be given £20 on each occasion and on the third meeting you will be given £50. You can choose where these gift vouchers are for. I am very aware that this is far below your usual hourly rates and this will put many off taking part. If this is the case please do get in touch because all feedback is appreciated.
What does the research involve?
I will ask participants to develop a map or timeline based on experiences over a time period between 2006 to the present day. This may mean that you weren’t sex working at the time, and that is still very relevant for the research because it is important to understand your working decisions as a whole.
I will bring pens and paper to the meetings and ask you to try to draw or write about what you have been doing over the last 10 years. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and I can help you get started if you need to. I expect that they will last between 1-2 hours in length and during this time we will talk about the issues over the period of time. Questions are likely to be related to the following:
- Where were you working before the financial crisis (before 2007)?
- How has this changed since the financial crisis (2007 onwards)?
- How do you manage your time at work?
- How do you manage the time within appointments with clients?
- Have there been any changes in clientele or the services being requested?
- What are the differences between regular and new clients?
With your permission, these interviews will be audio-visual recorded using a camcorder, but your face will not be in the frame for the filming. This is so I can track how the map was created and I will transcribe the discussion for research purposes. You can ask for the recording to stop at any point. You are able to watch these recordings at any time, and can change, amend, take out or add to what you have said. After completion of the map, this information will be securely stored in a locked filing cabinet and electronically in a password-protected, private file. Any identifiable information will be removed and replaced with codes in order to protect your anonymity. These recordings will not be publicised in any way.
You do not have to use this method if you would prefer to just talk or to write your answers instead.
Who has reviewed the study?
This study has been reviewed by the University of Leeds Research Ethics Committee and granted full ethical approval. My supervisors Teela Sanders and Nick Emmel in the School of Sociology and Social Policy.
Contact for Further Information
Laura Jarvis-King, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT.