March 15, 2019

We’re reaching out to ask for your help assessing the impact of FOSTA-SESTA on online sex workers, especially escorts. We know that your time is valuable, but we hope that the results of this research will be useful for educating the public about this legislation and it’s impact on providers. We’re happy to share our findings and research with participants, too.


The phone or web interview is anonymous; we will not know who you are or anything other than what you choose to share. All information that you share is kept strictly confidential. This is a safe way to voice your thoughts and opinions about FOSTA-SESTA and anything else related to the escort business.

Feel free to share this privately or publicly through social media -- we hope to get a high response so that we can share our findings with sex workers, legislators, policy makers, activists, allies, and academics.

Thank you so much. Have a great day!


Carol Leigh coined the term "sex work" in 1979/1980, but the debate over whether or not adult women who choose to work in the sex industry are laborers still rages on. This research project moves forward from that debate and begins with the theory that working as an independent, online escort or companion in the U.S. is a business situated in the new online, so-called "gig economy," and women working in this sector need a variety of professional skills and strategies to be successful. Unfortunately, neither academics, nor activists, nor the public have a good understanding of the business strategies and practices of independent, internet-based escorts, courtesans, and companions. This research aims to address this gap by reframing discussion to focus on adult service providers as erotic entrepreneurs.

Each of us has been working in this field for many years, in a variety of ways, and together we bring over 60 years of experience to this project. We have UNLV Institutional Review Board approval to conduct this research in a safe, confidential, ethical manner. Moreover, we will be sharing the results of this research broadly: online, with the sex worker community, Desiree Alliance, students, scholars, and the public-at-large through publications. 

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Kate Hausbeck Korgan, Ph.D.

Assoc. Professor, Sociology

Dean, UNLV Graduate College


Alex Nelson, Ph.D. Candidate

Anthropology, UNLV


Antoinette Izzo, Ph.D. Student

Sociology, UNLV


Sarah Bessen, M.D. Student

Dartmouth University 

Susan Lopez, M.A.

Independent Scholar

Leslie Hunter. M.A.

UNLV Graduate College


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© 2016 Kate Hausbeck Korgan, Ph.D.

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