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.

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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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