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Important Research On Internet Based Sex Work In UK

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Guest GayMassageGlw

Hi guys


I'm new to the forum.  I'm based in Glasgow and am working part-time on a research project called Beyond the Gaze, which

is looking at internet based sex work in the UK.  It's being carried out by researchers at Leeds & Strathclyde universities.  It will be the largest, most important study, of this sector of the industry to date in the UK, so a good opportunity to have your say.  As this is an important study it will  be used  to  inform policy so it’s important the views & experiences of  a group of sex workers, whose needs/working styles and conditions, have tended to be ignored will be collected in this research.


We are looking for people, of all genders, all nationalities who work as independent escorts or cammers in the UK to take part in a research interview.


To arrange an interview or get further information about what is involved please email or text me at stewart.cunningham@strath.ac.uk  mobile: 07834 148334.  I can arrange a time that suits you to be interviewed.


What the interview involves: The interview will look at how you use the  internet in your work and  ask about wider working practices & safety.  Interviews can be over Skype, phone or face to face, whatever suits you! Interviews will take an hour and there is a £20 thank you Amazon voucher for your time.


Confidentiality: We know how important privacy and confidentiality is for people in the sex industry. Taking part in an interview will be confidential & anonymous, no personal details that could identify you will be recorded, no names, phone numbers, emails etc. We work to strict ethical guidelines and if we didn’t would get into trouble.


For more information about the project go to our website; http://beyond-the-gaze.com/  or follow us on Twitter @BeyondtheGaze


Hope to hear from you soon!


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I'd be happy to take part in this Stewart. There needs to be some data available for policy that isn't collected by the police and social workers, as their data somewhat skewed towards the problem end of the industry.

I'm hectic till next week but will contact you to try and schedule something in.

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Whilst I understand that this study might be considered important I wonder how many more studies are needed?

I'm sure that we've all been contacted by groups / individuals "studying" the sex industry...some of the groups / individuals are genuine and some are not.

Yesterday I received an e-mail asking for me to participate in a study run by students at Southampton University.

Invariably the same questions are asked and when I used to participate I'd churn out the same answers.

I'd be very careful about what information / details you disclose to any of these "studies"

But of course, I'm a natural cynic...thats how I've lasted so long in this game !!


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Guest GayMassageGlw

Hi Craig

You make a good point about over saturation of studies on sex work.  A lot of people are studying the industry and I know it can be tiring fielding all the enquiries you must get. 

Our project is a large scale 3 year study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council so the results we hope will have some influence on policy.  As well as the research part of our project we will also be developing some kind of digital resource or app for sex workers and we're asking people in the interviews what would be useful.  We are also involved in developing new online support services for sex workers.  So we are trying to make sure that this project is actually useful to sex workers and doesn't just produce yet another report.

Totally legit concerns though that you have and respect everything you say.


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Excellent, I'm always enthusiastic about this kind of think.

We sex workers are often silenced by decision makers and I welcome as many opportunities as there may be to consult, inform policy and create resources to make our work safer.


I've done a lot of peer education & empowerment  related stuff in the past so could be of some use so will drop you an email ;) 

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Just completed a telephone interview with Stewart.

I do urge other members of this forum to make contact. ( Scroll to the first post in this thread shared by Stewart ).

This research project is absolutely vital and relevant - it is also quite apparent that the data collected will ultimately help OUR industry.

The reward of a £20 Amazon Gift Voucher is also most welcome!

Michael Senior Contributor Good Escort Forum & Moderator of Rentboys Unite!!!! ( Facebook Group ).

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You can choose not to take part without having to give a reason and without penalty.


What is the purpose of this study?

Through this research project we want to find out new information to map the working practices in Internet-based sex work markets in the UK and explore the experiences of those who work in online markets. The aims of this project are: 1) to establish empirical data about who Internet based sex workers are in the UK; 2) to establish how commercial sex is sold through the Internet with a focus on emerging markets; 3) to understand more about crime experiences by sex workers in their online work, particularly violence. 4) to understand how the sex industry is regulated online and issues relating to safety and regulation that are pressing for future policy action.



Who is doing the study?

The study is being conducted by Professor Teela Sanders (University of Leeds) and Professor Jane Scoular (University of Strathclyde), who have researched with the sex work community for the past decade and are members and supporters of National Ugly Mugs (UKNSWP). For more information about the research project please see the Beyond the Gaze website:


The project is being done in conjunction with the National Ugly Mugs project and team.


Who is being asked to participate?

We are seeking to interview two groups of people. Firstly, we would like to interview sex workers who work with or via the internet. We are asking any UK based sex workers to take part in the survey, irrespective of nationality. It is important we speak to male and transgender sex workers as well as women. 


Secondly, we are keen to interview those key informants who are involved in providing services to the online market (web/app designer/personnel, representatives from advertising platforms and discussion & information forums) and those involved in regulation of this sector (e.g. police, policy makers) and also academic experts in this field.


What will be involved if I take part in this study?


After considering this information sheet and receiving appropriate answers to your questions, we would then ask for your consent to the interview process. Interviews will be arranged either face to face, via Skype or telephone, depending on your choice with one of our research team who are very experienced in researching the sex industry and working with the community. We expect the interview to take an hour, hence we will compensate sex workers with a £20 voucher.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking part?


Advantages of the project are that you get to tell us about your experiences of working online and any issues you have had. There is of course your time we are taking up, but we hope that you are keen to support the gathering of data on this important topic, which will feed back into support services such as the NUM and specialist sex work projects.


Can I withdraw from the study at any time?

You can withdraw from the study at any time during the fieldwork phase and up to three months after the interview. We will ask to use your anonymised information in public documents such as reports and the media, and there will not be the opportunity to withdraw from this after three months as information will already be in the public domain.



Upon completing the interview we will not record any identifiers such as name, email, phone number etc on audio files, but instead give you a code name which will assure anonymity. The data handling procedures are in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. We will use quotations from the interviews but these will be only followed by basic information such as ‘Male escort, 34’. Please read the consent form for more information.


What will happen to the results of the study?


These interviews are part of a larger scale project which will not be completed until 2018. We will ensure that the results are widely publicised through our website, mailing list (sign up via the website) and through our partner activities.


Who has reviewed this study?

The study has been awarded ethical approval from the University of Leeds Ethical Review Committee and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

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I can vouch for Stewart. I have known him for several years and he is totally legit and ethical.

We haven't spoken in a while Stu, but if you want my input, give me a shout. Not sure if erotic masseurs fit your data xx

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