New Publication

The research team at BtG have an inclusion in the Routledge International Handbook of SexImage result for international book of sex industry research Industry research. The chapter is entitled Technology mediated sex work: fluidity, networking & regulation in the UK.

This chapter draws on findings from the Beyond the Gaze (BtG) research project, the largest UK study to date of the working practices, safety and regulation of the online sex markets. BtG has produced some significant data sets which shed light on the characteristics and regulation of contemporary sex work, particularly for independent escorts and webcammers.

The chapter explores the changing shape of the online sex industry and looks at digital technology and its shaping of the industry. Drawing on BtG research the chapter suggests that the online world is a platform for workers to unify and manage safety, to a degree. It also look sat how policing of the online sector is in its infancy.

The chapter is another way to share some of the BtG findings and ensures that the research does not disappear into the ether, as so many research findings do. This is in addition to the more hands-on sharing that is continuing with BtG and National Ugly Mugs. More coming soon on the developments of community-impact dissemination.

Matt Valentine-Chase, BtG Webmaster and former researcher for BtG.

Beyond the Gaze – in Mandarin

Safety for sex workers Mandarin

We are very excited and pleased to announce that the safety and privacy ‘quick look’ cards have been translated into Mandarin.

Sex worker safety in Mandarin

You can download your own resources by clicking the link. Feel free to print and share – but please do not amend. Click >> Here <<

As you might now be aware, Beyond the Gaze and the Research and Development Team at National Ugly Mugs are working hard to devise and widen the safety and privacy resources produced by BtG.

Watch this space!

The Beyond the Gaze Team 🙂

Beyond the Gaze – Where Do We Go From Here?

Professor Teela Sanders, Research Director at Beyond the Gaze (BtG) and Doctor Raven Bowen, CEO of National Ugly Mugs (NUM), talk about BtG, NUM, the newly formed Research and Development Team at NUM – and where we go from here….

Sex worker safety resources

The Beyond the Gaze project came to its formal end in September 2018. The work that happened during the three years of the project, largely successful because of the engagement and participation of the sex work community, does not stop there. The project activities, particularly the resources (pictured, also available in digital format) produced by sex workers on safety and privacy will be taken forward through the partnership with the National Ugly Mugs. Some of this legacy has been developed because of the importance of research to ‘make a difference’, to not sit on a shelf in a book, or not just be written up for academics to read between themselves.

Teela Sanders BtG

The Beyond the Gaze project was driven by a need to ensure that sex workers voices and experiences (online) were heard, and that those who come into contact with sex workers (practitioners/police) became a little more aware of the working practice of online sex workers in particular the rise of digitally facilitated crimes.

Dr. Raven Bowen NUM

It would be a real shame, and a waste of time and money, if the resources created did not find a home or a use with either sex workers or those practitioners working with the sex work community around safety, crime and access to justice. Therefore, we have been able to move resources away from the University of Leicester to NUM in order to carry on various elements of the impact work going forward. Central to this is the integration of sex workers into NUM through the newly formed Research and Development Team (R&D).

National Ugly Mugs R&D Team

The NUM Research and Development Team (Team R&D!) comprises of 13 industry experts, of diverse gender, cultural and sexual identities, who possess a collective 75.5 years’ experience in the field and 73.5 years’ experience in policy advocacy and rights activism in the UK and elsewhere. Currently, R&D members are revamping the NUM website and reporting forms; sharing the BtG research findings by posting tips and strategies for safer online sex work; engaging in activities related to the operations of NUM, such as participating on hiring panels and auditing our training; and consulting with our partners on various projects and research. The group meets monthly to report on activities, take on new tasks and discuss emerging issues and priorities.

We are looking forward to working with the R&D team to develop projects and new initiatives inspired by their engagement with BtG research findings and NUM!

Prof. Teela Sanders and Dr. Raven Bowen

Quick Update – Safety and Privacy for Online Sex Workers

Safety and Privacy for Sex Workers Available Now

If you are a regular to the site or you know of Beyond the Gaze’s work, you will know that we are working hard to ‘gift back’ the research, our sex worker resources and outcomes to the sex work community. We have been working closely with our partners National Ugly Mugs and their newly formed Research and Development team – NUM R&D – an expert group of industry professionals – to develop ways in which BtG’s research continues to have positive benefit for sex workers now and in the future.

We already have produced:

  • A forty four page document – ‘Safety and Privacy for Online Sex Workers’
  • Safety and privacy tip cards
  • Safety and privacy leaflet
  • Safety and privacy flyers

All of the above were written by sex workers, have been informed by the BtG research and are all available in print or digital form. BtG, NUM and NUM’s R&D team have been busy tweeting and uploading – so download our main document (PDF of Safety and Privacy for Online Sex Workers) from this page. You can also, if you prefer, read it section by section by hovering over the Resources for Sex Workers tab – you will see the title of the document in the drop down menu – see what grabs your attention and you just click to read that section here on the site.

The other resources will be available soon in a downloadable pack. Print versions are being distributed but are currently limited, we’re working on that.

The team at NUM R&D and BtG are now looking at more ways the safety and privacy info can be shared with the sex work community – and even more ways to share the research findings in an effective, creative and community-focused way.

Updates will appear here on this site, on the BtG twitter, the NUM twitter and NUM’s R&D twitter.

Teela Sanders, Lead Researcher for BtG and Raven Bowen, CEO of National Ugly Mugs, have written a post on ‘where we go from here’ to further look at what research is, why we do it and what we do with the findings. Their post is on the way!

Did I say this update would be quick? Whoops….

Until next time,

Matt and the BtG Team 🙂

Safety and Privacy for Online Sex Workers

Beyond the Gaze have produced a downloadable document on safety and privacy for online sex workers. This extensive (but not exhaustive) document was written by sex workers and informed by the research BtG carried out during our three year study of the online sector – specifically, the working practices, regulation and safety of online sex work in the UK. Click the image for an instant download! Free for sex workers and supporters. By online we mean, sex workers who use digital technology to run their business. This could be: escorts, pro doms, performers, agency workers, cammers etc.

Safety and Privacy for Sex Workers Available Now

This document was first published late 2018, here we make it accessible in one click for 2019! We will keep you posted as we share our findings further and transition the BtG branding to a more permanent home, as our research has now come to an end. Don’t worry, we’re still here for a while yet and will make sure you know where to go to get the information you need!

Get in touch via twitter: BtG on twitter

The BtG Team 🙂

The Laura Lee Sex Worker Human Rights Annual Lecture

Prof Maggie O’Neill, Keynote Speech at the Laura Lee Lecture

Following the Advancing a Social Justice Agenda for Sex Workers conference in Dublin on 16th November 2018, the team at the Irish Sex Work Research Network, presented the first Memorial Annual Lecture on Sex Worker Human Rights, in honour of Laura Lee, a champion supporter of the BtG project, sex worker activist and dear friend of many who attended the event. The topic for this year’s lecture was ‘Sex Work, Sexual Citizenship and Social Justice: Towards ‘a Real Politics of Justice’.

Professor Maggie O’Neill made a moving keynote speech where we all remembered Laura together, focused on her legacy and explored how we can come together to further the cause of social justice and inclusion. Dr. Rosie Campbell of BtG and the University of York, tweeted: ‘Lucky to be in to hear give the 1st sex worker human rights annual lecture focused on social justice & need for inclusive citizenship drawing on decades of participatory action research & creating knowledge…’ Matt Valentine-Chase of BtG said: ‘After a powerful conference, we now remember Laura Lee, at The Laura Lee Annual Lecture: Sex Work, Sexual Citizenship and Social Justice: towards a ‘Real Politics of Justice’.

Laura was known to be a ‘woman of power’ and after her passing, allies, friends and colleagues took to social media to say ‘Rest in Power’. The conference and the following Laura Lee Lecture oozed a sense of sadness tinged with the gift of determination Laura left us all with. The speakers and audience contributors often reflected on this gift and how they will continue this, using it as a tool for change – informing individual, organisational and societal evolution – towards social justice and personal enablement.

Laura – we salute you. Forever in our hearts, our minds – Our Power.

The BtG team xXx

Image credit: Dr. Rosie Campbell