The issue of third parties in the sex industry – individuals who are neither the client nor the service provider – has become especially urgent in our current socio-political context. Surprisingly, in spite of an emergence of critical scholarship on the sex industry, as well as recommendations by key governmental committees, little attention has been extended to examining the role of individuals labelled pimps, procurers, and traffickers.
Addressing the function of third parties on the street and indoors, Getting Past "the Pimp" incorporates solid empirical evidence including documentary analysis, 75 interviews with third parties, and 52 interviews with sex workers to unpack the roles and relationships of third parties in three sectors of the sex industry‒ incall/outcall, stripping, and street-based prostitution. Contrary to prevailing stereotypes that portray third parties as inherently abusive and controlling, these workers fulfill important roles and provide vital services as associates, fee-for-service hires, and agency owners or managers responsible for scheduling and arranging transportation and security. The sex industry, like mainstream businesses, rarely depend exclusively on client and worker to operate efficiently, and safely.
Chris Bruckert is an associate professor in the department of criminology at the University of Ottawa. Over the past 20 years she has devoted much of her energy to examining diverse sectors of the sex industry; to that end she has undertaken qualitative research into street-based sex work, erotic dance, the in-call sector, escorts, clients, male sex workers and trafficking. She is currently completing a three year SSHRC-funded project on the management of the sex industry. She endeavors to put the principles of committed scholarship into practice and is active in the sex worker rights movement. Her engagement includes being an extremely active member of POWER (Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau Work, Educate and Resist) Ottawa's first by-and-for sex worker rights group; currently she is the group's vice-chair.