These are the books I read leading up to and during the writing of Thriving in Sex Work, intended for the general reader who is interested in sex work, self-care, and personal finances. 

Academic Studies

Chapkis, Wendy. Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Ditmore, Melissa Hope (ed). Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006.

Ditmore, Melissa Hope, Antonia Levy and Alys Willman (eds.) Sex Work Matters: Exploring Money, Power, and Intimacy In the Sex Industry. New York: Zed Books, 2010.

Grant, Melissa Gira. Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work. New York: Verso Books, 2014.

Laing, Mary, Katy Pilcher and Nicola Smith (eds). Queer Sex Work. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Weitzer, Ronald (ed.) Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge, 2010.


Essays & Autobiographies

First Person Accounts + Theory

Nagle, Jill (ed.) Whores and Other Feminists. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Q, Siouxsie. Truth, Justice, and the American Whore. Berkeley: ThreeL Media, 2016.

Queen, Carol. Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture. Pittsburgh, Penn.: Cleis Press, 1997

Tiefer, Leonore. Sex is Not a Natural Act & Other Essays. Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 2004.


First-Person Sex Worker Stories & Autobiographies

Burana, Lily. Strip City: A Stripper’s Farewell Journey Across America. New York: Hyperion, 2001.

Burns, Tara. The Collected Whore Diaries. Audible: 2014.

Delacoste, Frédérique and Priscilla Alexander. Sex Work: Writings by Women in the Sex Industry. Pittsburgh, Penn.: Cleis Press, 1987.

Keefe, Tim. Some of My Best Friends Are Naked: Interviews with Seven Erotic Dancers. San Francisco: Barbary Coast Press, 1993.

Lee, Jiz (ed.) Coming Out Like a Porn Star: Essays on Pornography, Protection, and Privacy. Berkeley, ThreeL Media, 2015.

Leigh, Carol. Unrepentant Whore: The Collected Work of Scarlot Harlot. San Francisco: Last Gasp, 2004.

Oakley, Annie (ed.) Working Sex: Sex Workers Write About a Changing Industry. Emeryville, Cal.: Seal Press, 2007.

Sterry, David Henry. Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent. Berkeley: Soft Skull, 2013.

Sterry, David Henry and R.J. Martin Jr. (eds.) Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money, and Sex. Berkeley: Soft Skull, 2009.

Sterry, David Henry and R.J. Martin Jr. (eds.) Johns, Marks, Tricks, and Chickenhawks: Professionals and Their Clients Writing About Each Other. Berkeley: Soft Skull, 2013.

Sycamore, Matt Bernstein (ed.) Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write About Their Clients. New York: Harrington Park Press, 1999.


Financial Advice Books

Benson, April Lane. To Buy or Not To Buy: Why We Overshop and How To Stop. Boston: Trumpeter, 2008.

Edwards, Paul and Sarah Edwards. Finding Your Perfect Work: The New Career Guide to Making a Living, Creating a Life. New York: J.P. Tarcher, 2003.

Edwards, Paul. Home-Based Business for Dummies. 3rd ed. Hoboken: Wiley Pub., 2010.

Fredricks, Laura. The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Los Angeles: Highroads Media, 2008.

Kobliner, Beth. Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Luhrs, Janet. The Simple Living Guide: A Sourcebook for Less Stressful, More Joyful Living. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.

Mundis, Jerrold. How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously. New York: Bantam Books, 2012.

Orman, Suze. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. New York: Riverhead Books, 2005.

———. Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2007.

Ramsey, David. The Total Money Makeover, A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. Nashville: Nelson Books, 2013.

Robin, Vicki and Joseph Dominguez. Your Money or Your Life. New York: Penguin Books, 2008.

St. Kitts, Lori A. The Tax Domme’s Guide for Sex Workers and All Other Business People. CreateSpace Independent Pub., 2013.

Stanley, Thomas J. and William D. Danko. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy. Lanham, Md.: Taylor Trade Pub., 2010.

Tessler, Bari. The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness. Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2016.


Self-Help and Spiritual Guidance

Bornstein, Kate. Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006.

Chödrön, Pema. Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion. Boston: Shambhala, 2008.

———. The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. Boston: Shambhala, 2005.

———. Start Where You Are: A Guide To Compassionate Living. Boston: Shambhala, 2004.

———. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. Boston: Shambhala, 2002.

de Becker, Gavin. The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence. New York: Dell, 1999.

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. New York: Random House, 2012.

Easton, Dossie and Janet Hardy. The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships and Other Adventures. Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 2009.

Hạnh, Thích Nhất. Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm. New York: HarperOne, 2012.

Gordon, James S. Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression. New York: Penguin, 2008.

Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York: Bantam Books, 2013.

———. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. New York: Hyperion, 2005.

Lamott, Anne. Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. New York: Riverhead Books, 2014.

Mitchell, Stephen A. Can Love Last? The Fate of Romance Over Time. New York: Norton, 2002.

Richo, David. How To Be An Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration. New York: Paulist Press, 1991.

———. The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find in Embracing Them. Boston: Shambhala, 2005.

Salgado, Brenda (ed.) Real World Mindfulness for Beginners: Navigate Daily Life One Practice at a Time. Sonoma Press, 2013.

Stendhal, Renate. True Secrets of Lesbian Desire: Keeping Sex Alive in Long-Term Relationships. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2003.

Veaux, Franklin and Eve Rickert. More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory. Portland, Ore.: Thorntree Press, 2014.

Weiss, Joseph. How Psychotherapy Works: Process and Technique. New York: Guilford Press, 1993.

Whitfield, Charles L. Healing the Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families. Pompano Beach, Fla.: Health Communications, 1987.

Williams, Mary Beth and Soili Poijula. The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms. 3rd ed. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2013.


Sex Worker Sexpert Books

For The General Public

Christina, Greta (ed.) Paying For It: A Guide by Sex Workers for Their Clients. Emeryville, Cal.: Greenery Press, 2004.

Lyremark, Erika. Think Like a Stripper: Business Lessons to Up Your Confidence, Attract More Clients & Rule Your Market. Minneapolis, Minn.: Bascom Hill, 2013.

Monet, Veronica. Veronica Monet’s Sex Secrets of Escorts: Tips From A Pro. Indianapolis, Ind.: Alpha, 2005.

Queen, Carol. Exhibitionism for the Shy: Show Off, Dress Up and Talk Hot! San Francisco: Down There Press, 2009.


For Other Sex Workers

Brooks, Amanda. The Internet Escort’s Handbook Book 1: The Foundation. Golden Girl Press, 2006.

———. The Internet Escort’s Handbook Book 2: Advertising & Marketing. Golden Girl Press, 2009.

Green, Lady. The Sexually Dominant Woman: A Workbook for Nervous Beginners. Emeryville, Cal.: Greenery Press, 1998.

Jones, Taylor B. The Sugar Daddy Formula: A Sugar Baby’s Ultimate Guide to Finding a Wealthy Sugar Daddy. R&D Publishing, 2014.

Meretrix, Magdalene. Turning Pro: A Guide to Sex Work for the Ambitious and the Intrigued. Emeryville, Cal.: Greenery Press, 2001.



Bartky, Sandra Lee. Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression. New York: Routledge, 1990.

Bell, Shannon. Reading, Writing and Rewriting the Prostitute Body. Bloomington, Ind.: University Press, 2004.

Freire, Paolo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 2000.

Goffman, Erving. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986.

hooks, bell. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center. Boston: South End Press, 1984.

Lorde, Audre. Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power. Brooklyn: Out & Out Books, 1978.

Rubin, Gayle. “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” From Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, Carol Vance (ed.) Boston: Routledge & K. Paul, 1984.



Extended Reading

Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time. New York: Vintage. 1992.

Barry, Lynda. One! Hundred! Demons! Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2005.

Berkowitz, Eric. The Boundaries of Desire: A Century of Good Sex, Bad Laws, and Changing Identities. Counterpoint, 2015.

Brown, Chester. Paying For It: A Comic Strip Memoir About Being A John. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2011.

Burgo, Joseph. “The Difference Between Guilt and Shame,” Psychology Today, 2013. Accessed March 2017 at

Erickson-Schroth, Laura (ed.) Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Estés, Clarissa Pinkola. Women Who Run With The Wolves. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.

Ronson, Jon. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. New York: Riverhead, 2015.

Sapolsky, Robert M. MonkeyLuv and Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals. New York: Scribner, 2005.

Sprinkle, Annie. Providing Educational Opportunities to Sex Workers. [Ph.D. Dissertation]. 2002. Accessed March 2017 at

———. “Forty Reasons Why Whores Are My Heroes.” Accessed March 2017 at

Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein (ed.) That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation. Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2008.

Tanenbaum, Leora. I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet. New York: Harper Perennial, 2015.



TED Talks

Brown, Brené. The Power of Vulnerability. [video file]. June 2010. Retrieved from TEDx Houston,

———. Listening to Shame. [video file]. March 2012. Retrieved from TED2012,

Lewinsky, Monica. The Price of Shame. [video file]. March 2015. Retrieved from TED2015,

Mac, Juno. The Laws that Sex Workers Really Want. [video file]. June 2016. Retrieved from TEDX East End,

Satyarthi, Kailash. How to Make Peace? Get Angry. [video file]. March 2015. Retrieved from TED2015,