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By K. Huppatz

Drawing on interviews with nurses, social employees, unique dancers and hairdressers, this ebook explores the methods taken with generating and reproducing gendered and classed staff and occupations.

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Extra resources for Gender Capital at Work: Intersections of Femininity, Masculinity, Class and Occupation

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However, the nature of the sex industry is seasonal and many workers are not employed fulltime. For these reasons the average salary in the industry is only about $27000 despite opportunities to earn high hourly wages. Workers are most motivated to join the sex industry in times of unemployment and underemployment and many workers are only employed in the industry for a few years to achieve a financial target (Shulman, 2011: 5–30). Therefore, sex industry jobs appear to function as back up jobs or ‘last resorts’.

Indeed, exotic dancing involves the provision of a sexualised service and exotic dancing and prostitution sometimes overlap. However, exotic dancing might also be described as ‘service work’. IBISWorld (an industry-based commercial research company) locates the sexual service economy with wholesale and retail (Shulman, 2011: 30) and Siobhan Brooks (2010: 6) describes exotic dancing as a ‘desire industry’ in much the same was as she describes retail work: both these types of jobs ‘operate on ideas of desire and attractiveness’ just as fashion jobs, modeling and acting do.

This industry is also becoming increasingly normalised and its advertising is now permitted on billboards and television. However, ‘while there has been some rise in consumer acceptance of sexual services, the industry still has a negative image, largely due to the moral, health and safety issues associated with it’ (Shulman, 2011: 12). In Australia there are between 15,000 and 20,000 sex workers employed at any one time (Shulman, 2011: 13). However, the nature of the sex industry is seasonal and many workers are not employed fulltime.

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