Sex Work: The Unofficial Resume

Click here to view this episode's transcript.

We all have an unofficial résumé that has shaped us and that gives us the skillset for future jobs.


Welcome to Episode 2 of How’s Work? with Esther Perel. Our office? A strip club. Today we meet two sex workers, one a newcomer and the other seasoned enough to mentor her. Both are graduate students in their 20s employed here by choice.

In Sex Work: The Unofficial Resume, we go beyond sex as Esther disrobes the industry’s power dynamics.‍


What to listen for in this episode of How’s Work? with Esther Perel:

  • Work cultures develop around perceptions of “abundance” or “scarcity” in opportunities and resources. The difference? A culture of solidarity or dog eat dog.
  • In an environment where management waffles on the rules and no HR representative is present, how can workers protect their own boundaries?
  • Customer care, marketing, sales and emotional literacy--such skills for success can be honed at strip clubs no less than at corporations.
  • Working in a field that’s considered taboo carries both a burden and an opportunity. How to transform social attitudes and avert prejudice in future employment while also making a positive impact as an insider?
  • Many people have had jobs their parents don’t understand, are disappointed in or think are dangerous. Personal and family narratives can be challenging to reconcile, especially in immigrant circles. How to square a mythos of “striving for a better life” with one of “intentional service” in a controversial profession
  • Everyone’s work style is shaped by their personality, history and origins. Whether confrontational or cautious, how do team members complement one another and encourage their productive growth?

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