Another popular protection strategy is the use of deterrents. Because there is often not time to thoroughly screen clients, and since the likelihood of choosing a violent client is high, sex workers rely on persuading men not to harm them. The threat of a third party intervention was a popular deterrent in all markets. Neesha learned that using the threat of a boyfriend lurking round the next corner normally acts as a deterrent even though in reality she had no such protector: ‘I tell them that I have got a man who watches me and he will take the registration number and he knows where I take the punters’. Security is hired to discourage clients who contemplate robbing the establishment or attacking the worker. Drivers accompany workers because women fear clients could have a weapon or that several men could be hiding in the house: ‘You never go on an escort unless you have an escort yourself’ (Felicity, escort).

Another popular protection strategy is the use of deterrents. Because there is often not time to thoroughly screen clients, and since the likelihood of choosing...