"For the Asking" is published in "Sexuality and Culture: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly", a peer-reviewed academic journal. Sexologists, sociologists, filmmakers and novelists have frequently considered the question of what it is to be a prostitute. This paper questions the extent to which we can ever "know" a prostitute. Even prostitutes themselves, in interviews, in "confessions", in their autobiographies, are bound up in layers of fiction. This paper, utilising the works of a range of theorists, academics, prostitute voices, personal meetings, literary authors and trash literature, interrogates the nature of research in prostitution studies and looks at representations of the prostitute in both academia and literature. From a theoretical standpoint it draws on the work of Derrida and Barthes and is particularly concerned with the concepts of "knowing" and "naming". Like much of my writing, it considers cultural phenomena that is often ignored by mainstream society.
The research leading to “For the Asking” draws heavily on and complements my fictional series Briefplays (plays on time and the prostitute/client exchange). The essay shares a theoretical perspective with this earlier work, particularly Briefplay 3, which appeared in "Feminist Review" Number 67, Spring, 2001, special issue "Sex Work Reassessed". The interlinked plays and performance pieces have been performed by the author as well as sex workers.