The term "sex worker" was coined in 1978 by sex worker activist Carol Leigh.
Its use became popularized after publication of the anthology, Sex Work: Writings By Women In The Sex Industry in 1987, edited by Frédérique Delacoste and Priscilla Alexander.
While predators have found ways to use the Internet to find victims in chat rooms and abuse children via web cam sex tourism, for those seeking to stop predators the Internet is a major piece of new technology that can help to track down and stop predators.
Effects on Prostitution Prostitution is known as the “oldest profession” but the advent of the Internet has produced some significant changes for those who choose to become prostitutes. For those prostitutes that have access to the Internet and the know-how to utilize it, it has helped them to avoid risks that in the past were considered inherent to the profession such as: sexually transmitted infections, rape, and other violence. Prostitutes that have access to the Internet are potentially safer because they have the ability to use online forums where they can share and receive tips from other prostitutes about staying safe and avoiding problem clients or vouching for past clients they consider safe. Prostitutes can even subscribe to services that allow customers to pay for background checks before meeting, and even share medical information. This technology has allowed prostitutes more freedom to work solo while remaining relatively safe, thereby avoiding situations that could become exploitive and controlling. An additional benefit to the public is that when prostitutes utilize the Internet to gain clients it takes interactions between prostitutes and “Johns” off the street and away from third parties. As the Internet becomes a bigger part of prostitution, it may become physically safer for prostitutes but much more can be done to protect the vulnerable people in that industry.
Some sex workers perform erotic dances and other acts for an audience (striptease, Go-Go dancing, lap dancing, Neo-burlesque, and peep shows).