Hustling: Prostitution in Our Wide Open Society

About the Book

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The netherworld of prostitution has never before been so deeply explored or vividly portrayed as in this book. Sheehy presents a realistic portrait of a fierce new breed of woman on the American scene.

"The subculture of prostitution was the place to pick up early warning signals of how women in 'straight' society would begin to use their sex--and their specific sexual advantage--to push against our social boundaries. Violent women are part of a much larger cultural shift. In contemporary America as it undergoes a slow earthquake of gender, we can see the awakening assertiveness of women most starkly at the farthest distance from the conventional center--in the netherworld."

Hustling follows the class ladder of the vocation, from street hooker to independent call girl to the courtesan who plays not only for wealth but for social position. It also reveals who makes the profits: the pimps and pornographers, the lawyers and politicians, the Mafia--and the landlords, some of the largest taxpaying property owners in the nation.

In 1975, Hustling was adapted into a TV movie.