Popular understandings of prostitution derive from a variety of sources - films, literature, government reports, newspaper articles and so on - but apparently rarely from first-hand experience either as a prostitute or a client. Prostitution has been generally defined as constituting an exchange of sexual services for money or other material remuneration. However, with a number of academics and prostitutes recently seeking to re-imagine prostitution as part of a legitimate and widespread ‘sex industry’, there has been some attempt to problematise this definition. Prostitution is clearly a subject on which everyone has an opinion, and the academic literature emanating from feminism, anthropology, sociology, psychology, criminology, law and social policy contains many trenchant analyses of the significance of prostitution in contemporary society. Patterns of work in the sex industry, as revealed through anthropological and ethnographic research, thus often appear more varied than might initially be expected.