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Between Choice and Obligation: An Exploratory Assessment of Forced Marriage Problems and Policies among Migrants in the United States

New Edited Volume Third Party Sex Work and Pimps in the Age of Anti-Trafficking — By Amber Horning and Anthony Marcus

© 2017

Third Party Sex Work and Pimps

in the Age of Anti-trafficking


Editors: Horning, Amber, Marcus, Anthony (Eds.)

??This volume is the first comprehensive compilation of scholarly works on pimps


This volume is a compilation of new original qualitative and ethnographic research on pimps and other third party facilitators of commercial sex from the developed and developing world. From African-American pimps in the United States and Eastern European migrants in Germany to Brazilian cafetãos and cafetinas this volume features the lives and voices of the men and women who enable diverse and culturally distinct sex markets around the world. In scholarly, popular, and policy-making discourses, such individuals are typically viewed as larger-than-life hustlers, violent predators, and brutal exploiters. However, there is actually very little empirical research-based knowledge about how pimps and third party facilitators actually live, labor, and make meaning in their everyday lives. Nearly all previous knowledge derives from hearsay and post-hoc reporting from ex-sex-workers, customers, police and government agents, neighbors, and self-aggrandizing fictionalized memoirs.


This volume is the first published compilation of empirically researched data and analysis about pimps and third parties working in the sex trade across the globe. Situated in an age of highly punitive and ubiquitous global anti-trafficking law, it challenges highly charged public policy stereotypes that conflate pimping and sex trafficking, in order to understand the lived experience of pimps and the men and women whose work they facilitate.


Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Introduction: In Search of Pimps and Other Varieties

    Horning, Amber (et al.)

    Pages 1-13

  • Sympathy for the Devil: Pimps, Agents, and Third Parties Involved in the Sale of Sex in Rio de Janeiro

    Blanchette, Thaddeus Gregory (et al.)

    Pages 15-47

  • Loved or Seduced? Intimate Relationships Between Hungarian Sex Workers and Pimps in Berlin’s Kurfürstenstraße

    Katona, Noemi

    Pages 49-69

  • Pimps, Bottoms, and the Nexus of Caring and Cash in a Harlem Sex Market

    Horning, Amber (et al.)

    Pages 71-88

  • Managers’ Rules About Sex Workers’ Health and Safety in the Illicit Online Sex Market: Considering Profits and Risks

    Finn, Mary A. (et al.)

    Pages 89-110

  • Exit from the Game: Ex-pimps and Desistance in the U.S.A

    Davis, Holly

    Pages 111-129

  • Managing Conflict: An Examination of Three-Way Alliances in Canadian Escort and Massage Businesses

    Casey, Lauren (et al.)

    Pages 131-149

  • Perceptions About Pimps in an Upscale Mega Brothel in Germany

    Staiger, Annegret

    Pages 151-176

  • Black Pimps Matter: Racially Selective Identification and Prosecution of Sex Trafficking in the United States

    Williamson, Kathleen G. (et al.)

    Pages 177-196

South Bronx Community Connections A Pilot Project of Community Connections for Youth: A Grassroots Approach to Pro-social Adolescent Development in a Neighborhood of Chronic Disadvantage: A Formative Evaluation


Richard Curtis
Anthony Marcus
Nancy Jacobs
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
City University of New York

November 2013

New Paper “Pimping and Profitability Testing the Economics of Trafficking in Street Sex Markets in Atlantic City, New Jersey”

Marcus, A., Sanson, J., Horning, A., Thompson, E., & Curtis, R. (2016). Pimping and Profitability Testing the Economics of Trafficking in Street Sex Markets in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Sociological Perspectives59(1), 46-65.

Human trafficking has been identified as the second or third most profitable illicit business on the planet. Underlying these claims and billions of dollars in policy funding since the 1990s is an economics of human trafficking built heavily on two assumptions. The first is that nonconsensual labor is more profitable than consensual labor with minors being particularly profitable due to their ubiquity and inability to effectively consent. The second is that, unlike illicit narcotic and weapons sales, human trafficking involves a uniquely renewable and nearly limitless source of profit. This article uses empirical data collected from street sex markets in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 2010–2012 to test some of the assumptions of the economics of human trafficking and puts particular focus on U.S.-based domestic minor sex trafficking by exploring market practices and understandings of young sex workers and pimps/third parties who have opportunities to benefit from the sexual labor of minors. Consistent with broader literature by economic historians and labor process scholars, findings do not support the assumptions of trafficking economics, suggesting the need for trafficking economists and policymakers to give more consideration to local political economies of sex in the design of antitrafficking policy.

New Paper “Strength in Numbers: A Model for Undergraduate Research Training and Education in the Social and Behavioral Sciences”

Martin, Y. C., Marcus, A., Curtis, R., Eichenbaum, J., & Drucker, E. (2016). Strength in Numbers: A Model for Undergraduate Research Training and Education in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 1-17.


This study describes a new approach to undergraduate science training that offers an alternate model to the national objective of scaling up scientific research interests and capabilities among undergraduate students. With this new focus, we seek to more effectively bring scientific research methods and experiences to larger numbers of students in non-elite educational circumstances. Our model has been designed and implemented, at the John Jay College and the Borough of Manhattan Community College, both of which are part of the City University of New York (CUNY), where we have a majority non-White and economically disadvantaged student body. We have successfully engaged large numbers of undergraduate students by linking multiple classes in the social and behavioral sciences to build collective cross-disciplinary research projects that give every enrolled student an opportunity to receive high-quality research training and create cumulative data sets over years that are cumulative, collaborative, and of professional value.