13 Junio 2017 11:10
Photographer Jessica Kelly shoots portraits of London's young male prostitutes
For many of us, sex work is still a taboo subject in 2017. Despite being the world’s oldest profession, it is still surrounded by prejudice, misconceptions and debates on sexual freedom.
Where the industry receives most criticism is in its exploitation of women who choose to become sex workers, fuelling a society that treats women as objects and exploits their bodies. Many groups and associations, including many sex workers, counter this argument saying that women should have autonomy over their bodies, that they can do as they please with them.
But, how do male sex workers fit into this debate? Jessica Kelly, a London-based photographer, wanted to break down the stigma and shed a positive light on this hidden side of sex work in the British capital.
After six months of shooting, this award-winning series, titled Boys, portrays London’s male sex workers in a warm and intimate light. In an interview for Huck Magazine Kelly explained what led her to developing this project:
‘I wanted to do a project that I could not only learn from but would also push me as a photographer. I found the industry so fascinating because I only found out a few years ago that men could also be sex workers.’
‘I think it differs slightly, I feel the female side of it gets more attention, although not necessarily good attention.’
‘The guys would tell me that sex is, like, 30 per cent of the job. They are there to keep the clients company and talk to them and make them happy.’
‘I paid them for their time so whatever their hourly rate was, that’s how much I paid them. I guess being a student, that got tricky at times, but I just made sure that I saved enough money for this project.’
‘The only thing I knew was that I wanted to shoot them on a bed and with natural light. I just went there and shot them. I didn’t have anything planned in my head.’