The Oldest Profession Podcast reminds listeners that sex workers have always been part of the story. Each episode focuses on an “old pro” from history, contextualizing that figure in their own time and connecting their story to the ongoing struggle for sex worker rights.

Kaytlin Bailey created The Oldest Profession Podcast to be an accessible and entertaining resource for anyone who wants to learn more about sex workers and our place in history.

Nagle, Jill. Whores and Other Feminists. New York: Routledge, 1997.

This volume provides a unique perspective on sex work and the sex industry by featuring self-identified feminist sex workers and their allies. Carol Leigh’s chapter, “Inventing Sex Work,” is included in this collection. The book draws from various feminist theories and perspectives, offering a comprehensive exploration of the topic.

Leigh, Carol. “Women of vision oral history interview.” Interview by Alexandra Juhasz. Women of vision: 18 histories in feminist film & video, The Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation. December 2, 1995. Video.

In this interview, Carol Leigh discusses feminism, media, AIDS, and her work in video. She reflects on her projects, including the documentary “Whore in the Gulf” and a video involving the American flag. The interview provides a personal and insightful glimpse into Leigh’s creative process and thoughts.

Leigh, Carol. Autobiography of a Whore: The Demystification of the Sex Work Industry. 1983.

Carol Leigh’s poetry collection provides a firsthand account of her experiences in the sex work industry. Through her narrative, readers gain insight into the realities and challenges faced by sex workers.

Leigh, Carol. Unrepentant Whore: The Collected Work of Scarlet Harlot. 2004

Scarlot Harlot, unrepentant whore, activist and artist, is a brazen, brainy hooker. Since the late seventies, Scarlot Harlot (a.k.a. Carol Leigh) has written, performed and produced work in a variety of genres on women’s issues and on her experiences in the sex industry.

Carol Leigh: an interview. Carol Leigh; Ayanna U’Dongo; Charles Rice. 1993. Streaming video file.

This interview provides an in-depth exploration of Carol Leigh’s role in coining the term “sex worker” and her contributions to worker’s rights. Leigh’s use of performance and video to educate audiences about sex work and advocate for sex workers’ rights is highlighted.


Genzlinger, Neil. “Carol Leigh, Who Sought a New View of Prostitution, Dies at 71.” The New York Times, November 18, 2022. Link to the obituary.

Whiting, Sam. “Carol Leigh, who coined the term ‘sex work’ and fought to puncture taboos about it, dies at 71.” San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 2022. Link to the obituary