The stereotypical view of prostitution is based on the idea that sex work destroys the woman’s capability for sexual pleasure and alienates her from her sexuality. The author argues that the idea of the destructive capacity of sex work is not universally obvious. Sex workers interviewed seem to derive sexual pleasure in both commercial and private relationships. Professional sex work can be perceived as a distancing from the prostitute’s own enjoyment but it can also be a channel to a more emancipated and pleasurable sex life.
Source: “The Sex Worker and Her Pleasure” from Current Sociology July 2008 vol. 56 no. 4 605-620
The HBO documentary series Cathouse gives and interesting look into the lives of legal prostitutes in Nevada.
SuperFreakonomics has a very interesting section on prostitution covering whether prostitutes are patriotic, how many prostitutes are seasonal workers, and whether pimps are worth it.