What we are studying

This study seeks to understand how all different types of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are used by people in the sex industry.


Most sex industry research focuses on the attitudes, understandings or experiences of EITHER people who provide sexual services (i.e., sex workers) OR the people who purchase these services (i.e., clients).

This study is the FIRST in Canada to investigate the diverse ways that people involved in the provision of AND payment for sexual services use ICTs to develop relationships, exchange information and negotiate the screen-to-screen and face-to-face exchange of services.

We are seeking to provide a forum for both people who sell and pay for sex or sexual services. We believe that bringing the voices and perspectives together will help to better understand the complexities of the sex industry in Canada, the factors influencing health and safety, and how technology use is related to both clients' and providers' safety, security, and privacy when navigating sexual service for money exchanges.

What the research is about

Technology is an integral part of modern life. We have access to, and regularly connect with, different forms of technology. The ways we communicate and gather information through technologies are dynamic, complex, and have become a part of our social fabric. Yet, we know very little about how people who sell and pay for sexual services use these technologies to share and gather information, coordinate sessions, communicate with peers, professionals, or clients, or learn about the rules and regulations of the sex industry.

Some of our key questions include:


How do current Canadian laws and regulations inform the way technology is used to communicate in the sex industry?


How are sex workers and clients similar and different in their experiences using communication technology?


How are communication technologies used to share information between workers, clients, and wider communities?


How does technology use enhance or constrain worker - client health and safety?

The Research Team

Vicky Bungay, Principal Investigator

Vicky first worked as a critical care nurse in the Maritimes, but was deeply impacted by the health inequities she saw patients facing. Her academic research focuses on addressing health and health care inequities, with particular interests in sexuality, gender, and community engagement. Her work with people in the commercial sex industry and those involved in the street demonstrate her commitment to partnerships that positively impact stigmatized communities. Her research emphasizes the individual, social, and structural factors affecting health and is aimed at improving health and social policy, nursing practice, and health service delivery.

Project News and Publications

Our Research in the Media

Funding and Support

This study has been funded and supported by:

Contact Us

Vicky Bungay

School of Nursing

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Phone: 1.604.822.7933

Mobile (call or text): 1.604.250.7581

Email: [email protected]

Web: UBC Capacity Research Unit