In our current zero-attention-span society, short form video content is what it’s all about. Whilst Tiktok and Youtube have taken over, professional short films are often forgotten, only attracting the interest of film buffs and people in the biz. 

The lack of popularity around short films is surprising. It’s a win-win: they have all the artistry, style and entertainment value as a regular feature film, but you can easily watch them in under half an hour (most shorts average a 10 minute runtime).  Plus, because shorts are more easily funded than features, they’re more accessible to filmmakers from all backgrounds, meaning that they are more likely to showcase lesser represented voices.

Maybe this is why there are many great shorts out there about sex work. Here are five of the best. 

Throuple

5 Short Films About Sex Work
Throuple dir. by Chrissie De Guzman

Throuple follows Joni, a stripper who becomes close with an artsy middle-class couple after performing a private dance at their house. They being to enter a sort of three-way relationship, in which Joni becomes more attached than she initially expected. The film explores the positives and the problems that can arise from a throuple dynamic and questions to what extent Joni is treated a as a fetish rather than a real human being by the couple.

A standout scene is a wholesome sex party, where Joni, the couple and a few of their friends, explore BDSM. It’s so rare to see bondage shown on screen in such a sex-positive and realistic light, rather than the usual fifty shades of grey crap. The film refreshingly doesn’t try to push any particular narrative about sex work, instead delicately focusing on the sex worker, delicately capturing Joni’s emotional journey.

Watch Throuple for free.

Explore experiences with couples on Sensuali.

 

One Leg In, One Leg Out

5 Short Films About Sex Work
One Leg In, One Leg Out, dir. by Lisa Rideout

Iman is a trans sex worker, who has been in the industry for ten years and is now hoping to quit and become a social worker. Rather than focusing on her past struggles, this short documentary focuses on Iman herself, showcasing her as a positive, hilarious and strong woman. This is a great short that debunks sex worker stereotypes, and inspires the fight for sex worker rights. It’s great to see more films about transgender sex workers being made.

Find other films about transgender sex workers.

 

Happy Ending

5 Short Films About Sex Work
Happy Ending dir. by Eunju Ara Choi

This animation is a poetic testimony taken from a Korean prostitute’s real lived experiences. It beautifully expresses feelings of depersonalisation and the sense of the body being viewed as something separate from the self. However Happy Ending isn’t downright negative about sex work; it’s a nuanced exploration of the female struggle with her own desire and sexuality in a world that objectifies it.

Watch Happy Ending for free.

 

Vétérane

5 Short Films About Sex Work
Vétérane dir. by Pier-Philippe Chevigny

Vétérane tells the story of the struggles of a mature sex worker. Having worked as an escort for a long time, Camelia now works at an erotic massage parlour, where she is finding it increasingly difficult to get clients in competition with the younger girls working there. Her coworkers and bosses find her sadness an inconvenience, and tell her that she will get more clients if she just changes her attitude. This film is an intimate and empowering portrayal of the older sex worker: a group often forgotten about in today’s booming sex industry.

Watch Vétérane for free.

More on mature sex work in film: Party Girl: The Struggles of an Ageing Sex Worker.

Rate Me

5 Short Films About Sex Work
Rate Me dir. by Fyzal Boulifa

Rate Me depicts teen escort, Coco, solely through her online escort reviews. At times funny and at other times shocking, the film shows the dangers of escort rating sites due to the falsities that are spread and the hate that sex workers are often faced with through them. We hear accounts of Coco through her clients, school friends, and parents, but we never really know the real Coco. Rate Me highlights society’s strange fixation on sex workers which often leads to harmful sensationalised narratives.

Watch Rate Me for free.

Explore escorting experiences on Sensuali.

 

Cover art work from Happy Ending, dir. by Eunju Ara Choi.

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Iso

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.


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