Lilith Brouwers


Current research: Sex workers’ experiences of work relationships with third parties in the UK.

Despite increasing academic research into sex work as an issue of work and labour, the role of affiliated workers who make their income in the sex industry (third parties in roles such as management, security, sharing work space, renting out premises, etc.) has been consistently understudied. Due to the fact that these third party roles are currently criminalised, all employment relations in the full service sex industry in the UK are effectively illegal. This research will map the existing third party relationships in the UK sex industry, focusing on sex workers experiences of the impact third parties have on their working conditions. It will explore the way current legislation on third parties affects sex workers safety and how this may be improved. 

Additional research projects

The response of online intermediaries (adult service websites where sex workers advertise their in-person services) in the sex industry in the UK to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sex work is one of the fields of work most heavily affected by the pandemic, but the majority of sex workers is not in a direct employment relation. For this reason, it is essential to map the response of - and analyse the role of - intermediaries in the national COVID-19 response.


Leeds University Research Scholarship

Professional Memberships

HEA Associate Fellow

Extracurricular Activities

Divisional representative of postgraduate researchers of the Work and Employment Relations Division

Member of the Leeds University AREA Research Ethics Committee

Teaching Experience

Diversity Management – University of Leeds

Human Resource Management – University of Leeds

Economic Institutions – University of Leeds

Multidisciplinary research methods and academic writing – Utrecht University

Guest lecture, dissertation module – University of Leeds

Guest lecture, sex work for medical students – University College London

Guest lecture, psychology of intimate relationships – St. Mary’s University


  • MSc Gender Research - London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK
  • BA Liberal Arts and Sciences - Utrecht University, the Netherlands