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 | Host

Charlene J. Fletcher | Historian 

Marie Cecile Anderson | Producer & Audio Engineer

Episodes of The Oldest Profession Podcast

thotscholar & The Scarlot Harlot: Perspectives on Language

thotscholar & The Scarlot Harlot: Perspectives on Language

thotscholar & The Scarlot Harlot: Perspectives on LanguageiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify What is gained or lost by the language we use to define ourselves and our community? Where does this language come from and who gets to use it? In this thought-provoking...

International Whores’ Day: In Conversation with Ceyenne Doroshow

International Whores’ Day: In Conversation with Ceyenne Doroshow

International Whores' Day Ceyenne Doroshow & Kaytlin Bailey in ConversationiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify On June 2nd, 1975 over 100 sex workers occupied the Church of Saint-Nizier in Lyon, France. They hung a banner which read "Our children do not want their mothers...

A Special Tribute to Margo St. James

A Special Tribute to Margo St. James

A Special Tribute to Margo St. JamesiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Margo St. James, who founded the prostitutes’ rights organization COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) and later the St. James Infirmary, passed away on January 11, 2021. As a tribute to Margo, we have...

Tina Horn on SfSx & We Too

Tina Horn on SfSx & We Too

Tina Horn on SfSx & We Too iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Tina Horn is a writer, teacher, and media-maker. She hosts and produces the long-running kink podcast Why Are People Into That?!. Her reporting on sexual subcultures and politics has appeared in Rolling Stone,...

Jack the Ripper’s Victims

Jack the Ripper’s Victims

Jack the Ripper's VictimsiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Late in the summer of 1888, a serial killer murdered at least five women in London's East End. The press at the time was quick to paint his victims as prostitutes, punished for their promiscuity. This series tells...

Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens: Remembering Margo St. James

Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens: Remembering Margo St. James

Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens: Remembering Margo St. James  iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Margo St. James, who sparked the sex worker rights movement in the 1970’s, passed on January 11, 2021. James was a visionary who brought global advocates together to...

#OldProProject & Why January 25th Matters

#OldProProject & Why January 25th Matters

#OldProProject & Why January 25th MattersiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify On January 25th, 1917, 300 sex workers in San Francisco marched to protest the imminent closure of their brothels. #OldProProject is an annual event that builds towards this anniversary, and this...

Lilith

Lilith

LilithiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Lilith: The First Woman and First Feminist The story of Eve tempting Adam in the Garden of Eden is a patriarchal fairy tale that most of us learn at an early age. But Eve wasn’t the first wife or the first woman. Her predecessor,...

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera

Marsha P. Johnson & Sylvia RiveraiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify The category is... revolutionary love. Revolutionary women, civil rights pioneers, drag queens, freedom fighters. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were the vanguard of the modern LGBTQ Rights Movement....

Melania Trump

Melania Trump

Melania TrumpiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Melania Trump (1970 - ) is the 45th First Lady of the United States, model, and old pro. Born to tax evaders in Slovenia, Melania is the second First Lady born outside of the United States (the first, born in England, was...

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria WoodhulliTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Soothsayer, suffragette, stockbroker, sex worker, candidate for President of the United States, and even “Mrs. Satan,” Victoria Clafin Woodhull has been called many names and lived a vibrant, controversial life....

Lou Graham

Lou Graham

Lou GrahamiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify At a time where full service sex workers in Seattle euphemistically called themselves seamstresses, Madam Lou Graham was so rich that she served as an alternative to banks, giving loans to business propositions deemed too risky by...

Cardi B

Cardi B

Cardi BiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify The most famous sex worker of today's music industry, Cardi B unabashedly flaunts and celebrates her past as a stripper in her songs, music videos, and social media.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-LautreciTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Best known for is commercial paintings of the moulin rouge, French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was also a john who (literally) lived in brothels. As a tenant and client, Toulouse-Lautrec created compelling...

Ching Shih

Ching Shih

Ching ShihiTunes | Stitcher | SpotifyChing Shih went from working as a full service sex worker on a floating brothel in Canton to becoming the one of the most successful pirate captains in the history of the world.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn MonroeiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify In 1949, Marilyn Monroe, struggling to make ends meet as an actress, got paid $50 to pose nude for a calendar. She worked as a pinup and — according to some — as a prostitute before becoming an internationally recognized sex...

Anais Nin

Anais Nin

Anais NiniTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Anaïs Nin was one of the first prominent modern western women known to explore and take part in erotic writing.

Tlazōlteōtl

Tlazōlteōtl

TlazōlteōtliTunes | Stitcher | Spotify This Mesoamerican Goddess was the deity of vice, filth, purification, steam baths, lust, fertility, adulterers and — you guessed it — sex workers. Tlazōlteōtl symbolically castrated priests in elaborate rituals, and pardoned her...

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen WuornosiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Infamous misandrist and queer icon Aileen Wuornos killed seven men while working as a hitch hiking sex worker in Florida. To say that her life was defined by hardship would be an understatement. She started exchanging sex for...

Holiday Special: Sex Worker Coming Out Stories

Holiday Special: Sex Worker Coming Out Stories

Holiday Special: Coming Out StoriesiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify A very special episode of compiled heartbreaking and heartwarming coming out stories from Coyote Fawn, Allie Oops, and many more.

International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers Guest Hosted by Ceyenne DoroshowiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify In this special episode to commemorate the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on December 17th, Ceyenne Doroshow interviews long time...

Stormy Daniels

Stormy Daniels

Stormy DanielsiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Stormy Daniels is a self made woman and sex worker who had the audacity to tell her own story. The uneventful sex she had with Donald Trump might be the least interesting part of this incredible woman’s story.

Big Nosed Kate

Big Nosed Kate

Big Nosed KateiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Mary Katherine Horony-Cummings, also known as "Big Nosed Kate," worked as a full service sex worker and eventually became the wife and companion of Old West gunfighter Doc Holiday.

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester StalloneiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Unbeknownst to most, six years before writing and starring in Rocky, Sylvester Stallone was the lead in a soft core porn film. In this episode, Kaytlin takes a deep dive into Stallone's past and analyzes the different ways...

Bettie Page

Bettie Page

Bettie PageiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Part two of our "Reformed Whores" series. Bettie Page, one of the most iconic pin-ups and bondage models of the twentieth century, had an on-and-off again relationship with Evangelical Christianity. While her involvement with the...

Linda Lovelace and Andrea Dworkin

Linda Lovelace and Andrea Dworkin

Linda Lovelace & Andrea DworkiniTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Part one of our "Reformed Whores" series. This episode focuses on two powerhouses of the "Porn Wars." Linda Lovelace starred in Deep Throat, the 1972 blockbuster success that thrust porn into the...

Congressional Election Blues

Congressional Election Blues

Congressional Election BluesiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify In this special episode, Kaytlin talks about losing the NY12 Democratic Primary and next steps in the fight for sex worker rights.

Julie D’Aubigny

Julie D’Aubigny

Julie D'AubignyiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Julie D'Aubigny fought, fucked and sang her way through 17th century France. Her list of accomplishments: she seduced aristocratic men and women, did some grave robbing, and burned a nunnery. A bisexual legend.

Gypsy Rose Lee

Gypsy Rose Lee

Gypsy Rose Lee with guest host Jacq The StripperiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Special guest Jacq the Stripper joins Kaytlin Bailey to talk about American icon and patron saint of strippers, Gypsy Rose Lee. Gypsy was born into a multi generational family of scrappy...

Valerie Solanas

Valerie Solanas

Valerie SolonasiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Best known for attempting to shoot Andy Warhol, Valerie Solanas’ SCUM manifesto became a rallying cry for a generation of feminist thinkers. Valerie was a vagrant working as a panhandler, full service sex worker and...

Maggie Meller

Maggie Meller

Maggie MelleriTunes | Stitcher | Spotify French courtesan Marguerite Marie Alibert, otherwise known as Maggie Meller, was the lover of Edward the VII. After her affair with the British prince, she married a rich, snotty and young Egyptian aristocrat, whom she killed...

Dorian Corey

Dorian Corey

Dorian CoreyiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Hosts Kaytlin Bailey and Wendi Starling are joined by the incomparably fabulous Ceyenne Doroshow to unwrap the tumultuously tantalizing life of Dorian Corey. As documented in the film Paris Is Burning, Dorian Corey was one of...

Elizabeth Moryng

Elizabeth Moryng

Elizabeth MoryngiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify A 13th Century madame who tricked the system, Elizabeth Moryng serviced the religious clergy under the guise of operating an embroidery business. Elizabeth Moryng was a hustler who knew how to weave up a good cover story.

Sharmus Outlaw

Sharmus Outlaw

Sharmus Outlaw With guest host Melissa Sontag BroudoiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Hosts Kaytlin Bailey and Wendi Starling are joined by Melissa Sontag Broudo, founder of The Sharmus Outlaw Advocacy and Rights Institute (SOAR Institute). They talk a little shop and...

Timarchus

Timarchus

TimarchusiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Timarchus was a sex worker in his youth and was later shunned and outcast by his fellow politicians in ancient Greece. In this episode, Kaytlin Bailey and Wendi Starling also go over some updates on which companies have started...

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy

Miss Major Griffin-GracyiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify After being mis-gendered and housed with male inmates, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy became one of the key negotiators in the Attica Prison Riots in 1971 and went on to work as an advocate for trans women’s rights within...

Flawless Sabrina

Flawless Sabrina

Flawless SabrinaiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Flawless Sabrina mothered and mentored countless young trans women in the New York City ballroom scene and thrived as an inspirational beacon of light and love. Flawless Sabrina was arrested over a hundred times for simply...

Georgina Beyer

Georgina Beyer

Georgina BeyeriTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Georgina Beyer went from survival sex worker to radio host, and ultimately took her place as the first trans politician in New Zealand as the Mayor of Carterton and Wairarapa MP. Prepare to be inspired by the life and barrier...

FOSTA / SESTA

FOSTA / SESTA

FOSTA / SESTAiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Both FOSTA and SESTA were introduced as bills to stop sex trafficking. Because sex workers know legislators fail to distinguish adult, consensual sex work from trafficking, they knew these laws would do just that and make sex...

Jenna Jameson

Jenna Jameson

Jenna JamesoniTunes | Stitcher | Spotify An absolute legend in the adult film world, Jenna Jameson is one of the most well known porn stars who took her success in the sex industry and started an empire.

Yoshiwara

Yoshiwara

YoshiwaraiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Yoshiwara was the infamous red light district in 17th century Edo, current day Tokyo, Japan. The original hoe-topia, if you will.

Der Pranger

Der Pranger

Der PrangeriTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Der Pranger was a German communist publication written by whores for whores in an attempt to establish fair treatment and laws benefiting sex workers and their patrons. The original "Dickpedia," if you will.

Salon Kitty

Salon Kitty

Salon KittyiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Salon Kitty was minding her business running a brothel in Berlin when the Nazis came along and threatened to throw her into a concentration camp unless she cooperated with them as an undercover Nazi spy prostitute. In this...

Operation Midnight Climax

Operation Midnight Climax

Operation Midnight ClimaxiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Hear all about how the US government took full advantage of sex workers by forcefully enlisting handfuls them to aid in administering LSD tests on their unsuspecting clients, a.k.a. Operation Midnight Climax.

Yu Husuan-Chi

Yu Husuan-Chi

Yu Husuan-ChiiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Yu Husuan-Chi was one of the most famous poets of the late Tang Dynasty. Yu Husuan-Chi had a reputation of being sexually adventurous, and is thought to be China's first openly bisexual historical figure.

Heidi Fleiss

Heidi Fleiss

Heidi FleissiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Heidi Fleiss ran an upscale prostitution ring based in Los Angeles, California in the 1990s and was known as the "Hollywood Madam."

Santa Claus (Nicholas of Myra)

Santa Claus (Nicholas of Myra)

Santa Claus (Nicholas of Myra)iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify You may know him as Santa Claus or Old Saint Nick, but Nicholas of Myra has an essentially untold history of relationships with sex workers that children's books and churches decided to leave out.

Wu Zeitan

Wu Zeitan

Wu ZeitaniTunes | Stitcher | Spotify From an impoverished child to concubine of a powerful Emperor, to her ultimate destiny as a powerful Empress, Wu Zeitan really knew how to run shit.

Lulu White

Lulu White

Lulu WhiteiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Lulu White was the most famed madam in the Storyville district of New Orleans known as the “Diamond Queen” for her love of extravagant jewelry. Much of her early life remains a mystery, but she was born in Selma, Alabama in 1868,...

Sex Worker Witch Hunt

Sex Worker Witch Hunt

Sex Worker Witch HuntiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Sex Worker Witch Hunt: Accusing women of witchcraft and condemning them to death was just one of the sadistic methods in the systematic disempowerment of women. But have those seemingly archaic practices and patterns...

Joanna of Naples

Joanna of Naples

Joanna of NaplesiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Queen of Naples, Countess of Provence, and Princess of Achaea... the epic story of Joanna of Naples lives up to the hype of all of her titles.

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole SmithiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Anna Nicole Smith was labeled a white trash gold digger throughout her career, all for capitalizing on her sexuality and good looks. Some women can "have it all," but that sure pisses some other people off.

Phryne

Phryne

PhryneiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Phryne, a nickname meaning “little toad,” was a renowned courtesan in Athens at the height of the civilization’s power in ancient Greece, around the 4th century B.C.E. She rose to prominence during a period where priestesses and...

Lizzie Lape

Lizzie Lape

Lizzie LapeLegendary Ohio Madam Lizzie Lape owned not one, but multiple brothels at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

Mary Jones

Mary Jones

Mary JonesiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Mary Jones (1803 – Unknown) was a New York old pro and hustler who was given the name Peter Sewally at birth. Mary Jones was of African descent and much of her early life is lost to the archive, but newspaper records indicate that...

Harriet Hicks & The Contagious Diseases Act

Harriet Hicks & The Contagious Diseases Act

Harriet Hicks & The Contagious Diseases ActiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Harriet Hicks is one of the few documented cases of harassment and abuse of women by the government. Harriet Hicks worked as a prostitute during inception of the Contagious Diseases Act (CDA)...

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya AngelouiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Little known fact: Maya Angelou dabbled in sex work, both as a madam and a full service sex worker. It's only part of her inspiring life story, but her journey from the brothel to the White House, where she was honored by four...

Ah Toy

Ah Toy

Ah ToyiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify A historic whore who essentially ran the sex industry in San Francisco during the Gold Rush, Ah Toy was a sought after Chinese prostitute and madam who came to America and dominated the booming sex work industry at the time.

Veronica Franco

Veronica Franco

Veronica FrancoiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify Courtesan Veronica Franco endured public shaming that attempted to strip away her status as a prolific poet and author in the 16th Century in Venice, Italy.

Ishtar

Ishtar

IshtariTunes | Stitcher | Spotify The goddess of romantic love and fertility, Ishtar was worshipped through the bodies of church-sanctioned prostitutes who were trained in the arts of sexual healing.