Season 4 of The Oldest Profession Podcast is focused on historical figures, mostly from the 19th century, in regions where sex workers are currently organizing against criminalization. Each episode has an annotated bibliography and accompanying essay written by Dr. Charlene Fletcher.
On January 25th, 1917, 300 sex workers stormed the Central Methodist Church in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district to protest the closure of their brothels.
Lizzie Lape was a prolific businesswoman and Madam in the Midwest during the 19th century. She owned numerous brothels and saloons throughout Ohio.
The Maimie Papers was written by historian Ruth Rosen, an award-winning journalist and Professor Emerita at University of California Davis.
Mae West was an actress, writer, and unapologetic sex symbol. She enchanted the American stage with unabashed humor and demand for social change.
Based on her thesis research, Madison Phillips contributed to this episode about the history of sex work in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The infamous madams of Water Street in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, were dear friends and colleagues, Mary Baker (1859-1930) and Alta Roberts (1855-1940).
Lulu White was one of the most notorious and financially successful madams of Storyville, New Orleans, and known as the Diamond Queen of the Demi–Monde.
Madam Fan Jones successfully ran Bangor, Maine’s most popular and longest running brothel called the Sky Blue House of Pleasure.
Who was Jezebel? How did her legacy become synonymous with loose, misfit, morally depraved, wicked women?
The Everleigh Sisters successfully ran the best brothel Chicago had ever seen from 1900 to 1911. Why did the mayor force them to shut down?
Stella Darby, beloved madam of Pendelton, Oregon, had a heart of gold. She is now remembered with a bronze statue and Underground Pendleton Tours.
The stigma of Mary Magdalene has endured throughout biblical times into the current era. How did she become aligned with sex workers?
Thanks to Boston’s “Big Dig,” artifacts from a 19th century brothel were unearthed, shedding light on the life of brothel owner Mrs. Lake.
Ella “Cattle Kate” Watson was a Western trailblazer. An independent and industrious woman, she sought to challenge gender norms to live life her own way.
Evidence of the oldest profession can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. Lycoris the Mime is among the oldest and most influential pros in history.
Hustler Dee Dee Ramone, bassist and founding member of the Ramones, pioneered punk rock and side hustled as a sex worker to pay for his heroin addiction.
With razor sharp wit and dogged determination, Belle Brezing claimed her space as Lexington, Kentucky’s most successful Madam.
The Oldest Profession Podcast: Maya Angelou – sex worker past matters, and to ignore her experience does a disservice to her legacy.
The Oldest Profession Podcast: Nevada brothels house the only legal prostitution in the US; then why the highest arrest rate per capita? Nevada brothels model doesn’t work.