When I first found read book in my college library, I figured "well, that settles it. This is written so well, I guess all feminists must be pro-sex work by now... it has actual sex workers successfully defending themselves... even the author who moderated the discussions also did good research and went towards the pro-sex work side after writing this!"... oh, how naive I was!
This book, published in the '80s, presents such a comprehensive and objective view of pro- and anti- sex work arguments that I honestly believed any sex-negative feminist reading it would have no choice but to admit to their prejudices and ignorance. It is objective to the point where I have a better understanding of the other side's thought processes; to the point where I even got angry at some of the obviously flawed arguments like a black feminist who seemed to me to be selling out or exploiting her race in defense of her entrenched opinions when talking about the racism in some of the sex industries while simultaneously ignoring what the insiders trying to end said racism were trying to say. Obviously some sections are not a light read, but overall I felt the pro-sex work side won against the most bigoted/misogynistic/whorephobic anti-sex work arguments, simply because they are on the side of logic.
I already knew from reading books on human sexuality that some feminists ("radical" feminists - not to be confused with '60s radical feminism - or "sex-negative" feminists depending on who you asked) didn't like or even understood sex workers that much. However, the fact that this book was written so long ago led me to believe anti-sex/anti-sex work "feminism" had mostly died out by now.
I would later learn how wrong I was, venturing outside the cozy realm of sex radicalism and sex-positive feminism. This is why this book is still important today. Many of the issues discussed in this book are still being discussed today by some so-called "feminist allies". It is a bit depressing, seeing how a book written decades ago can easily dispell many current myths feminists (and some of their conservative religious counterparts) have of sex workers...
This book is also an excellent resource for anyone that's undecided about the issue of sex work/porn/prostitution, or for an open-minded anti-porn, anti-sex work feminist because it presents the anti-sex work side very well, and then it has actual sex workers dispell the misinformation about them and talk about how some feminists half-hearted attempts at helping them are really hurting them.