Paying For It: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being a John

Chester Brown

Paying for It offers an entirely contemporary exploration of sex work—from the timid john who rides his bike to his escorts, wonders how to tip so as not to offend, and reads Dan Savage for advice, to the modern-day transactions complete with online reviews, seemingly willing participants, and clean apartments devoid of clichéd street corners, drugs, or pimps.
Complete with a surprise ending, Paying for It continues to provide endless debate and conversation about sex work.

status Copy #1 (5504): in
genre Sex & Gender » Sex Work
publisher Drawn and Quarterly
publish date
popularity checked out 4 time(s)


  • By Future Man -

    Fascinating, thought provoking, and sometimes horrifying. I find Chester Brown’s writing to be very clinical and removed, and seeing him talk about sexuality in this way is sometimes frighteningly unemotional, but still incredibly compelling to read. Once I got into this book, as with the last of Brown’s books I’d picked up, I tore through it in an afternoon.
    Upon completing the bulk of the book, there are extensive notes of Brown’s research and personal anecdotes outside the main narrative that informed and adjuncts with the cartoon segment.
    One of the most interesting parts of this book is the development of the author’s ideas around paying for sex as they change over time. This book chronicles a 10+ year period of the author’s life and many of his experiences and related conversations with friends.
    In the end, this book has made me think about the business of prostitution more than anything else I’ve read and while I haven’t come to any conclusive stance myself, it has raised my awareness to the grey spaces of legality. The conversation between the author and fellow cartoonist, Seth, regarding the difference between legality and decriminalization (and the role of regulation) was very interesting and something I’ll have to let sit for a while.

  • By c. a. Lohr -

    When someone asks me what comics/graphic novels I like, I inevitably mention Chester Brown’s Paying For It. I don’t even know if I like it exactly. But I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I first read it, which I think is a recommendation in itself.

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