Many of us have a stereotypical image in mind of what someone who works as a stripper or escort might resemble.
But can you really tell if someone is a sex worker, simply by looking at them and asking a few questions?
US website Cut.com challenged four volunteers to see if they could pick out those who work in the sex industry from a line-up of 12 strangers for a new video, and the task turned out to be much tougher than expected.
Student Isla, finance manager Madison and two unnamed male volunteers were challenged to identify anyone they thought might work as a prostitute, stripper or porn star or making money from webcam videos.
The first volunteer from the line-up was dressed in a grey t-shirt and combats with work boots and didn’t scream sex worker to anyone.
He told the volunteers ‘I work in the garden a lot. Go for a lot of walks. Read a lot with the cat.’
They concluded he couldn’t be a sex worker because of his shoes, and one said he definitely had a job in construction.
Next up, a gut in pink shorts and a striped t-shirt was invited to get his top off by Isla who was sure he had ‘a porn body’.
Madison was sure that this man wasn’t a sex worker, but she was proved wrong in the end
Kayla was convinced that this volunteer had a ‘porn body’ and it turned out she was right
But her male counterpart was satisfied that he was just a ‘college boy’ and not an adult film star.
A man with curly hair was invited to show off his dancing skills, and one volunteer wasn’t convinced, while another thought he did ‘regular gay porn’.
A woman, 58, was deemed ‘too nice’ by Madison while Kayla was sure a girl in ripped jeans was a webcam performer.
Another girl with long blonde hair showed off some dance moves and agreed to suggestively eat a banana.
She seemed to be dropping about not having a regular job by admitting her income varies from month-to-month, but Madison concluded: ‘Cashier or waiter. Not getting sex vixen.’
This woman, 58, was branded ‘too nice’ to be a sex worker, but she later revealed that she’s an escort and has made $100,000
A girl in ripped jeans performed a dance and convinced this volunteer she was a webcam performer, but it turned out she was just a normal girl
A woman in a floral dress called Rain was told her name made her sound like a sex worker and the male volunteer said he could see her as a dominatrix.
At the end of the experiment, five people from the line-up raised their hands to reveal they were sex workers.
Two of them had been labelled a sex worker of some kind by either Kayla, Madison or the male volunteer.
Meanwhile, the other three had managed to convince everyone they weren’t sex workers.
The volunteer guessed that this woman was a dominatrix and was proved right
The first to come forward was the man in grey who everyone thought was a construction worker.
‘I wouldn’t guess me either, I’d guess you. I’m on the internet on webcam. A lot of people want to look at your armpits,’ he explained.
The most he’d ever made for a single chat was $50.
The man in pink shorts whose ‘porn body’ Kayla had spotted admitted that he is indeed an adult film star.
‘I do straight porn. Me and a girl. Me and multiple girls,’ he said.
At the end of the experiment five people from the line-up raised their hands and admitted they work in the sex industry
‘It’s really slow for guys in the beginning. You have to prove yourself. When girls get in you’re shooting them galore.’
The 58-year-old woman who people thought was ‘too nice’ to be a sex worker revealed that she’s an escort
‘An escort is a compensated companion. I like this job better than any job I’ve had,’ she said. ‘I am very good. I’ve made $100,000.’
The blonde girl who didn’t give off ‘sex vixen’ vibes was in fact a ‘hardcore porn’ star.
This man was asked to suggestively eat a banana in order to gauge his suitability for starring in porn films
‘Is it easy? No it’s really emotionally and physically draining,’ she said. ‘But it can be fun.’
And it turned out that the man who guessed the woman in the black floral dress was a dominatrix was spot on.
‘I’m mostly just domming straight men who like control way too much. I never have sex with them,’ she said.
‘Lots of guys want their needs fulfilled. I can punch you in the face for $400.’