I’m Dr Gwyn Easterbrook-Smith, a researcher, teacher, commentator and performer based in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. My primary research interests are:

  • Sex work, specifically under New Zealand’s model of decriminalisation
  • News media coverage of sex work
  • Constructions of the ‘acceptable’ sex worker
  • Transgender sex workers
  • Emotional and affective labour

My current research and writing is focused largely on expanding upon key themes explored in my doctoral thesis. I also have experience as a tutor/teaching assistant, research assistant and in delivering guest lectures. My interest in undertaking research to help destigmatize the sex industry comes from engaging in sex work myself for many years, and I have participated in media interviews which call on my experience and expertise as both an academic and sex worker.

I’m passionate about communicating academic concepts in a clear and compelling way, and I let this inform my media appearances, exhibitions and performances, and my academic work. This also closely hews to my teaching philosophy, where I ensure that when teaching I check students understand why a concept is important and where it fits into the wider discipline before moving on, enabling them to contextualize the ideas being handled and engage with them on a deeper level.


PhD in Media Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, 2018.

MA in Media Studies, Massey University, 2014.

Post-Graduate Certificate in Business, Massey University, 2011.

BA in Media Studies and Art History, Victoria University of Wellington, 2010.