I'm a journalist, a senior reporter at In Justice Today, and author. My reporting for the Village Voice, Pacific Standard, BuzzFeed, VICE, the Guardian, and The Nation has covered criminal justice, LGBT and women's rights, sex workers' rights, HIV/AIDS, and human trafficking. My most recent book, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work, has been translated into six languages and was a Village Voice favorite.

Recent Work

  • Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work

    Her latest book Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths about sex work, while criticizing both conditions within the sex industry and its criminalization.

  • See Where the NYPD Arrests Women Who Are Black, Latina, Trans, and/or Wearing Jeans (Village Voice)

    Interactive map of the top neighborhoods where police target women for "loitering for prostitution" arrests.

  • The NYPD Arrests Women for Who They Are and Where They Go — Now They’re Fighting Back (Village Voice)

    Feature investigation into New York's anti-loitering laws, and how they are used to profile transgender and cisgender women of color.

  • An Escort Killed Her Client In Self-Defense — Then Came The Aftermath (BuzzFeed)

    Feature profile of an escort whose act of self-defense drew headlines, amateur sleuths, and would-be do-gooders seeking to make her story their own.

  • How Stoya took on James Deen and broke the porn industry’s silence (The Guardian)

    Feature story on sexual assault and relationship violence in the porn industry, and how porn performers are challenging myths and stigma about porn and abuse.

  • Journalism

    Reporting and commentary on sex, tech, and politics.

  • About Her Work

    Her work has been hugely influential in how I think about sex work and outright changed my mind on a number of points. She’s a must read.

    Underneath Grant’s strategically inclusive argument lurks a harder political critique of the transformation of politics and economics since the 1970s.

    Melissa Gira Grant can be quite scary.


  • The Guardian: ‘Secrets aren’t really a thing that I do’

    Wednesday, January 06, 2016

    "That chorus of voices that followed Stoya’s shook the porn industry. They reverberated, and now the public is hearing, perhaps as loudly as ever, about the particular structural problems the porn industry contends with, and the persistent and pernicious idea that sex workers are by definition unrapeable. So what change has Stoya’s intervention made – and what remains?"

  • RH Reality Check: How Sex Workers’ Rights Made the Mainstream

    Friday, September 11, 2015

    Rentboy was a website where men sought sex with men, and as such, media and advocacy groups who don’t typically bring a political analysis to sex work responded to the raid primarily as an anti-gay attack, while also calling for an end to the policing of sex workers. Some American LGBTQ organizations in particular have […]