Wampipti: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Male Sex Workers’ Negotiation Narratives

Authors: Kyle Christian Concepcion, Jamelah Dangnan (Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, The Philippines)
Speakers: Kyle Christian Concepcion, Jamelah Dangnan
Strand: Language, Gender, Sexuality
Session Type: General Session


“Wampipti” is a monetary slang term for male sex workers in the Philippines which also calls for how much the payment is for one night (Hana, 2020). The present study is a descriptive qualitative study that aims to determine the linguistic functions and expressions in the negotiation processes of the ten (10) male sex workers of Iligan City ranging from 18-30 years old and to determine how their manner of negotiation has changed due to the pandemic. CDA was used to assess the narratives of the sex workers along with Queer Theory which was used to explore the oppressive power of dominant norms, particularly those relating to sexuality, femininity, and masculinity in the negotiation process, and Theory of Communication was used to identify the underlying functions of language. The study shows the various linguistic expressions used in negotiations, these are expressions of the sex workers and/or customers, the name substitutions, as well as the alterations in the communication process. The study also shows the manifestation of four functions of language which are (1) conative, (2) referential, (3) poetic, and (4) emotive. The study validates that the sex worker’s language is adaptive and that shifts in the negotiation processes are observed during the pandemic along with the existence of power in the process. Linguistically, the sex worker’s community established their own understanding of shared meanings and implications done in various linguistic and cultural contexts, and that natural factor, such as the pandemic, contributes to the shifts in the negotiation process where it validates that sex worker’s language of negotiation is adaptive to the environment, time, and situation.

Keywords: Sex work, Functions, Expressions, Critical discourse analysis, Negotiation.