The problems that crop up around sex work and its legalization/decriminalization are numerous such that it feels like there are a lot of pitfalls surrounding this topic. I think it is valuable to share some points on sex work for clarification’s sake if nothing else. Although I am not a sex worker, I am a sex blogger and I find that through my research and social media presence I come across a lot of information and news about sex work, education, abuse, and so on. These topics can all intersect in various ways, and it is important to be aware of them. Perhaps I will find myself writing more about such issues throughout this upcoming year.
Charlie Glickman said it well when he said: “sex work is to trafficking as sex is to rape.” This means that sex work is consensual and by choice, whereas trafficking is done by coercion, without consent. If one understands the differences between sex and rape, the differences between sex work and traffic become well distinguished. One can be in favor of working towards eradicating sex trafficking but still be in favor of sex work, and legalized sex work.
In my ideal world, sex work is legal and the workers get support, respect and fair treatment. My ideal world also does not have any sex trafficking, making all sex work consensual from the get-go. From dancers to escorts, prostitutes to phone sex operators, they are all paid a fair amount for their work. I also want them to be doing their work because they want to be, and willingly choose to be.
It goes without saying that there will always be a demand for sex work. There will often be people who want to get into this line of work for various reasons. Decriminalizing consensual sex work will allow workers to have safer working conditions, but also access to legal support against those who intend harm. This decriminalizing is not of sex trafficking, but of the sex work that is done by those who choose to do so.
Carol Queen said it well when she wrote:
Look, sex work is not for everybody, but there is no reason to make every kind of adult sexual activity legal except the kind that can help a poor person pay her rent or buy milk for her kid or put himself through school. Decriminalizing this consensual behavior is a social justice issue. The people who are against it don’t believe citizens should have the right to make the choice to pay for sex or provide it for pay — pure and simple.
This topic becomes inundated by opinion battles and misinformation, or so it seems. What I think is really of note is that there is not enough research done about sex work or sex trafficking, and indeed it proves to be really difficult to properly perform this research in today’s society. Stereotypes, unsurprisingly, are often faulty when it comes to sex work and trafficking as well: not all underage sex workers are girls working for pimps, and not all escorts have multimillionaire male clients.
Hopefully this article brought some clarity to the issue, and will allow you to be discerning when you next hear statistics reporting that all sex work is bad, or reporting specific numbers of people involved in sex trafficking, because those numbers are often broad estimates at best. Our goal in the future needs to be gaining a clearer grasp of what the underlying issues are that bring about, and perhaps foster, sex trafficking.
This post is brought to you by Model Escorts Agency, and depicts the thoughts and opinions of yours truly, Geeky Nymph. xoxo