Anonymous asked: hey, I have a lot of friends who do sex work and I have mixed feelings about the politics of it. I was wondering what your thoughts are and if you've ever considered doing it to make fast cash?
sex work using my body (aka not phone sex) has never been an option for me, im a never nude and i hav pretty big boundaries with what i feel comfortable with both sexually and socially, it just would not work out!!!!!! im not saying that sex workers hav no boundaries and are willing to do anything sexually as long as they are getting paid and if some are ok with pushing their boundaries for certain amounts of money or cause they want to thats their choices to make with their body. i’m saying that cause my experience of who i am and my body i could not deal with any of that. which at times ive been bummed about. the ability to work my own hours as well as dress up and play a character, earn money - especially the potential to earn lots of money in a small period of time, get to experience different people and their sexuality, be able to travel and find work, have sex, hav time to work on projects while still earning an income are all extremely appealing. but for me the trauma it would cause (cause of who i am) does not in any way make it worth it. my thoughts of sex work is this: if someone is doing sex work and it is their choice then i hav no reason to judge what they are doing.
there is so much stigma around sex work. its ingrained in most of us and totally perpetuated by society and that means we must de-learn and re-learn the truth about who sex workers are and who their clients are and what sort of work they do and do any why. i remember when i was a teen an older friend of mine who is a lesbian told me that she works in a brothel and my reaction was of deep concern for her. at the time i couldnt understand why she would want to do such a thing, i mean how could having sex with men she didnt know be anything but bad for her? around this time i also had a friend who told me they got a job as a stripper and wanted to one day be a professional dominatrix, i told them this “but if you do that then yr clients will want to have sex with you and will probably offer you lots of money to do so and it’ll be really hard to say no to that”. my thoughts on all that now are: ‘omg wtfffffff, i feel so horrible that those friends ever had to hear another friend say that crap to them’. just cause someone queer has sex with someone of the opposite sex (for money or not) that doesnt make them any less queer and if thats something they choose to do for whatever reason then who i am to question that. also how is a client offering you money for sex a negative thing? as long as the person being offered feels ok with the arrangements made then yay for them. i never meant to fuck with these people when i said this stuff, i was genuinely concerned and thought i was making good points but i was wrong.
i feel very fortunate to have sex worker friends willing to share their experiences and thoughts with me as well as be part of a radical community when i was a teen that had queer and/or punk sex workers who would sit down with punks and talk about the stigma and literally do Q and As with us. thankyou! alot of what was said really stuck with me and when i did date a sex worker i would at times feel confusion around stuff and specific responses those people gave like 4 years eariler would make me see the reality and not the stigma based on misogyny and slut shaming.
sex work isnt for everyone, and not everyone who is a sex worker is some sorta of radical goddess who can see past all the stigma and is judgement free. sex work is work, its a job, that people choose to have. some people love their work, some dont and some feel indifferent - like any job, people will hav good days and bad days. its a profession with skill involved.
i definitely think that sex work should be decriminialised!!!!! and the amount of judgement and hate and shame put on sex workers and their work disgust me.
its completely understandable to have mixed feeling towards sex work. but it is something that you need to question and put energy into relearning about. it is not the responsibility of sex workers to educate you or challenge your ideas, so if your friends hav the patience and love and ability to do that stuff with you then you should feel very special. even if you have the best of intentions dont put your stigma on them, they dont deserve that. also if you dont think you are able to support and love a sex worker partner or lover in their career choice be responsibile and own that and dont date a sex worker.
sex workers are a variety of things- i mean they are all individuals, but many of them are feminists, smart, educated, parents, queer, strong, empowered, responsible, political, men, transgender, skilled, can get other work, old, not conventionally attractive so anyone or anything telling you that they arnt or cant be these things are straight up false.
some further resources (all of these are from/based in australia):
scarlet alliance - an amazing and very politically active sex worker organisation in australia
scarlet road - a documentary about a sex worker who specialises in working with clients who hav disabilities
debby doesnt do it for free - a performance group of sex workers
sex workers on channel 10 - this 3.5 min video seems to touch on a variety of stuff around sex workers their clients and partners and the laws in australia
every ho i know says so - i feel funny about posting this, i know its an important resource for some people, and for that reason i want those people to know about it. its a film made for partners of sex workers. it was made by my serious partner of the time, and he didnt ever mention to me (a partner of him - a sex worker) that he was making it, i still feel weird about it and his intentions for making it + i hate him now so this film makes me pissed off and i refuse to watch it, but some cool people say some cool things in it.
EDIT: i posted this on facebook asking if any sex worker friends had any feedback on what i wrote cause although this is just my thoughts i am ultimately speaking for a group of people im not a part of and one sex worker friend said this in response to the list i made of things sex workers can be :
”A lot of those things are used to perpetuate a lot of different kinds of stigma by creating a dichotomy of “good” and “bad” hookers and can undermine the agency of sex workers who aren’t any of those things”
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