I’ve been through a really emotionally draining yet uplifting weekend. However something I came across through my travels that made me sit up and get a bit cranky was this belief that sex workers, hookers, whores… they are somehow less than human. What they do is degrading.. well no, it’s not actually.
Now being that I’m a slut positive and anti-shaming anything kinda gal, I decided I needed to have a rant about it.
Since I live in Australia, prostitution is legal here. Yes I thank the many gods about this fact daily too. What that means is that if I wanted, it is a viable and very profitable way to earn a living. I have friends that earn upwards of $300 an hour for their services.
I have many many friends who are sex workers. They are intelligent, funny, sassy, amazing women and men with degrees from universities all across the country. Does that they get paid hourly to fuck people somehow detract from that? Being that they spend their time being paid to supply sex, does this somehow now make them inferior? Damaged goods? Unwanted because they are used already?
A lot of this ties into slut shaming. And we all know how I feel about that – basically what it comes down to is that as humans we all love sex. Yes, even those people who have a low sex drive and enjoy maybe once every 6 months to those like me who would be having sex every minute of every hour if I could except Cern may just override that and tie me up in a corner to make sure I die from the horny while he tortures me a bit more by sexually frustrating me. Yes I whine, but secretly I love it.
That’s beside the point however.
The point I’m trying to make here is that just because someone has chosen to do sex work doesn’t mean that they are doing it because they have a drug habit, or are sold off in the sex trade, or forced into prostitution. Don’t get me wrong, these things do happen and they are a blight upon sex workers all over the world. It’s unjust, inhumane and shouldn’t be tolerated at all. However, on the flip side, there are also a lot of sex workers in Australia who chose this job for a myriad of reasons which are positive.
I’ve heard some people say that they would never date a sex worker. I never understood this concept. Maybe because the way I view sex and intimacy is really rather different to everyone else. I mean you can totally have sex with someone without caring deeply for them. There doesn’t have to be a connection of any kind apart from the physical act of shagging each other. And when I talk to my friends about their personal relationships with others I came to the realisation that just because they get paid to have sex with people, doesn’t mean that at home they can’t have a fulfilling and loving relationship with someone else. Sex doesn’t equate to love. A loving sexual relationship is so much more. Yet when my friends take on a client that is one of their regulars there’s a level of intimacy there, yet it’s still professional and its still work.
I think sex workers get such a bad rap because people believe that somehow sex makes you dirty. If you’ve been with a lot of people or you take payment for sex then it means you’re tainted goods. I blame the men who wrote those stupid religious texts for these misconceptions and the belief that somehow working as a sex worker is a bad thing.
I once applied and nearly worked at a brothel. Granted it wasn’t a full service house, it was part service or what I like to call a “rub and tug”. You got dressed up in pretty lingerie and massaged people with a happy ending included. No penetration. Only they wanted me to take out all my piercings to work there so I said no. As they say, don’t get between a girl and her piercings man. Which is a shame really, because I think I would have had a ball at the rub and tug.
Basically, I think, it all comes down to sex workers just being like the rest of us. Some have families that they are supporting by being sex workers, other’s are putting themselves through university or just earning a living. Thankfully we live in a country where brothel’s have stringent rules and regulations for all workers including safe sex practices and regular testing and checks.
Maybe I’m just a bit weird but I honestly don’t get the anti-whore-ism that seems to be prevalent in society. Sex workers are amazing people who contribute something amazing to the community, even if you don’t agree with it, it’s an important service that other’s do appreciate and do support.
So when I read or hear anything anti-sex workers I take a stand. I have marched with Scarlet Alliance for worker rights, acceptance and to stop the government from deregulating the sex work industry. I’ve put my hat in the bag and supported friends and other’s I deem family in what they do, their right to do it and the fact that it doesn’t make them less of a person or unable to be a loving partner.
So where do you stand on dating a sex worker? Does it bother you? Would it bother you? Why?
Sex worker positive sites that have some interesting information and links:
SWOP – Sex Workers Outreach Project
Scarlet Alliance – Australian Sex Workers Association