This has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve got several very close friends who are sex workers and the recent shut down of TheReviewBoard.net has got me to thinking a lot about why we are still dealing with criminalizing the “oldest profession”.
First of all, I want to be really clear that human trafficking is abhorrent. And the vast majority of sex workers are not trafficked. They are sex workers because they choose to be sex workers. In fact, I’d guess that the majority of trafficked individuals are more likely working in underground factories or as household staff rather than prostitution. However, since the word “sex” is such a hot button it’s where law enforcement focus, sadly.
My friends who are sex workers are amazing women and men who are not only making a living, they are doing a service for people that is more than just fucking. Many people in our world live with disabilities that make it next to impossible to have any kind of intimate relationship. For some it’s physical like cerebral palsy and for others it’s mental and/or emotional. No matter what, people do not abdicate sexual agency because of a disability (or getting older, which is another area that needs discussion). Almost every sex worker I know has at least one disabled client (many even give discounts to these folks)and they are sometimes the only way a person can have any form of intimacy and sexual contact. In fact, for many people who hire sex workers it’s not about the physical act of fucking, it’s about the intimacy, the chance to be close to another human being, even if just briefly.
I’m an advocate for decriminalization and I hope that someday I’ll see this actually happen. I was talking about this to a friend of mine the other day who is a porn star and he had a great point. It’s not illegal for him to get paid to have sex and make porn. In fact, he’s made pretty good money. But turn of the cameras and pay someone for sex and it suddenly becomes illegal. What the fuck? A very strange double standard if you ask me.
This is a short post and I’ll be talking about this in more depth after I get back from a trip in a couple weeks. I just wanted to this out of my system for now.