Sex work is perhaps one of the oldest professions to exist, but for some reason also the most shamed and stigmatized in our society. There are dozens of reasons why we need to stop the stigma surrounding sex work and everything it entails. Here are just a few of them.
Sex work is still… work
Almost everyone in the world, at one point or another, will use their bodies to complete a job or take part in a form of work. Whether you use your body to engage in an office job, manual labor, or sex work, it all falls under the blanket term “work.” For a lot of sex workers, their profession is merely a job they have to make ends meet. Sex work is often glamorized and looked at as though it’s a hobby people get paid to do; while this may be true for some, there are still many unpleasant aspects of it that sex workers have to deal with, just as you would find with any job. At the end of the day, sex workers are performing a physical service that requires monetary compensation.
Sex work is shamed because of people’s inherent shame around sex itself
The shame people have regarding sex has existed for thousands of years, and goes back to our religious roots as a society. Non-monogamous sex is still looked down upon to this day, so it makes sense that non-monogamous sex that you get paid for will be further ostracized. What people need to realize is, is that there’s nothing wrong with sex. Humans are inherently sexual beings, who have physical desires to intimately interact with one another. Having sex with one person is okay; having sex with multiple people is okay; and having sex with multiple people for money is okay. Which brings me to my next point.
People should be able to choose how they wish to use their bodies
The idea that people have the ability to capitalize off of their own bodies is a taboo that seems to be prevalent across cultures around the world. But when you think about it, it seems strange that anyone but you is in control of choosing what to do with your body. People should have the autonomy to make the decision as to what happens to their physical form. If they wish to engage in sexual acts for money, they should be able to have the opportunity to do so. That extends to less drastic aspects as well, such as being able to wear what you want and not have to worry about how you’re being perceived or interacted with as a result of what you look like.
Sex workers are more educated on sexual health and safety than the average person
A lot of the stigma that surrounds sex work has to do with safety. Many people assume that because sex workers have sex with so many different people, they’re susceptible to catching and spreading diseases. However, sex workers are perhaps even more mindful about STIs and staying safe than the average person. A requirement for many sex workers is getting tested regularly, before and after engaging in acts with new partners. Since having sex is their profession, it makes sense that sex workers want to be as safe as possible. Many people have sex with just as many people as sex workers and aren’t nearly as conscious about staying safe as sex workers are.
There’s no stigma around men who pay sex workers for their services
The men who get pleasure from purchasing sex workers’ services don’t get nearly as much heat as the sex workers themselves. This is a direct result of our patriarchal society, and how people seem to think that sex workers aren’t human beings and merely exist for men’s pleasure. It seems a tad illogical that it’s okay for people to purchase services from sex workers, but it isn’t okay that sex workers are selling their services in the first place. The hypocrisy that exists regarding sex work and the people who purchase it needs to be heavily examined by those who think shaming sex workers is okay.