I want to know why people who think that sex work is bad think that sex work, the act of exchanging sex for something of concrete value, is so much worse than casual hookups, people having sex to procreate, drunk sex, breakup sex, sex you have because you want to feel closer, and all the other weird reasons people have sex–sex to just get losing your virginity over with!–so much worse than all these reasons and ways of having sex.
Talking to other sex workers and people in harm reduction, we keep encountering the idea that sex work is more “high risk” than any other kind of sex except gay sex.
This is demonstrably untrue, however. When sex workers are given the tools to have safer sex, we have exponentially lower rates of sti infection that the surrounding population of civilians of pretty much any age.
Sex workers need protections from civilians, not the other way around.
I understand that a lot of people think sex should ONLY be had in the context of a loving and committed monogamous romantic relationship, but relationships end. At a certain point (say, 2017) divorce rates and breakup rates and hookup culture all combine to make the censure of sex work seem truly hypocritical and ludicrous. So many people are having so many kinds of meaningless sex for stupid reasons, but it’s adult women, trying to leverage the one thing society agrees that we have of value, that need to be protected from themselves.
But take it to the logical legislative conclusions.
Can we really be sure that drunk co-eds can be trusted to make good decisions about who to have sex with? what if in two weeks they find out the person they were sleeping with was LYING to them and sleeping with other people? what if he was doing it without condoms? That’s pretty fucking rude and unethical, shouldn’t we protect young women from this all too common scenario? CAN we? what does that look like?
What about a couple having sex to get pregnant when neither of them is really feeling it but they both want a baby?
Under Oregon law, a stay at home housewife having sex with her husband who pays her bills and mortgage, is trafficked.
And it’s frankly shameful that people criminalise adults under the guise of concern trolling about sexually exploited children when they aren’t lobbying even close to as hard to a total reboot of the child welfare system–Texas’s CPS system recently made international headlines after human rights abuses so bad they make Minnesota’s or Oregon’s look fine. (I’m being bitterly hilarious, the abuses of different cps systems are never fine).
People are willing to support misogynist and racist abuses overseas and at home (TPP, H&M, Goodwill) and they’re willing to close their eyes to child abuse in the the very system made to protect them, but they love to jerk off to the idea of exploited people and being the magical white saviours of fragile exploited women and children. it’s this ONE SPECIFIC CONTEXT they love to circle jerk about.
They don’t give a damn about other kinds of slavery, they don’t publicise instances of it, they don’t organise against it, they don’t support sex workers trying to organise to aid vulnerable people. they genuinely JUST care about this one aspect of sexuality, regardless of how interconnected all misogynist and racist abuses are and the realities of survival under global capitalism.
I think it’s amazing. Just amazing. In one hundred years, nothing has changed except to become worse for poor people around the world, but the middle class is still more concerned about legislating adult women’s sexuality than real change that would protect vulnerable people.