Hookers are people too!
Hookers are people too!
Phone sex operators
Whatever title we give ourselves
We are people
We are humans
We have emotions
We have limits
We have rights
We deserve respect
We deserve love
We deserve life
This seems like something that should be damn clear and easy enough to understand. However if you ask anyone in the sex work industry they will ALL have stories about how everyone from family/friends/partners to the media to clients have treated them as less than. Told they are not the priority, their pleasure is irrelevant, their need to feel safe is a joke, they are disposable. This comes in the form of dead hooker jokes, guys refusing to provide screening information-claiming their need for privacy trumps a providers need for safety, media showing sex workers as all being broken shells of humans who have no other choices while being riddled with drug problems.
Movies and TV have, for many years, portrayed sex workers under a limited variety of tropes. They are damaged, they cannot love, they have daddy issues, they have drug problems, they are single moms, they are stupid, they cannot do anything else, they are failures, this is the last option, they are selling their bodies, they are controlled by men, they don’t choose this work, it’s a last option. These portrayals have molded our minds and beliefs for decades, making it almost impossible for people to believe that anyone could or would choose to be a sex worker. They believe sex workers are forced into this work against their will, that they all want to escape or be rescued. This is where the news outlets mixed with Hollywood's portrayal makes it even more damaging and dangerous to those who do choose this work.
The media works very hard to convince the world that all sex workers are victims of sex trafficking and need to be rescued. We see this in their influence in politics to bring in the nordic model (legal to sell sexual experiences, illegal to buy), in sex work being illegal fully and completely, in passing laws and restrictions to make it almost impossible for workers to be safe or get paid. Examples of this are banks closing accounts of those who are paid from known adult content sources, being denied insurance and housing, affecting custody battles for families, payment processors refusing to accept major credit cards for payments involving sexual content or acts.
This loss of autonomy is incredibly dangerous. Any time a person or group of people decide they know what is best for another group of people and refuse to listen to their stories and experiences they are taking away the autonomy of that group. For example, Visa and Mastercard are heavily influenced by exit based anti sex work groups (usually claiming to be highly religious and working for the good of the people they are hurting), and are convinced they are part of horrible sex trafficking of victims. Visa and Mastercard then stop allowing websites to receive payments for adult content or specific types of content (major lists of kinks and fetishes that are denied are added to on a regular basis). This doesn’t stop sex workers from working or creating content, it just makes it that much more difficult for them to receive payment for the work they have completed.
Laws like The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) are the U.S. Senate and House bills that became law on April 11, 2018. ** These laws say were signed into place under the guise that by shutting down websites, stopping sex workers from having forums to discuss dangerous clients, share safety facts and business secrets etc. they would be able to stop sex trafficking. Many sex worker groups spoke to the danger of these laws coming into place stating that they would infact make it more dangerous for authorities to stop actual trafficking, as well as make it more dangerous for sex workers to be safe. They were ignored, the laws were passed and within the first year law enforcement groups were complaining about how much harder it was to track trafficking.
Who do you think knows more about plumbing? Someone who does plumbing on a regular basis, has training and experience, or someone’s cousin who watches a dozen YouTube videos? Who would you trust to redo the plumbing in your kitchen? Probably the professional right? You understand that you pay a professional to complete the task that cannot be done by the average person. Yet the media/politicians/Hollywood often refuse to speak to those who are doing the actual work, living the life and have the valid experiences to tell the stories. They do this simply because it doesn’t fit the narrative that they want to present. How can they feel good about the work they are doing to “save the needy whores” if they refuse to actually hear their stories.
I often get clients who say things like “If I pay, is to be treated as I want. I'm not paying a prostitute to satisfy herself. Be aware of where you work, dear.” <--this is an actual response from a client when I wouldn’t do exactly what he wanted, how he wanted on webcam, even though what he wanted was to watch me orgasm and when I told him I could either play to the point of orgasm OR follow his directions on how to touch myself he left then sent me this. Many people will read this and say well, the customer is always right, or he is just voicing his frustration. I read this and see a thinly veiled threat mixed with being told I am less than, with a healthy dose of condescension. It’s these types of comments and responses that cause many sex workers to live in a constant state of fear. That fear could be physical harm, could be being threatened, spoken to as a less than person, could be being doxxed/outed to people who aren’t aware of their work etc. We constantly see men go from throwing compliments about how amazing we are and how badly they want to be with us to telling us we are ugly/fat or they want to harm us in literally seconds when they don’t get what they want. I have many screenshots of these flips. This level of entitlement to us and our bodies regardless of what we want is exactly my point.
We are people, we have rights, we have desires, and they deserve to be respected as much as anyone else!
A great write up about SESTA/FOSTA from Sex Workers