Everyone should be free to make their own decisions and have the bodily autonomy to chose for themselves how they live their lives, so long as it’s not hurting themselves or others. That’s my belief. However, others, not so much. Some believe that ‘prostitution’ is a violent industry, warped with violence, pimps, and women who are coerced into it; they don’t even use the term ‘sex work’. They believe the industry to be exploitative. I disagree. I feel empowered.
Karl Marx viewed ‘prostitutes’ (sex workers) as victims of the capitalist system, and viewed the abolition of [sex work] a necessary part of ending capitalism. That was in 1844, a very different time. And he was speaking directly on capitalism. In his later writing, some have used his theory to defend sex work. Some claim his theories lay claim to legally recognize sex work so that they can improve conditions of their work.
Sex work as work, is an income-generating activity, and this statement frames sex workers not as criminals or victims, but as workers. The struggle for the recognition of sex work as work is closely tied to the struggle for decriminalization. Central to the demand for decriminalization is the argument that sex workers should be afforded the civil and labour rights and social protections that are the entitlement of all workers, regardless of occupation. Recognition that sex work is work is the starting point for addressing the unsafe, exploitative and unjust conditions, to be able to organise and advocate for improved work environments for sex workers.
This is a lot to carry as sex workers, and the fight continues day in and day out. You may see us tweet about it on Twitter, or post about it on our blogs (check out my friend Katija’s blog for more fun!). Nevertheless, we fight and we rise up. Sex work is a job, I am a professional, I pay my taxes, this is my career, and sex work is work.
I won’t get into how I started in the industry, that’s a story for another day; but I will tell you the reasons why I love my job and I chose my job. First and foremost, it gives me the financial freedom to be independent and successful on my own. I am grateful every day for my successes and countless accomplishments. Coming in close to first, at number two, is that it allows me to create my own schedule, allowing time for my family and puppy (part of my family— duh!). Family is so important to me, they’ve always been supportive and encouraging, so to be able to spend quality time with them without being burnt out is paramount. Third, I find this work empowering, in ways that I do not feel I have to share. Maybe one day, but at this time, I’m not ready. I will say this though, having been through hell and back, it has helped me regain a sense of control. Next is definitely my motivation to help people feel comfortable in their own sexuality, and provide intimacy to those who are unable find it another way. It gives me great joy to be able to help other’s experience such pleasures. Lastly, I adore almost every client I meet doing sex work (which isn’t a motivating factor, but it certainly keeps me around!). Did I say naps during the day? Definitely a motivator!
Are you a sex worker? What motivates you? Tag me in your blog post!