Sex Work and Job Satisfaction

 Regardless of whether we love, despise, or have mixed feelings about being sex workers, we deserve human rights, such as the right to make a living without being persecuted or subject to violence for being sex workers; the right to exit sex work without being discriminated against at other jobs because we were sex workers; the right to health care; and the right to working conditions as safe and sanitary as possible. Somebody who deplores being a sex worker should have as much right to all of the above as somebody who loves being a sex worker.

Thus, if this were simply a question of macro level sociopolitical and legal issues, then the blog entry would end here.  However, politics isn’t all that matters. Sex workers have feelings, so our personal feelings also matter. Thus, it really bothers me when people dismiss the feelings of sex workers who have positive attitudes about our work on the grounds that we have a false consciousness or that we’re trying to promote an overly romanticized image of the industry.

To say that everybody enjoys being a sex worker or that sex work is wonderful for everybody would be promoting a romantacized image of the industry. However, for us to assert our right to define for ourselves how we feel about our work in no way, shape, or form promotes an overly romanticized image of the industry and anybody who says it does is attempting to shut up sex workers who they disagree with and prevent us (even if just verbally) from being able to speak for ourselves.

Both the micro level (our personal feelings) and the macro level (societal issues and factors) matter here.

9 responses

  1. To each her own! We all have a right to feel what we feel and not be told how to feel…and for those of us who are in the oldest profession of all time and do not absolutely hate it, then more power to us. I believe we bring our sunny dispositions to the encounter and that makes it all the better. Simply *my* opinion.

  2. Anybody who talks that “false consciousness” crap is not only full of it but has a completely totalitarian mind-set. He or she is claiming to know better than you do, not only what you should be doing, but what thoughts and opinions you should have. Such a claim to absolute control over others shows an arrogance worthy of Stalin, or of Orwell’s Big Brother.

    Next time somebody says something like that, try telling him or her “You’d love being a sex worker if you tried it — and if you think otherwise, you’re suffering from false consciousness.”

  3. Hi Infedel:
    Though sex work certainly isn’t for everybody, that’s a powerful point in the second paragraph about how it would seem so rediculous if we made the argument the other way around… so it’s equally as rediculous when this argument is used against us.

  4. In the German language a brothel is called ‘Freudenhaus’ i.e. house of joy or pleasure…..isn’t that what it really is? or ought to be. It is a place, run by women (as it should be) to re-balance men, re-charge and inspire them. Keep up the pressure on these antiquated societal views, they need to be abolished. Vegan Vixen, there are many ‘grey’ areas in being vegan in a world so full of animal slaughter. One argument re wearing leather is, that when the world is totally vegan, there will be no more hides anyway, in the meantime, why waste a useful resource. It is at least a good start, not consuming animal ‘products’/corpses. The saving and keeping of carnivorous pets by vegans is also a contentious issue, which has no quick solution, and many more.

  5. 1 sex work is stigmatized and prohibited, because society is still not rich, advanced or mature enough to deal with prostitution’s indefinable intrinsic limitlessness from big brothel chain cartels to precarious drug consumer, from clandestine high class escort to registered marriage with/or without adultery. The problem behind is handling capability of diversity, which is a function of development and maturity.

    2 abolition of prostitution is a mechanism to compete in the partner and sexuality market as well as in the money making (labour/small service business) market for resources and income, while reaching out for market control via moralistic manipulations up to legal criminalisation. This is a strategy of hegemony and ideological imperalism due to rigid mind set, inherited feeling of scarcety and feeling threatened or betrayed by other lifestyles. The scarcety and now globalized competition is created and vastly enhanced by how our monetary system secretly works.

    3 therefore I belive that problems of prostitution are already built-in problems of money and market economy. Our private banking system with Fiat Money creation artificially enhances scarcity and competition up to war. Money numbers make all things comparable and create equalizing pressure even on things incomparable like individuals or human relations like sexuality. That is why certain taboos are in existance. But problems are often neglected or covered by free market ideology, meritocracy neocon’s propaganda and being projected onto prostitution and ‘deviant’ communities as scape goat or outlet.

    4 the whorephobia scapegoating mechanism was always misused by power institutions like church or politics to control women, sexuality and society. Divide and conquer: let the morally inclined people entangle in the fight against whores, then they will not go against their government or the oligarchy behind.

    5 sexuality is very much an individual personal matter and our feelings depend on experience, gifts like looks and mood (age)… Some people have or develop over time a body feeling against promiscuity or sex with stranges, whereas younger sexual energy loaden people and we hookers have the gift to perform well and allow even stranges to be nourished emotionally while being sexually close with us. Disgust against sex separat from love or against prostitution is a powerful emotion deep rooted with instincts. It can be triggered by manipulative hegemonic policy makers [Alternet org: How our politics relies on creating disgust for opponents?]

    5 fundamentalism like religion is an evolutionary developed tool to reduce complexity and contingency thus making for a more easy life . In Christianity built-in is the fight against evil and temptation. Therefore outsiders and sex workers need clever tactics not to become pray or victims in their crusades. On the long run there is the risk for every sex worker to become weakened by the perpetual bombardment of the hegemonic corporate media discourse which may lead to sex worker burn out (SWBO).

    6 it can become a special aspect of the prostitution trap, to project business mishaps due to market or revenue decline (recession, ageing, accident, illness, SWBO) onto this fight against putophobia. That is possibly why most sex workers foresightfully stay distant to this invincible struggle. It is the big question if we realy have or can create a strong enough sex worker community or are the incentives for isolated individualists and moral hazard stronger in our highly competitive, informal, clandestine market?

    7 however with new talking back tools like social media, whore culture, networking in solidarity and unionisation [bit. ly/ sexworkinternet], with knowledge and empowerment e.g. King Kong strategy by Virginie Despentes fighting the andorra effect or Annie Sprinkle/Norma Almodovar’s anti-SWBO tips … we can stay strong and healthy, create a community and pursue a sustainable sex work career.

    [ok, now I removed the links]

  6. Marc, I’m not sure why your comment initially went to moderation, but it is showing up now. When people first post on this board, the comment automatically goes to moderation, but once people’s comments are approved, none of their future comments go through moderation. Word Press automatically set it up this way. Thus, since you’ve posted on this board before, I don’t know why your comment would have been sent to moderation, but I’m glad that it showed up on the board the second time.

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