Let's talk a little SexWork Politics.
Straight up too many people when hearing I am a sex worker or seeing me as a client they ask me what else I do for work. lol!... I probably have more admin & paperwork than most civilian jobs and less time to myself than you actually think. Especially now I also do online work & OnlyFans- It is a lot of work, but I do enjoy it.
SexWork is not just work- it is a career, many people make great success from this industry and go far in life, too many people I think spend a lot of time & money on developing a career outside of sexwork when doing sex work when ultimately the lifestyle and money is something hard to come by (myself included).
See the reason I am wanting to write this is to educate people a little in a different way & different type of approach. Sex Workers are actually normal people, yes our lifestyles may be a little different than the typical 9-5 business persons but that's because most of us are actually sole traders. We have a lot more paperwork and usually have to spend many hours on branding, advertising, marketing, content creation, social media and also just general secretarial tasks. Especially if living in Queensland. Why you may ask? Well in Queensland even though sexwork is LEGALISED- we have many, many different grey areas we need to work within and absolutely ridiculous laws. For example we cannot hire staff, technically we cannot even use a driver to and from a job, unless they have a security licence.... Completely ridiculous. We cannot even use the word massage in advertising- even if that is exactly what we are doing, it causes confusion and is bizarre, I am actually a fully qualified M therapist & beauty therapist by trade so what I do is actually a professional 'body rub' as I cannot use the M word when describing my services! Bonkers!
So in Queensland we have been seeking Decriminalisation for sometime now, but what does that mean? Basically we wish to have industry specific laws removed- such as not being allowed to check in with other workers when on an outcall or if we have a client & an uneasy feeling we technically cannot message another worker and say hey can you give me a call in an hour and check on me. We can face massive fines for doing so which is ridiculous wouldn't you prefer your child being able to let someone know they are okay without facing prosecution? And in honesty you don't really know if your sibling, parent, child, niece, nephew, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent is a sexworker. Most of us you would have no idea if we are blurred face. What we are asking for as a community is really simple, many of us are not the type of people who wish to attend protests and things but instead are hoping to reach out to people and explain calmly what we are seeking. A life without discrimination, being able to bank and have eftpos facilities like any other business that pays taxes, geese we even have a GST threshold too. Most of us want to build a pathway for ourselves legally but do worry about the discrimination we face from banking institutions, accomodation providers and other career pathways. Sex workers are just normal people and I can bet you would know intimately in your close circle at least 3 people who sees Sex workers.
With Decriminalisation we would still have laws to follow just like any other business, like Work Place Health and Safety standards for example. But under current laws in Queensland I personally have been unable to establish a true WPHS plan that is 100% effective, due to the laws in place to specifically keep us unsafe in the work place. Under decriminalisation model we could function as normal businesses, flourish more and set up a better life for ourselves with out needing to lie to banks etc.
Most sex workers are normal people, just like most pharmacists don't sneak supplies home and most doctors don't have hordes of prescription medicines in their homes- Most sex workers just run a professional business like any other industry- While yes there may be some out there that may be louder than most you will find the majority don't even want you to know they are there. Just like the Doctor & pharmacist example- I have met Doctors that are questionable in practice and Pharmacists, but I have met the opposite too. So to say all sex workers are one specific way would be the same as labelling each profession one certain way.
As an industry we want to be judged by our actions as an individual and a sole trader not placed with a label and presumptions. People marginalising me is something that drives me crazy, just because I am a sex worker people straight out presume I drink and do drugs, people offer me all the time when factually I have not drank since a teen, don't drink, don't smoke, don't gamble and am a vegetarian. I also get the party person presumptions- I am closer to a little old lady than a party person- I have not been clubbing as an adult, or too a bar it's just not my scene. I know many sex workers exactly like me and I know many doctors who may as well have their head in a bag of cocaine everyday off lol. But at the end of the day it's about the fact that regardless of someones occupation you should not base judgement on them, get to know an individual. By no means am I saying that people shouldn't enjoy themselves and let loose, people can do what ever makes them happy in my opinion, I just find the generalisations that are formed in peoples minds based off someones occupation insane. Each person is an individual- a Job is a job.
I think another thing that causes a lot of people to turn a blind eye to sex workers needs is the fact they think only specific types of people see sex workers- this is where you are so wrong. I have seen every single religion, every single race (even someone from Madagascar, I love that movie). I have seen a priest, wives, husbands, single men, single women, couples/ married couples, transexuals, widows, abled/disabled, 83 yr olds, 19 year olds. Parliament members, Hairdressers, Surgeons, Doctors, Proffessors, Car sales, Scientists, Realestate agents, grocery clerks, uber drivers, Trolley pushers, Dentists, Physios, Personal Trainers, Chefs, Fast food workers, Bakers, Barristers, Lawyers, Housewives, managers, CEO's, Business owners, Mums, Dads, musicians, footballers, psychiatrists, Council workers, Tradies, Vets and literally any occupation or type of person you can think of sex workers have seen them. We see people for varied reasons all from different walks of life and all seeking our services for different reasons.
Some people are stressed, some people are lonely, some people are bored, some are horny but their needs and desires are valid. Sex Workers provide a safer sexual release for many people, sex is necessary for hormone & chemical regulation in humans bodies. It is a natural thing and it should not be frowned upon.
Many women/men who are not sex workers see attractive women/non-binary/ men or sex workers as man eaters/ partner stealers or threats and actually will actively go out of their way to put others down or try to shame them for their appearance. This is sad, if your partner is looking at another it is not that persons fault, address it with your partner. Even then this is totally your own self esteem lacking, maybe its about time you assess that. Because I can assure you most sex workers do not want to take your partner, or even know they are in a relationship. Example, I only just found out a client of mine of 4yrs is married, why he hid it from me I have no idea but still half the time we do not even know so do not go hunting down Sex Workers coming from vengeance.
There is a very real need for sex workers in your community. Without sex workers there would be many more mistresses that are not being paid so an emotional bond (much worse- sex workers are just doing their job), rape & sexual assault rates increase. I lived in a small Queensland town and first hand witnessed what happened when the legal brothel was shut down and due to the 'housewife petition' as it was referred to by the men put pressure on the accomodation available for private sex workers in the area. I seen as a teenager who lived through this era rape, molestation & sexual assaults sky rocket. Now of course this should not be happening anywhere in the world but I do wonder if it was easier for people to release their sexual tension/desires in a safe, non-judgmental, legal and pre-negotiated manner would these incidents not have occurred?
I was once a civilian woman with very religious views and I had a lot of internalised stigma for years even after starting this job. Once upon a time I was jealous and would crack it at my x partner if I seen him look at another woman, guess what! that was my own head issue, that woman I would be snarky about did nothing wrong, I had no confidence or trust and that was my problem, if you have this issue fix it, get help because that is what breaks marriages, friendships & relationships. It will also destroy you, it is definitely not healthy to feel that way and fixing that within yoursel