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aphoenixchasingarsonists asked:

Hi Eva, I just found your blog & find your postings very interesting & informative. I've been trying to better understand the realities of sex work & I'm finding many people posting about human & worker rights, harm reduction, trafficking etc. What are your thoughts about these issues or activism in general in your work? What are your thoughts about conditions where you work? How do these issues play out in your work? Thanks, Dan

askasexworker:

I finally found something relevant to say to this that isn’t an essay.

Here is something I wrote in response to comments on a documentary on trafficking and exploitation regarding how current sex workers often find it difficult to discuss the dark side of the industry:


I don’t think any of us deny the dark side of the industry, we’re just practical in our approach to solutions. I am no less horrified and disgusted by trafficking and coercion and terrible work conditions as a sex worker than as a member of the general public. I just know that decriminalization is the most effective approach to reducing harm across both the sex industry and the sex trade.

I also think it’s very easy to be confused by the cause of horrific and distressing conditions in developing countries (in particular). The cause of most of the situations involving conditions like that is poverty, not sex work (or exploitation.) Sex work is a result, not the cause. And the causes of trafficking and child abuse are greed, crime and poverty, not the existence of the sex industry.

I think it’s difficult for sex workers who are working in good conditions to talk about it because some people (and particularly the people listening to us) are confused about cause and effect.

I watched American Escort last night which is very biased against the sex industry in America. But it was funny because it painted a very clear argument for decriminalisation without ever mentioning it. They talked to former sex workers who’s problem was not the work itself but the violence they’d experienced with a lack of recourse, and the main negative issue they focused on was pimps.

They even clearly described the situation where agencies and girls all end up in the fucked up circle of confusion and openings for abuse and ignorance because they all have to pretend the girls are dancers. They blamed the agencies for being greedy and not caring about the girls; the vice squad are focusing on the agencies instead of the people actually committing the violence or the system creating the opportunities for it. That was so clearly not the problem.


I wasn’t including child sex work in the category of ‘sex work’ as it’s not, it’s abuse.

But decriminalization improves the ability of law enforcement to deal with underground organisations and organized crime. It also stops resources being consumed by fucking vice squads jailing consenting hookers instead of investigating real crime.


The biggest difference that can be made is removing the opportunities for middlemen to exploit people, especially children. In a criminal system, or in a system where legal work is difficult for immigrants etc, you are just opening the door for pimps and coercive brothel owners, debt bondage and situations that involve elements of trafficking and slavery.

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