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Serious Sex Work (No Links)

May

Rhamantaidd Obsesiynol
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Ello, old thread was a troll so here I am.

So prostitution is among the oldest jobs in human history, and is a pretty interesting topic. Despite all odds, since the middle ages, people have offered money and other valuable things for sexual favours. It's not even strictly prostitution, but can be many other things such as pornography.

But, while it's been around for literal centuries, it remains socially unacceptable to many, even being outlawed in some countries.

So, what do you think? Why do you think it's outlawed? Do you think it's an outdated opinion, or something necessary? Personally I'm not the most educated, but find it to be a really interesting topic.

I'm of the opinion that if both parties are fully consenting, there's not really much reason for it to be an illegal act. I can understand the dangers of the industry can lead to problems, but if anything, outlawing it makes it worse. It's most certainly a real line of work someone can take, as evidenced by the job surviving centuries of scrutiny. It's a pretty powerful history, if anything.
 

GatoDelFuego

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I think explosions growth of so called "sex work" online (onlyfans, ph premium, premium snapchats) is a symptom of a sex negative culture overall. Short term I think it would be far healthier to stop beating around the bush and just legalize prostitution. Long term I think society as a whole needs to accept moderate sexuality rather than suppress it.
 

S1nn0hC0nfirm3d

aka Ho3nConfirm3d
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The law doesn’t believe mutual consent is possible when one actor is in a position of authority in relation to the other, like a boss or teacher to an employee or student.

I believe if an individual’s income is dependent on their sex work, then this has potential to turn into an issue of consent, as their “customers” have authority over them in a monetary perspective, and thus throws around a lot of control to strangers. Risking consent issues isn’t something that should be taken lightly; while prostitution was around for hundreds of years, people got married in their young teen years as well back then. We know better as to raise the age of consent in this day and age, as well as other rules regarding consent like I alluded to earlier.

Prostitution being illegal is preventing individuals from being in a compromising position to make ends meet and potentially end up emotionally scarred... this of course relates back to the issue of mutual consent.

Not every individual is as vulnerable as their neighbor, and surely some individuals can enter sex work and have no consequences mentally, but we should look out for those that see sex work as an easy way out of a tough situation at the sacrifice of their mental health; this is a responsibility that has no easy answer beyond just making it illegal and thus inaccessible for the most part. At the very least, we shouldn’t condone prostitution as we know now that making sex be a source of someone’s income blurs the line of what consent means and is.
 

earl

smells like fuckin food in here
is a Pre-Contributor
The law doesn’t believe mutual consent is possible when one actor is in a position of authority in relation to the other, like a boss or teacher to an employee or student.

I believe if an individual’s income is dependent on their sex work, then this has potential to turn into an issue of consent, as their “customers” have authority over them in a monetary perspective, and thus throws around a lot of control to strangers. Risking consent issues isn’t something that should be taken lightly; while prostitution was around for hundreds of years, people got married in their young teen years as well back then. We know better as to raise the age of consent in this day and age, as well as other rules regarding consent like I alluded to earlier.

Prostitution being illegal is preventing individuals from being in a compromising position to make ends meet and potentially end up emotionally scarred... this of course relates back to the issue of mutual consent.

Not every individual is as vulnerable as their neighbor, and surely some individuals can enter sex work and have no consequences mentally, but we should look out for those that see sex work as an easy way out of a tough situation at the sacrifice of their mental health; this is a responsibility that has no easy answer beyond just making it illegal and thus inaccessible for the most part. At the very least, we shouldn’t condone prostitution as we know now that making sex be a source of someone’s income blurs the line of what consent means and is.
Given one wants to outlaw prostitution to prevent harm to those engaging, soliciting the sex work should be illegal and not being a sex worker. If the only economically viable option for an individual is sex work they should not be punished for doing so- after all, it is out of desperation and not choice. At least this method wouldn't punish someone for doing what's necessary. Not to mention it would be the buyer that would be creating the power imbalance.
 

vonFiedler

I Like Chopin
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Prostitution being illegal is preventing individuals from being in a compromising position to make ends meet and potentially end up emotionally scarred... this of course relates back to the issue of mutual consent.
I think you're making the argument that prostitution is harmful because women are economically forced into it. Even if you aren't, most critics of prostitution do.

Another issue, genuinely, with prostitution is abuse from pimps. If anything should be illegal, it should be pimping, not sex work or purchasing.

Prostitution is basically a case study in how wage work is fundamentally abuse. I was literally told this by a woman I knew, "I escort because all work is abuse." How beautiful is it that the problems with prostitution are having a boss who exists only to take your hard earned money and being forced to earn money just to survive. But even though escorts make much more than minimum wage and work far less, it's terrible right? Good money and less work is in no way bad for people's mental health, but overall this should be up to the individual.
 

S1nn0hC0nfirm3d

aka Ho3nConfirm3d
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Given one wants to outlaw prostitution to prevent harm to those engaging, soliciting the sex work should be illegal and not being a sex worker. If the only economically viable option for an individual is sex work they should not be punished for doing so- after all, it is out of desperation and not choice. At least this method wouldn't punish someone for doing what's necessary. Not to mention it would be the buyer that would be creating the power imbalance.
What is necessary for an individual’s prosperity doesn’t justify their own actions morally. Furthermore, while it may solve monetary issues, it may cause more internal issues regarding their mental health like I addressed above. If prostitution proves to be mentally harmful and not sustainable, then it’s not a viable option in the first place; this is not a sacrifice we should encourage nor allow.

I think you're making the argument that prostitution is harmful because women are economically forced into it. Even if you aren't, most critics of prostitution do.

Another issue, genuinely, with prostitution is abuse from pimps. If anything should be illegal, it should be pimping, not sex work or purchasing.

Prostitution is basically a case study in how wage work is fundamentally abuse. I was literally told this by a woman I knew, "I escort because all work is abuse." How beautiful is it that the problems with prostitution are having a boss who exists only to take your hard earned money and being forced to earn money just to survive. But even though escorts make much more than minimum wage and work far less, it's terrible right? Good money and less work is in no way bad for people's mental health, but overall this should be up to the individual.
Yes, pimping isn’t right.

As far as I’m aware, signing up for a job at a fixed wage in a “professional” environment is not nearly as invasive nor personal as having sex with strangers for means to make a living... again I want to highlight that the concept of consent has evolved to protect individuals. The problems of position differs because, as I argue, a prostitute cannot truly give consent to sex.

Also to make things clear, I think these are good points being made and I’m just sharing my humble perspective. Thank you for interacting with me and sharing your thoughts thus so far! :)
 

Mr.E

unban me from Discord
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My opinion of prostitution is that I am very confused as to why it's illegal to sell your body for money but it becomes perfectly legal if you do so in front of a camera and sell the tape????????????? literally how does that make any sense
I think explosions growth of so called "sex work" online (onlyfans, ph premium, premium snapchats) is a symptom of a sex negative culture overall. Short term I think it would be far healthier to stop beating around the bush and just legalize prostitution. Long term I think society as a whole needs to accept moderate sexuality rather than suppress it.
I think it's more a symptom of the increased atomization of society and, to a lesser extent, the mainstreaming of female empowerment/feminism in the Western world that not only allows but encourages women to "never settle." Cue ever-increasing numbers of sad, lonely men who have absolutely zero access to intimacy and companionship because they're not perfect enough for increasingly entitled women.

As far as the rest of this topic, sex work shouldn't be a person's only viable source of said companionship and intimacy either. That shit's mentally damaging too, y'know, but be so alone and undesirable. Unfortunately, there's no way to regulate that like you can workplace safety and wages. You can't force people to like you. Really, even paying for this stuff doesn't quite fit the bill because you know going in that it's just a transaction and not real intimacy.
 
Furthermore, while it may solve monetary issues, it may cause more internal issues regarding their mental health like I addressed above. If prostitution proves to be mentally harmful and not sustainable, then it’s not a viable option in the first place; this is not a sacrifice we should encourage nor allow.
What if you compare prostitution to other jobs? People who work in mines and warehouses and housekeeping and construction and slaughterhouses also risk their physical and mental health, and it's certainly not sustainable into your 50s and 60s. "Mentally harmful and not sustainable" can apply to many blue collar jobs - essentially, you're trying to survive in the city and not starve or become homeless, so you have to let your body get abused for measly pay. Of course prostitution can be an abusive and exploitative industry, but under capitalism, so are many others.
 
Last edited:

MAMP

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i live in a part of australia where brothels and prostitution are legalised and have been for decades, but street-based sex work/soliciting is not. consensus here is that decriminalisation of sex work is an unmitigated success: it allows sex workers to seek legal recourse when they're assaulted on the job (sexually or otherwise — this happens a lot unfortunately), takes a ton of power away from pimps, allows the profession to be regulated and unionised, provides sex workers with better working conditions and security, and reduces the spread of hiv. the idea that the issues to do with consent, desperation, and poverty around sex work can be solved by jailing sex workers is naive, a frankly very american approach to the issue. there's a reason they call it the oldest profession in the world: people are going to sell their bodies no matter what you do. criminalising it doesn't stop people from doing it, it just forces them to do it illegally, which does not lead to good outcomes.
 

May

Rhamantaidd Obsesiynol
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The law doesn’t believe mutual consent is possible when one actor is in a position of authority in relation to the other, like a boss or teacher to an employee or student.
I'm going to assume this is American law. Out of all cases where the mutual consent isn't possible - if I'm correct - the person abusing their power is the one jailed. In which case, why would the sex worker be the one to be jailed? The rest of your post goes on to explain that consent is blurred and all but...all of this seems to come down to the paying individual's responsibility? This sounds extremely backwards and takes away from the responsibility of the one paying the prostitute in the first place.

i live in a part of australia where brothels and prostitution are legalised and have been for decades, but street-based sex work/soliciting is not. consensus here is that decriminalisation of sex work is an unmitigated success: it allows sex workers to seek legal recourse when they're assaulted on the job (sexually or otherwise — this happens a lot unfortunately), takes a ton of power away from pimps, allows the profession to be regulated and unionised, provides sex workers with better working conditions and security, and reduces the spread of hiv. the idea that the issues to do with consent, desperation, and poverty around sex work can be solved by jailing sex workers is naive, a frankly very american approach to the issue. there's a reason they call it the oldest profession in the world: people are going to sell their bodies no matter what you do. criminalising it doesn't stop people from doing it, it just forces them to do it illegally, which does not lead to good outcomes.
This is similar to the UK's laws on prostitution (to clarify, I'm Welsh). It's completely legal for one to conduct or solicit sex work here so long as you're not looking on the street or something. You can even be an outcall escort if you really want to! However, you can't own brothels. The law there isn't even enforced much though; there are ""massage parlours"" out in Stoke-on-Trent that aren't even looked at. There's a good bunch of protections for prostitutes as well, with places such as Women's Refuge helping them out. Ironically, the "usage" of prostitutes is actually less in the UK than in the US...iirc, around 10% of men solicit prostitutes in the UK, while in the US, it's around 20%?

So far, no collapse of British society has occurred, though some other political situations have certainly raised my eyebrows into the stratosphere. It remains a mite socially unacceptable and you're certainly going to garner gossip with call girls/men coming to your house on the odd night, but hey, there hasn't really been any large issues.

Could be wrong on bits here, feel free to correct me.
 

cookie

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I think you're making the argument that prostitution is harmful because women are economically forced into it. Even if you aren't, most critics of prostitution do.

Another issue, genuinely, with prostitution is abuse from pimps. If anything should be illegal, it should be pimping, not sex work or purchasing.

Prostitution is basically a case study in how wage work is fundamentally abuse. I was literally told this by a woman I knew, "I escort because all work is abuse." How beautiful is it that the problems with prostitution are having a boss who exists only to take your hard earned money and being forced to earn money just to survive.
you're right in that pimps represent the danger here. And although you can perhaps maybe argue that the abusive pimp-prostitute relationship is the baseline for a employer-employee, that baseline is improved upon by labour laws. The problem isn't that pimping is legal, it's that it's unregulated. In fact, you want it legalised in order to regulate it, otherwise you push that shit underground. work might be abuse in its basest form (which, given its unregulated and black-market nature, prostitution is a very good approximation to) but that's why we have laws.

my view on sex work is based off my view on sex: we should be far more liberal with it, and give people the freedom to explore sex in a safe way. the sex "market" is a distorted one because people have hang-ups about sex, and the dating dynamics in humans that result in multiple men chasing any one woman. in fact, regulating and legalising sex work is a pre-requisite for a UBI in the general sense: if a UBI is designed to meet your basic needs, it follows that you also need to be able to procure sexual services for money.

You also need to destigmatise purchasing sex work, which is the other side of the coin. Unfortunately I have no real idea how you'd do that - but honestly if you're not getting any anyway, that stigma isn't going to go away because you didn't give in and went to a sex worker...
 

Crux

Banned deucer.
It is well documented that the vast majority of women who engage in sex work do so due to economic depravation, many of them started under the age of 18, and many feel that they cannot leave the industry due to either continuing depravation or threats of violent coercion or reprisal. If you are engaging in sex that you would not have otherwise engaged in but for the threat of starvation, homelessness, or bankruptcy, then that is not consensual sex. It is rape.

Sex work is a vile commodification of women’s bodies that preys on their financial vulnerability. It is a violent affront against women by both the state that allowed for them to be and continue to be in that position, and by the men that purchase their services. While other work is also exploitative, sex work is unique in the sheer amount of trauma that comes with it. Despite liberal claims to the contrary, sex places women in uniquely vulnerable and potentially dangerous situations compared to other work, in many cases literally forcing them to risk their lives daily in order to subsist. The continued proliferation of sex work is perhaps one of the starkest examples of the inherent misogyny embedded in the patriarchal state and an affront to human dignity.

Some individuals claim that they find sex work empowering, but this is a minority and clearly the most privileged set of sex workers. The majority of them also do not engage in full service sex work. We should not be prioritising their perspectives when considering policy responses to the problem of sex work.

Rape, human trafficking and abuse is endemic to sex work and legalisation does not reduce any of these things. In many cases it will offer greater protection to abusers. Instead, the state should actively prosecute Johns and provide ways for women trapped in sex work to receive financial compensation so that they can reclaim their autonomy and escape the industry.
 

TheValkyries

proudly reppin' 2 superbowl wins since DEFLATEGATE
Your reading of the situation and your conclusion is brutish, crux. Yes "the most privileged" sex workers do extol the virtues of the work, not because they are privileged necessarily by station and don't come from the horrid backgrounds you describe (many do), but rather because they are fortunate to exist in a space that allows them to work without being shut down by states who are ostensibly "saving" them while exercising agency over their own bodies in a way that may have been denied them before. More often than not the language you've used is weaponized and targeted towards these "most privileged" sex workers because a women taking agency and monetizing her sensuality cannot be abided by, while human trafficking and such charges are instead levied at these vulnerable workers instead of towards any real organization that does as you describe, and is further used to shut down the safe harbors built by sex workers. What do you call a group of adult women who band together to organize their sex work and ensure their safety? A human trafficking ring.

Also I laughed at the idea that those who find sex work empowering usually aren't offering full service sex work, as if other sex workers aren't "real enough" to have an opinion, and as if those who offer full service aren't the ones who do a lot of the ideological and political leg work against abuses of poor/false narratives to harass them.

Prostitution should be decriminalized and sex workers should be allowed the freedom to do their work. The problem of the coercive force of capitalism in sex work does not make sex work any more or less morally unsavory than any other work that's being exploited.
 

Crux

Banned deucer.
This post is a bit weird. I don't really disagree with anything you've said about how some women find it empowering, nor do I disagree that they are often instrumental in sex work activism. I am certainly not saying that the women themselves are responsible for human trafficking. None of this really responds to the points I made.

I am simply pointing out that those experiences are not the majority, and that policy should be structured around the experiences of the most vulnerable, which in this case also happens to be the majority of experiences.

It is truly a strange trend in discourse about sex work where people who would usually advocate for that approach in any other case refuse to do so in the case of sex work.
 
onlyfans isn't sex work and it's gross for camgirls to call it sex work when it's clear they want to claim the victimhood and disprivileged position of sex work without having to deal with any of the struggles
 

vonFiedler

I Like Chopin
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onlyfans isn't sex work and it's gross for camgirls to call it sex work when it's clear they want to claim the victimhood and disprivileged position of sex work without having to deal with any of the struggles
Part of the reason that onlyfans became such a thing with covid was because sex workers moved online. This gave them a place to speak from where they wouldn't call attention to themselves for actively breaking the law. This is how the dialogue has changed so much this year.
 

internet

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As a proud dutchman and somewhat of a sex worker myself id say the issue is capitalism, but while we work on that it ought to be legal albeit regulated, e.g. no pimps, health and safety standards, etc.

Just like with drugs, the reality is that even if you find it morally reprehensible, with legality/decriminalization and regulations the situation is simply better for all parties except organized criminals.
 

Adamant Zoroark

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There will always be people willing to pay for sex and there will always be people willing to sell. I think viewing sex work as something inherently non-consensual is at best reductive and at worst sexist.

Here in the US, with prostitution criminalized, we see it pushed underground, creating conditions that are unsafe for both the clients and the prostitutes. Prostitutes have no recourse if they're assaulted by their pimps or their clients due to the criminal nature of the work they do; in addition, this makes it so that they have less access to testing that is necessary to reduce the spread of diseases like HIV. Routes taken by countries like Sweden and Canada, where they criminalize only the buying, but not the selling, of sex, stems from views that the client is necessarily abusing the prostitute, which, again, is at best reductive.

Another thing is that cracking down on human trafficking does not require criminalizing prostitution altogether. Go after the criminals who are trafficking young (often underage) girls to go into sex work against their will, but don't criminalize the people going into sex work of their own free will. There's potential for trafficking in other sex industries as well (see: pornography), but we're not seeing a widespread effort to criminalize pornography in the developed world. Legalize and regulate prostitution and go after the organized sex trafficking rings so that the practice can be safer for consenting parties. Even if you find it morally reprehensible, that's really the best way to approach this.
 

TheValkyries

proudly reppin' 2 superbowl wins since DEFLATEGATE
This post is a bit weird. I don't really disagree with anything you've said about how some women find it empowering, nor do I disagree that they are often instrumental in sex work activism. I am certainly not saying that the women themselves are responsible for human trafficking. None of this really responds to the points I made.

I am simply pointing out that those experiences are not the majority, and that policy should be structured around the experiences of the most vulnerable, which in this case also happens to be the majority of experiences.

It is truly a strange trend in discourse about sex work where people who would usually advocate for that approach in any other case refuse to do so in the case of sex work.
The counterpoint I was making was that a vast majority of the actual litigated cases are often misrepresented for political gains. (Cops arrest vulnerable women is less sexy than ‘busted a human trafficking ring’).
 

Crux

Banned deucer.
The counterpoint I was making was that a vast majority of the actual litigated cases are often misrepresented for political gains. (Cops arrest vulnerable women is less sexy than ‘busted a human trafficking ring’).
I don't disagree with this and would support some form of decriminalisation. I just don't think decriminalisation by itself is sufficient.
 

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