Have you ever given much thought to sex workers? Is it something that's even on your radar? To be honest, until I began to immerse myself in all things kinky and sexual, I never really thought about it.
Sure, many of us know about prostitutes, hookers, hoes, whatever term you want to use. (If you don't, you're probably too young to be here, and you should leave now.) And if you're like me, you've seen them from the perspective of a Law and Order episode or that old series, Cops (is it still on TV?). They're intoxicated, drugged, and victims of their pimp or circumstances. People to be pitied and protected.
But have you ever stopped to think about the myriad of people who choose sex work as a legitimate way to make a living? Until I entered the kink world, I'd never really thought about it. But as I've spent time on Twitter and Tumblr (Facebook doesn't seem that safe for even kinky authors, so sex workers probably have a harder time of it), I've come across plenty of people who supplement their income or make their entire living from sex work.
And my mind has been opened.
Back in the day, I viewed those who made money off of sex as victims of circumstance, lack of education, whatever it might be. But now, especially as a kinkster myself, it's about consent.
Sex trafficking victims, minors, and people used by pimps aren't capable of giving consent or they've said no and been ignored. My sympathy, outrage, and concern are for them. They deserve to have the law protect them, and as a society, we should do what we can to protect them, advocate for them, and deal with the criminals who victimize them.
But for those people who choose to sell their sexual selves, in whatever form that may take, for money? I support their right to do so. For me, it's not about morality. Consent is the key.
So what is a sex worker?
I admit, I had to look it up to make sure I wasn't overlooking anyone - and I still might have.
Prostitutes and escorts (obviously), as well as porn and erotic models and porn actors (James Dean and Stoya are my two faves!) are clearly engaged in sex work. Phone sex operators who indulge the same kind of phone sex John Brownstone and I used to enjoy are sex workers - except they get paid. Erotic dancers and people who perform in live sex shows (those exist?!) are sex workers.
The one I see the most often, especially on social media, are the web cam sex workers, often women. This one fascinates me because sometimes you might watch them masturbate or have sex, sure. But other times, people pay to watch them brush their hair, put on make up, and just live their lives. It's voyeurism at a level I would never have imagined people would pay for, but they do.
Sex workers around the world are starting to speak out and advocate for legal rights and protections. In some cases, people even come together and unionize. The idea is to help sex workers, legal or coerced, have protections in place. Which makes sense to me. Sex can be a dangerous business - between health concerns, issues of power, and the legal world. Considering the laws vary from country to country, if they don't protect themselves, who will?
That got me thinking.
I write stories, as do most erotic writers and bloggers, not just to share a piece of my life, but also to get people turned on and (hopefully) to help them get off. Conceivably I make money off of (some of) my words. Sexy words in exchange for cash. Does that make me a sex worker? Gosh, I hope so.
This post was sponsored by FapShows.com. All opinions and views are my own.