I’ve downplayed the violence angle because I don’t really know what to say. Violence against sex workers is a real problem that deserves recognition. But I have always felt vulnerable to violence and rape, whether or not I chose to charge money or be sexual. If sex work is a place of additional danger, I believe we live in a world that is ready to learn new attitudes — and oh, I want to dictate those!
Violence against sex workers is made too easy because of wrongheaded laws that make some people’s versions of “immorality” criminal. It’s broader than the moral or religious issues, though: it’s about class and gender — specifically denying women (1) ownership of their bodies and (2) the right to charge people to access it (3) within boundaries each woman defines for herself.
Lots of perpetrators of violence against sex workers explain that their crimes are justified because they shouldn’t have to pay for sex — the woman (or sometimes man) and the work s/he’s charging him for are not worthy of payment and/or should be punished for thinking s/he is. … I’m willing to bet these messages will only increase and intensify in the months and years to come as people get poorer, hungrier, and angrier.
How do you quantify concepts like these? If I thought about this every time I walked into a gig, would I ever do it?
The idea that all sex workers live in minute-to-minute peril is a myth propagated by a society that doesn’t want women getting any dangerous ideas about what they are allowed to do with their bodies.
My advice: Don’t work when you’re desperate. Quit when it’s not fun. Charge an amount of money that make it worthwhile.
Now go out there and fucking do it.