Working at a job that isn’t supported by the government, cuts you off from many benefits of society. Sex workers are constantly having their health and safety at risk. They cannot count on financial services such as welfare, health insurance and they even get harassed by the police.
Most entrepreneurs and employees take these government given protections and professional services for granted. They can freely market themselves, have access to insurance and more. Sex workers, however, are in a unique place of economic isolation.
Anyone who helps a sex worker with his or her work process is bound to be at risk. Either they help them with money management, driving or security, they can be charged with sex trafficking crimes. Yet involving someone in the safety and legal risks a sex worker is taking makes the job infinitely easier.
The number of people trying to use sex services without paying and then the ones that threaten sex workers are too high. If they fall a victim to some sort of financial fraud or have a creep on their tails who follow them around, they can’t turn to the police or any other official. Sure, every sex worker can use these services privately from other individuals, but he/she still has to keep it off the grid. They can have someone protecting them or handling their finances, but they can only pay them unofficially, out of their pocket. It’s rare to strike such agreements when it comes to health and safety though.
What it’s Like Working on Their Own
Sex work is a charming career to pursue those with open sexuality and the desire to make three times as much money than they would with working regular jobs. They drop out of pretty good jobs too, like TV news and the IT industry. Maybe they do sex work as a side hustle, which combines the stability of a regular job and the pros of sex work.
Still, no matter how much money they make, they’re on their own when it comes to handling issues. Legal advisors and financial advisors won’t help them since they’re breaking the law. Yet porn performers do pretty much the same thing, only that they have a multitude of services available. In fact, the porn industry has already created a perfect model of how sex work could be legally regulated.
Sure, a lot of European countries made sex work legal, with strict regulations. There are plenty of licensing requirements and STD tests to pass, but it works. If such a licensing program would be more widespread, no sex workers would have to suffer from the legal drawbacks of their job. It being illegal means that they have very little safety and lose plenty of money because they can’t accept credit cards. Most escorts and prostitutes are eager to work legally and would comply with the rules set by their government.
Why Do They Do It In the First Place
With no legal protections, healthcare, and harassment from the police, why do sex worker pursue their career? Most of the sex workers who work illegally have a backup plan. They usually work at a stable job, because of the seasonal nature of sex work. But they do indeed love the work and not just because of the money. They do it because they can help other people, give them good company and serve as therapists sometimes.
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A lot of times sex workers are contacted by clients who are too scared to date, have cerebral palsy or other limitations. It makes them feel good that they got someone off and gave him/her a good time. Sometimes, clients hire prostitutes just for cuddling and having a boyfriend or girlfriend experience. Most people don’t want sex, they just want to feel love, even if it is for such a short while.
Sex work in a country where it’s illegal isn’t glamorous at all. It isn’t glamorous in a lot of other places either. Yet plenty of sex workers still go for it, because they love it. If you liked to read this article as much as I liked writing it, then check out these interviews done by VICE. They include all the info mentioned here and more!