10 Myths About Sex Work We Need To Stop Believing

For most of my adult life, I’ve been what’s commonly known as “precariously employed.” Whether it was working in a bar where the clients pinched me while I cleared glasses, trying my hand at being a personal assistant (which barely covered my rent while I pulled 12-hour shifts with no paid overtime), or doing administrative work in an office where the staff called me “the temp” to my face, I’ve managed to skate by, supporting myself with poorly paid, insecure jobs.

When I first discovered sex work, I was sure that it was going to be my ticket to riches — after all, I’d seen enough movies to assume that, as an overly educated woman who could code-switch into a posh accent (I’m British), I was going to become an overnight success, a courtesan to the rich and famous. But while my career as a sex worker hasn’t turned me into a multimillionaire, I’ve finally found financial security — without having to work a 90-hour week.

In the past five years, I’ve worked as everything from a cam girl to a full-service escort to a pro domme. While I’m aware of how relatively privileged my position is — and how lucky I am, given that the worst thing I’ve come across has been annoying clients — I can honestly say that sex work hasn’t been traumatic in the slightest. In fact, I felt worse about accepting money from an unethical company for some freelance non-sex work I did recently than I ever did taking money from a client after a blow job.

It was only when I began to tell people what I was doing for a living that I encountered the biggest hardship: the unwarranted judgement and prejudice. Turns out, many people have negative assumptions about sex workers (shocker). So in order to help clear things up, I’ve rounded up 10 common myths about sex work and explained just how misguided these sentiments are.

(Just to be clear: I’m talking about voluntary sex work, not sex trafficking, which is absolutely horrible and “a grave violation of human rights,” according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Maybe that should be a myth on this list all its own: That sex work automatically means trafficking. It doesn't.)

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