Sex Work and the Spectrum of Empowerment

(This is an excerpt from a longer article. See link at bottom for full article)

An empowered sex worker is a sexual educator, a cultural advocate, and a healer. An empowered sex worker educates their clients on safer sex practices, thereby preventing disease transmission. They also facilitates safe sexual play, be it in the realm of BDSM or beyond, educating their clients in safe, consensual enactments of their fantasies. An empowered sex worker heals by providing safe physical, emotional and spiritual exploration. By making the space for education and healing, an empowered sex worker advocates for societal change for the better. An empowered sex worker brings great gifts not just to their own communities, but to the greater society.

We must support this.

Sex work has been around since the beginning of human history. It has existed regardless of what governmental system has been in place, and it has existed in many forms. Historically, regardless of whether, sex workers were honored and given a place in the spiritual temples, or if they were banished to the streets or outskirts of town, they have existed. When they were honored and respected, their work happened safely – and safety was therefore secured for the the worker and for the client, and for the client and for the community. When they were banished, and stigmatized, everyone was endangered. Without safe physical and emotional space, they operated at higher risks of all sorts.

An oppressed and disempowered sex worker, though strong, and fighting, is put at great risk. This risk extends to the clients, and to the entire community. When a sex worker has to hide, or live in fear, risky behavior happens. When a sex worker is not respected, violence against them is permitted. This harms the sex worker, the client, and the community at large.

We must prevent this.

This is a very black and white way of examining the circumstances around sex work, and we do not live in black and white world. The sex work experience is not easily lumped into one place along this spectrum of empowerment. Many forces fail to recognize this, many forces refuse to recognize this. Some sex work is tolerated when convenient, and most sex work is not tolerated as is convenient. This means that sex work happens on some sort of complicated spectrum between the empowered sex worker and the disempowered sex worker.

This is definitely the case in the United States.

Check out the full article here:

http://wendyvinaigrette.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/the-empowered-sex-worker/

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