Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald published a column by a woman going by the pen name Louise O'Neale who blamed her failed marriage on her husband's relationship with a prostitute. O'Neale drew the larger conclusion that sex work is therefore bad. Today, an actual sex worker, who did not identify herself, responded with her own column in the Morning Herald:
For those who have never met a sex worker, we're like any other professional. But rather than being your hairdresser or plumber, we are learned and experienced in the art of sexual pleasure. Our clients are regular people coming from all backgrounds, age groups, abilities and disabilities, genders, sexualities, cultural, religious backgrounds, and so on. We provide a service in exchange for money between two or more consenting adults. It is nothing like sex slavery.
If there is time in the booking (most go for 30-60 minutes), we chat and usually make small talk while showering and getting dressed. Clients might discuss their relationships with us or any problems they are experiencing. Clients tell us that they don't have time or the desire to invest in a personal relationship and/or they want some no strings attached sex. Sometimes they complain their partners or wives won't engage in sexual activities that they enjoy—and rather than have an affair, they seek out the services of a sex worker. While many would like to believe that clients are either sex addicts or misogynists, and that sex workers are victims or home wreckers, this simply isn't true.
[Column writer Louise] O'Neale's personal relationship breakdown is not something that brings me any joy. However, her partner should bear the full brunt of her anger, not his service provider.
Read the rest of the column, where the author calls the "sex workers are victims" trope "old, worn and not backed by the research" here.
Maggie McNeill, a retired sex worker cum blogger, suggests Fridays the 13th as days to speak out publicly in support of the sex work industry. She says up to 10 percent of women have been paid for sex at least once and up to 20 percent of men have paid for it at least once occasionally.
More Reason on prostitution here.