AN UNDERSTANDING OF THOSE AGAINST SEX WORK

I’ve been spending a lot of time, lately, critically thinking about what would make someone oppose the profession of sex work. Of course, this has stemmed from a personal encounter with someone who has expressed judgment and aversion in regards to me being a Professional Dominatrix. I don’t usually spend too much time on what other people think, but this person is a newly inherited family member, and so I feel an urge to understand things from her point of view. 

It is my naturally tendency to get curious about people who disprove of my actions, as oppose to get defensive or try to protect myself against some attack on my imaginary ego.

I’m going to write this from the perspective of sex work as a whole and not necessarily from the view of Professional Domination. I want to give voice to the women in the industry who actually do chose to have “traditional” intercourse with their bodies. Of course, there are many overlapping themes in regards to all avenues of sex work. For this purpose, however, I want to focus mainly on prostitution because that is the avenue where participants face the most oppression, condemnation, and legal repercussions. 

Let’s break it down: SEX

  • What is sex?
    • In its most simplest form, sex is simply this: pleasure derived from stimulating parts of the body or mind by means of the senses. 

That’s it? Yes, really, that’s it. If you want to conceptualize sex as something else, you may, but that would be you imposing your values and meanings onto something and not seeing it for WHAT IT IS.

So, why is it that receiving a full body massage from a trained massage therapist is acceptable and receiving pleasure – or pain for that matter – in a paid sexual context is not? In both encounters pleasure is exchanged or given between two consenting adults. Why can you go to jail for one and not the other?
The Answer: Puritanical Religious ValuesScreen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.57.41 AM

It is my personal opinion that the puritanical views on which this country were founded are still well alive in regards to oppression and control – especially in regards to sexuality.
The values of sex in marriage have been displaced on those who are not married, therefore, giving power to people who are married and taking away power from people who are not. Giving power to matrimony encourages people to marry and procreate, which was, one of the main objectives of religion in the first place. Married couples are supposed to “cherish one another” intimately (Eph. 5:29) rather than having sex in an impersonal way as an adulterer with a prostitute. Of course, because having sex outside of marriage would “break up the family system.” Heaven forbid.

So why am I mentioning marriage when we are talking about sex work? Let’s direct our attention to the Colorado Revised Statutes for this:

C.R.S. 18-7-201: Prostitution prohibited 
(1) Any person who performs or offers or agrees to perform any act of sexual intercourse, fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, or anal intercourse with any person not his spouse in exchange for money or other thing of value commits prostitution. 

(3) Prostitution is a class 3 misdemeanor.

What we are looking at here are the ancient puritanical values at work in modern society. The message that is being sent is that sex outside of marriage is not ok – paid or not.

Facts:

  1. We are always engaging in some sort of exchange when it comes to sex. Always.
  2. The law prohibits people from being honest, therefore perpetuating the need for secrecy (SECRECY = SHAME) about the John’s need for sex and the prostitute’s need for money or goods. The messages sent in this are:Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.17.41 AM
    1.  Men shouldn’t want sex outside of marriage because that is wrong/pleasure for pleasure outside of marriage is wrong.
    2. Women shouldn’t be afforded the freedom to make a living because (puritanically speaking) they should rely on men to take care of them. For women to use their powerful sexuality to get what they want, is threatening to patriarchy. 
  3. Sex work gives women the freedom to choose how they make money.

Women have fought many battles surrounding choice:

  1. Women earn the right to choose an elected official 1920
  2. Women earn the right to choose to abort their fetuses – an ongoing battle 
  3. Women were not allowed to wear trousers on the U.S. Senate floor until 1993

The list goes on…

Basically, sex work empowers women so much that it is a threat to the patriarchal and puritanical values that this country was founded upon….

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.16.22 AMWhen someone says, “I don’t accept sex work,” what they are really saying is, “I know better than you what is best for you. My values are more important than yours, and everyone should view sex as I do.”

It is not only selfish to impose your values on another, but it is ignorant, shaming, and cruel. It send the message that people don’t deserve to have agency, and that people should be controlled. It is oppression at its finest. 

So, there you have it. That’s my take on why someone might be against sex work. What do you think?

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