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Sex Work

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Definition:

Sex work is an umbrella term used to describe any kind of work that involves providing sexual services for financial gain. Sex workers may be of any gender and what they do can include everything from erotic massage to phone sex to nude dancing to having intercourse for money.

The term sex work is much more useful than the vague and highly stigmatized term prostitute. It’s useful because it lets us look at all sorts of different people who are “doing” sex for money and talk about how to keep them and their clients safe, how to reduce the number of people who may be coerced into doing sex work, and how to deal with the ways that society and sex work clash, which in the end benefit no one.

Sex work is also preferred because it puts the focus on how many, if not most, sex workers talk about what they do, which is that it’s a job. The term prostitution tends to paint a picture not of a job but of a kind of person. The truth is that sex workers are all kinds of people, from all kinds of places, and have sex for money for all kinds of reasons.

The term sex work came from sex workers themselves. If you believe people have the right to choose how they identify and that everyone should be treated with enough respect to be called a name that isn’t hurtful, sex work is the better choice.

Also Known As: prostitution
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