Survival Sex Work: The Real Issue

“Prostitution” is a loaded word full of semiotic connotations which are often negative, until you must make a living that way, when it just becomes a derisory and insulting word for the honest work you do to pay your bills.

I come from the kind of academic and social background that was more likely to produce a solicitor or a hospital consultant (many of the girls I went to school with became one or the other) than a street walker, now let me sum up my story, and the story of every survival sex worker I have ever known:

  • Things happened that should not have happened.
  • Support resources were not available
  • Support resources were not appropriate
  • Legal redress was unavailable or failed
  • Support resources were not available
  • Support resources were not appropriate
  • Bills fell due.
  • Utilities were disconnected.
  • It was too cold
  • Support resources were not available
  • Support resources were not appropriate
  • Hunger was too hard to bear
  • Homelessness is terrifying
  • Begging is too degrading
  • Stealing hurts innocent people
  • Bracing yourself to sell sex solves almost everything almost overnight

Inside I remained the same person, just as intelligent, perceptive and ethical as ever, but older and wiser with a crystal clear memory of too much failure, exploitation and corruption from within the system itself.

I needed a way out of being driven to sell sex 10 years before I ever ran out of ingenuity and found myself out of all other options, I still need a way out more than 40 years later and 25 years since the last time I ever sold sex, but instead of trying to address the problems and offer a real way out of sex work and the problems that drive people to it in the first place the issue has been consistently hijacked and used for political point scoring by branches of political Christian Conservatism and Political Feminism, while, in the real world ordinary decent women from all levels of society are still cornered into selling sex to survive with no better alternative available at all.

What does exist instead is empty and untruthful lip service attached to ruthless initiatives that aggressively promote harmful agenda while silencing the facts.

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