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The Great Porn Star ~ Sex Worker Divide by Gracie Passette

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This week’s guest blog is by Gracie Passette.

“Gracie Passette is a sex worker, though no longer working directly with clients in the flesh; She now uses media to work with the issues of sexuality”.

Gracie has two blog sites: Cult of Gracie and Sexkitten.net (NSFW). Gracie can also be found on Twitter.

Gracie has kindly let us re-post her blog about the apparent divide that can exist between porn stars and other sex workers. We found it really interesting, we hope you do, too.

As with all of our guest blogs, the views expressed are those of the blogger and not necessarily those of the project.

 

The Great Porn Star ~ Sex Worker Divide

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Gracie Passette

Whorephobia drives me insane, especially when it results in separation and even worse among sex workers. Perhaps nowhere is this as clear than the divide between porn stars and all the other sex workers. This was made pretty clear, again, in the comments, Tweets, etc. regarding the recent auction for sex with a porn star.

Listen, I get that porn stars once wanted to distance themselves from “prostitution” for legal reasons; they fought so many legal battles, especially while building the Golden Age Of Porn. But time has passed now. And not in a way that has brought us all closer together. While I once hoped ~ and even thought ~ that the acceptance of porn and porn stars might lead to the acceptance of sex work as work, my hopes are continually dashed.

Earlier this year, Salon covered the issue of separation of porn church and sex worker state, discussing the “new dangerous trend” of porn stars working as escorts. First of all, this is not a new trend. Many a porn star, like Annie Sprinkle, began her sex work career being paid for sex by an individual before cashing her check for coitus on camera. Vice versa, many porn stars have cashed in on their fan popularity by escorting to supplement or replace dwindling paychecks as porn studios phased out “aging stars” in favor of newer (i.e. younger) porn starlets. Frankly, before the Golden Age Of Porn, before there were such things as “porn stars” as all, just who do you think was starring in those old stag films and posing in the old French postcards? Sex workers were. Yet porn stars are far more accepted than other sex workers. Just what is it about the cultural celebration of “celebrity” that means anything, anyone, on camera is somehow different than the “rest of us”?

Fundamentally, I don’t see a damn difference in terms of the actual work involved. Consensual sex for money as a porn actor or actress is equal to the consensual sex for money as an escort or other sex worker. (Hell, what’s the difference between either of those acts and mainstream film actors having sex, masturbating, etc. in scenes that are “integral to the story”. And let’s not forget the number of mainstream celebs who opt to be paid for appearances & “dates” either.)

I’m not saying that being a hardcore porn star is exactly the same as being an escort; of course it’s not. Just like being an escort it not just like being a phone sex operator, a sex blogger, erotica author, sex toy shop employee, a cam girl, a nude male model, a stripper, a dominatrix, etc… Each form of sex work comes with it’s own tasks, privacy, complexities, limitations, rate of pay, risks, etc. They are different types of jobs within the category of sex work. And it is precisely these job differences which a person choosing to enter sex work evaluates and considers when entering the adult industry.

But, according to Sunny Lane, who entered the porn industry after a stint at Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch, the porn industry is not-so welcoming to the idea that sex work is sex work:

“They thought it looked bad on the business,” says Lane. “It was like, ‘Ewwww, you’re an escort? Ewwww, you’re seeing your fans?’”

[It’s statements like this that make me think the decision makers in the porn industry are completely out of touch with reality. Not just the matter of what it is to be paid for sex, but the very notion of what drives those who pay for sex, on film or not ~ their customers and target market. Being so unaware of the power and desire of the fans means the porn execs have themselves to blame for the decrease in DVD porn sales; not just the usual scapegoats of “tube sites” and “the Internet”.]

The “Danger, Will Robinson!” alert of the Salon article points to the climate of diminishing porn returns pushing more porn stars not only into the more honest, yet less socially tolerated, work of paid escort dates, but into the less safe practice of unprotected sex too. Michael Whiteacre, a writer and industry activist who helps run the website the Real Porn Wiki Leaks, explains to EJ Dickson in the Salon article:

Because escorting is more profitable than shooting films, many view it in the same vein as feature dancing or doing interactive cam work: as a way to advertise themselves and earn extra cash in an increasingly competitive market. “The vast majority of performers who escort see it as part of one of their multiple revenue streams, because that’s what you need in the adult industry today,” says Whiteacre. “If you’re just waiting around for a booking from adult producers, it’s very hard to make ends meet.”

…Although most of these escort listings are intentionally vague, some performers’ back-page listings make no secret of the services they provide, with a few offering BBFS (“bareback full service,” or sex without a condom) for a nominal fee.

Having unprotected sex, especially with untested partners, is a thing to be concerned about ~ especially if you’re another sex worker, err, porn star who will be working with a partner who has had unprotected sex. Mike South (the very controversial Mike South aka Michael Strother) sounds off in the Salon article:

“I have no problem with escorting or prostitution,” says South. “It makes no sense whatsoever that selling sex is illegal and selling it with a camera in the room is legal. But I believe, like any profession, it should be practiced responsibly. When you are in the adult film industry and primarily shooting without condoms, it is your responsibility when you escort to wear a condom, and take into consideration that if you don’t, you might be endangering your co-workers.”

This argument would be more valid, however, if, as Salon points out, the adult film industry didn’t simply rely on the rigorous STD testing (which at least one study suggests results in porn performers having a lower risk of contracting HIV than members of the general population) and actually hired performers who demanded condoms be used on porn film sets.

Meanwhile, escorts and other “real” sex workers say they are feeling the pressure to perform their services without condoms in order to compete with the supposedly growing number of porn stars who promise bareback services. But are that many escorts, porn stars or not, really offering such services? Again, from that Salon report:

It’s important to note that escorts offering BBFS is relatively rare, and those who do offer the service generally require an up-to-date STI test before meeting the client. It’s difficult to gauge how many of the performers who escort offer this service, and many industry insiders I spoke with refuted the notion that the practice was widespread. “I see a lot of fear-mongering about it: ‘My God, they’re out there, these Typhoid Marys,’” says Whiteacre. “For sex workers, their body is their business, and it doesn’t make sense to have their bodies fail on them if that’s what’s making them their money.” Derek Hay, a former adult performer who runs the talent agency LA Direct Models, agrees: “It would surprise me a great deal if escorts are offering to see clients without a condom,” he told me.

I believe that Whiteacre and Hay are correct. Like any industry, sex work is bound to have some bad apples; so some escorts (those who have been in pornos or not) may offer sexual services without condoms. If I were still escorting today, I wouldn’t worry about them too much. Worry for them & their health, their clients’ health, yes; but I wouldn’t let them impact my business. I would still practice safe sex.

But somehow I just can’t help but feel that beneath this whole discussion lies the dreaded whorephobia… Porn stars just aren’t supposed to be “sex workers”. They’re supposed to have “risen above” that. But the reality is that sex workers are sex workers are sex workers.

 

 

 

Mae blog yr wythnos hon gan Gracie Passette.

“Mae Gracie Passette yn weithiwr rhyw, er nad yw bellach yn gweithio'n uniongyrchol gyda chleientiaid yn y cnawd; Mae hi erbyn hyn yn defnyddio cyfryngau i weithio gyda materion o rywioldeb”.

Mae gan Gracie ddau safle blog: Cult of Gracie a Sexkitten.net (NSFW).

Mae Gracie wedi bod yn ddigon caredig i adael i ni ail-ddefnyddio ei blog ynglŷn â'r rhaniad sy'n gallu bodoli rhwng sêr porn a gweithwyr rhyw eraill. Credwn fod hwn yn ddiddorol dros ben; gobeithio y byddwch yn cytuno â ni.

Y Rhaniad Mawr rhwng Sêr Porn a Gweithwyr Rhyw

Cyflwynwyd ar 19 Tachwedd 2014 gan Gracie Passette

Mae whorephobia yn fy ngwneud yn wallgof, yn arbennig pan fo'n arwain at raniadau, a gwaeth fyth, ymhlith gweithwyr rhyw. Mae hyn ar ei amlycaf yn y rhaniad sy'n bodoli rhwng sêr porn a holl weithwyr rhyw eraill. Gwnaed hyn yn berffaith amlwg, unwaith eto, yn y sylwadau, negeseuon Trydar a.y.b. ynglŷn â'r arwerthiant diweddar am ryw gyda seren porn.

Rwyf yn deall yn iawn fod sêr porn ar un adeg eisiau pellhau oddi wrth "buteindra" am resymau cyfreithiol; ymladdwyd cymaint o frwydrau cyfreithiol, yn arbennig yn ystod adeiladu Oes Aur Porn. Mae cryn amser wedi mynd heibio ers hynny. Ond nid mewn ffordd sydd dod â ni'n nes at ein gilydd. Er fy mod wedi gobeithio ar un adeg ~ a hyd yn oed wedi meddwl ~ y byddai derbyn porn a sêr porn efallai'n arwain at dderbyn gwaith rhyw fel gwaith, mae fy ngobeithion wastad yn cael eu chwalu.

Ynghynt eleni, ymdriniodd Salon â'r mater o wahanu eglwys porn rhag gwladwriaeth gweithwyr rhyw, trafod y "tueddiad peryglus newydd" o sêr porn yn gwneud gwaith partneru. I ddechrau, nid yw hwn yn dueddiad newydd. Dechreuodd amryw o sêr porn, fel Annie Sprinkle, ei gyrfa drwy gael ei thalu am ryw gydag unigolyn, cyn cael ei thalu am gael rhyw ar gamera. I'r gwrthwyneb, mae llawer o sêr porn wedi manteisio ar eu poblogrwydd drwy wneud gwaith partneru i wneud i fyny am gwymp yn eu cyflog wrth i'r stiwdios porn eu disodli â merched newydd (h.y. rhai ieuengach). A bod yn onest, cyn Oes Aur Porn, cyn bod yno'r fath beth â "sêr porn", pwy ydych chi'n credu oedd yn ymddangos mewn ffilmiau hydd ac yn dinoethi ar gyfer hen gardiau-post Ffrengig? Gweithwyr rhyw, wrth gwrs. Eto mae pobl yn llawer mwy parod i dderbyn sêr porn na gweithwyr rhyw eraill. Beth sydd wrth wraidd dathlu "enwogrwydd"? Mae fel pe bai pobl ar gamera rywsut yn wahanol i'r "gweddill ohonom".

Yn y bon, dydw i'n gweld diawl o ddim gwahaniaeth o ran natur gwaith a wneir. Mae rhyw cydsyniol am arian fel actor neu actores porn yn gyfystyr â rhyw cydsyniol fel partneres neu weithiwr rhyw arall. (Beth uffern yw'r gwahaniaeth rhwng y gweithgareddau hyn ac actorion y brif ffrwd yn cael rhyw, mastyrbio a.y.b. mewn golygfeydd sy'n annatod i'r stori”. Ac ni ddylem anghofio chwaith y nifer o enwogion y brif ffrwd sy'n dewis cael eu talu am ymddangosiadau a "mynd ar ddêt".)

Dydw i ddim yn dweud fod gweithio fel seren porn gignoeth yn union yr un fath â bod yn bartneres; wrth gwrs nid felly mohoni. Yn yr un ffordd nad ydy bod yn bartneres ddim fel rhywun sy'n gwerthu rhyw dros y ffôn, blogiwr rhyw, awdur erotica, gweithiwr mewn siop deganau rhyw, merch gamera, dyn sy'n modelu'n noeth, dinoethwr, dominatrix, a.y.b.… Mae tasgau arbennig yn perthyn i bob math o waith rhyw, felly hefyd preifatrwydd, cymhlethdodau, cyfyngiadau, graddfeydd cyflog, risg a.y.b. Mae yno wahanol fathau o swyddi o fewn i gategori gwaith rhyw. Dyma'n union y gwahaniaethau mewn swyddi mae rhywun sy'n dewis gwneud gwaith rhyw yn eu hystyried a'u gwerthuso wrth fynd i mewn i'r diwydiant oedolion.

Ond yn ôl Sunny Lane, a aeth i mewn i'r diwydiant porn yn dilyn cyfnod yn y Moonlite Bunny Ranch, Nevada, nid yw'r diwydiant porn mor groesawus i'r syniad mai gwaith rhyw yw gwaith rhyw:

"Roedden nhw'n credu bod hyn yn gwneud i'r busnes edrych yn wael," meddai Lane. "Roedd fel, 'Ewww, rwyt ti'n gwneud gwaith partneru? Ewww, rwyt ti'n dod i gysylltiad â dy gefnogwyr?

[Datganiadau fel y rhain sy'n gwneud i mi feddwl bod y rheiny sy'n gwneud penderfyniadau yn y diwydiant porn allan o gysylltiad â realiti. Mae'n fwy na dim ond sut beth yw cael eich talu am gael rhyw, ond yn hytrach y syniad o beth yw cymhelliant y rheiny sy'n cael eu talu am ryw, ar ffilm neu fel arall ~ eu cwsmeriaid a'r farchnad a dargedir, Mae bod mor anymwybodol o bŵer ac awydd cefnogwyr yn golygu fod y cynhyrchwyr porn eu hunain ar fai am y cwymp mewn gwerthiant porn ar DVD; nid dim ond yr esgusodion arferol o "safleoedd teledu" a'r "Rhyngrwyd".]

Mae'r rhybudd "Danger, Will Robinson!” yn yr erthygl yn Salon yn cyfeirio at y ffaith bod elw'r diwydiant porn yn dirywio, sydd yn golygu bod sêr porn nid yn unig yn cael eu gwthio i wneud gwaith mwy gonest, ond eto llai derbyniol gan gymdeithas, o gael eu talu i fynd ar ddêt, ond hefyd i fyd mwy peryglus o gael  rhyw heb amddiffyniad. Mae Michael Whiteacre, 'sgrifennwr ac ymgyrchydd o fewn y diwydiant sy'n helpu i redeg y wefan Real Porn Wiki Leaks, yn esbonio i EJ Dickson yn yr erthygl yn Salon:

Oherwydd bod gwaith partneru'n talu'n well na gwneud ffilmiau, mae llawer yn ei ystyried i fod yr un fath â dawnsio neu wneud gwaith rhyngweithio ar gamera: ffordd o hysbysebu eu hunain ac ennill arian ychwanegol mewn marchnad sy'n mynd yn fwyfwy cystadleuol. "Mae'r mwyafrif helaeth o berfformwyr sy'n gwneud gwaith partneru yn ei weld fel rhan o'u gwahanol ffynonellau incwm, oherwydd, dyna'r hyn rydych ei angen yn y diwydiant oedolion heddiw," meddai Whiteacre. "Os ydych chi'n aros i gynhyrchydd ffilmiau oedolion gysylltu â chi, gall fod yn anodd iawn cael dau ben llinyn ynghyd."

...Er bod y rhan fwyaf o'r disgrifiadau o bartneresau'n fwriadol amwys, mae rhestrau tudalen-gefn rhai o'r perfformwyr yn ei gwneud yn berffaith amlwg pa wasanaethau maent y eu darparu, gydag ambell un yn cynnig BBFS ("bareback full service", sef rhyw heb gondom) am ffi fach ychwanegol.

Mae cael rhyw heb amddiffyniad, yn arbennig gyda chymar sydd heb gael profion, yn rhywbeth i fod yn bryderus yn ei gylch ~ yn arbennig os ydych chi'n weithiwr rhyw arall, h.y. seren porn, a fydd yn gweithio gyda chymar sydd wedi cael rhyw heb amddiffyniad. Mae Mike South (sef y Mike South dadleuol dros ben a adnabyddir hefyd fel Michael Strother) yn datgan ei farn yn yr erthygl yn Salon:

"Does gen i ddim problem â phartneru na phuteindra," meddai South. "Nid yw'n gwneud synnwyr o fath yn y byd bod gwerthu rhyw yn anghyfreithlon, ond bod ei werthu gyda chamera yn y 'stafell yn gyfreithlon. Ond credaf, fel unrhyw broffesiwn, y dylid ei weithredu'n gyfrifol. Pan rydych yn y diwydiant ffilm oedolion, ac yn gweithredu heb gondomau fel arfer, eich cyfrifoldeb chi pan fyddwch yn gwneud gwaith partneru yw defnyddio condom, ac ystyried os nad ydych, y byddwch o bosib yn peryglu eich cydweithwyr.

Byddai'r ddadl hon yn fwy dilys, serch hynny, pe bai, fel y noda Salon, y diwydiant ffilm oedolion yn gwneud mwy na dim ond dibynnu ar brofion HDRh llym (mae o leiaf un astudiaeth yn awgrymu bod perfformwyr porn yn wynebu llai o risg o gael HIV nag aelodau o'r cyhoedd yn gyffredinol) ac yn mynd ati i gyflogi perfformwyr oedd yn mynnu bod condomau'n cael eu defnyddio wrth ffilmio.

Yn y cyfamser, mae'r rheiny sy'n gwneud gwaith partneru, a gweithwyr rhyw "go iawn" eraill yn dweud eu bod nhw dan bwysedd i gynnig eu gwasanaeth heb gondomau er mwyn cystadlu â'r nifer cynyddol o sêr porn sydd, mae'n debyg, yn cynnig gwasanaeth di-gondom. Ond oes yno, mewn gwirionedd, gymaint o bartneresau, boed yn sêr porn neu beidio, sy'n cynnig gwasanaethau o'r fath? Unwaith eto o'r adroddiad yn Salon:

Mae'n bwysig nodi bod partneresau'n sy'n cynnig BBFS yn gymharol brin, ac mae'r rheiny sy'n cynnig gwasanaeth o'r fath fel arfer yn mynnu tystysgrif HDRh cyfoes cyn cwrdd â chleient. Mae'n anodd amcangyfrif faint o'r perfformwyr sy'n partneru, sy'n cynnig y gwasanaeth hwn, a dywedodd amryw o'r bobl yn y diwydiant y siaradais i â nhw nad oedd yr arferid hwn yn gyffredin o gwbl. "Mae llawer yn codi ofnau'n ddiangen yn ei gylch: Mae pobl yn hoffi codi bwganod," meddai Whiteacre. "I weithwyr rhyw, eu cyrff yw eu bywoliaeth, ac nid yw'n gwneud synnwyr iddynt beryglu eu cyrff os mai dyna sy'n ennill arian iddynt." Mae Derek Hay, cyn berfformiwr ffilm oedolion sy'n rhedeg yr asiantaeth dalent LA Direct Models, yn cytuno: "Buasai'n fy synnu'n fawr pe bai partneresau'n cynnig gweld cleientiaid heb gondom," meddai.

Credaf fod Whiteacre a Hay yn gywir. Fel ym mhob diwydiant, mae ambell afal drwg i'w cael; felly mae'n bosib bod rhai partneresau (y rheiny sydd wedi bod mewn ffilmiau porn ac eraill) yn cynnig gwasanaethau rhywiol heb gondom. Pe bawn i'n dal i wneud gwaith partneru heddiw, fuaswn i ddim yn gofidio gormod yn eu cylch. Buaswn yn bryderus am eu hiechyd ac iechyd eu cleientiaid; ond fuaswn i ddim yn gadael iddyn nhw effeithio ar fy musnes i. Buaswn i'n dal i weithredu rhyw diogel.

Ond rywsut, mae'n anodd dianc rhag y ffaith fod whorephobia wrth wraidd yr holl drafodaeth yma... Nid yw sêr porn i fod yn "weithwyr rhyw". Mae disgwyl iddynt fod wedi "codi uwchlaw" pethau o'r fath. Ond y gwir yw mai gweithwyr rhyw yw gweithwyr rhyw yw gweithwyr rhyw.

 

 

 


#Nomorepage3: A Student Glamour Model's Response

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This guest blog is from a recent graduate and Glamour Model. This is her response to the #nomorepage3 campaign. She wrote this blog during her time at University.

As with all of our blogs, these thoughts and words are of our guest blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of the project.

I have recently graduated from University. During my studies, I worked as a topless Glamour Model. I was published in Nuts, Zoo, the Sunday Sport, the Sport and the Daily Star. For a short while I did web work and I hosted parties for lad’s mags and agencies:

Here at my university we have just finished our 'Women's Week' and to be honest I feel no more empowered than I did last Monday. Actually, perhaps I do feel a little more appreciated but that would be to do with the two photo shoots I have just had, not thanks to Students’ Union.

I have no issue with feminism, I whole heartedly support it and until not long ago, I considered myself a feminist. This lasted until I was ‘shunned out’ of the because of what I do:

"How can you call yourself a feminist and have a job like that?".

My job is simply to have nice photos taken of me, in underwear, or the knickers at least. Page 3 style glamour. But according to many people I come into contact with, what I do ‘degrades women’, ‘objectifies women’ , is ‘sexist’, and gives men the excuse to demean and disrespect woman kind.

Hmmmm, they do a wonderful job in doing the opposite when it comes to my feelings.

I made several attempts to get in contact with my university regarding whether they were going to hold a ‘support for page 3’ campaign as they held a ‘ban page 3’ campaign, I have yet to receive a response.

I get quite frustrated as I know by living in a country that has so many freedoms I should be allowed the right to protest, and have freedom of speech, as what I intend to say is NOT slanderous, does NOT single out a minority group and DOES indeed empower women.

Page 3 girls have not been trafficked into their work, and if you look at it like I do, you will indeed be empowered as a woman.

Personally I would rather see a size 10 model with ‘tits and ass’ on page 3 than see a size 0 model in Cosmo wearing clothes that I should supposedly buy and then look good in. I will never be able to wear clothes like a size 0, but could probably wear a thong like a Page 3 girl.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the #nomorepage3 campaign (#supportpage3 #lotsmorepage3)

 

 

Rwyf newydd raddio o'r Brifysgol. Yn ystod fy astudiaethau, gweithiais fel Model Gyfareddol fronnoeth. Roedd lluniau ohonof i'w gweld yn Nuts, Zoo, y Sunday Sport, y Sport a'r Daily Star. Am gyfnod byr, gwnes waith ar y we a chynnal partïon ar gyfer cylchgronau llanciau ac asiantaethau.

Yma yn fy mhrifysgol, rydym newydd orffen ein 'Wythnos y Menywod' ac i fod yn onest, dydw i ddim yn teimlo fod gen i fwy o bŵer nag oedd gen i ddydd Llun diwethaf. Mewn gwirionedd, efallai fy mod yn teimlo fy mod yn cael fy ngwerthfawrogi ychydig yn fwy, ond mae hynny oherwydd fy mod wedi cael lluniau wedi eu tynnu ddwywaith yr wythnos hon, nid oherwydd Undeb y Myfyrwyr.

Does gen i ddim problem gyda ffeministiaeth, rwyf yn gwbl gefnogol i'r syniad, a than yn ddiweddar roeddwn yn ystyried fy hun i fod yn ffeminist. Fe barodd hyn hyd nes i mi gael fy 'allgau' oherwydd yr hyn rwyf yn ei wneud.

"Sut wyt ti'n gallu galw dy hun yn ffeminist a bod â swydd fel honna?"

Fy ngwaith, yn y bon, yw cael lluniau chwaethus wedi eu tynnu, yn fy nillad-isaf, neu fy nicer o leiaf. Lluniau cyfareddol, tebyg i rai tudalen 3. Ond yn ôl llawer o bobl, rwyf yn dod i gysylltiad â'r hyn sy'n 'israddio menywod', yn 'gwrthrychioli menywod', yn 'rhywiaethol' ac sy'n rhoi esgus i ddynion ymostwng ac amharchu menywod yn gyffredinol.

Hmmm, maent yn gwneud y gwrthwyneb o ran fy nheimladau i.

Rwyf wedi ceisio cysylltu â fy mhrifysgol sawl tro ynglŷn â chynnal ymgyrch 'cefnogi tudalen 3' gan fod ganddynt ymgyrch 'gwahardd tudalen 3', ond nid wyf wedi derbyn ymateb hyd yma.

Teimlaf braidd yn rhwystredig, oherwydd gan fy mod yn byw mewn gwlad sydd â chymaint o ryddid, y dylai fod gen i'r hawl i brotestio â bod â'r rhyddid i siarad. Wedi'r cyfan, NID yw'r hyn rwyf yn bwriadu ei ddweud yn sarhaus, NID yw'n camwahaniaethu yn erbyn unrhyw grŵp lleiafrifol ac mewn gwirionedd MAE'n rhoi pŵer i fenywod.

Nid yw merched tudalen 3 wedi cael eu masnachu i wneud y gwaith yma, ac os ydych yn edrych ar y sefyllfa o fy safbwynt i, byddwch yn gweld ei fod yn rhoi pŵer i fenywod.

Yn bersonol, byddai'n well gen i weld model maint 10 gyda'i bronnau a'i phen-ôl yn y golwg na gweld model maint 0 yn Cosmo'n gwisgo dillad y dylwn i, mae'n debyg, eu prynu ac yna edrych yn dda ynddynt. Fydda i byth yn gallu gwisgo dillad maint 0, ond mae'n bur debyg y byddwn i'n gallu gwisgo thong fel merch ar dudalen 3.

Buasem wrth ein bod clywed eich barn ynglŷn â'r ymgyrch #nomorepage3 (#SupportPage3 #LotsMorePage3)

 


Challenging Prejudices Around Sex Work

This blog piece is a re-post of a blog and interview by Counsellor, Amanda Williamson and a student sex worker, Jemima. Both Amanda and Jemima write blogs on a range of topical subjects. Please see their respective blogs here and here. Amanda and Jemima can also be found on Twitter. Thank you, Amanda and Jemima, for giving us permission to re-post this blog and interview. To our readers, we hope you find this piece as thought provoking as we do. blog 1 About Amanda: I am a warm, experienced, qualified, BACP registered and accredited, professional counsellor practising in the centre of Exeter, Devon. Please ensure your therapist is registered on an Accredited Voluntary Register. Challenging Prejudices around Sex Work by Amanda Williamson I have been pondering on this blog post for several months now. I have opinions about sex work that some people might struggle with. I have found myself pussyfooting around the issue and worrying that my network won't be able to handle my thoughts and beliefs around sex work... Could this be anything to do with my Catholic school upbringing? Might I, even though I believe I have forged my own moral compass by being curious and genuinely open to taboo issues, actually still be being influenced by others' attitudes towards sex, taught to me decades ago? When I started secondary school, a convent grammar school, I had to read two books before term started. The New World Bible and Girls Growing Up. I didn't read the bible before I started school (rebel). I couldn't wait to get stuck into Girls Growing Up though. I can't find any reference anywhere to this book online, not even an illustration. It was basically a book to explain the changes of puberty (I remember misreading "pubic" as "public" and making my parents laugh) and sex. The narrative focused on a married couple with kids who, once the kids went to bed, talked about their day and then expressed their love for each other with a very gentle sounding lovemaking, in bed of course, that involved the woman lying back and the man taking the initiative. The whole purpose being that they express their love so intensely that they can make a baby out of it to prove their love (or something like that). I have come a long way since then, which was 31 years ago (yikes). I have more knowledge, maybe even wisdom, personal experience and been exposed to a whole spectrum of sexual behaviour through acquaintances and clients I have worked with, from asexual to monogamous, adulterous, polyamorous relationships, exchanging sex for money and coercive or forceful sex. I'll say it now, the only time I feel that sex is wrong is if it is forceful or coercive. For the sake of clarity, sex with children is always coercive in my opinion as well as sex with people who you are in a position of power over e.g. therapists' clients. Read more about this here: http://www.amandawilliamsoncounselling.co.uk/2013/05/sex-in-forbidden-zone-by-peter-rutter.html Please also note that I am well aware of the issues with forced prostitution and trafficking which I believe are wrong. However, I also have the capacity to see that full service sex work (commonly referred to as prostitution, although sex workers dislike that term) does not necessarily involve force or coercion. Whether somebody chooses to abstain from sex, or whether they choose a monogamous or polyamorous relationship is not a problem to me, provided nobody is being hurt in the process. It goes to follow then, that full service sex work is not a problem to me, provided the sex worker and the client are both consenting adults. I would prefer that people did not engage in polyamorous relationships if they are having to lie about it to their partner. That is deception and I believe that almost all of the time this is ethically wrong. But I am aware that me thinking something is wrong does not mean that the rest of the world will agree it's wrong. Hopefully everybody (besides certain sociopaths) would agree that forceful or coercive sex is always wrong (excluding consensual BDSM practices, talking of which, research seems to indicate that BDSM practitioners may be psychologically healthier than non-practitioners). Why sex work is okay I actually think that full service sex workers provide a very much needed service, particularly so for disabled people or those with mental health issues that might make finding a partner (whether that be for a full relationship or just for sex) incredibly difficult. What many people don't seem to appreciate is that sexual needs are pretty much universal. We are (most of us) wired to want sexual release. Many of us want both an intimate emotional connection and a physically intimate connection. Even a monogamously wired person may not be able to have both those needs met in one relationship. As for people without any disability or mental health issues, if they aren't hurting anybody, why is it a problem for them to pay to have sex with a sex worker? Why is it somehow preferable for them to go to a bar or club, buy drinks for a potential sexual partner, or treat them to dinner, with the purpose of wanting to have intercourse at the end of it? I suspect that sex work is tarnished with old attitudes that are perpetuated. I hold my hands up, I have probably passed judgment on sex workers in the past due to ignorance, insecurity and societal and religious expectations. No Agenda I would like to be clear here that I have no personal agenda. I am not a sex worker and it wouldn't work for me personally. I have a comfortable spot on the sexuality spectrum that would make it difficult for me to have sex with somebody I did not know. That doesn't mean I am somehow morally right. It's just what is right for me. Some people get a lot of enjoyment and a buzz from sex with a stranger. Each to their own. I appreciate why gambling is so addictive but my brain isn't wired to get a thrill from gambling either. Acceptance of individuality Wherever it is I am on the spectrum of sexuality, I appreciate others' positions (as long as they aren't being forceful or coercive with sex). If you are interested in gaining a better appreciation of why sex work is important take at look at this website: http://www.tlc-trust.org.uk/services/index.php A Therapeutic Contract I might be taking a risk here by saying it, but full service sex work can be compared (and contrasted) with counselling and psychotherapy. A client is paying for a service that involves a certain amount of intimacy. For some clients, being emotionally intimate may be more excruciating than being sexually intimate and therefore forming a relationship with a therapist may feel fundamentally more risky or scary than paying for sex. There are therapists that traverse the two issues although the UK law on sex surrogacy is ambiguous. Sex therapists deal explicitly with issues of sex and I suspect have a more open mind about sex work than the average person. Where sex work meets therapy I have for several months been in contact with a sex worker who is also a trainee therapist via Twitter. We met via a mutual contact Phil Dore as this lady, Jemima, has a mutual interest in the regulation of therapy to help protect clients from rogue therapists who abuse the position of trust they hold. My dialogue with Jemima has helped me understand more about the abuse that sex workers face and the assumptions that many people, including therapists, make about sex workers. There was an article written very recently in the BACP publication Therapy Today on women exiting sex work which, whilst an important issue I was pleased to see being discussed, did have a flavour of assumption that all women in sex work would choose to exit if they could. Whilst reading it I thought of Jemima and Tweeted her to ask her what she thought of it. Jemima was so upset she told me that she had cried. She quite rightly pointed out that the BACP Ethical Framework promotes client autonomy and that this attitude is clearly at odds with that. She has written a response to Therapy Today. Jemima mentioned the article in this blog post on the criminalisation of the clients of sex workers in Canada. Click here for the Crown Prosecution Service's legal guidance to prostitution in the UK. I have invited Jemima to be interviewed for this blog post as I believe that she is in the perfect position to lend a voice to this issue. I believe that it is important to realise that there are people who choose sex work and not assume that they are all downtrodden, abused or in need of rescuing. If we automatically take that stance that makes us, the judge, assume a position of power which says more about us and our egos and insecurities and/or ignorance than it does the sex worker. Q Please can I have a brief description of what you do in terms of how you choose to define yourself professionally? I am an independent, indoor, full service sex worker, independent means I do not work for an agency or brothel. Indoor contrasts with outdoor, or street workers, the most common image that comes to mind when people think of sex workers. Sex work covers a variety of jobs, from porn to phone sex. Full service means I will have sex with my clients, under a variety of pre-negotiated (i.e. I insist on condoms) and time limited conditions. People might know the words escort or call girl to describe what I do, though both are problematic for different reasons.   Q How long have you been a sex worker for? Around 6 years, which in sex work terms is quite long, there is a joke that sex work years are the same as dog years.   Q What are the best and worst bits about being a sex worker? Best bits; working for myself, the boost it has given to my self esteem and confidence, the money, the independence, travelling and meeting new people. The community that other sex workers provide, sometimes the sex. The many older gentleman for whom I provide the only human contact. With clients of any age seeing someone leave happy and relaxed, and being responsible for that is a wonderful experience. Many clients talk to me about their lives and problems, in some ways the kind of trust that the therapeutic alliance is meant to work towards over a series of sessions is achieved far more rapidly. I become someone they share problems and intimate secrets with. It has also allowed me to explore a feminine side to myself I had previously, for a variety of reasons been unable to express. Worst; The fear of assault and rape, being raped, not being able to be open about my work, the fear of outing, the fear that stigma may impact on those I care about, unreliable working hours-like many self employed people I spend a lot of time waiting for the phone to ring. A tricky subject much discussed among sws but little understood outside the job is having sex when you are not particularly wanting it. This is not the same as non consensual sex, it is assumed it must be the worst part of the job, but it isn't. It is no different really to anyone else going into work when they don't really fancy it.   Q Can you tell me a little about your psychotherapy training? I have to be slightly circumspect here, but I am training to be a person centred therapist on a BACP approved course at an accredited learning provider. (Though the more I learn the more an integrationist approach seems the best).   Q What are the best and worst bits about being a therapist? Well I am still in training, and one of the worst things about this is not being able to express my knowledge or experiences. For example when the tutor was discussing the importance of being able to leave clients behind for self care there was so much I could have contributed. To be a successful sex worker, in terms of personal health and self care, you have to be able to leave the clients behind in a very similar manner. In terms of clients who don't show there was also a lot I could have shared, but was unable to. Again when lone working came up there was a wealth of experience I could not share. On another level there is a level of congruence and authenticity denied to me in things like skills practice, since there are whole aspects of my life I have to censor due to stigma. The self development has been amazing though, I feel I am so much more self aware than I was a year ago, I have grown so much. It has been incredible getting good feedback, and realising I can do this. With those clients I have seen as they open up and trust me I feel incredibly honoured to be allowed into their lives.   Q What do you think of current legislation regarding sex work – what would you change and why? Current legislation is a mess. Sex work is legal in the UK, if you work alone and indoors. However those with an ideological objection to sex work as well as those with a religious one have tried to criminalise almost every aspect of life surrounding sex work. Street soliciting is illegal, which criminalised the most vulnerable sex workers, often trans, WoC, substance users and migrants. Working with another person is illegal, technically a brothel (thank you Labour) this means if we wish to share a work space for security and companionship we can both be arrested as the other persons pimp. Sex work is dangerous and isolating as it is and this particular law makes it more so. Our partners are also criminalised, arrested as our pimps regardless of evidence. then there is the assumptions and stigma, sex workers are evicted, have their children taken off them, loose custody cases, purely because of their job. We need decriminalisation on the New Zealand model. This moves the regulation of sex work from the criminal to the civil sphere, treats it as any other job, with some particular exceptions around the claiming of benefits http://www.bigsusies.com/new_zealand_140316.pdf   Q What do you think about the current legislation regarding counselling and psychotherapy? Again; what would you change and why? I think it would be a good idea! Again it seems that when it comes to sex, people think there are a whole different set of assumptions and norms which must be upheld, norms based on purity culture and the dominance of capitalist patriarchy. People who sell sexual services are controlled, stigmatised, treated as outcasts, people who sell therapeutic services are allowed free reign regardless of the harm they may have done. In sex work terms we talk about harm reduction, therapy needs to place harm reduction front and centre, and there must be mandatory registration and regulation. This may seem contradictory when I oppose mandatory regulation (or legalisation) of sex work, however it is about understanding power dynamics and who has the power in a relationship. In sex work the worker needs protection, best offered by decriminalisation, in therapy it is the client who needs it, best offered by regulation.   Q Do you experience any misunderstanding or discrimination over the sex work aspect of your lifestyle and if so from whom? Daily, society at large is whorephobic and makes huge assumptions about sex workers, as you already mentioned in the discussion of the therapy today piece. However I am very careful about who knows I am a sex worker, and so unless I am campaigning online I can avoid this, although i do not always exercise as much self care as I should. It is hard though when classmates or tutors discuss “prostitution” or trafficking, and make statements that show they have prejudices based on lack of knowledge and I feel unable to challenge them due to fear of outing myself. I know as much about trafficking a many academics, yet have to sit their in silence, seething. I imagine it is similar to how LGBT people feel when they are read as straight and surrounded by homophobic or transphobes.   Q Do you encounter any misunderstanding regarding your therapeutic work? Not so far   Q Anything else you want to say? You mention the fact that some sex workers work with disabled people as part of your changing thoughts around sex work. This is problematic for me and many other sex workers for a number of reasons. Whilst on an individual level it is rewarding to work with people with disabilities, many of whom are denied access to sexual pleasure by the disablism of society and assumptions about people with disabilities being sexless this has nothing to do with the fight for sex workers rights and against stigma. Many people are unable to have the sex life they desire, for any number of reasons, they may have poor social skills, be physically unattractive, shy, obese, and so on. Whilst these are not structural in nature as disability is (I take a social view of disability, in that it is society which causes some people to be less abled than others) to argue that sex work is somehow acceptable because it provides a sexual opportunity for those who would otherwise not be able to have those opportunities surely should include those without disabilities but with other disadvantages? People with disabilities should have their right to sexual pleasure respected, and enabled if possible (assuming they are not asexual) On a side note there also should not be assumptions they are heterosexual, or have no interest in subjects such as BDSM. Enabling in this context may or may not involve helping to arrange meetings with sex workers if this is what the disabled person wants. We are fortunate in the UK as many OTs and case precedent means personal allowances can be spent on a sex worker, and carers are expected to respect the disabled person's right to privacy and desire for sex. Although further training is needed and there are still many issues around families who deny their adult children's sexuality and also for those with learning difficulties. However as important as these issues are the rights of sex workers do not rely on the "worthiness" of our clients. A therapeutic analogy- imagine if the string them up brigade decided that counselling paedophiles should be criminalised, on the grounds they did not "deserve" to be helped? Quite rightly therapists would object, and would highlight how whilst not every therapist wants or is able to work with sex offenders it would be wrong to punish those who did. The rights of the therapist as a worker are not dependent on the worthiness of those they work with. One last thing, many sex workers are disabled, it is a job that can work well when flexibility is a key requirement. It is so common in the discussion around sex workers rights to focus on the clients, rather than the workers, when discussing sex work and disability it would be good if for a change people's first thought was of disabled sex workers, not disabled clients. Thank you Jemima for some very thought provoking, educative and interesting answers. You can follow Jemima on Twitter and her blog http://sometimesitsjustacigar.wordpress.com NB This post was updated on 25th June 2014. The link to a sex surrogacy agency has been removed because it was brought to my attention that the agency I linked to was unregulated having had their COSRT membership removed.   'Cwnsela yng Nghaerwysg - Amanda Williamson Reg MBACP Accred' 'Rwyf yn gwnselydd proffesiynol, profiadol, cymwys a thwymgalon sy’n gofrestredig ac wedi ei achredu gan BACP. Rwyf yn ymarfer fy mhroffesiwn yng nghanol Caerwysg, Dyfnaint. Mae gen i dystysgrif mewn Cwnsela, Diploma Uwch mewn Cwnsela Integreiddiol (cwrs wedi ei achredu gan BACP) ac rwyf yn aelod cofrestredig o BACP (Cymdeithas Gwnsela a Seicotherapi Prydain)’ Mae gennym hawl i ail-osod ar ein gwefan ein hunain. Herio Rhagfarnau ynglŷn â Gwaith Rhyw gan Amanda Williamson Rwyf wedi bod yn pendroni ynglŷn â chynnwys y blog yma ers rhai misoedd bellach. Mae gen i farn am waith rhyw y gallai rhai pobl ei chael yn anodd ei deall. Rwyf wedi bod ar bigau'r drain ynglŷn â'r mater, gan ofidio na all fy rhwydwaith ymdopi â fy syniadau a fy nghred o amgylch gwaith rhyw... Allai hyn fod yn gysylltiedig â'r faith i mi fynd i ysgol Gatholig? Ydy hi'n bosib, er fy mod yn credu i mi lunio fy safonau moesegol fy hun drwy fod yn agored ac yn fodlon cwestiynu materion tabŵ, fy mod i mewn gwirionedd yn dal i gael fy nylanwadu gan farn eraill tuag at ryw, rhywbeth a ddysgwyd i mi ddegawdau' n ôl? Pan ddechreuais i'r ysgol uwchradd, ysgol gwfaint ramadeg, roedd rhaid i mi ddarllen dau lyfr cyn dechrau'r tymor. Beibl y Byd Newydd a llyfr am Ferched yn Tyfu i Fyny. Wnes i ddim darllen y Beibl cyn i mi ddechrau'r ysgol (rebel). Ond doeddwn i ddim yn gallu aros i ddarllen yr un am Ferched yn Tyfu i Fyny. Dydw i ddim yn gallu dod o hyd i unrhyw gyfeiriad at y llyfr yma unrhyw le ar-lein, dim hyd yn oed llun ohono. Yn y bôn, llyfr sy'n esbonio newidiadau i'r corff yn sgil blaen-aeddfedrwydd oedd hwn (dwi'n cofio camddarllen "pubic" fel "public" gan beri i fy rhieni chwerthin). Mae hefyd yn son am ryw. Roedd y naratif yn canolbwyntio ar bâr priod oedd â phlant. Unwaith y byddai'r plant wedi mynd i'r gwely, byddent yn mynegi eu cariad tuag at ei gilydd drwy fynd ati i garu'n dyner iawn, yn y gwely wrth gwrs, gyda'r ddynes yn gorwedd yn ôl a'r dyn yn cymryd y camau cyntaf. Holl ddiben hyn oedd y byddent yn mynegi eu cariad mor ddwys fel y gallent ffurfio babi allan ohono i brofi eu cariad (neu rywbeth o'r fath). Rwyf wedi dod cryn bellter ers hynny, oedd 31 o flynyddoedd yn ôl (cymaint â hynny!?) Mae gen i bellach fwy o wybodaeth, efallai hyd yn oed doethineb, profiad personol ac ymwybyddiaeth o brofiad cyfeillion a chleientiaid, boed yn berthynas afrywiog, unweddol, godinebus, neu aml-gariadus, pobl yn cyfnewid rhyw am arian a rhyw orfodol. Gallaf ddweud hyn nawr, yr unig adeg mae rhyw yn annerbyniol yw os caiff ei orfodi. Er mwyn eglurdeb, mae rhyw gyda phlant bob amser yn orfodol yn fy marn i, yn ogystal â rhyw gyda phobl rydych â phŵer drostynt, e.e. cleientiaid therapyddion. Darllenwch fwy am hyn fan yma: <http://www.amandawilliamsoncounselling.co.uk/2013/05/sex-in-forbidden-zone-by-peter-rutter.html> Nodwch hefyd os gwelwch yn dda fy mod i'n gwbl ymwybodol o faterion sy'n perthyn i buteinio wedi ei orfodi a'r fasnach mewn pobl, credaf fod y rhain yn annerbyniol. Serch hynny, mae gen i hefyd y gallu i weld nad yw gwaith rhyw gwasanaeth llawn (yr hyn y cyfeirir ato'n gyffredin fel puteinio, er nad yw gweithwyr rhyw'n hoff o'r term) o reidrwydd yn cynnwys elfen o orfodaeth. 'Does gen i ddim problem â phobl sy'n dewis ymatal rhag cael rhyw, neu'n dewis perthynas unweddol neu aml-gariadus, cyn belled nad oes unrhyw un yn cael i frifo yn y broses. Gan ddilyn ymlaen o hyn, nid yw gwaith rhyw gwasanaeth llawn yn broblem i mi chwaith, cyn belled â bod y gweithiwr rhyw a'r cleient yn oedolion sy'n cydsynio. Byddai'n well gen i pe na fyddai pobl yn ymgymryd â pherthynas aml-gariadus os oes rhaid iddynt ddweud celwydd wrth eu cymar ynglŷn â hynny. Twyll yw hyn, a chredaf fod hynny bron bob amser yn foesegol annerbyniol. Ond rwyf yn ymwybodol nad yw'r ffaith fy mod i o'r farn fod rhywbeth yn anghywir yn golygu y bydd pawb arall yn y byd yn cytuno â'r safbwynt hwnnw. Buaswn yn gobeithio bod pawb (ac eithrio ambell seicopath) yn cytuno bod rhyw wedi ei orfodi wastad yn annerbyniol (ac eithrio arferion BDSM cydsyniol, a son am bethau felly, mae ymchwil wedi nodi y gall ymarferwyr BDSM fod yn seicolegol iachach na'r rheiny sydd dim wrthi). Pam bod gwaith rhyw yn iawn Rwyf o'r farn fod gweithwyr rhyw gwasanaeth llawn yn darparu gwasanaeth sy'n wirioneddol ei angen, yn arbennig i bobl anabl neu bobl sydd â phroblemau iechyd meddwl sy'n ei gwneud yn anodd iawn iddynt ganfod cymar (boed am berthynas lawn neu dim ond am ryw). Yr hyn nad yw llawer o bobl fel pe baent yn ei ddeall yw bod anghenion rhywiol yn gyffredin i bawb ohonom. Rydym (yn sicr y rhan fwyaf ohonom) eisiau rhyw fath o ryddhad rhywiol. Mae llawer ohonom eisiau cysylltiad emosiynol clòs yn ogystal â chysylltiad corfforol clòs. Mae'n bosib na all hyd yn oed person sydd â meddylfryd unweddol gael y ddau angen yma wedi eu diwallu mewn un berthynas. O ran pobl sydd heb anabledd neu anawsterau iechyd meddwl, os nad ydynt yn brifo unrhyw un, pam yw hi'n broblem iddynt dalu i gael rhyw gyda gweithiwr rhyw? Pam yw hi'n well mewn unrhyw ffordd iddynt fynd i far neu glwb, prynu diod neu ginio i ddarpar gymar, gyda'r diben o fod eisiau cyfathrach rywiol ar ddiwedd y nos? Rwyf yn amau bod gwaith rhyw wedi ei ddifwyno gyda hen agweddau sy'n cael eu parhau. Rwyf yn cyfaddef fy mod innau wedi barnu gweithwyr rhyw yn y gorffennol, oherwydd anwybodaeth, ansicrwydd neu ddisgwyliadau cymdeithasol a chrefyddol. Dim Agenda Hoffwn ei gwneud y glir fan yma nad oes gen i unrhyw agenda personol. Nid wyf yn weithiwr rhyw ac ni fyddai hynny'n gweithio i mi'n bersonol. Mae gen i le cyfforddus ar y sbectrwm rhywiol a fyddai'n ei gwneud yn anodd i mi gael rhyw gyda rhywun nad oeddwn i'n ei adnabod. Nid yw hynny'n golygu fod mod i rywsut yn foesegol gywir. Dyma beth sy'n iawn i mi. Mae rhai pobl yn cael cryn lawer o fwynhad a chyffro o gael rhyw â dieithryn. Pawb at y peth y bo. Rwyf yn gallu deall pam bod pobl yn mynd yn gaeth i hapchwarae, ond nid wyf y math o berson sy'n cael gwefr o hapchwarae chwaith. Parodrwydd i dderbyn gwahaniaethau unigolion Ble bynnag ydw i ar sbectrwm rhywioldeb, rwyf yn gwerthfawrogi sefyllfa eraill (cyn belled nad ydynt yn cael eu gorfodi i gael rhyw). Os oes diddordeb gennych mewn meithrin gwell dealltwriaeth ynglŷn pham ei bod yn bwysig, gallwch fwrw golwg ar y wefan hon: http://www.tlc-trust.org.uk/services/index.php Cytundeb Therapiwtig Efallai fy mod yn cymryd risg drwy ddweud hyn, ond gellir cymharu (a chyferbynnu) gwaith rhyw gwasanaeth llawn â chwnsela a seicotherapi. Mae cleient yn talu am wasanaeth sy'n cynnwys elfen o agosatrwydd. I rai cleientiaid, gall bod yn agos at rywun yn emosiynol fod yn fwy poenus na bod yn agos at rywun yn yr ystyr rywiol, ac o'r herwydd gall ffurfio perthynas â therapydd deimlo'n fwy peryglus na thalu am ryw. Mae yno therapyddion sy'n pontio'r ddau faes, er bod y gyfraith yn y DU ar ddirprwyo rhywiol yn amwys. Mae therapyddion rhyw yn ymdrin â materion o ryw a thybiaf fy mod i'n fwy meddwl-agored ynglŷn â gwaith rhyw na'r rhan fwyaf o bobl. Lle mae gwaith rhyw yn cwrdd â therapi Ers rhai misoedd bellach, rwyf wedi bod mewn cysylltiad drwy Drydar â gweithiwr rhyw sydd hefyd yn therapydd dan hyfforddiant. Cwrddais â hi drwy gyfaill Phil Dore oherwydd bod gan y ddynes yma, Jemima diddordeb mewn rheoleiddio therapi er mwyn helpu i amddiffyn cleientiaid rhag therapyddion ffug sy'n manteisio'n annheg ar yr ymddiriedaeth a roddir ynddynt. Mae fy sgyrsiau â Jemima wedi fy helpu i ddeall mwy ynglŷn â'r gamdriniaeth mae gweithwyr rhyw yn ei wynebu a'r rhagdybiaethau sydd gan lawer o bobl, gan gynnwys therapyddion, ynglŷn gweithwyr rhyw. 'Sgrifennwyd erthygl yn ddiweddar iawn yn un o gyhoeddiadau'r BACP Therapy Today ar fenywod yn gadael gwaith rhyw  ac er ei fod yn fater pwysig sy'n haeddu cael ei drafod, roedd fel pe bai'n cymryd yn ganiataol y byddai unrhyw ddynes sy'n gwneud gwaith rhyw yn dewis gadael y maes hwn pe gallai wneud hynny. Wrth ddarllen yr erthygl meddyliais am Jemima ac anfonais neges Drydar ati i ofyn iddi beth oedd ei barn hi ar y darn. Roedd Jemima wedi ei chythruddo cymaint nes iddi grio. Nododd yn ddigon cywir fod Fframwaith Moesegol BACP yn hyrwyddo hunanreolaeth cleientiaid a bod yr ymagweddiad hwn yn amlwg yn mynd yn groes i hynny. Mae hi wedi 'sgrifennu ymateb at Therapy Today. Cyfeiriodd Jemima at yr erthygl yn y blog hwn ar anghyfreithloni cleientiaid gweithwyr rhyw yng Nghanada. Cliciwch fan yma am ganllawiau cyfriethiol Gwasanaeth Erlyn y Goron ar buteinio yn y DU. Rwyf wedi gwahodd Jemima i wneud cyfweliad ar gyfer y blog yma, gan y credaf ei bod hi mewn sefyllfa berffaith i leisio ei barn ar y mater hwn.  Credaf ei bod yn bwysig sylweddoli bod yno bobl sy'n dewis gwaith rhyw, ac ni ellir cymryd yn ganiataol eu bod yn cael eu gormesu, eu cam-drin na bod angen eu hachub. Os ydym yn gwneud safiad o'r fath, mae'n golygu mai ni sy'n barnu o safbwynt o bŵer, sy'n dweud mwy amdanom ni â'n hansicrwydd a/neu anwybodaeth nag mae'n ei wneud am weithwyr rhyw. C. Fyddai modd i mi gael disgrifiad byr o'r hyn rwyt ti'n ei wneud yn nhermau sut rwyt yn diffinio dy hun yn broffesiynol? Rwyf  yn weithiwr rhyw gwasanaeth llawn annibynnol sy'n gweithio dan-do; mae annibynnol yn golygu nad wyf yn gweithio i asiantaeth na phuteindy. Mae gweithio dan-do'n wahanol i'r rheiny sy'n gweithio ar y stryd, sef y ddelwedd fwyaf cyffredin sy'n dod i'r meddwl pan fo pobl yn meddwl am weithwyr rhyw. Mae gwaith rhyw yn cynnwys amrywiaeth o swyddi, o bornograffi i ryw dros y ffôn. Golyga gwasanaeth llawn fy mod i'n fodlon cael rhyw gyda fy nghleientiaid, dan amrywiaeth o amodau a gytunir ymlaen llaw (h.y. rwyf yn mynnu defnyddio condom) ac o fewn cyfyngiadau amser. Mae'n bosib y bydd pobl yn defnyddio termau megis "escort" neu "call girl" i ddisgrifio'r hyn rwyf yn ei wneud, ond mae problem â'r termau hyn am wahanol resymau.   C. Pa mor hir wyt ti wedi bod yn weithiwr rhyw? Tua 6 blynedd, sy'n eithaf hir yn y diwydiant rhyw. Mae jôc fod blynyddoedd yn y diwydiant yr un fath â blynyddoedd cŵn. C. Beth yw'r pethau gorau a gwaethaf am fod yn weithiwr rhyw? Pethau gorau; gweithio drosof fi fy hun, yr hwb mae'n ei roi i fy hunan-barch a hyder, yr arian, yr annibyniaeth, teithio a chwrdd â phobl newydd. Y gymuned mae gweithwyr rhyw eraill yn ei darparu, weithiau'r rhyw. I nifer o ddynion hŷn, fi yw'r unig gyswllt dynol sydd gan rai ohonynt. A minnau â chleientiaid o bob oedran, mae bod yn gyfrifol am rywun yn gadael yn hapus ac wedi ymlacio, yn brofiad rhyfeddol. Mae llawer o gleientiaid yn siarad â mi am eu bywydau a'u problemau, mewn rhai ffyrdd caiff y math o ymddiried y mae'r berthynas therapiwtig yn bwriadu gweithio tuag ati dros gyfres o sesiynau ei gyrraedd yn llawer cyflymach. Byddaf yn rhywun y gallan nhw rannu problemau a chyfrinachau agos â hi. Mae wedi fy ngalluogi hefyd i archwilio fy ochr fenywaidd fy hun nad oeddwn am nifer o resymau wedi gallu eu mynegi o'r blaen. Y pethau gwaethaf; Yr ofn o ddioddef ymosodiad, trais rhywiol, cael fy nhreisio, methu â bod yn agored am fy ngwaith, ofn o gael fy natgelu, ofn y gall stigma effeithio ar y rheiny sy’n bwysig i mi, oriau gwaith anghyson - fel llawer o bobl hunangyflogedig rwy'n treulio llawer o amser yn aros i'r ffôn ganu. Testun anodd sy'n cael ei drafod yn aml ymysg gweithwyr rhyw, ond na chaiff ei ddeall ryw lawer tu allan i'r diwydiant, yw cael cyfathrach rywiol pan nad oes gennych lawer o awydd am hynny. Nid yw hwn yr un peth â rhyw anghydsyniol, tybir mai hynny yw'r peth gwaethaf am y swydd, ond nid felly mohoni. Dyw hi ddim yn wahanol i unrhyw un arall yn mynd i'r gwaith pan nad oes awydd ganddyn nhw.   C. Elli di ddweud rhywbeth wrtha i am dy hyfforddiant seicotherapi? Rhaid i mi fod yn ofalus fan yma, ond rwyf yn cael fy hyfforddi mewn therapi wedi ei ganoli ar y person, ar gwrs a gymeradwyir gan BACP gyda darparydd dysgu wedi ei achredu. (Er po fwyaf rwyf yn ei ddysgu, credaf mai ymagweddiad integreiddiwr sydd orau).   C. Beth yw'r pethau gorau a'r gwaethaf am fod yn therapydd? Wel, rwyf yn dal i fod dan hyfforddiant, ac un o'r pethau gwaethaf am hyn yw'r ffaith na allaf fynegi fy ngwybodaeth na fy mhrofiadau. Er enghraifft, pan oedd y tiwtor yn trafod pwysigrwydd bod yn gallu gadael cleientiaid ar ôl i ofalu amdanynt eu hunain, roedd cymaint y gallwn i fod wedi ei gyfrannu. I fod yn weithiwr rhyw llwyddiannus, yn nhermau iechyd personol a gofalu amdanoch eich hun, rhaid i chi fod yn gallu gadael y cleientau ar ôl mewn ffyrdd ddigon tebyg. Yn nhermau cleientiaid sy'n methu dangos eu teimladau, roedd yno hefyd gryn lawer y gallwn i fod wedi ei rannu, ond doeddwn i ddim yn gallu. Hefyd pan drafodwyd gweithio ar eich pen eich hun, roedd yno gyfoeth o brofiad na allwn i ei rannu. Ar lefel arall, mae yno elfen o gysondeb a dilysrwydd sydd wedi ei gwadu i mi mewn meysydd fel ymarferiad sgiliau, gan fod yno agweddau o fy mywyd sy'n rhaid i mi eu sensro oherwydd stigma. Mae'r hunanddatblygiad wedi bod yn anhygoel serch hynny, teimlaf fy mod i'n llawer mwy hunanymwybodol; rwyf wedi tyfu cymaint. Roedd yn wych cael adborth da, a sylweddoli fy mod i'n gallu gwneud hyn. Gyda'r clientau hynny rwyf wedi eu gweld sy'n fodlon agor eu calonnau ac ymddiried ynof, teimlaf fod hyn yn anrhydedd cael caniatâd i fynd i mewn i'w bywydau.   C. Beth wyt ti'n feddwl am y ddeddfwriaeth bresennol sy'n perthyn i waith rhyw - beth fyddet ti'n ei newid a pham? Mae'r ddeddfwriaeth bresennol yn llanast. Mae gwaith rhyw yn gyfreithlon yn y DU, os ydych chi'n gweithio ar eich pen eich hun, dan-do. Serch hynny, mae pobl sydd â gwrthwynebiad moesegol i waith rhyw, ynghyd â'r rheiny sydd â gwrthwynebiad crefyddol, wedi ceisio gwneud trosedd o bron bob agwedd o fywyd sy'n ymwneud â gwaith rhyw. Mae cymell rhyw ar y stryd yn anghyfreithlon, sy'n gwneud troseddwyr o'r gweithwyr rhyw mwyaf bregus, yn aml bobl draws, WoC, camddefnyddwyr sylweddau a mewnfudwyr. Mae gweithio gyda pherson arall yn anghyfreithlon, sy'n dechnegol yn ei wneud yn buteindy (diolch Llafur). Golyga hyn os ydym eisiau rhannu gweithle er diogelwch a chyfeillgarwch, y gallwn gael ein harestio fel pimp y person arall. Mae gwaith rhyw eisoes yn beryglus ac yn ynysu pobl, ac mae'r gyfraith hon yn dwysáu'r sefyllfa honno. Caiff ein partneriaid hefyd eu hystyried i fod yn droseddwyr, a'u harestio fel ein pimps, beth bynnag fo'r dystiolaeth. Wedyn mae yno'r stigma; caiff gweithwyr rhyw eu bwrw allan o'u cartrefi, caiff eu plant eu cymryd oddi arnynt gn arwain at achosion gwarchodaeth, dim ond oherwydd eu swyddi. Rydym angen cyfreithloni ar fodel Seland Newydd. Mae hyn yn symud rheoleiddio gwaith rhyw o'r maes troseddol i'r maes sifil, gan ei drin fel unrhyw swydd arall, gyda rhai eithriadau penodol o amgylch hawlio budd-aliadau http://www.bigsusies.com/new_zealand_140316.pdf   C. Beth wyt ti'n feddwl am y ddeddfwriaeth bresennol sy'n perthyn i gwnsela a seicotherapi? Unwaith eto; beth fyddet ti'n ei newid a pham Credaf y byddai'n syniad da! Unwaith eto, ymddengys pan fyddwn yn son am ryw, mae pobl yn meddwl bod yno set o ddamcaniaethau a safonau gwahanol sy'n rhaid eu cynnal, safonau sy'n seiliedig ar ddiwylliant purdeb a dominyddiaeth patriarchaeth gyfalafol. Caiff pobl sy'n gwerthu gwasanaethau rhywiol eu rheoli, eu stigmateiddio a'u cadw ar gyrion cymdeithas; caiff pobl sy'n gwerthu gwasanaethau therapiwtig rwydd hynt, beth bynnag fo'r niwed y gallant  fod wedi ei greu. Yn nhermau gwaith rhyw, rydym yn siarad am leihau niwed; mae angen i therapi osod lleihau niwed ar ben yr agenda, a rhaid bod yno gofrestru a rheoleiddio gorfodol. Efallai bod hyn fel pe bawn i’n gwrth-ddweud fy hun pan fyddaf yn gwrthwynebu rheoleiddio gorfodol (neu gyfreithloni) gwaith rhyw, serch hynny mae'n ymwneud â deall deinameg pŵer a phwy sydd â'r pŵer mewn perthynas. Mewn gwaith rhyw, y gweithiwr rhyw sydd angen ei amddiffyn, a'r ffordd orau o wneud hyn yw ei gyfreithloni; mewn therapi, y client sydd ei angen, a gwneir hynny orau drwy reoleiddio.   C. Wyt ti wedi wynebu unrhyw gamddealltwriaeth neu gamwahaniaethu yn sgil agwedd gwaith rhyw dy ddull o fyw, ac os wyt ti gan bwy? Mae cymdeithas yn gyffredinol yn camwahaniaethu yn erbyn puteiniaid ac mae pobl yn gwneud rhagdybiaethau enfawr am weithwyr rhyw, fel y soniaist ti eisoes yn y drafodaeth o'r darn yn Therapy Today. Serch hynny, rwyf yn ofalus iawn ynglŷn â phwy sy'n gwybod fy mod i'n weithiwr rhyw, felly os nad wyf i'n ymgyrchu ar-lein gallaf osgoi hyn. Fodd bynnag, nid wyf bob amser mor ofalus ac y dylwn fod. Mae'n ddigon anodd pan fo cyd-fyfyrwyr neu diwtoriaid yn trafod "puteindra" neu'r fasnach mewn pobl, ac yn gwneud datganiadau sy'n dangos fod ganddynt ragfarnau sy'n seiliedig ar ddiffyg gwybodaeth, a theimlaf na allaf eu herio rhag ofn i mi ddatgelu fy ngwir gefndir. Rwyf yn gwybod cymaint am y fasnach mewn pobl â llawer o academyddion, eto rhaid i mi eistedd mewn tawlech, yn corddi ar y tu mewn. Dychmygaf fod hyn yn debyg i sut mae pobl LHDT yn teimlo pan fod pobl yn tybio eu bod yn heterorywiol a'u bod wedi eu hamgylchynu â phobl homoffobig a thraws-ffobig.   C. Wyt ti wedi wynebu unrhyw gamddealltwriaeth o ran dy waith therapiwtig? Ddim hyd yn hyn C. Oes yno unrhyw beth arall rwyt ti eisiau ei ddweud? Fe gyfeiriaist at y ffaith fod rhai gweithwyr rhyw yn gweithio gyda phobl anabl fel rhan o newid syniadau ynglŷn â gwaith rhyw. Mae gen i, a llawer o weithwyr rhyw eraill, broblem gyda hyn am nifer o resymau. Tra'i bod yn brofiad gwerth chweil i weithio gyda phobl sydd ag anableddau, llawer ohonynt yn cael eu gwadu rhag mynediad i bleser rhywiol gan ragfarnau cymdeithas yn erbyn pobl anabl a'r ddamcaniaeth bod pobl ag anableddau'n ddi-ryw, ’does a wnelo hyn ddim byd â brwydr gweithwyr rhyw dros hawliau ac yn erbyn stigma. Mae llawer o bobl yn methu cael y bywyd rhywiol maent ei eisiau, am unrhyw nifer o resymau; efallai bod ganddynt sgiliau cymdeithasol gwael, nid ydynt yn gorfforol ddeniadol, maent yn swil, neu'n ordew a.y.b. Nid yw'r rhain yn strwythurol mewn natur o gymharu ag anabledd (mae gen i agwedd cymdeithasol tuag at anabledd; h.y. cymdeithas sy'n peri i rai pobl fod yn llai abl nag eraill). Ond oni ddylai dadlau bod gwaith rhyw rywsut yn dderbyniol oherwydd ei fod yn darparu cyfle rhywiol i'r rheiny na fyddent fel arall yn gallu cael y cyfleoedd hynny, gynnwys y rheiny sydd heb anableddau ond sydd ag anfanteision eraill? Dylid parchu a galluogi hawl pobl ag anableddau i bleser rhywiol (cyn belled nad ydynt yn afrywiog). Hoffwn nodi hefyd na ddylid cymryd yn ganiataol eu bod yn heterorywiol, na'u bod heb unrhyw ddiddordeb mewn meysydd megis BDSM. Mae'n bosib bod galluogi yn y cyd-destun hwn yn cynnwys helpu i drefnu cyfarfod gweithwyr rhyw os mai dyna beth mae'r person anabl ei eisiau. Rydym yn ffodus yn y DU gan fod llawer o Therapyddion Galwedigaethol a chynsail mewn achosion yn golygu y gellir gwario lwfansau personol ar weithiwr rhyw, a disgwylir i ofalwyr barchu hawl y person anabl i breifatrwydd a'r awydd am ryw. Er bod yno angen am hyfforddiant pellach, mae yno'n dal i fod lawer o broblemau sy'n ymwneud â theuluoedd yn gwadu rhywioldeb eu plant sy'n oedolion a hefyd y rheiny sydd ag anawsterau dysgu. Serch hynny, a derbyn pwysigrwydd y materion hyn, nid yw hawliau gweithwyr rhyw yn dibynnu ar "deilyngdod" ein clientau. Dyma gyfatebiaeth therapiwtig - dychmygwch pe bai'r eithafwyr diamynedd yn ein plith yn penderfynu y dylid gwneud cwnsela pedoffiliaid yn drosedd, ar y sail nad ydynt yn "haeddu" cael eu helpu. Byddai therapyddion yn gwrthwynebu, a hynny'n ddigon cyfiawn, a byddent yn dwyn sylw at y ffaith er nad yw pob therapydd eisiau, na'n gallu, gweithio gyda throseddwyr rhyw, y byddai'n anghywir cosbi'r rheiny oedd eisiau gwneud hynny. Nid yw hawliau'r therapydd fel gweithiwr yn ddibynnol ar deilyngdod y rheiny maent yn gweithio gyda nhw. Un peth olaf, mae llawer o weithwyr rhyw yn anabl; mae'n swydd y gallant ei gwneud pan fo hyblygrwydd yn elfen allweddol. Mae mor gyffredin yn y drafodaeth o amgylch gweithwyr rhyw i ffocysu ar y cleientau, yn hytrach na'r gweithwyr; wrth drafod gwaith rhyw ac anabledd buasai'n syniad da pe bai pobl yn meddwl am weithwyr rhyw anabl yn gyntaf, yn hytrach na chleientiaid anabl. Diolch i ti Jemima am dy atebion addysgol a diddorol sy'n pryfocio'r meddwl. Gallwch ddilyn Jemima ar Trydar a'i blog <http://sometimesitsjustacigar.wordpress.com/> Noder: Diweddarwyd hwn ar 25ain Mehefin 2014. Mae'r ddolen i asiantaeth dirprwyo rhyw wedi ei dileu oherwydd i mi gael ar ddeall nad yw'r asiantaeth y cysylltais â hi wedi ei rheoleiddio, a bod ei haelodaeth o COSRT wedi cael ei diddymu.


The Pornography Industry: My Experience and General Views

This week's blog is by Luke Kristopher Davis. Luke is a student who has starred in pornography films directed by feminist porn director and producer, Erika Lust. Here are his views and experience of the industry. You can check out Luke's blog page here. The Pornography Industry: My Experience and General Views No other film industry is as contentious or worthy of debate as the pornography business, which depicts sexual acts, real or performed, to ease the world of sexual frustration. Its existence has been questioned by the religious community, politicians and the general public. Porn exists in its form today not only due to the huge demand that it sees fit to supply to but partly because it is protected by freedom of expression. In the United States and the United Kingdom especially, any group can express themselves freely in so far as the messages they express do not carry a high chance of inciting violence. Pornography steps on the edge in terms of freedom of expression legislation, as some label it as an industry which promotes sexual, domestic and general violence towards women. Porn has stood the tests and generally isn’t deemed to incite violence. It seems the majority of the supply of porn is aimed at gratifying males rather than females, take a look at these recent porn search keywords from around the globe which illuminates the dominance of the male consumer. Keywords such as ‘hentai’, ‘milf’, ‘pov’ (point of view of male pornstars), ‘massage’ and ‘anal’ all feature pornography where females pleasure males and not necessarily the other way round. This is not just in a few countries but prevalent around the world where internet and pornography are allowed. This is significant in that the sexual needs of men are assumed to be higher in value or they could just be easier to satisfy. Either way, females are left not only with a limited supply of pornography for them to use but also feel as they are being objectified by most of the pornographic world. Many feminist and women’s rights groups have fought legally and culturally against the objectification of women in porn. Few have succeeded in changing legislation to restrict pornography, the most powerful change however occurred in 2009 which witnessed a prosecution right against extreme pornography. Extreme pornography is any image or film which is deemed pornographic and contains content which shows humans in a life threatening situation or in any position which puts them at a risk for serious injury. Feminists, rightfully, are still left dissatisfied with the pornographic industry with its degrading and male orientated content. Some have taken a different approach by taking matters into their hands and creating a market for female porn, this has given rise to the feminist pornographic movement. Erika Lust (Erika Hallqvist ) is a feminist porn director and producer from Sweden who works in Barcelona. She has been at the fore front of this movement in recent years and aims to provide great cinematic content with high quality film and exciting plots to please the female and male community. This is what Erika has to say about regular pornography: ‘At the University of Lund, even though I was studying, thinking and reading about porn, I didn’t actually like any of the porn that I saw,” she remembers. “The first time I saw a porn film, I had the same reaction that many women have – while I was aroused by some of the images, for the most part I found it unsatisfying. The audiovisual quality was awful. I didn’t identify with anything that I saw. The women did not look like they were enjoying themselves, and the sexual situations were totally ridiculous. We’re modern women! Not slutty Sharons, horny teens, desperate housewives, hot nurses, and nymphomaniac hookers, always looking to service pimps, multi-millionaires or macho sex machines. Not always looking to please rather than be pleased. I wanted to know: where was my lifestyle, my values, my sexuality?’ – Erika Lust (http://erikalust.com/about/) I have had  a unique experience in that I have worked as a male performer for Erika Lust during my year abroad in Barcelona studying physics. I starred in two films of her Xconfessions project which entails performers acting out confessions and fantasies written in by people from around the world. From my experience I can say that working with a top feminist director really changed my views of feminist porn. I once thought it was being made in pure spite against males however the movement is really focused on creating realistic, intimate and high quality cinema. It is more of an artistic movement than simply providing quick and ‘not thought out’ content to serve sexual arousal. Erika Lust and similar companies are flourishing culturally and financially as they are forging a whole new market for themselves and women especially are putting their faith and money into companies which can fulfil their unique sexual demands. Most men, like I once did, assume that feminist porn would not fit their sexual demands at all. However they could be in slight error there, as the porn produced by feminist companies does not lack natural attractive females, sexual passion and many other things which males find instinctively arousing. Maybe the reason for the dismay of males might be due to the fact, that for years, they have been subjected to a superficial and fake pornographic world in which silicon breasts trump naturally voluptuous women and unrealistic female roles become a subconscious desire in the real world. Ethically feminist porn promotes natural and equal sexuality; it does not encourage the gross humiliation of either gender. It really is the future for porn as it not only keeps the industry alive (the demand will never go as we are humans) but it also serves as a cure for the patriarchal, male serving and simply ‘crappy’ productions of regular porn.


Labelling the Sex Work Researcher

Katrien

Dr. Katrien Symons of the Student Sex Work Project talks about researching sex work:

Labelling the sex work researcher

A few weeks ago I started working on The Student Sex Work Project, replacing Jacky Tyrie. Starting a new job is one of those happenings in life which trigger questions of interest from the people around you. Like when you just bought a new car people will ask you what brand. And this might become even more so when you’re moving abroad for that new job (I’m from Belgium). When telling people that this new job consists of researching sex work, the reactions that I get usually cover elements of frowned eyebrows, giggling, and awkwardness. I have also never been asked so intensely about my personal feelings, “as a woman”, regarding the topic that I study and I have been studying quite some topics over the past few years. I am familiar with this type of situations since I studied Sexology in university. That’s an actual master’s course covering biological, psychological and sociological aspects of human sexuality. The reason that I ended up studying Sexology had to do with wanting to better understand the ways in which society deals with and organizes sexuality, how this affects our health and wellbeing and eventually affects society as a whole. Most people, however, assigned me with more “sexy” motivations including my boyfriend at the time who seemed to have high hopes that undertaking the course would awaken the sex goddess in me.

Not that any of that ever bothered me. People’s reactions to what I study have never been hostile or negative. In that we are a long way ahead of what sex research pioneers such as Kinsey or the masters of sex Masters and Johnson had to deal with. Today we, sex researchers, are a community with our own journals, networks and conferences. In that environment no frowned eyebrows, giggling and awkwardness. We just share our knowledge in much the same way as it were the latest discoveries in nuclear science. I believe that the reason why people respond so funny when I tell them I’m researching sex work is that they – consciously or unconsciously – assume that this is related to my own sex life. Guilt by association. Based on the reactions that I get I can only start to imagine what it must be like if you’re telling people that you’re actually selling sex rather than just studying it!

I think it is safe to say that society has a pretty disturbed relationship with anything that has to do with sex. Sure sex is more present than ever in this 21st century but sex also still carries that veil of discomfort at best and taboo at worst. Each society organizes sexual behaviour in some way by distinguishing what is acceptable from what is unacceptable and therefore in need of restriction or sanction. These categories of good versus bad sexual behaviour are not rigid but they are in constant change. Thanks to the advocacy of so many, we are now entitled more than ever to choose for ourselves what sexual behaviour suits us best, with whom, when, in what conditions, and whether or not it serves a reproductive goal. Sex does not necessarily have to be romantic to be “good”, and interference by the state in our sexual behaviour is virtually only accepted when the integrity of other people is at stake.

So what is the problem with sex work, as it is engaged in by adult and consenting individuals? And why are other forms of transactional sex –  may those who never had sex in order to achieve something else throw the first stone – not an issue? The monetary transaction taking place in sex work makes the transactional aspect of the sexual encounter so present and undeniable that it shocks. From a moral order perspective, sex workers are seen as disturbing “the social fabric”; from that perspective sex work should be eradicated or at least made invisible as much as possible. These days it is more popular to blame the clients of sex workers rather than sex workers themselves. But there always must be a culprit as the behaviour itself is just wrong. Therefore the view of the sex worker as a criminal and of the sex worker as a victim of male violence are ultimately not that different from each other; they are just two sides of the same coin saying “sex work is wrong”.

Even in the 21st century we still need to become more aware of who or what defines when and under what circumstances sex should or should not be allowed. These views are not mere personal opinions but they are real in their consequences, especially for sex workers. They affect what type of sex work policies are put in place, whether or not a sex worker can be arrested and in what conditions they have to work; they affect whether a sex worker will be discriminated and stigmatized; they affect whether a sex worker will have access to health services; and they affect whether or not a sex worker will feel able to report a violent client to the police.

I wonder how sex workers themselves feel about being the subjects of research. Do they feel like monkeys in a zoo? That their business is none of our business? Or do they think actually some good may come out of it, such as less stigmatization, less criminalisation, safer work environments, improved access to sexual health and social services? Together with other sex work researchers in the UK and abroad I am working now for the latter. In the upcoming year the results of The Student Sex Work Project will be analysed, written down and disseminated. I am sure this will feed many giggly but interesting discussions. More broadly and in the longer run I hope that all that talk about sex will improve our abilities for dealing with sex in a less cramped way. I’m sure it would do us good.


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