The sex industry is an often misunderstood profession that in all actuality can be a lucrative, convenient and viable career option for those brave enough (or fool-hardy depending on your point of view) to pursue this line of work.
We have all heard of the time-worn cliché that prostitution is oldest trade, however, by and large the stigma and judgement still persists for all those who work within it.
The sale of sex remains the ‘scarlet letter’ for any person willing to forgo their relative anonymity for a form of notoriety that will long outlive their actual participation in the work, where wider society has found itself unable to make a connection with sex work and any semblance of innate self- respect or dignity of that individual.
Yet perhaps this should not be viewed as wrong or immoral per se as long as they are not left degraded and are operating safely. Providing this decision remains theirs alone, and is not the manifestation of force or of any modicum of coercion involved, or worse still being enslaved into the profession, then they have a fundamental right, as any of us, to exercise their own free-will in their endeavours.
Bishakha Oatta, a writer and filmmaker in India, has these views on the subject, “When women say the harm in sex work comes not from the act of selling sex, but from the stigma and violence surrounding it because of its illegal nature, we must hear them”.
One of the most important considerations perhaps, ultimately lies in the choice, and as long as this remains and informed one, it would be reasonable to at least allow others to find their own paths and not be shamed out of it by the notion it may be at odds with societies’ values.
Indeed, many enjoy the lifestyle and undoubted monetary rewards accrued from sex work, albeit for a very limited period, as this tends to be a short-lived career, particularly in the adult porn industry, who can expect a career of several years duration at most if they are successful in the business.
The suitability of the surrounding area must also be considered. There would be few residents entirely at ease with the knowledge that an establishment selling sex was in such close quarters as to offend their sensibilities, with maybe young families living in the vicinity, or any other possible ramifications.
In what could amount to a cross they may have to bear for an indefinite period, and tainted with the label of a sex worker, with family members or even strangers being alerted to their past, casting aspersions and harboring preconceptions about their character… it’s not a decision to be taken lightly!