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Sex Workers are Undervalued: Here's Why They Shouldn't Be

            Let’s jump right into it, shall we? Sex workers are undervalued members of society. They are often harassed, ridiculed, and judged for their career choice. And for what? Because they have sex for money, dance for money, perform for money? Sex work is a performance art. The same as singing in front of a large crowd, writing novels and poems, and hanging artwork in a gallery for all to see. Most times, sex workers put more physical effort into their performance than these singers, writers, and artists. I get it though, why people undermine sex workers. The way they are portrayed in tv shows, movies, and other forms of media has created a villainizing caricature of what sex workers are. Don’t let these preconceptions and representations fool you though, sex workers are more than men and women shedding their clothes for money. 

            Sex workers are, and will always be hardworking, dedicated, driven people (emphasis on people). It seems as if most people look at sex workers and immediately pass judgment without truly thinking about who they are judging. People assume sex workers are an easy lay or are working sex jobs because they are forced. This often isn’t true. Some individuals just happen to be interested in the field of work and to be interested in sex jobs is no menial task. These men and women exert their bodies daily, risk harming themselves often, and put up with biased judgment on the regular. The amount of dedication you must have in order to be a sex worker is insane. You may think you’re in decent shape but try to do some of the maneuvers sex workers do on the pole and you’ll quickly find out you were wrong. Every time a sex worker performs, they are getting a full-body workout. This workout doesn’t last a short half hour though. Some workers will perform for hours at a time, straining their bodies for the job. While it is true that some are forced into these jobs, those that aren’t showcase their dedication simply by showing up. Their drive is tremendous. It’s also important to note that this drive does not diminish over time. The job these men and women work is dangerous. They often face attempts from clients to take advantage of them, they may fall while performing (I’m sure most of us have seen the video of a sex worker falling from the top of a two-story tall pole during her routine [side note: she shattered her jaw and her employer refused to help pay for medical expenses]), or they may be taken advantage of by their boss. 

            “Why don’t they find a more respectable job?” some of you might be asking. The answer to this is simple; they don’t want to. For someone to find a job that they actually enjoy is rare. For so many people work is something they dread but a majority of sex workers don’t face this issue. They’re doing what they’re good at and getting paid well for it. So next time you see a sex worker being portrayed in media, or hear somebody trash talking a sex worker, stop and think about this article. And please, if you think you know someone who is being forced to be a sex worker, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888.