How Our Generation is Changing Society’s Perception of Sex Work

Society has characterized sex work as being immoral for a long time, and whether our generation realizes it or not, we are starting to change the perception of sex work. Many people in our generation were taught to look down on sex workers for choosing to use their bodies how they see fit and profit from it, but some people have begun to reject the beliefs that they have been taught and form their own opinions of sex work. 

The only people that ever seem to receive criticism for participating in sexual services or performances are the sex workers and not the customers. This is not a coincidence and is largely rooted in misogyny given that many of the sex workers that are shamed for their actions are women, and many of the people that shame them are men who likely have funded the same industry they are criticizing at some point. It is not just men in society who shame sex workers. They are negatively regarded by people of different genders, but much of the criticism stems from the patriarchy. 

Our generation is slowly changing the perception of sex work as the popularity of OnlyFans grows and as we share the stories of sex workers on social media. Due to the pandemic and many people encountering financial difficulties, a number of people have turned to OnlyFans to supplement their income. Many people have had their friends and family become sex workers, which forced them to reconsider whether sex work was really something they should view in a negative light.

On social media apps like Twitter and Tiktok, people have been going viral after posting advice about how to start an OnlyFans, tips for people who are new exotic dancers and even just after posting what a day in their life looks like as a sex worker. Doing all of this gives people the opportunity to put themselves in other peoples’ shoes and recognize that sex workers are just normal people who deserve respect and deserve the same rights that everyone else should be afforded. 

According to Amnesty International, “Sex workers all over the world face a constant risk of abuse... No one would be surprised to learn that they face discrimination, beatings, rape and harassment—sometimes on a daily basis—or that they are often denied access to basic health or housing services.” Sex workers are members of a marginalized community, and society continuing to push a negative narrative about them gives people justification for abusing and exploiting sex workers. This is unacceptable, and no one should want to contribute to the creation of a stigma that can cause harm to any members of their community.

Our generation is slowly becoming more socially aware and advocating for sex workers’ rights with the support of older generations who have been advocating for sex workers’ rights for years. The work that our generation is doing is changing the perception of sex workers, which could eventually help create a safer environment for sex workers and lead to sex work being decriminalized. Lack of education is a large part of the reason that many people push anti-sex work narratives, so educate yourselves and those around you. Don’t contribute to the oppression of sex workers.