Sexual Economics

Criminalization of sex work isn’t hurting cis white non-disabled heterosexual men…

Lately I’ve had a lot of conversations about money with friends who work in the sex industry. Things aren’t good right now. The longtime marketplace for sex workers to meet clients, Backpage, shut its adult ad section down in January. Many workers are struggling with less money or are unable to find new clients, and I’ve even heard of people asking for discounts during this time of hardship, rather than offering to pay extra in solidarity… That’s pretty fucked up.

Let’s get this clear, sex workers losing a major advertisement and referral location isn’t hurting cis white non-disabled heterosexual men. It isn’t hurting people who already have a lot of disposable income. It isn’t hurting the people who pay for sexual services. It is hurting women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. It is hurting people with less choices for employment in our society, and people who choose sex work because they find it empowering to do so.

I doubt this situation is hurting sex traffickers that much, which was the reason cited for pressure on Backpage to shut its adult section down in the first place. It is harder for the FBI and other law officers to find traffickers now that everyone’s been pushed to find alternative spaces or gone further underground.

At the same time Backpage was shutting down, Fetlife was under attack by credit card companies. Fetlife owner John Baku ended up deleting a lot of content on Fetlife unannounced. He eventually decided to move forward, restoring some pages and re-upholding Fetlife’s mission — but without the support of credit card processors. A lot of individuals and communities within the worldwide kinky network lost photos, videos, entire groups disappeared, and structures of support that have been in place since the site’s inception were vaporized…

I don’t want to write this blog today. I don’t want to write this blog today because I’m having money problems myself (which is exactly why I’m thinking about this). I don’t want to write this blog because I’ve always wanted to get into Pro-Domme work and other various forms of sex work, and every time I have a hard time financially I think about starting on that road. I don’t want to write this blog about money and sex because money is depressing, and living a sexy life isn’t. Sexuality isn’t inherently depressing; playfulness, flirtation, intrigue, seduction, trying new things, being in the moment — all these things aren’t depressing and boring.

Money is depressing and boring.

Judgement about what consenting adults do with their time together is wrong.

People who refuse to embrace the differences they have with others, who opt instead to take choices away from people who aren’t like them are wrong — and I don’t know a better application of the word evil.

What if I sent you a photo of my body that you liked? Would you pay me for it?

What if I’m interested in a particular sex act that you’d like to engage with me in, and I was willing to do it for a fee? Would that hurt anyone?

What if it took me a lot of time and money to learn how to do that activity safely for your benefit? Is it my job to work toward your happiness without compensation?

What if I really want you to lick my boot and crawl around on the floor like a pig and as a reward I let you masturbate in front of me and pay me tribute for your appreciation? Should someone go to jail for that? [Bonus on this one: If so, whom?]

What if we meet up and you pay for my dinner and after dinner we have sex and after sex you buy me something expensive I’ve been desiring? Who the fuck doesn’t engage in that type of situation at some point in their life?

Does it matter if we’re married?

I’m not talking about coercion, underage sex, or the tangential extremes people constantly throw in the way of honest conversation about how sex and money are consensually related. I’m talking about the economy of sexual expression and desire, which our civilization refuses to legislate in a way that protects sex workers and minorities or contributes to the safety of our society’s collective sexual health. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people, people with less choices for employment in our society, and people who choose sex work for themselves because they find it empowering lose out every time. Our society as a whole loses out when we punish people for engaging in the sex of their choosing. I’ll point out that it’s not the ad execs using women’s bodies to sell cars and diamonds struggling to make ends meet, yet I know a lot of models and actors who get mistreated at work, and don’t eat much because of payscale… Do you think it’s a coincidence that white cis herosexual non-disabled men aren’t the ones making bank in the sex trade industry? They’re making bank in every other one, including jobs which use someone else’s sex to sell.

I don’t.

Repression is oppression.

The way our country legislates and criminalizes the sex industry highlights that.

Play On My Friends,
~ Karin

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