December 1, 2011

X-Rated Ethics | Green Futures {featured read}

This is a fascinating article from Green Futures, the leading British magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, about how socially sustainable sex work could save the economy, the environment, and our society. (Republished by the Utne Reader, Sept-Oct 2011).

There’s certainly an ugly side to the sex industry. Exploitation and trafficking play a part—but the common assumption that sex work is inherently dangerous or degrading can, with bitter irony, actually make life harder for those involved. In November 2010, The Economist, citing a report by Human Rights Watch, warned that international laws designed to suppress human trafficking and sexual exploitation—leading to the closure of bars and brothels—have “helped the police to beat, rob, and rape sex workers with impunity.” The magazine asserted: “Most migrant sex workers have left home for good reasons of their own—among them a desire to work away from their families, and to earn more money.” Catherine Stephens of the International Union of Sex Workers agrees. “It’s not only inaccurate to suggest that the majority of sex workers do not choose their profession,” she argues: “it’s patronizing and disempowering.”

According to stereotypes, men who pay for sex are on a power trip. But in the vast majority of cases, says Belinda Brooks-Gordon, author of The Price of Sex: Prostitution, Policy and Society, the reality is very different. For many johns, “mutuality is part of the attraction. . . . Sex workers [actually] get bored by constant interrogation [from clients] about their well-being.”
Read More at Utne Reader >>

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