Dame Diana Johnson’s Sexual Exploitation Bill: The Debate

This article provides a very brief introduction to Dame Diana Johnson’s Sexual Exploitation Bill, which if passed as planned would introduce a Nordic Model approach to prostitution law and policy in England and Wales. The article then delves into some of the negative assertions about the Nordic Model that Lyn Brown MP made in the debate on the Bill’s first reading and shows that many are oversimplifications and/or are contradicted by the evidence. Read More

What I learned about prostitution in 20 years as a hairdresser in Berlin

I have worked as a hairdresser for 20 years and for all that time I’ve had women involved in prostitution among my clients. Women who are so mentally and physically broken that everyday life can only be endured with drugs, which brings them into the next vicious circle. Women who are often in need of a hug and a listening ear… Read More

The Law of Diminishing Returns

In this insightful article, Esther, who was herself in prostitution, reflects on the finding of the Médecins du Monde study that the income of people involved in prostitution in France has reduced since the Nordic Model law was introduced there in April 2016. She explains how such a reduction in income has been observed in several European countries and suggests it is related to the increase in the number of women entering the sex industry through “choice,” coercion, trafficking, and the fallout from the banking crisis from 2008 and the subsequent implementation of “austerity” policies – and the normalisation of BDSM practices through the mainstreaming of porn. Read More

Swedish sex trade survivors back international campaign for the Nordic Model

This article, by a group of people who have experienced prostitution in Sweden, explains why they formed the organisation #intedinhora (#notyourwhore) and why they back the Nordic Model approach to prostitution policy.

“We see prostitution as neither work nor sex, but as an oppression built upon oppression based on gender, race, class and/or age. We believe this, not despite our own experiences of being in the sex industry, but because of them.” Read More

Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation? The discussion

This is an edited transcript of the discussion part of the ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on Sunday 22 November 2020.

Siobhan: I just want to introduce our panel members. First we have Rebecca Mott. Rebecca used to do indoor prostitution of various types, all of which allow punters to be violent. She is now an Abolitionist, and has been blogging about her experiences for more than 12 years, explaining the conditions of prostitution and the impact of having trauma as an exited woman… Read More

The Nordic Model: The best approach to tackling prostitution

This is a transcript of Megan King’s presentation at our ‘Prostitution: Work? … Or exploitation?’ webinar on Sunday 22 November 2020.

“I’m going to talk about the Nordic Model as the best approach to tackling prostitution. I’m Megan King. I speak as a survivor of the sex trade myself, initially being coerced into the trade and then I continued to sell sex off street independently, glamourizing my situation as a high-class escort, for a period of eight months across the south of England… Read More

How living near the Holbeck red-light zone turned us into activists against the sex trade

This is an edited transcript of Paula and Claire’s talk at the Experience of Prostitution webinar on Sunday 27 September 2020.

Paula and Claire are campaigners against the decriminalised red-light zone in the Holbeck area of Leeds. They are part of the Save Our Eyes community group. Read More

Three Dangerous Myths About Webcamming, Debunked

There are many popular myths about cam girls. The men who pay them often believe cam girls are lazy, superficial, money-hungry [insert gendered slur of your choice here]. A lot of women think the work will be sexually empowering, or at the very least, innocuous.

However, I once worked as a cam girl and got to find out first-hand what being one was actually like.  I learned that all the myths about webcamming are not only false and misleading but dangerous. Here is the truth behind three of the biggest myths… Read More

The experience(s) of prostitution

This is an edited transcript of Linda Thompson’s talk at the Experience of Prostitution webinar on Sunday 27 September 2020.

“Hello everyone. My name is Linda Thompson and I am absolutely delighted to join the webinar today on the experience – no, the experiences – of prostitution.

I work for the Women’s Support Project. I am national coordinator on commercial sexual exploitation. I get funded by the Scottish Government to develop and deliver programmes of work to raise awareness of the harms and realities of commercial sexual exploitation as a form of violence against women… Read More

‘Sex work’ advocates and the Nazi propaganda playbook

Last month Nordic Model Now! was asked to participate in a University of Exeter student debate on the proposition that “This house believes that sex work is real work.” As a group, we are ambivalent about taking part in such debates. On the one hand, they are seldom a conducive forum for understanding nuanced and complex issues – but on the other hand, if we don’t participate there is a risk that the audience won’t hear the feminist analysis of prostitution. No one else in the group was able to take part that night, so reluctantly I agreed. Read More

Hidden in plain sight

This is a transcript of Rebecca Mott’s talk at the ‘Experience of Prostitution’ webinar on 27 September 2020.

“I was prostituted from the age of 14 until my early 20s. I will speak to what it is to be prostituted; to the conditions for the prostituted and the breaking down of their humanity.

To understand prostitution, we need to see deeper than the generalised language of it being a bad thing. Instead, I will speak about the mental and physical trauma of the prostituted…
Read More

The Israeli Strip Clubs’ Swan Song

In this article, Israeli abolitionist activist, Luba Fein, discusses the recent announcement that signals the end of legal strip clubs in Israel and the long history of women’s activism behind it.

In September 2020, about two months after the Israeli Sex Purchase Ban came into force, the Tel Aviv municipality made a dramatic announcement: all the strip clubs in the city would be closed and no new clubs would receive a license. This meant the elimination of all the legal strip clubs in Israel, because Tel Aviv was the only place that still had them. Read More

Porn, Violence and Consent

By Anonymous

As a trafficking survivor who later went on to enter the UK porn industry, I have been following the recent media focus on trafficking in porn with a lot of interest, even though, as I have previously expressed, I am highly cautious of the influence of what is often termed the ‘religious right.’ Nevertheless I believe that calling for — as a bare minimum — greater regulation of sites such as PornHub to be a matter of urgency.

This is why… Read More

Unmasking the sex industry in Scotland

This is an edited transcript of a powerful and informative podcast, in which Siobhan from Nordic Model Now! talks with Linda Thompson about her work with women who have lived experience of prostitution in Scotland and why Scotland must urgently address the desperate poverty and inequality that is the backdrop to women’s involvement in the sex trade and introduce the Nordic Model without delay. Read More

Interview with Rebecca Mott

We are honoured that sex trade survivor activist, Rebecca Mott, has been a member of Nordic Model Now! from the very beginning. Many times her insight and wisdom have helped us to keep our focus. Here she talks about blogging, sex trade activists, what being an abolitionist means to her, and advice to other women who want to speak out about their experiences in the sex trade. Read More

The Colonisation of Intimate Life

The Mainstreaming of Sexual Violence and Hazard.

By Esther

This article is based on the second presentation at our recent webinar, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women.

“Expressions of fear and distress on the faces of porn performers are deliberately induced. The cruelty is the point. It associates sex as something painful for women in the eyes of the viewer…” Read More

Why I nearly turned my back on feminism

In this important post, Ally-Marie Diamond explains how she was introduced to a feminist analysis of prostitution as a form of violence against women, her first tentative steps into the feminist movement for the abolition of the sex trade, and her desire to share her own painful experiences as a way of helping others understand the reality. She then goes on to describe how she was silenced and ostracised within the movement and her determination to put aside division and work with other women to bring about real change for the most vulnerable women and children. Read More

Prostitution and pornography: A historical view

This article is based on the first presentation at our recent webinar, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women.

“It’s very easy to think that the world we know is normal and is how human beings have always lived. But what if that’s not true? What if the social structures we now live in are an anomaly in the long history of the human race? That’s what we’re going to explore in this presentation. We’re going to investigate the origins of patriarchy and capitalism, with a focus on the role of prostitution and pornography.”
Read More

“Murder Porn”

In this ground-breaking and harrowing article, Esther, who was herself involved in prostitution and the making of porn, shows how the eroticisation of cruelty in both the political and personal arenas is fed by the global sex industry’s violence and cruelty, and she reveals the hypocrisy of those who insist that ‘sex work’ is a private matter of no consequence to anyone else and who wilfully ignore its devastating consequences for both individuals and society. Read More

Josephine Butler: Pioneering feminist activist

Josephine Butler was a pioneering Victorian feminist who was famous for her activism against the sex trade and the punitive, sexist laws known as the Contagious Diseases Acts. This article provides a brief outline of her political awakening, her involvement in the campaign for women’s suffrage, education and employment, and her leadership of the ultimately successful campaign to overturn the Contagious Diseases Acts. Read More

What’s the problem with sex dolls? A conversation with Kathleen Richardson

This is an edited transcript of the podcast with Professor Kathleen Richardson on our culture’s increasing obsession with sex dolls, and what this means for women, and human relationships.

“What’s interesting about sex dolls and sex robots, is that it reveals really clearly what patriarchy thinks of women and what men want from women.” Read More

Full decriminalisation of prostitution colludes with the notion that a woman’s consent is negotiable

When HARRIET EVANS fell into difficulties with her housing, and universal credit was too little to live on, she turned to prostitution as a way of keeping a roof over her head. Here she explains how the Nordic Model could have helped her and others in the sex industry.

“‘Sex work’ as a valid form of income redefines ‘consent.’ Full decriminalisation colludes with the notion that a woman’s consent is negotiable; it can be bought; it can be ignored.” Read More

Facts about the global sex trade exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and how to solve them

Dana Levy is an Israeli prostitution survivor and abolitionist activist. In this article she shows how the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed three fundamental facts about the sex trade that many feminists have always known: 1. That men CAN survive without access to prostitution; 2. That most women involved in prostitution are extremely poor; and 3. That legalisation / decriminalisation of the sex trade provides little protection to the women involved. She goes on to discuss solutions. She says: “The solution for women in the sex trade exists. You won’t believe how simple it is.” Read More

Wahine Toa Rising letter to New Zealand ministers

The new, prostitution survivor-led New Zealand organisation, Wahine Toa Rising, has sent this letter to ministers to draw attention to the plight of women in prostitution during the current COVID-19 crisis, to ask advice about what support is available to women currently involved in prostitution and how the emergency subsidies apply to the sex trade, and to offer advice based on their own intimate knowledge of the realities of the sex trade.

In New Zealand the sex trade is fully decriminalised and prostitution is considered a job like any other. The letter brilliantly exposes this idea as a travesty. Read More

Who is misbehaving? Reflections on the film, Misbehaviour

At the beginning of the film, Misbehaviour, Sally Alexander (played by Keira Knightley) is applying to study history at University College, London (UCL). We see her walk into the large wood-panelled interview room where six middle-aged white men are waiting for her, seated in a row behind a long table. The camera pans back so we can see them giving her a mark out of ten as she settles on the lone chair in front of them… Read More

Prostitution is not a job and never will be. Here’s why.

By Dana Levy

Can prostitution be a normal job? Sex trade apologists claim that ‘sex work is work.’ Some of them say: “We just need a proper regulatory structure to make it safe,” while others insist: “All regulatory restrictions are harmful. Prostitution is not the problem; society is the problem. You are the problem! If we get rid of the regulations and stereotypes, it will become just like any other job.”

We, the survivors of prostitution who struggle against the sex trade, know the truth: prostitution is not a job. Read More