Is ‘sex work’ real work? “If ‘real work’ is having a 70 year-old drunk man bargaining with your ‘price’ because you won’t continue without a condom… that man getting aggressive and asking for his money back… if work is being forced to give up 50-100% of your income to a pimp… if work is being forced to have sex with men on the run from the police for domestic abuse… if work is being filmed without your consent… if work is being slapped/beaten/told you are a worthless whore… Then yes it’s work.” Read More
We report on the recent ‘Women of Colour Against the Sex Trade’ conference in London, UK, that was hosted by Space International and heard first-hand from black and ethnic minority survivors of the sex industry.
“In Dr Vednita Carter’s Black Minnesota neighbourhood, white middle class men cruise the streets in luxury cars, looking for Black girls and young women to pay to use and abuse sexually. This echoes back to the white man’s white god-given right to unlimited sexual access to Black women and girls during the long centuries of slavery.” Read More
Two more #MeToo stories we’ve received through our Share Your Story page, where women can enter their experiences of the sex trade anonymously. We do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed, but each story is important, moving and powerful, and reveals yet again the awful truth about prostitution – that it is neither easy money, nor a route out of poverty for disadvantaged women. Read More
Many people who promote and support the sex industry insist that sex doll brothels are a good thing and they will not affect women involved in prostitution. In this short article, Chelsea, who has had many years’ experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, responds to a piece promoting this viewpoint. She explains why it is mistaken and that in fact sex doll brothels spell disaster for prostituted women. Read More
Exit! is the harrowing true story of Grizelda Grootboom’s journey into and through prostitution. Many people justify prostitution on the basis of the prostituted person’s choice. Grizelda’s story reveals the shallow irrelevance of this idea in a life blighted by childhood neglect and abandonment, rape, racism, poverty and lack of opportunity, coercion, betrayal and abduction. While Grizelda’s story is unique, there are many elements that are common to many of those who are prostituted worldwide. Read More
Dana Levy is an Israeli sex industry survivor who promotes the Nordic model in Israel. She publishes articles in local newspapers in order to influence public opinion. She very kindly sent us this translation of one of her articles with a message of thanks for what she describes as our ‘amazing work.’ We send thanks for her amazing work in return. Read More
Another collection of #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story feature. This provides a space for women to tell their own accounts in their own words. We do not necessarily agree with all the views expressed.
“Prostitution is insidious, it is cruel on both sides. Some argue it is the men who exploit the women, but some of the men are just as fragile. They become entangled in their own emotional pain and trauma. The whole industry is based on lies and deception (as well as the invasion of our precious sacred selves).” Read More
In this post, Chelsea, who has had many years’ experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand (NZ), makes a searing critique of an article by Lynzi Armstrong that laments the ‘stigma’ that results in banks denying services to ‘sex workers,’ even though profiting from women’s prostitution is entirely legal in NZ. Chelsea argues that the ‘sex workers’ in question were in fact pimps, and the stigma against women involved in prostitution is intrinsic to the system of prostitution itself. Read More
As a group campaigning for the Nordic Model approach to prostitution, people often berate us for not “listening to sex workers.” If we did, they say, we’d know they all want full decriminalisation of the sex trade and not the Nordic Model. But our group includes survivors of the sex trade and we know that the reality is a little more complicated. In this article we explain why we created our Share Your Story page and distill some of the themes that have emerged from the moving and heart-breaking stories we’ve received so far. Read More
Chelsea Geddes has had many years experience in the legal brothels in New Zealand, whose fully decriminalised approach to the sex trade is often held up as the most enlightened solution to prostitution. In this article, she begs to disagree and explains that, on the contrary, it has made punters more demanding and entitled, and has done nothing to make conditions safer for the women like herself. Read More
Here are some more of the #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page.
“If sex work is work, then why does our value as women who may work in the flesh trade go DOWN over time? Why are there no increased rates and certain employment securities for long-term employees? Why do the owners of flesh trade establishments PREFER young, naive and inexperienced girls to work for them?” Read More
This is another selection of the #MeToo stories of the sex trade that we’ve received through our Share Your Story page. Profound thanks to everyone who has shared their story. Every single one is powerful, moving and courageous, and shines a much-needed light on what the sex trade is really like. Read More
Elle Elizabeth sent this #MeToo story and poem about her journey through lap dancing via our Share Your Story page.
Please keep the stories coming. They are powerful, moving and courageous and shine much-needed light on what it’s really like to be in the sex trade. Read More
This is another #MeToo personal story that arrived through our Share Your Story page. We felt it demanded its own post. Be warned: it is powerful, upsetting, important. Read More
A few days ago we published a new Share Your Story page. We asked you to help us gather real experiences of the sex trade, to help put the record straight, to counteract the “Happy Hooker” myths and explain the truth, to say #MeToo, and #TimesUp for the sex industry. The responses have been overwhelming and heartbreaking and we want to thank everyone who has shared their story. This is a selection of the responses we’ve received so far. Read More
This piece, by Alice Glass, is timely in the light of the recent cancelling of an event about prostitution that was to be co-hosted by a UK university and an organisation that provides services to people involved in prostitution, after complaints from students that it didn’t feature “sex worker” voices – even though a woman who had experienced many years of prostitution was billed to speak. Alice Glass, who herself survived ten years in prostitution, asks who are the “sex workers” who must be allowed to speak? Read More
Drawing on testimony from women survivors of the sex trade, German feminist activist, Manuela Schon, writes about mechanisms women use to survive prostitution and why exiting can be so hard, why we need to hold the perpetrators accountable, and how prostitution has a key role in maintaining male supremacy and the second class status of all women and girls. The article was first published in German on the Abolition 2014 website. The English translation is by Elisabeth Lauer. Read More
In this article, Alice Glass brilliantly challenges three common myths in the prostitution debate: that “once the industry is fully decriminalized, prostitutes will form unions in order to fight for their workers’ rights”; that “if we don’t decriminalize prostitution it will be pushed further underground”; and that “only contemporary prostitutes should have a say in the debate, former prostitutes should not, it is no longer their business.” Read More
Huschke Mau is a survivor of Germany’s legalized prostitution system. In this article, Francine Sporenda interviews her, focusing on the recent changes in the prostitution law in Germany and why Germany is known as the “bordello of Europe.” Read More
On Tuesday 11 July, I was fortunate to attend the launch of Nia’s “I’m No Criminal” report, which examines the impact of prostitution-specific criminal records on women seeking to exit prostitution, and their campaign for such criminal records to be erased. The room was electric with passion at the injustice that women who are (or have been) involved in prostitution face and the warped system that makes disadvantaged women pay for the damage that men cause. Read More