Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sex Work in the City

So the news is out, police have made an arrest in the "craigslist killer" case. Let's all hope that Julissa Brissman and her family, and the other victims, will see justice.

But let's also hope we can use this opportunity to start a new dialogue about sex work -- both it's reality, and a vision of what it can and should be. Yes, it's dangerous for escorts and other erotic service providers to put themselves out there. It's also dangerous for firefighters, airplane pilots, and people in many other professions.

But we don't ask those professionals to quit. We do what we can to minimize the risks they take, to make it as safe as possible. So why not with sex work? Because we still view it through the lens of stigmatization, as something "dirty" and "beneath us".

Stop and think for a moment, about those who see their erotic profession not just as a job, and not only as a service, but as a calling -- a way to bring forth a measure of joy and healing to our world.

Why not?

Why not encourage that vision amongst more people in the trade, and their clientele? Why not begin to see them with respect and dignity, and from there provide them with the same measure of fairness and safety that people in other professions know, expect and even take for granted?

Recently my friend Miss Calico attended a media workshop for erotic professionals, preparing more to speak their truth. It's about time we listened, and in hearing their words, question so many of the misconceptions we cling to about the demimonde.

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