A friend of mine and I recently got into a debate about the messages we send to children about their career aspirations. My friend said that her main goal in life is to teach her kids to stay off the street corner and stay off the pole. I told her that I didn’t have a problem with sex work, and that if my hypothetical daughter wanted to make money giving hand jobs when she grew up, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. My friend was a little appalled at my point of view – and I’m guessing I won’t be getting any babysitting requests from her.
Let me start out by saying that there is a big difference between people who are sex slaves and people who consensually enter the sex trade. My argument is not that I would force anyone into prostitution. My argument is that sex work is a legitimate profession for the folks who choose it.
I am also not saying that kids should be sex workers. I’m talking about adults in the sex industry. I am decidedly against child pornography and little girls giving non-consensual blow jobs to grown ass adults who should learn how to keep their peepers to themselves.
Third, there is are all kinds of sex work – it is not a uniform industry – and some working conditions are better than others, just as they are with any other profession. If my child wanted to be a sex worker, I would encourage them to be very critical of their working conditions, just as I would if they wanted to be a chef or a hair dresser. A job’s a job, ya’ll – and you shouldn’t have to bust your ass in poor working conditions for low pay, regardless of what you do.
Ultimately I believe that all jobs are a form of prostitution. Some people say that sex work is demeaning. But I like sex. I would prefer to get paid to do something I like than to hustle for little money doing something that I hate. I think it’s more demeaning to clean hotel rooms (which I have done), wash dishes (which I have done), or work in an office with an asshole of a boss (which I have also done) than it is to help someone fulfill a sexual fantasy. If your kid’s dream is to become a rocket scientist – great. More power to them. If your kid wants to dig ditches – Goddess bless them. We need more of those ditches. And if your kid wants to grow up and pose nekkid while people take photos of them – good for them if it brings them a sense of satisfaction. It takes all types to make the world go around.
This is why I should never have children. Someone would call CPS on me, tell them that I have low moral standards, and my kids would be taken away from me.
I know there are divergent feminist views about sex work and pornography. I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section. Should parents tell their kids that sex work is a viable career aspiration? Or should we all have a goal of keeping folks off of the pole? Tell me what you think.
If you want to know what else I’ve got to say about sex work, check out these older posts:
Holland to Start Taxing Prostitutes
Are Women Coming Out on Top of the Porn Industry?
Prostitution Outlawed in Rhode Island
Serena is a freelance writer who enjoys baking, protesting, and playing with little dogs.