Sex workers deserve respect and protections as any other worker.

Your Porn Fantasy Has Just Been Popped When You Realize Sex Workers Are People Too

Sex workers deserve the same rights as the rest of us.

@marustereo
180

A year ago, I read Jiz Lee's "Coming Out Like A Porn Star" a collection of personal essays from people who have worked in the adult industry. As I made my way through the book I started to view adult industry workers as human—I know—this sounds bad but let me explain.

When we watch porn, we are often caught up in the fantasy of whatever we are watching and we forget that sex worker is just like us. They have goals, aspirations, pets, family, friends, credit card debt etc. They are simply acting out a fantasy on screen. Some of the adult industry workers I read about have master's degrees while others simply had a high school diploma. But regardless of their educational background, they were sex workers who were passionate about their jobs.

I read stories of struggle and heartbreak as many people came out to their blood relatives—some were rejected others welcomed with open arms. But one thing remained consistent: they struggled with how the outside world treated them, specifically their safety. I am not speaking on behalf of sex workers, I am simply sharing my perspective as an outside person. Sex work is a high-risk job.

There are many times an individual may have no idea who they are going to have sex with that day. But then there is the issue of STDs and HIV, from what I understand there are strict testing policies in place to help prevent the spread of STDs and HIV. But nonetheless things can still happen, and diseases can still be spread.

And this brings us to the other aspect of sex work, the perspective of the outside world. It is rare that people view sex workers as everyday people, they automatically assume that because they are sex workers they have experienced trauma as a child, they are addicted to drugs and because of this sex workers need to be saved. To be honest, before I read "Coming Out Like A Porn Star" I adhered to these beliefs. My only education on the adult industry came from my die-hard Mormon parents (in the Mormon church there is a strict anti-porn policy).

I thought that every porn star was damaged and need to be saved. Sex workers are intelligent entrepreneurs. They have found a way to channel their sexuality, market and support themselves. The adult entertainment industry exists because humans are sexual beings, we crave intimacy, pleasure, and connection and porn is a way for those needs to be met. In a sense, we should be thanking sex workers not shunning them. Porn is a way for us to explore what we like sexually. Porn is an outlet for when you want an orgasm but doesn't want sex. But most importantly, sex work is like any other work. And sex workers need to be treated with the same respect that you would treat an accountant or doctor or teacher or waitress. We should not be outing porn stars or shame them. They are providing a service and we should be thankful.

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