Author Topic: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds  (Read 1058 times)

Freeky

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Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« on: September 28, 2016, 10:09:39 pm »
I've been following a satire tumblr, manslator, for a long time now.  I think it's kind of funny.  Over the last day or two the subject of sex work and sex workers, asexuals, and enthusiastic consent has popped up and I wondered what people here might think of it, because there was this conversation before here, I just don't remember what thread it was in.

The link goes right to where the posts are, but here's some stuff if you don't feel like clicking:

Quote from: Mod m of Manslator
Quote from: Mod e of Manslator
This blog, though run by civilians, respects sex workers and their rights (right to control their bodies, right to work in the field of their choosing, right to not be looked down upon or condescended to due to their chosen field, etc.). Sex workers are different than, for example, sex trafficking victims, who did NOT choose to enter the field of sex work and are therefore being coerced and are not consenting.

Transcript of screenshot: “I’m confused about you asking sex workers, given how they are literally coerced into sex in order to get the money they need to buy food/pay bills etc. and therefore are not consenting.”

Everyone is coerced into work by capitalism. Sex work is no worse or better than any other type of labor. Stop disrespecting people’s decisions about what type of labor is best able to support them.


Quote from: anon submission to manslator
    on the subject of sex worker, (speaking as an ace sex worker, for what’s it worth) the idea that you can respect the sex worker, but condemn the client is so incredibly toxic.

    When you condemn the client, you endanger the sex worker - you endanger our livelihoods by forcing us into work that is (equally coercive and dangerous, and) not nearly as lucrative; you endanger our lives by fostering an environment where clients don’t want to give out the kind of details that will let an SW filter dangerous clients; you foster an environment where it “doesn’t matter” whether a client does their homework to make sure they’re not supporting trafficking, making it more likely that they won’t.

    And by promoting the idea that women are incapable of determining whether they are being victimized, you perpetuate a culture in which women’s words cannot be trusted, which, guess what? Perpetuates rape culture.

    The primary danger for sex workers stems directly from a cultural perception that sex workers are less; that sex workers are victims, that women are victimizable as sex workers. I mean, do people really not see how painting a vast swathe of the population as uniquely vulnerable to exploitation might make people who want someone to exploit take interest?

    (Otherwise, absolutely no complaints about the assessment of enthusiastic consent + asexuality + sex work. It’s spot on)

If someone does the “Fine, you’re right, I’m clearly a terrible person, I’m Satan, I’m the worst person alive, I should just die” thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

Faust

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 10:37:23 pm »
It boils down to statistics really, we don't know how many sex workers actively chose the profession because they want to, and how many it becomes a better option because of pressure to survive. There are a lot of vulnerable people in the sex industry, there are a lot who would laugh at you if you said they had been pressured into this.

I don't like the assumptions made on all sex workers behalf on their ability to consent, it kind of creeps me out the more I think about it.
Consent is given by the individual, you can't imply a person is unable to give consent unless there are clear factors for it.

I dont buy the argument that a  sex worker cant consent because of the need for bills, etc because that problem goes beyond the sex trade into the nature of what we call work in general:
Separate work from survival completely and you have a very small group of people.
There are those who work for themselves, those who work for others for pay that they need and enjoy it, and those that work because they have to and don't enjoy what they do, or don't fully think what they do is right for them.

Eliminate the bills, and necessity as a biasing factor, and you could still get people who would chose that profession and others that don't.

I guess both sides are right or wrong on a case by case basis and its not something you can form a concrete "side on", but considering you are talking to vulnerable group, its probably best to listen to their representation on this, and last time I checked they are still calling for full decriminalisation, while being open to regulation.

Freeky

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 11:12:12 pm »
True.  It's all full of people, and people make things more complicated by virtue of nobody is exactly the same.  I did find the idea that condemning the client being toxic food for thought, though.
If someone does the “Fine, you’re right, I’m clearly a terrible person, I’m Satan, I’m the worst person alive, I should just die” thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

Faust

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 08:56:58 am »
Depends on the client I suppose, I read somewhere (might be bullshit) that the majority of men who visit prostitutes are the elderly.
It depends on what they are going in for: is it just sex, or are they looking for "the girlfriend experience".

It's a much more complex issue, but there is at the heart of it an objectification, and the fact that they represent a workplace hazard. I'd be inclined to condemn their actions but not for continuing a culture of objectification, rather being subject to it, unable to exist without it.

Pergamos

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2016, 09:00:56 pm »
I agree wholeheartedly with the stuff quoted in the OP.  Sex work is work.  Sex workers deserve the same respect as any other workers and condemning clients doesn't help.  I have no problem with someone paying for sex, or for companionship for that matter, or for some particular kink.  If we dragged sex work out of the shadows there would be a lot less trafficking, as it is trafficked people end up in jail for prostitution if they look for help.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2016, 05:11:22 am »
In my opinion, the problem with sex work is the same thing that makes it dangerous; it is condemned by society. Sex workers are in danger of violence and trafficking, treated as the lowest of the low, as minor, grimy criminals. They can't have warm inviting office fronts and take insurance and be treated as having the same value as any other healthcare worker because we decided they can't.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Pergamos

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 05:53:00 am »
Seeing it as healthcare isn't something I had considered.  That makes a lot of sense.

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2016, 05:27:02 pm »
Sex workers meet a biological need, so to me it only makes sense that they should be trained, licensed, regulated, and eligible for compensation from insurance, just like any other healthcare worker. Like a massage therapist or a chiropractor.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2016, 06:01:21 pm »
There is a class of sex worker that is treated as offering a medical service, I can see if I can drag up the article I was reading a while back about a sex surrogate.
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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2016, 06:12:29 pm »
Sex workers meet a biological need, so to me it only makes sense that they should be trained, licensed, regulated, and eligible for compensation from insurance, just like any other healthcare worker. Like a massage therapist or a chiropractor.

I have a similar stance and there are very strong arguments for regulation/decriminalisation. The main one that springs to mind is simply look at who benefits from it remaining prohibited/illegal. A register of clients would be a logical step as well. Making both sides responsible would probably result in a large degree of harm reduction.
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Pergamos

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2016, 06:01:48 am »
Even legalized and regulated it would retain a stigma for a while, which means that a register of clients might not be the best thing.

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2016, 07:50:06 pm »
I've tended to think that ideally, prostitution shouldn't exist. It promotes (male) sexual entitlement by allowing them to pay for sex and simply assume the other party wants it. If you're unable to obtain enthusiastic consent from someone, decent people (I think) would ask themselves "what can I do better next time?" and go home and masturbate. But since prostitution exists and seems difficult to abolish, I've supported decriminalization and regulation (buying sexual services is banned in Norway). Just like with the drug ban, the police are using the ban to bully sex workers, expel them from apartments and so on. Sex workers have even less power to refuse clients and protect themselves against STDs, violence and exploitation.
 
But in the healthcare role, at least, I guess there will be a need for sex work even in the future utopian society where we've abolished the gender prison. For a short while I worked in a care home for the elderly, and although I didn't enjoy wiping old people's asses very much, it is still a job that needs to be done and I respect people who choose to do it. Perhaps sex work isn't that different.

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2016, 10:24:35 pm »
There are women who patronize prostitutes as well.  It's not as common but it absolutely exists.  Some people are not sexually appealing, or  do not have the social skills to get someone to want to have sex with them.  There's nothing wrong with those people finding someone who is willing to accept payment for sex, and that seems better, to me, than those people not being able to have sex at all. 

To take a hypothetical, suppose you have someone who is physically a bit out of shape, and socially fairly inept, now they could put a lot of work into getting in shape and practicing social skills, till someone will want to have sex with them, but they are also a brilliant engineer, all that time spent getting in shape and figuring out social skills could be spent, instead, doing engineering, which will improve the lives of a lot of people and put a lot of cash into the pocket of this particular person.  Some of that cash can be spent on a prostitute, the rest on other things, so everyone ends up better off if the brilliant and unappealing engineer spends that time engineering, instead of becoming sexually appealing.

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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2016, 12:17:13 am »
Even legalized and regulated it would retain a stigma for a while, which means that a register of clients might not be the best thing.

That list would be protected under HIPAA, which is a whole lot more protection than any call girl's contact list has now.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Sex Work and Consent: A Tumblr Thing Unfolds
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2016, 12:18:00 am »
There is a class of sex worker that is treated as offering a medical service, I can see if I can drag up the article I was reading a while back about a sex surrogate.

It's definitely a start, but these practitioners still risk being charged under many states' prostitution laws.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”