Saturday, 6 August 2011

Sex Work (Limited) Voices

Regular readers of my tweet field will notice that despite cancelling my papers a month ago, I still get random deliveries. Oh yes, such is the wild fast pace of my existence. On the plus side, it does mean I spot stories that I've missed digitally. For example, my surprise Guardian delivery today carries a depressing little piece today with one sex worker and one punter telling their stories. It's a typically one-sides Guardian piece extolling how terrible prostitution is. You can read the full piece here.

The pull-out quotes give you a flavour of the piece. For 'the women' section, we have: 'the thought of a man paying to have sex with them turns me on', 'he paid me, and counting out the money seemed to kill the mood for both of us', and 'he was a short bald man with a big spare tyre and smelled of cigarettes'. For 'the man' we have: 'my performance was as you expect from a first-times, but she was sympathetic', 'giving over hard-earned salary for disinterested sex is the pinnacle of self-hate', and 'to me, she's everything I've ever wanted or could want in another person'.

Curiously, any reference to law or policing is absent from either description - and it would be interesting to see how common this would flow through a broader range of accounts.

I don't dispute that these are reals tories for the two individuals concerned, however, wouldn't it be great to see the diverse and complex voices of sex work rather than merely some narrow dwelling on the darkest aspects?

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