What can we learn from sex work and why is this important for our society?
Historically, sex work has long existed in a wide variety of social forms, and it still does one in all parts of the world. Prostitution opponents dream of a world without sex work instead of orienting themselves to the real reality, which empirically historically proves that sex work has always existed and is likely to always exist. The only question is whether it is safe and legal or illegal and unsafe. A world without prostitution is a utopia and just as one can wish for a world without poverty, without violence and without discrimination, one can of course wish for a world without prostitution. Then, however, one does not start from the real state of affairs and tries to improve it, but one rejects reality and wants to declare one’s ideal image of the world as reality. Many opponents cannot accept prostitution, which has always been part of society and will continue to do so. But only if you accept the real actual state, you can influence it and make improvements. By more protecting the rights of sex workers and reducing the stigma, many negative aspects of sex work would also disappear. Because it is not sex work that is the cause of the negative aspects that work in it. In sex work, these social and gender structures and processes and their negative sides simply become visible. However, these are not rooted in sex work, but are deeply intertwined in our society and therefore permeate all parts of society.
It is not sex work that is the problem, but the structures!
In sex work, structures can work that result in abuse of power, exploitation and violence. That’s why sex work isn’t the problem. On the contrary. It makes the effects of structures and processes particularly visible to us. Thus, sex work shows us which structures we should break up and overcome as a whole of society. If sex work were very positively cast and sex workers were highly regarded, then the customers would rather treat sex workers with respect and respect based on this image. The image of the whore as a second-class woman both makes it justifen violence and disrespect against sex workers, and sex workers can begin to identify with that image, so they don’t resist assault. Anyone who perceives himself as a worthless and outlawed whore who sells her body will expect to be treated badly and not fight back.
Sex work and sexuality are intertwined.
Sex work is also strongly linked to our understanding of sexuality and gender. The argument it would traumatize all women sooner or later is based on the assumption that women cannot have sex without emotions, unlike men. Women need less sex and, above all, for them, sex always involves feelings. Based on this image, a sex worker must necessarily be traumatized, because she simply does not behave as a „normal“ woman should. This understanding of sex work reproduces the woman as helplessly inferior to the man, with little will or power to make correct decisions, for this purpose the handling of sex workers with sexuality is judged not to be right and unhealthy. The woman is thus almost defined as ineligible, which is why she cannot make a decision on her own and must be protected from men and also from her own incompetence. The man is in this understanding of the superior and thus basically a threat to the woman. The sexuality of the man is conceived in a very drive-driven way, which is why the man simply has to live out these impulses and of course he does not care about the needs of the woman. This way of judging sex work only ensures that these role models are further reproduced and thus also influences our relationship to sexuality in general. Only when sex work is accepted and an image develops as valuable work will the role attribution be able to break up. Positive change is not generated by prohibitions, but by changing gender attributions and by changing public perception and evaluation.
Sexarbeit sollte mehr Wertschätzung erfahren!
Wenn die Gesellschaft Sexarbeit wertschätzend wahrnimmt, dann wird dies starken Einfluss auf die Selbstwahrnehmung der Sexarbeiter*innen haben, aber auch auf das Verhalten der Kunden. Wer glaubt Sexarbeiter verdienen viel Anerkennung, der wird sich nicht respektlos verhalten. Wenn Sexarbeiter*innen als wertvoll definiert werden, dann ist die Konsequenz das die Anerkennung dieses Wertes die Grundlage für das Verhalten gegenüber Sexarbeiter*innen bildet. Gleichzeitig muss jeder sogar eine soziale Ächtung befürchten, wenn er gegen die gesellschaftliche Wertung von Sexarbeit verstößt und sich respektlos verhält. Genauso wie in anderen hochangesehenen Berufen, in denen die Menschen automatisch mit mehr Respekt behandelt werden, kann dies so auch bei der Sexarbeit der Fall sein.