Looking into why “Whore Is a Compliment”: When is the Sex Worker Raped?: When “work” isn’t compensated


One sex worker started a blog “Whore Is a Compliment: I Like Sex and Money” because she was tired of being labeled with pity and a problem to solve.  In her “About Me” section, she says “Maybe whore isn’t a compliment for you, but it’s certainly not an insult to me and many other sex workers…I assure you, working at Starbucks was soul crushing. Whoring is not [for me].” (http://whoreisacompliment.wordpress.com/)

In her post on February 19th, she addresses the subject of rape.  When customers have sex with the prostitute but refuse to pay or steal the money back. She states “If my necessities of consent are not met, it’s fucking rape.”

Examining sex work as a service and not a job is what aids in the banter of “we must save the prostitute,” “poor girl, how did she end up this way” and divests her of her free will, and decision to be a part of this profession.  By looking at sex work through a moral lens, we are not examining it as a job, as “work.”

March 3rd was International Sex Workers Rights Day. (http://swopusa.org/March3/#1) It is a day where sex workers unite and discuss challenges they face concerning justice within their profession.  Most adult sex workers believe that the work should be legalized so that their rights can be protected by the law, and they aren’t criminalized for selling a service and taking place in the world’s oldest job.

“Whore is a Compliment” blogger highlights the point that sex work is a job and not about pleasure, and therefore must be compensated monetarily.  “If I get nothing in return for it, it’s fucking rape…it’s taking advantage, it’s cruelty, its stealing…” How can the issue of “stealing” and violation of a body and a service be addressed if prostitution isn’t legalized? It is the only way to stop the moralizing and eroticizing of sex workers. This is an issue about protecting the rights of workers and their labor, not about labeling certain careers “right” and others “wrong.”

Lia Avellino


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