Sex workers and sexual assault

 
As a society, we have some pretty messed up ideas about incidents of sexual assault involving sex workers. Many people believe that because clients are paying for sexual services, sex workers must perform everything that is asked of them. This “anything goes” attitude toward sex workers means that many people also believe that it is not possible for sex workers to be sexually assaulted. However, sex workers still have the right to choose what they do with their bodies and who they do it with, while working or not.

For example, if a sex worker consents to oral sex while working, this does not mean that they are consenting to penetration. Also, if a sex worker consents to a sexual activity and changes their mind later on, they have every right to be respected in their choice. For example, if a sex worker consents to penetration but withdraws their consent at any point, this decision must be respected by the client.

Also, many people believe that sex workers should expect to be sexually assaulted and that this is just a hazard of the job. But it does not matter who you are or what you do for a living- nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted.

These beliefs about sex work and sexual assault only place blame on those sex workers who have experienced sexual assault while working and excuse the ones who are responsible: perpetrators.