What exactly is sex work? ‘Sex work’ is the term chosen by sex workers to refer to the services they provide. Sex-worker services between consenting adults include companionship, intimacy, nonsexual role-playing, dancing, escorting, and stripping.

Many workers take on multiple roles with their clients, and some may get more physical. While other interactions that may have started off as sexual could evolve into emotional and psychological bonding.

The clients who seek sex workers vary, and they’re not just men. The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support. Some people may have fantasies and kink preferences that they are able to fulfill with the services of a sex worker.

I find it interesting that a medical doctor can exchange payment in the form of money with people to provide them with advice and treatment. Isn’t this basically work? I do not believe it is right or just that people who exchange sexual services for money are criminalized and others are not for what they do. Is a degree really the right measure of who is deserving of dignity, autonomy, safety in the workplace, fair trade and freedom of employment? No. This should not be so. Those who engage in sex work deserve those things, too.

We must support efforts to address structural barriers and ensure the implementation of a comprehensive package of health services for sex workers as advised by the World Health Organization, and fund public campaigns to decrease stigma. Evidence, not morality, should guide law reforms and sex work policy for full sex work decriminalization.