Terms like prostitution, forced, human trafficking, illegal in different combinations are being exploited as headlines in today’s media. Even in coverage of negative news one thing still counts: Sex sells!

It is of great annoyance to me that sex workers are continuously portrayed  as a group of helpless souls too damaged to have a mind of their own. We are made sideline spectators at a play in which we are the lead characters.

Prostitution, sex work and more terms alike are methodically being induced into the general public in an effort to trigger associative thinking within the unconscious where anything remotely related to sex work is instantly deemed negative and repulsive.

“inducing a negative association..”

Atrocities and crime are not considered to be occurrences within the industry. The whole industry becomes the equivalent of a crime scene. A stigma which becomes a life sentence affecting people’s dignity and safety.

All over the world groups and individuals are attempting to be heard, but the efforts are to no avail. While we are hushed as mentally incompetent, politicians are speaking on our behalf with our best interest in mind.

Even biblical verses are shamelessly put to use to justify their actions. The Dutch Christian Union refers to Proverbs 31:8: ‘Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.’ The irony lies in the ones that are appointing.

In modern day economy we see a trend in the urge to redefine established concepts by adding the prefix ‘The new..’ or the suffix ‘2.0’. There should be a  ‘Sex Work 2.0’ which goes beyond merely implementing information technology but rather redefining the total approach.

Streetwise is a website once initiated as an attempt to draw parallels to other business approaches. The enterprise of a sex worker is a regular business.

As any company it consists of 3 organizational processes:
– management: accounting, marketing, logistics
– operational: the act of delivering services
– support: customer relations, maintenance (health)

Independent sex workers are multi-tasking and take responsibility for all organizational layers.

sex work

In most industries a new approach includes the use of shared office spaces or co-working spaces. Outsourcing of tasks to focus more on operations is considered efficiency enhancing. However, in the adult entertainment industry it is called Human Trafficking and exploiting.

Working as an employee is another way of providing a service. Generally it is an internal affair if conflicts occur between management and work force. This is not an industry related phenomenon. A discrepancy in long-term organizational goals and short-term focus on production is even considered unavoidable. And again, Human Relations Management in the sex industry is instantly stigmatized as slavery and abuse.

The 21st century approach to enhance efficiency and productivity is to re-position management and operational processes on an equal level. In order to achieve this in the adult industry it is essential to grant equal rights to everyone.

“Not industry related”

The negative association with the profession of sex workers creates an instant disadvantage in well-being and safety in practicing their job. As does methodical publishing of stigmatizing articles and politically exploiting the subject. The diminished status and the public support created forces sex workers to go underground and become invisible.

The obsession to grab any subject and relate it to prostitution with the aim to further discredit the industry needs to be broken. The anti-prostitution lobby seems addicted to self-affirmative reports.

The use of the term ‘sex worker’ has been an attempt to introduce ‘clean’ titles, disengaged from negative emotions. Alas, whether we use ‘whores’, ‘prostitutes’, ‘harlots’, ‘courtesans’, ‘sex workers’ or if you will ‘consensual intimacy agents’, it does not change the determination of the rescue industry to deploy propaganda in creating their consensus reality.

In the Netherlands, sex work has been legalized and sex workers are officially entitled to have the same rights as any other entrepreneurs. In reality, these rights are being violated and voices from within the industry are silenced since you can not get what you already have.

“a consensus reality”

Last year, it was our prime-minister Mark Rutte and this year Mayor van der Laan of Amsterdam was granted the honor to announce the winner of the self-employed entrepreneur of the year award. The jury has made a choice based on perseverance and the establishment of a respectable business with potential growth. The first thing that came to my mind was that a similar achievement from anyone in our industry would probably not be awarded. Instead, they would be publicly stigmatized as human trafficker or extortionist.

It was only days ago when the whole country celebrated Liberation Day 2016 stressing the importance of freedom. To me, freedom can only exist with equal rights.