by BRITTA LOVE
I want to preface this piece with a note that regardless of how any civilian or worker feels about sex work as a healing profession, the human and labor rights of sex workers are non-negotiable. No validation of sex work needs to take place in order to argue for basic rights. This piece is not an appeal to respectability – rather it is a reclamation, a refutation of a toxic, puritanical and patriarchal culture that denies the value and importance of pleasure, of sex, and of feminized labor. This is a love letter to my fellow whores, a celebration of the essential and valuable work we do.
I want to proclaim loudly that sex workers are expert healers in our own right. Sex workers give the gift of pleasure. Of presence. Of acceptance. Of companionship. Of play.
When describing my escorting to a therapist a while back, she immediately recognized the similarities between our respective work. Of course, as sex workers we don’t have the same clinical responsibilities, but we are often both space-holders, offering connection for pay within concrete boundaries of self, space and time. Like therapists, counselors, masseuses, breathworkers, and other facilitators of the healing arts, we create spaces of care and intimacy in service of our clients’ needs and desires. It’s obvious when you remove the sex-negative and whorephobic blinders from our cultural lens that most sex work fits within this larger category.