Op-Ed: It’s High Time We Decriminalize Sex Work in the US

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Sherri Rosen believes that it would benefit both men and women to create a system whereby sex work could be legal and safe.

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I am truly dismayed that the decriminalization of sex workers has still not occurred in our country.  What are we waiting for?  When I was in Amsterdam in January, 2014 I saw it is  part of their daily life and not a big deal.  There is a certain district in Amsterdam known as the red light district.  The girls show their stuff in different windows displayed out onto the street and then you go in and choose who you want.  When I finally saw the district after hearing about it for so many years, I said “what’s the big deal?”

 Also, there was a recent article online about a gal who became a sex worker because she wanted to pay for college which cost her $60,000 and she did not want to end up in debt after she completed her studies.  She became a sex worker because she could make a lot of money, have no college debt and she loved what she was doing.
Many people are under the assumption that many sex workers don’t enjoy what they are doing and as far as I know that simply is not true.  I had a friend from Brazil who was a sex worker in the United States.  She loved what she did, got to pick her own clients and she made a lot of money.  She told me many of her clients just didn’t come for the sex, but they wanted someone to talk to.  She trusted me and that’s why she shared with me what she did.  Many sex workers will not come out and say what they do for fear of being arrested, or of people immediately making a judgement on what they do, and not wanting to be around them because they will have a negative impact.
One amazing sex worker in this country went on to get her PhD and has become involved in what she has labeled as eco-sex throughout the world.  She is quite amazing, smart, funny and to me a wonderful woman with a great big heart. Through what she has labeled eco-sex she has brought people’s awareness to the environment in a most unusual way.
Another person in this country wasn’t a sex worker, but she has brought authentic information about our human sexuality to our awareness and has strived to help men and women free themselves from the ties that bind them to enjoy their sexuality and not care what anyone else thinks.
 If we decriminalized it in this country, folks that wanted to employ sex workers would be:

l.  Safe-because the sex workers would have to be tested and clean on a regular basis.  Less worry about transmitting diseases.
2. Less Sex Trafficking- because people would have a choice and young men and women would be at less of a risk.
3.  There is always a need for sex.  Why make it dirty, seedy, hiding out in bathrooms, meeting in illicit ways?
4.  Men and women that need to earn money to go to college, can earn their livelihood and pay their bills and not be in debt.
5.  It would not be a big deal if we  would decriminalize sex workers in this country. It would be part of our day to day life.
6.  The government could no longer arrest them, keeping them and people who smoke marijuana  safe from our jails and prisons.
7.  Men and women who need that outlet would have a safe place to go.
8.  It would add more money to the economy.
9.  Sex workers who have children would be able to raise their children in a normal way and have the money to do so.
10.  Sex workers could be part of daily life and not have to do what they do in secret.  There could be a new found respect for them and their work.
You know my feelings about decriminalizing sex workers.  I want to know how you feel about it?
Photo: Flickr/Michela Simoncini

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About Sherri Rosen

Sherri Rosen began her own publicity firm in NYC more than sixteen years ago. She gives a powerful voice to people that are doing great things in the world. Sherri also writes for Redhead's Rap at Sherri Rosen Publicity Intl, NYC, Mr. Bellers Neighborhood and Elephant Journal. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Comments

  1. John Anderson says:

    It is weird that sex between two consenting adults becomes illegal just because money changes hands.

  2. Be aware that although sexwork in the Netherlands is decriminilazid, the trading of women and people in general is a criminal offence.
    Decrimilization of the sexworker has a tendency to increase the trade of women.

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