Debunking the Myths and Misconceptions of Sex Work
Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Stripping down the myths that defame sex work and baring down the raw facts
Blog Post Written By: MelRose Michaels
I have to admit - I have this question that has come up in many forums and occurred several times in my own personal life. In fact, I’ve had this discussion over and over with colleagues and friends over this same issue; so, how do you desribe a sex worker?
Lets see - is it someone who sells nudes online? Is it someone who does live cam shows? Phone sex, does that also qualify as sex work? Or are sex workers those working in person, physical interactions?
In my opinion, it’s all the above. It’s really hard to catagorize what a sex worker looks like because the internet has evolved our industry, just like it’s done to so many others. That being said, let’s get into some of the myths and misconceptions around sex work!
Myth #1 - Sex Work is Easy Work (and a reserve for those who lack other skills)
This could not be further away from the truth. Offering professional sex services requires serious business, marketing and production skills. Therefore you cannot define sex work as easy. Yes, taking a nude selfie in and of itself is ‘easy’ in the eyes of most. But it personally takes me 25 selfies to even have one I’m confident enough to publish online. That aside, selling a few selfies doesn’t usually amount to a profitable sex work business. Creating, producing, and distributing content, upselling your fanbase, and successfully comprehending traffic acquisition, are just a few of the skills needed to build a sex work empire on platforms like Onlyfans, Fancentro, Manyvids and Pornhub. These are skills large companies hire entire departments to do, while sex workers can earn the same profit margins, while doing it all on their own.
The fact here is that models all over the world have built legitimate six and seven figure corporations around sex work and it should at no point be perceived as easy. It is important to note that like in any other business, the spirit of an aggressive entrepreneur's mindset is essential to succeed.
Myth #2 - Sex Workers Can’t Fall in Love (and have normal relationships)
Sex work is viewed with so much stigma that some people have normalized viewing it as something else different than what it is - just work. Sex workers typically have a business persona, which could be similar to their own personality or a complete alter ego. This persona is a business uniform of sorts that is put on during work hours, and taken off during their downtime. This uniform is typically not ‘worn’ for loved ones, or at least not lived in 24hrs a day.
What needs to be clear is that sex and sexuality is as personal as love is. And yes, sex workers can be in love and in real romantic partnerships unaffected by their choice in career.
Partners of pornstars, camgirls and escorts understand that sex work is just work. Every person in the workforce is using some form of capital and trading it along with their time, for money. A scientist uses intellectual capital and trades their time. An foot ball players uses their athletic capital and time. A sex worker uses their pysical captial and time, so why society looks at it any differently is beyond me. The bottom line is we all go to work and expect compensation for our time and skills.
I think that love and commitment is a matter of the individuals involved and their ability to communicate and respect each other, not their profession. That being said, not everyone is cut out to be a partner of a sex worker. Just like not everyone is cut out to be the partner of a politician, athlete etc.
Myth #3 - Sex Work is Always All About Sex
No, sex work is not all about sex, all of the time.
To many people sex is intercouse and penetration. But sex is diverse. It exists on a spectrum, and so does sex work. It would be a huge misconception to assume that sex work is just limited to physical in-person contact and penetration. Actually, to limit yourself to that idea of sexuality is such a tragedy to me.
Sex is about sound and visuals. Sex is about stimulation, imagination, and expression. It is more about making an emotional and mental connection and much less about physical contact. Sex work eplores many of those same stimuli either in person or from behind a screen online.
It is important to note that intercourse is part of in-person sex work but not the only thing at play. Also when you extend this idea to online sex work, where the performer is providing an experiance and a fantasy, that idea becomes even more complex. Because although the online performer isn’t providing actual sex to a client, they are providing erotica for the purpose of pleasure and ‘gratification’, which is hard to seperate from how you’d define sex.
Online sex work spans such a vast space that defining that on its own could take an entire blog. Just webcam for example, can span a spectrum. I know camgirls who build elaborate sets and choreograph shows and perform what I believe can only be described as living art. Other camgirls build a community and log onto livestream to play online poker with fans and have never removed a single piece of clothing. Both of the models I’m describing above earn at least $20,000+ a month online. (I'd actually estimate it closer to the $50k-$100k range but I’m being coservative). However neither of them exchange sex for money, and one doesn’t even involve nudity in her business model.
Strippers are the pinnacle of grace, body and art. They fascinate us by defying gravity while allowing us to be visually stimulated by their performance.
Phone sex operators are a master of imagination and creativity. They’re essentially improv artists writing non-fiction erotic stories on demand. Could you imagine being able to do such a thing?
To really understand the intricacies of sex work, one must open up their minds to what is beyond obvious. Think harder about what it means to be a sex worker. Put yourself in their shoes, and consider what it really takes.
So, What is it Like Being a Sex Worker?
We all know that sex sells but what is it like to get involved and actualy make that money? It takes being open minded. It takes thinking independently. It takes integrity and confidence in one's own inner voice and business sense to do the thing society keeps outside its norms.
For me as a person, I know the marvelous things my body can do, and with every new limit or discovery or experience, my love for it grows. My body is the product I sell, while my mind is the service. So I invest in my business wisely. I take care of myself by resting, eating healthy, exercising, and meditating. I am also conscious of who I’m surrounding myself with. My inner circle is what I describe as “No men'', which I define as the opposite of a ‘yes man’. It’s a support system who have opinions you value and trust, and who are validated in their ability to tell you NO when they think you’re making a bad business decision. I’ve also stacked my collective support system of ‘no men’ to be majority women. Because they understand the way stigma effects my business and life in the way society views me as a sex worker in present day. I would suggest other niche sex workers stack their support system with people who will understand them in that way as well.
In my career I meet a lot of personalities. When you engage and interact with people, you recognize the diversity of life and understand what you can handle and what is beyond you. But above all I know that it's important to have a clear mind to productively work and deliver quality service.
I am aware of myself. I face each day with one goal; to be a better version of who I was yesterday. Some days I reach my goal, other days I close my eyes and forgive myself for falling short.
All of that being said, at the end of the day sex work is fun! You get to travel, meet the most incredible and open minded people and learn about the world and yourself.
I can truly say it's the business of pleasure.
Are You Ready To Take the Leap and Start Your Journey as a Sex Worker?
I'm so glad that I never allowed my fears about sex work and the stereotypes get in the way of my career. Whatever direction you decide to take with your life, there is immense freedom in doing what you love! As a person, my profession has led me into being more aware of both myself and my surroundings, and exploring not just my body but my entire life in ways I could never have imagined!
For you, I hope these myths and misconceptions are now out of your way in making the leap into this amazing industry. The truth is that when you tap into your potential and get started, you're quite literally the architect of your own destiny.
However, just like any other industry, the first step is the most crucial and that step is believing in yourself. You need to establish your boundaries and set clear goals. Quickly after that you’ll learn the value of your time and ultimately relish the freedom of being your own boss. I hope you do, and I hope you live a life you’ve previously only dreamed of. I wish everyone reading this experiences the positive changes that I have, by being a part of this incredible place. You deserve it. Every single blissful moment. If you’ve had a positive sex work experiance please share it in the comments so other readers on the fence can read your stories. Media always portrays our industry with such dark tones, when it really can be the most beautiful and colorful place.
All the love in the world.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blog post above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SexWorkCEO or MelRose Michaels. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.