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Sex workers and mental health.
Not a scholarly article, musings of a mere mortal.
A common misconception is that sex workers have worse mental health than the next person. This is not true in my experience. The demographic of the sex worker counts to the general mental health just the same as the demographic of any other worker counts to their mental health. Logical.
A socially deprived person lacking in education and access to health and welfare services would be at higher risk of mental illness particularly if she/he had a high ACE score. A low ACE score, educated, socially enriched person with access to good healthcare and so forth is less likely to suffer with mental health issues.
The truth is we are not ‘more likely to be mentally unwell’, we are just as likely/unlikely as the next person.
Many of us enjoy our work – it is partly work and partly to pass time – we get to go out and about and most of our valued clients treat us with respect and love and become wonderful friends and acquaintances.
We help others a lot more, we talk through marriage issues, issues when a bereavement has happened. We do this with love as a friend, from a human perspective. We like to make others feel better and this helps us to feel good about ourselves too and feeds the lovely wheel of give and take in life. We help ourselves by helping others through.
Some of us have great careers and beautiful families and some of us are single free and love to travel far and wide, either way we too like to learn and be further enriched in life.
The main problem which haunts us as sex workers is the stigma attached to sex work. Are we all dirty horrible humans looking to squeeze others of their hard earned cash? Or are we providing a lovely service where there is demand for affection, love and companionship?
Will the world ever see that being a sex worker does not mean we have all been forced, raped or pillaged into a mental stupor which makes us sell our souls to the devil? Or do we respect our selves enough to take a donation for our time, effort and mental energy used to satisfy another person who maybe suffering their own battles no one sees?
Do we make sure that our mental health is tip-top by seeing a therapist? some of us do. We check ourselves regularly sexual health, mental health and physical health wise and we don’t usually get drunk and do drugs and go home with different fellas from the local town and have unprotected sex.
We are organised beings with enriched and varied lives who care about others and want to better ourselves through reflection and self awareness. We are merely waiting for society to catch up and see us as independent humans who do sex work. Like any profession there can be good and bad. Mentally well and mentally unwell.
Does sex work make me a bad person? Mentally ill?
I believe that this is sexism in the highest form.Keeping independent women from sex work with silly laws and senseless stigma. Some of these silly laws mean that we can’t work together legally to stay safe should we wish to. But we pay tax on our earnings and contribute to the country. Ludicrous.
In time I hope that the stigma around sex work is abolished and the next generation see sex workers as humans with rights. I hope that by noting my thoughts I am part of the solution, not the problem.
** I am no advocate for sex trafficking this is a different matter and an awful trauma for those affected and their families.
** I am an advocate for destigmatisation and human rights and trans rights & LGBT rights