The language of sex work – Escort, erotic masseuse, prostitute

Feema.net – As the UK’s faster and smarter way to find erotic massage and escort providers, we are keen to create the best resource for information on and around sex work in the UK. As part of that, we have looked at the language of sex work.

 

The Language of Sex Work

Sex work has its own jargon just as any industry has. In many industries these often impenetrable descriptions are used to separate and rank knowledge within an industry. However, in sex work, it’s somewhat different and wording has often developed due to oppression of the sector and individuals working within it.

The Term Sex Worker

What does mean and where did the term come from?

The term ‘Sex Worker’ has been organically adopted by people working in the industry themselves. It is used to describe anyone working in the erotic sector. Sex Worker can cover escorts, street walking prostitutes, strip club workers, erotic massage therapists and cam girls. It is not used, unlike Escort for example, as a term of self-promotion but merely as a descriptive term. The term sex worker has been adopted by governments and NGOs and most importantly by sex workers themselves.

This has begun in some jurisdictions to have a positive effect. As the unending conversation around legislating sex work has finally begun to include real examination of sex workers as being part of a nation’s economy. The implication of the term inarguably legitimises sex workers as workers. Therefore sex workers can be seen to be performing a service as any other professional.

For this reason, traditional opponents of sex workers often refuse to use the term and therefore stick to the more loaded and stigmatised ‘prostitute’.

This traditional mindset in terms of the language of sex work is well presented here on the New Statesmen. It complains of the overly broad definition of ‘Sex Worker’. At the same time, the article tries to reason that the term defines sex as work for women whilst as leisure for men. In reality the term clearly relates to men working in the erotic industry just as equally as it does to men.  


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