Sex work, as the saying goes, is the oldest profession in the world – but you wouldn’t know it from the way it’s being reported in the press now.
Student sex workers are currently the focus of the media frenzy, with Durham University – one of the oldest and most well-known institutions in the country – announcing the Safety training course To educate employees on how to support sex workers.
Of course, very few outlets bother asking undergraduate sex workers what they think of a course. but with appreciate 5 percent of college students are now involved in some type of sex act, so it is only right that they have the opportunity to share their side of the story.
Here’s what five current and former sex workers want you to know about their industry. Some of their names have been changed in order to protect their identities.
Jess Adams is a 23-year-old doctoral student working on sex to supplement her studies. She says there is still a huge stigma surrounding student sex workers and sex work in general. “I have a OnlyFans account, have experience being a sugar kid and currently work in a strip club as a VIP dancer,” she says. “In every area of sex work, I experienced the stigma surrounding it.
“My family knows nothing about this because of the stigma around sex work. Although I am sure they will eventually understand and accept me, I am afraid of losing those close to me. So I live in secrecy.”
Jess believes it is “absolutely necessary” to educate young people about the reality of sex work and that any effort to do so should be welcomed by universities.
“I have a double bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology with a focus on sex work and have also taken several self-defense classes to ensure my safety,” she says. “Anyone who cares about the safety of sex workers should — and everyone should — support the training provided.”
in 2018, Briefing the student by sex workers A publication by the National Student Union (NUS) showed that students use sex work to pay for living expenses, bills, food, rent, and other necessities such as clothes and books for education. Another motivating factor is the high cost of university tuition fees, which now exceed £9,000. The latest figures show graduates leaving the university with an average of £45,000 in student debt.
Lauren, 26, decided to fund her master’s degree by working in the sex field. She believes that unless greater measures are taken to support students in higher education, more will turn to sex work as a means of income generation.
“I didn’t want to pursue a career in my undergraduate degree, so while traveling I started having sex in order to save money to fund a second degree because I didn’t want to burden myself with more debt,” she explains. . “I used to have full-time sex work in the lead up to starting my master’s program, and now I do it occasionally to support my savings when I have the time, which it rarely is!”
Lauren charges £400 an hour for her services and makes an average of £2000 a month on sex, which she uses to cover rent and living costs during her university studies.
“I had to do at least ten hours of normal work to do what I could do in one hour of sex work,” she says, adding, “I’m basically doing sex work so I can stop sex work.”
Margot, a 26-year-old sex worker who describes her job as an “elite buddy,” is also finishing a master’s degree. You find the assumption that women become sex workers because they “have no other choice” to be incredibly offensive.
“Personally, I’d rather have a nice meal and enjoy an evening of sex for £2,000 than work in a coffee shop all day for £100 with no option to leave because I’m so broke,” she says. “We need to stop the idea that women are just doing it because they have no other choice. He says women are too stupid to make the right decisions for themselves.
The idea that people shouldn’t do anything they don’t want for money is a business issue, not a sex work issue. I honestly love sex and I’m great at it.”
Like Margot, a student nurse and out of order Cam girl Gabriella Matthews, 31, found sex work a positive experience — particularly as she needed to juggle college work with parenting duties.
“Camming is really flexible so I can work on my schedule – as a single mom striving to become a nurse, that’s huge,” she says. “It really empowered me; I have never been more confident in myself. I wish I had discovered this in my twenties, before I had so many obligations. Who knows how much money I could have made!”
27-year-old Audrey has been involved in full service sex work – having sex with her clients – for the past three years. She believes that more universities should take greater measures to protect the safety of student sex workers.
“I know from personal experience that starting sex work can be isolating and dangerous, especially when you lack the advice, experience, and resources to keep you safe when doing so,” she says. “The Student Sex Worker Toolkit is a harm reduction tool. It acknowledges the presence of students who have sex while at university and offers them resources and advice on how to work in a safer way.”
Audrey was particularly shocked by the recent media coverage surrounding Durham University, such as newspapers times Claiming that safety training will actively encourage students to enter the “hazardous industry”.
“Sex workers’ stories and erotica are often misrepresented, often to the detriment of the sex workers themselves,” she argues. “The way this resource has been reported on tracks with how sex work is reported in general.
“Depriving students of access to basic safety tools and advice will not prevent students from entering the realm of sex work, it will only increase the likelihood of putting themselves in dangerous situations.”
A 2016 study by NUS found that 85 percent of students who engage in sex work feel this way not supported from their university, citing information about sex worker rights as one of the main areas in which they need help
patriotic ugly mugs It is a UK charity that works with sex workers to research, design and deliver safety tools and support services to people in adult industries. They believe that students who engage in sex work have a right to safety and protection, and that more universities should try to understand the physical conditions that drive people to have sex.
A spokesperson said: “The response to training students for sex work in Durham is another example of the ways in which the media can maliciously or carelessly misrepresent information in ways that harm sex workers.
“Every student deserves to have an environment at the university where they are safe, supported and able to learn. The toolkit was produced by the sex workers based on their experiences and needs.
“It is critical that students have a safe, understanding, and respectful person to go to when facing difficulties, who can direct them to the appropriate resources and who will never be traumatized again or hurt them further.”