Wednesday, January 09, 2008

You're selling yourself!

How many times have you heard this in relation to sex work (porn, stripping, prostitution, etc.)?

And you know, I've even seen through it, in past discussions, but I was still missing a piece of the puzzle. The part I recognized was, no, sex work is providing a service. You're not some slave (naturally we're talking about sex work voluntarily entered into and not the various sex trades that despicably still exist in our world). We don't look at non-nude models, or actresses, or waitresses for that matter, and say "omg you're selling yourSELF by using yourSELF to provide a service!" And that's not even getting started on the issue of this perspective reducing "self" to some very specific body parts and actions taken by those body parts, which is in of itself unbelievably maligning and offensive.

The piece I was missing however, I read today at Renegade Evolution:
When something is bought or sold, it implies ownership. You buy a car, you own it. You buy a pair of shoes, you own them...What ever other reasons or motivations rest behind a woman or mans decisions to get involved in sex work, be it stripping or erotic massage or porn or nude modeling or prostitution, they are not owned. They are not bought. They are not selling themselves. They are providing a service, which does not result in ownership.

That is it right there. There is no ownership. We use our bodies to provide many services, potentially, sexual services should be no different for those who wish to provide them. Honestly anything beyond recognizing the difference between willing and unwilling participants and working to make CERTAIN that all participants are willing, is making value judgments on other people (mostly women's) life choices. And as I've said before I'm not down with that.

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