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They did what they felt they had to do to pay their bills. And no, that isn’t a rhetorical question.‘It just seemed so normal, like no big deal,” says Alisa, 21, one night at Nobu in Los Angeles, a place she’s been with her daddies.She’s talking about how she started sugaring when she was 18.(In broad terms, the drive for decriminalization says it will make the lives of sex workers safer, while the so-called abolitionist movement to end prostitution contends the opposite.)The piece elicited an outcry from some feminists, who charged that it minimized the voices of women who have been trafficked, exploited, or abused.Liesl Gerntholtz, an executive director at Human Rights Watch, characterized the prostitution debate as “the most contentious and divisive issue in today’s women’s movement.” “There’s a lot of fear among feminists of being seen on the wrong side of this topic,” says Natasha Walter, the British feminist author.
A growing number of young people are selling their bodies online to pay student loans, make the rent, or afford designer labels.
“I don’t understand how women standing up for legalizing sex work can’t see the ripple effect of taking this position will have on our idea of a woman’s place in the world.”A ripple effect may already be in motion, but it looks more like a wave.
A string of feminist-sex-worker narratives have been weaving through pop culture over the last few years, as typified by (2007–11), the British ITV2 series based on the memoir by the pseudonymous Belle de Jour. ” snaps the main character, Christine, played by Riley Keough, when her disapproving sister asks why she’s working as an escort.
“I’ve learned how to look like this, talk like this,” she says. She adds, “Their relationships are not my business.”She confesses she isn’t physically attracted to any of these men, but “what I’m looking for in this transaction is not sexual satisfaction. But I was held back because of the stigma if anyone finds out.”“What right does anyone have to judge you for anything you do with your body? The most surprising thing about Miranda’s story is how unsurprising it is to many of her peers.
“I work hard at being this,” meaning someone who can charge 0 an hour for sex. “Almost all of my friends do some sort of sex work,” says Katie, 23, a visual artist in New York. It’s almost trendy to say you do it—or that you would.”“It’s become like a thing people say when they can’t make their rent,” says Jenna, 22, a New York video-game designer.