– #SexWorkSkills –

These tweets were made from different people, but they were all not just worked or concerned about sex work itself.

But also they made a series of argument on the skills of sex work, it began with Paloma Faith (a singer, quite like her “Can’t Rely on You” but..) made a tweet regarding women selling bodies made women looked very useless.

Immediately many women who worked in sex work or been active on advocate for sex worker’s rights, retorted her comment by starting a hashtag call #SexWorkSkills, pointing out the skills that were involved within sex work. According to Vannessa Knowles, she managed to put her knowledge from her law degree into practice of her work – it helped her protect herself in many levels. For example, negotiation with customers on prices.

Often it is easy to be mistaken for people in public to believe sex worker need no other skills than just lying on the bed and have sex, it might have been applicable for some cases. However as one can see from the tweets above , most of the sex workers found their jobs required a great deal of themselves, for example emotional labour where the workers worked their way to react rightly in set time and situations (Arlie Hochschild). According to Sophie Day’s 2007 work “On the Game” and Belle de Jour’s memoir (2005), sex workers – especially escorts need a lot of work to make sure their clients feel good and able to relax. From able to sexually satisfied the clients, to being able to provide emotional support the clients.

Beside the work with the clients, there were also a lot of work for sex workers to gain skills that other employments – for example self-promoting/branding, financial management and ability to scan people (to see if the client was dangerous or not). And so it goes, the job was not really that simple as many would think on the sex work, I have a strong feeling that many of us were misled in the rhetoric context – assuming sex work is just pure sex with money.

As a result we ought to learn to recognize that many sex work have great deal of complexity, and there were many skills being learnt through conducting sex work. This gave sex workers validation in the context of being classed as labour or self-employers, therefore they have every right to be protected in the same way that other types of workers being protected such as health and safety. Yet because of their work involved with sex and public’s misconception based on possibly case studies of people being actually exploited, the government seemed to feel that banning sex work was the only way to protect sex workers, which ended many sex workers lost their lives… This hashtag led us to recognize the necessity for public to understand and raise awareness on sex work from inside and out.

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