Prostitution is a profession unlike any other. It’s considered the oldest one out there, and it carries with itself certain connotations. With how stigmatised it is, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are plenty of myths about prostitution. Some of these myths are more damaging than others, but they’re all equally prevalent in today’s world—Even in Australia.
It brings in a lot of money
Prostitution is a great example of a profession that isn’t quite as it seems, especially when it comes to the financial incentives. You might think an escort in Paris would be making a pretty penny. It’s considered a lucrative line of work, even though statistics say otherwise. A great majority of sex workers don’t have the necessary finances to purchase their own car or apartment.
While there are high potential earnings for prostitutes, most of them are taken by the pimps, who act as enforcers and go-betweens. As a result, many sex workers choose to work independently, though this comes with some major downsides as well. Organised institutions, such as brothels, may provide better benefits in countries where the profession is legal, as is the case in Australia.
Advertising websites are safer
The internet provides a wide range of marketing and business opportunities for many lines of work, and prostitution is no different. However, unlike in most lines of work, sex workers need to be extra careful when it comes to picking their clients. It’s a dangerous profession with incredibly high violence and mortality rates, which means screening is a life-or-death situation.
You might think that using a prostitution advertising website for this purpose can help with screening, but that’s rarely the case. These shady websites don’t require users to register with relevant, identifiable information, which means they don’t actually do any screening. Users can enter untraceable information and avoid identifying themselves with ease. Instead of keeping women safe, these websites can actually make it easier for pimps and traffickers to exploit them.
Johns are all single, lonely men
One of the most prevalent myths about prostitution is that it caters to single, lonely men. Research shows that this isn’t the case, though. A large percentage of Johns are in committed relationships, and they visit sex workers without their partner’s knowledge.
Of course, there are also single Johns that visit sex workers, and many of them simply avoid regular relationships for one reason or another. Some are too lazy to seek out and form standard relationships and use sex workers for an easy path to sexual pleasure.
Legalisation makes prostitution safe
Legalisation has always been touted as one of the most important issues facing sex work. It has an enormous impact on the safety of the women involved, and it is believed that it would reduce stigma for the profession. However, in practice, this is rarely the case. Simply legalising the profession doesn’t make it safer on its own.
This can be seen in violence statistics for sex workers even in states like Victoria and NSW, where prostitution is decriminalised. Safety is not guaranteed for sex workers, especially if they work independently. Sex workers operating from some of the more reputable Sydney brothels can expect better treatment and security, as these institutions aim to protect their employees. However, smaller institutions may trend towards exploitation, and pimps are a major issue even with full legalisation. Without proper regulation, sex worker safety isn’t achieved.
Legalisation decreases stigma
As prostitution is illegal in many parts of the world, it should come as no surprise that it is also stigmatised. For obvious reasons, the stigma isn’t necessarily connected to the lack of legal avenues for sex workers. There is a social element that also contributes to the stigmatisation of prostitution. Whether they’re escorts in CT or work independently in Melbourne, they can expect to be judged by their peers.
While legalisation may come with its benefits, improving stigma is not one of them. Even some of the high-end brothels seek to minimise the exposure of their workers, as the women often face discrimination and vulgarity if they are recognised.
There are numerous pervasive myths surrounding prostitution, especially due to its sensitive nature and connection to crime. Even as it receives increased regulatory recognition and legalization, it’s still an incredibly dangerous and taxing line of work. Getting rid of the pervasive myths is crucial for improving the safety of sex workers everywhere.