Fingers crossed – and here’s hoping it doesn’t turn out to be a complete stitch up. A call from a Radio City producer earlier this week and hey presto! yours truly is chatting to Radio City DJ Pete Price. The subject? Sex work: i trust it was my expertise and not my experience they were hoping for!
Most of it was pretty easy. Pete was a thoroughly nice person and not – as far as i could tell – looking to trip me up. Easy stuff first. What did i think about sex work and initiatives by government to deal with it? The answer, as i have written at length here, is simple. Its not an ideal career choice. But its no worse than some.
So long as those doing it do so from their own free choice, they should be entitled to (and other adults should be entitled to buy their services). I have no truck with the old New Labour view that sex work is always and everywhere a crime of violence against women.
It may be. It isn’t always.
For those stuck in sex work and wanting to get out, there should be sensible help. Not the punitive stuff that (again) the last government pushed. Many of their measures had exactly the opposite effect to that intended. Preventing women from using newspaper small ads made it harder to work alone and pushed individuals into the arms of organised networks.
At the same time, moralising and legislation around seizing “proceeds of crime” has led police to go after working women even when they have sought protection. That saves no-one, makes life more dangerous for all. But it appeals to a certain sort of narrow morality.
Difficult questions? Was there a problem with trans sex workers “deceiving” their clients. Not sure i’ve come across that – and it has always struck me as more urban myth than real happening. pre-op it is just stupid: your deception is not exactly going to survive for two minutes.
post-op is slightly more complex. If you identify as female, then to all intents and purposes, you are – and for most punters that should not be an issue.
What about sex addicts? Was there a problem? Why did some people get addicted to prostitutes? Odd one that, and again, maybe urban myth.
There’s a lot of stuff doing the rounds right now about high profile celebs being admitted to clinics for sex addiction. However, i chatted to a friend at the International Union of Sex Workers before i went on last night. She thought it wasn’t an issue: and nor is it referenced in the work of Teela Sanders, who has published widely – is probably the UK expert – on the issue of client motivation.
Do i believe such a thing exists? Oh, probably – but also, probably, far less than it is diagnosed. It feels, after all, a very convenient diagnosis for those who have difficulties with monogamy – though i am also aware that the “experts” behind the US Diagnostic Standards Manual are at this moment working up a definition for sex addiction.
Given how brilliant has been their past work on homosexuality and transsexualism i am inclined to suggest that anything the APA pronounces on is bound to reek of charlatanry anyway. We shall see.
And last, but by no means least puzzling: why do i write about sex, sexuality and relationships. How strange? Is there a deep answer? Or is it simply the obvious one? That i am a curious girl, with an incurable nosiness about what people get up to “in flagrante”.
I have seen a great deal over the years, participated in little. Is that the definition of a journalist? Or a closet voyeur?
Too, there is the small fact that i love dealing with people, relationships and the emotions that go with them. And if i can help others by explaining something that may seem a little risqué in words that are plain and non-sensationalist, i am happy.
On the whole, a nice man and a very nice interview. If it goes online, i will put up a link to it.