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Consent and Autonomy As A Sex Worker

Sex Ed

Consent and Autonomy As A Sex Worker

I believe sex work is a valid form of physical and emotional labour, and is inherently feminist. People from every walk of life are drawn to sex work for all different reasons. Some do it out of the luxury of privilege, some because it’s the form of labour that best suits them at this point in their life and some strictly out of survival because it is all they can do. However, it is important to remember that under the current system, all work is survivalist work as we all must trade our time and labour for currency.

Constant Challenges To Sex Workers

Physical safety in regards to client interaction is obviously an issue as well as obtaining safe working conditions at spas, dungeons or escort agencies since we lack unions and the ability to organize for a safe and sanitary working environment. In countries where full criminalization is in place, it is impossible to seek help from law enforcement if you’re assaulted as you are subjected to arrest for your occupation.

Is Consent Still An Issue?

Absolutely and I’m afraid it will until people understand that consent is not a matter of gaining all access clearance from one word or action but an ongoing subject between two people that requires constant checking in. Just because you pay someone for sex does not give you the right to do whatever you want to a person. Consent can be revoked at any time, and as one of my favourite saying goes, “a hoe CAN say no.”

How Sex Workers Set Their Boundaries & Rules

There exists, a wide variety of ways to go about establishing boundaries with clients, no way is right or wrong, some just work better for that particular provider, or with different clients. Some assert them verbally with clients before the session; others choose to navigate them more fluidly during the session.

Some providers prefer to take a very black and white approach and have their boundaries and restrictions in their advertisement or websites which is why laws such as SESTA/FOSTA which prohibit online soliciting, only serve to put sex workers in further danger by prohibiting us from freely expressing what services we do and do not offer.

Misconceptions About Autonomy 

We’re heavily stigmatized individuals who are often devalued in worth as partners, parents, friends, and in other professions, simply due to choosing to participate in the sex trade industry. It is a common misconception that we are uneducated, party heavily, have no money management skills and can’t have a spouse because of our work. This is just simply untrue.

We’re juggling other jobs, navigating going to university, raising families, we’re everywhere, at your gym, in line behind you at grocery stores, next to you on public transit. We are normal people just like you trying to live happily and survive.

What Can Be Done To Remove Such Misconceptions?

While not an option for everyone, being out as a sex worker helps to normalize our work and allows people to see us for the multifaceted human beings that we are. It is one thing to regard sex work as a legitimate form of work, it is an entirely different thing to be able to see the whole person behind the sex worker and not objectify them.

Recently, I facilitated a workshop on deconstructing whorephobia and understanding autonomy and consent in the personal lives of sex workers outside of their work. I believe it’s everyone’s job to educate themselves on how to properly interact with sex workers in everyday life and the burden of labour should never be on the marginalized community.


Bree Daniels – Toronto based companion, Dominatrix and content creator. They are a profound lover of cats, nature, punk and metal, martial arts and do not have time for your shit.

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Article images from Bree Daniels, featured image from Shutterstock

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Bree Daniels

Bree Daniels is a Toronto based companion, Dominatrix and content creator. They are a profound lover of cats, nature, punk and metal, martial arts and do not have time for your shit.

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