For those of us who know, Sex Work is a higher calling. It is a profession worthy of respect. It is a profession that requires time, apprenticeship and training, and where skill and experience make you better at it. It is also a profession where power dynamics and deep emotions are at play, where misuse and abuse can result in harm.
Accountant, Lawyer, Doctor, Therapist, Analyst, Priest. Every one of these professions invite respect. Every one of them requires specialised study. Every one of them has professional bodies, formalised accreditation, that is designed to advertise expertise, skill, and respect. Sex Work is no different. In fact, like Doctors and Therapists, it has the potential to offer healing, and like Priests, it can address the spiritual condition.
The default is to think of a sex worker as a whore, as that thought reinforces the patriarchy. The idea of a woman who uses her sex and sexuality for economic empowerment, and that a man could need that enough to want to pay for it, shakes the foundations of the patriarchy to the core. That is why the profession is stigmatized and the people in it are victimized and discriminated against. Sex and sexuality are only kept down because of shame. Formalised education in Sex Work would remove the shame.
In all seriousness, I would love to see formally accredited degree programs in Sex Work. First of all, there is plenty to study.
- Human Sexuality
- Sex as Therapy
- Health, disease, hygiene
The many branches offer so many useful branches of study
- How to do electro-play safely
- Bondage, how to do it safely and effectively
- Role playing and improvisation
- Leaving judgement at the door
- The importance of safe words and consent
- Content production
- Online branding
Really, the variations that could lead to coursework is endless.
Today, a sex worker is very often forced to learn on her/his own, which is dangerous for the Sex Worker and dangerous for the client. Apprenticeships can happen through the house system, but this is not formally recognised and is going to be haphazard. Your training will only ever be as good as the people in your house.
I can see only good things coming from this. Sex Workers being able to study formally towards a degree in Sex Work could do so without stigma or fear of violence and exploitation. The consumer would have a more solid reference point when seeking out someone’s services for the first time. The standard and level of professionalism would increase.
While the world I play in most actively is D/s, and I can see the benefits apply clearly, why would it be any different in the world of escorts, or any other group? Speaking personally, the D/ relationship gives to the /s in many ways…
- Spiritual release and a connectedness to something bigger than oneself, outside oneself
- Therapy…dealing with past trauma, being able to surface issues and struggles in a non-judgmental environment…which engages the healing process
- Discipline about daily life outside of kink…that the lessons learned in session guide my life outside of session
I know that my D/s life has helped me grow hugely as a person. While the dynamic in D/s is between two people, my gratitude towards the people who have taken me under their wing and taught me, and cared for me, and guided me, and led me, and helped me to express myself, have given me a gift that is far greater than money. And this is true of all of my interactions from the online Nigerian catfish to the high-priced in-person experience architect. Maybe I am lucky.
I cannot help but think that the whole world of Sex Work would be better for all with a degree. The respect the profession is due would be much clearer for all. The risks and stigma that are attached to it today would be seriously reduced. Safety would become much more front and centre.
Do you agree? Is this a Masters programme? Bachelors? How do you make it accessible? Could such a thing be done through a charitable education trust?