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Sex work as a term covers a broad range of sexual labor, including jobs like camming, stripping, phone sex, and prostitution to name a few. Some forms of sexual labor are regulated, others are criminalized. Pornography and stripping are regulated in the US, with states setting rules about things like working conditions, zoning, and obscenity standards. The direct exchange of sex for anything of value, i.e. prostitution, is the type of sexual labor that tends to be criminalized. Our most urgent focus is to decriminalize all forms of consensual sexual labor.

In order to exercise our fundamental right to sexual freedom, we must have bodily autonomy: the ability to decide how we use our bodies. This includes deciding with whom we want to have sex, and whether ro not we want to exchange anything for sex.

We also have the fundamental human right to choose our work, and in combination with the rights to personal autonomy and sexual freedom, this means that sex work should not be criminalized. Restricting, punishing, and criminalizing sex work is, at its core, about controlling our bodies and reducing our ability to participate in labor of our choosing, to access pleasure, and to express ourselves sexually. Such restrictions erode our freedom to make choices about our bodies, lives, and livelihoods.

Sex workers deserve respect, care, safety, and protection. Decriminalizing sex work is an integral step in assuring that sex workers have that support.

Sex work is interconncted with various human rights, including the right to health, the right to safety, the right to privacy, the right to choose our work and be paid fairly, and the right to personal autonomy.


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