What not to do in dating
Beyond having to put up with tedious misconceptions, research shows that the criminalized and stigmatized nature of the industry makes sex workers vulnerable to particular forms of intimate partner violence.
According to a by the World Health Organization on addressing violence against sex workers, the stigmatization of sex work may lead partners or family members to think it acceptable to use violence to “punish” a woman who has sex with other men.
When it comes to changing our culture around this issue, it’s up to all of us to address our own biases, which can have harmful consequences if left unchecked.
“I still dated,” she said, “but because I wasn’t honest it never went farther than casual dating.” Since coming out five years ago, Lily said that she’s dealt with partners becoming jealous and insecure.
One partner, she said, “was nice enough when we were together, but I always knew he hated my job.” When they broke up, Lily said that he accused her of cheating on him and Nearly ten years ago, when I was just getting out of sex work, my boyfriend used my status as a transitioning sex worker against me.
I say this because, too often—in a world that hates sex workers—we are simply not treated as people worth loving back.
Case in point: In July, a coolly composed Blac Chyna had posted personal information about his relationship with Chyna on his Instagram account, including sexually explicit images, and accused Chyna of cheating on him and using him for his fortune.
Our allies—feminists, in particular—have a role to play in shifting this whorephobic culture, first by acknowledging our experiences and then by doing better by us.