Whenever I hear people bring up the morality of sex work, I always think about the double standard we have toward sex work versus other kinds of labor. Unless we were born wealthy, we all do things we wouldn’t otherwise do for money. This is the nature of capitalism — everyone has to make money in order to survive.

People who work for oil companies are directly complicit in actively destroying the environment for future generations, so why is it that most of us don’t think of that as a moral outrage, but we get worked up about people who sell (or buy) sex? Is it because sex work is something that tends to be associated with women, gender non-conforming people, and queer people?

Personally, I believe that all people should be liberated from the capitalist demand that we sell our labor for survival. People lived just fine on every corner of the globe for many centuries before capitalism, and the myth that capitalism makes our lives easier or better is getting more threadbare by the minute.

Artist and historian. PhD student researching religion, material culture, media, and politics. Bylines at The Wire Magazine, Art in America + more.

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