Despite how stigmatised the profession is in modern society, sex work has been around for ages. In fact, it plays a major role in modern society despite the profession being looked down upon by general society.
Since sex work is criminalised in some form in most places in the world, it’s hard to gauge the economic impact of the industry. After all, this isn’t an industry where people generally release tax statements and issue official receipts.
However, sex work’s and the escort’s impact on society is massive. Not only do they promote independence and break stigmas, but the industry may actually have a positive effect on loneliness.
- The history of sex work: The oldest profession in the world?
- Society’s current view on sex work and its impact
- The role escorts play in an open society
- Is sex work harmful to society?
- The takeaway
Below, we look at the role escorts have played historically, where the industry is now, and whether or not sex work is actually harmful to society.
Let’s dive in!
The history of sex work: The oldest profession in the world?
Sex work isn’t officially the world’s oldest profession. However, it’s a common term used to describe sex work because people have been accepting money to spend time with people for ages. There have been recorded instances of sex work in just about any culture, from the Japanese Endo period all the way to Ancient Greece and Rome.
While modern society doesn’t place sex workers and escorts in the best light, it wasn’t always like this. In the past, escorts and prostitutes were treated like any other member of society, working hard to get by.
In fact, prostitution wasn’t even looked down on in the Middle Ages. During this period in Europe, the Catholic Church believed that all sexual conduct outside of marriage was a sin. However, prostitution wasn’t looked down on because it was believed that prostitution helped lessen the chances of graver sins and crimes such as rape, sodomy, and masturbation.
That said, laws around sex work began to harden in the 16th and 17th centuries. At the time, more and more societies were criminalising sex work, making it illegal and shifting society’s views on the industry. As a result, sex work is now looked down upon by most of society.
Society’s current view on sex work and its impact
Currently, sex work is criminalised in many countries around the world. However, the laws around prostitution are quite complicated.
In the past, sex work was flat-out illegal in the UK. It was a crime for people to receive or give money in exchange for sexual services. This put an unfair target on escorts worldwide, making it hard for them to go throughout their day normally.
So, to adjust, the UK made the act of prostitution, which is defined as hiring someone in exchange for sexual services, decriminalised. This means it’s no longer a crime for a person to hire an escort or for escorts to offer their services.
However, the UK has also criminalised several activities around sex work, making it harder for escorts to advertise and promote their services. These activities include soliciting in public, kerb-crawling, or owning and managing a brothel.
These laws, on top of society’s negative view of sex work, greatly impact how escorts go through their day.
To start, many people view sex work as something bad or immoral. This could be due to prejudices that have existed in society for many years, how we teach the younger generation about sex work, and many other factors.
This makes it hard for sex workers and escorts to live their lives in peace. Instead, they have to keep their work life separate from their personal lives, usually going to extreme extents to ensure these two lives remain separate.
But while the general views on sex work haven’t been kind to sex workers, there’s some hope that things will change in the coming years. Current data shows that many Britons are keen on decriminalising sex work. This protects escorts and professionals already working in a dangerous industry and can also help establish standards to ensure that escorts conduct their jobs safely and properly.
That said, the question remains: Will decriminalising sex work positively impact society?
Well, that’s hard to say, as only time will tell what decriminalising sex work will do for society. However, we can estimate what role escorts may play in a more open society, which we’ll dive into in the next section.
The role escorts play in an open society
Escorts are empowered individuals in an open society. If decriminalised, sex work could be a very profitable industry that people may enter safely. However, reaching this point will take a lot of work as not only do we need to change our laws around sex work, but we also need to work collectively to change society’s views on the industry.
To better understand why we should work toward these changes, here are a few ways escorts can positively impact society:
To start, escorts in an open society may actually promote independence. Currently, most people in the industry don’t have that many other options than sex work. Many escorts struggle with poverty and destitution, which is why they go into this profession. That said, others pursue the profession to explore and express their sexuality.
If people can freely choose sex work as their profession without worrying about legal repercussions, they will be more empowered to choose their own path. Not everyone has to follow the standard path in life, and decriminalising sex work can open up that alternative path to those who need it.
Loneliness is a major problem in modern society. However, sex workers actually play a role in helping those who feel lonely. Some individuals would much rather pay for a person’s company to fulfil social and sexual needs, which is another way sex workers impact society.
Fulfilling social obligations
We all have dues to pay in the form of bills, people we support, and personal expenses. Sex workers fulfil their role in society by earning a living by offering sexual services. Many escorts in the field use their income to support families, which is another major way the sex industry impacts overall society.
Is sex work harmful to society?
Sex work on its own isn’t harmful to society. There is nothing inherently harmful to sex work. However, society’s views on the industry, along with the current laws in place, create a dangerous environment for sex workers.
With no safety rules and barriers in place, sex workers are constantly put in high-risk situations that could be avoided by changing our views on sex work as a society.
Escorts play a definite role in society despite the profession being so stigmatised. This is why everyone needs to put in an effort to change how we view sex work and sex workers. That way, people may hire escorts freely while escorts can take on clients knowing they have protections in place that keep themselves safe while going through the industry.