Sarah Greenmore wants to set the record straight about legal sex work.
Having worked in Nevada brothels for over 18 months, Sarah has penned an eye-opening post for Independent, urging readers to educate themselves about the realities of her job.
She says these are the five biggest misconceptions about what she does.
1. That sex work is lazy and easy.
"I can describe my job many ways, but never as easy," Sarah writes, adding that most shifts she works exceed 12 hours.
A typical working day isn't filled up with sexual encounters, either. Sarah is also responsible for the running of four social media accounts, two email addresses, posting on industry message boards, scheduling clients, meeting and negotiating prices with customers, writing essays and cleaning.
"Sex work is a physically intimate therapy session for most of our clients," Sarah says, adding that many sessions require a heavy load of "emotional labour".
2. Sex workers spread STDs.
According to Sarah the stereotype that sex workers are inherently dirty is unfair and completely untrue.
"We use condoms for all of our services – including condoms for blow jobs and dental dams for cunnilingus," Sarah writes, adding that weekly STD checks are mandatory in the U.S. state.
3. Only creepy guys pay for sex.
"You'd be surprised at the range of people who walk through our doors," says Sarah, explaining that she's served everyone from middle-aged couples to young lawyers and men with Asperger Syndrome.
"We're also teachers, guiding our virgin clients through sex and intimacy for the first time. Our clients treat us with respect and adoration, and are as kind to us as we are to them."
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4. Sex workers are unhappy.
"We chose this job because it suits our needs financially and to some, a spiritual or sexual level, others, it's simply an income source and there's nothing wrong with that," she explained.
Sarah says the feeling of leaving a customer happy, "relaxed and relieved" can't be compared to any other job, adding: "Making people feel good about themselves brings me a profound sense of happiness."
5. Sex workers are broken, or drug dependent.
"The notion that my profession is a last resort for a broken, uneducated woman with a drug habit is a disservice to the range of people who choose to be sex workers. It's dehumanising," she says.
Despite loving her career path and leading a full life, violence and social stigma towards sex workers is thriving, writes Sarah.
"We need to bring sex work into the realm of decriminalisation or legalisation, and provide safety, social services and basic human rights to some of the most vulnerable in our society."
Have you worked in the sex industry? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.
Read Sarah's original article for Independent here.