A li’l respect: Happy Sex Workers Rights Day

Here’s how I spent International Sex Worker’s Right Day (which was begun by the Indian sex workers powerhouse org DMSC): I stood in the kitchen of this upper-middle class home on the south island of New Zealand where I’ve come to kayak and hike and beach, talking with the parents of my friend R. His stepmom and dad are both counsellors and for the first time in my whoring career, a couple of bougie professionals simply treated me as someone with a job. We talked about sliding scale fees and skills development, about boundaries between client and service provider while munching on grapes from their little organic garden (of course).

As I walked out of the kitchen, I casually made a whore joke (about how I still practice therapy, only now it comes with a happy ending). Stepmom added: “yes, except now you get paid better!” and we all chuckled.

Remember I was talking to my friend’s parents. This was certainly a first, especially with class-privileged white folks since privilege and prejudice tend to go together.

Welcome to New Zealand, home of full decriminalization. It’s amazing what basic human rights can do.

So love and respect on this day to the sex workers of New Zealand (like Georgina Beyer and Catherine Healy) who made this little moment of respect possible.

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