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“I work hard at being this,” meaning someone who can charge $700 an hour for sex. “Almost all of my friends do some sort of sex work,” says Katie, 23, a visual artist in New York. It’s almost trendy to say you do it—or that you would.”“It’s become like a thing people say when they can’t make their rent,” says Jenna, 22, a New York video-game designer.
As the debate over whether the United States should decriminalize sex work intensifies, prostitution has quietly gone mainstream among many young people, seen as a viable option in an impossible economy and legitimized by a wave of feminism that interprets sexualization as empowering.
On Tumblr, babies exchange tips on the best sugaring sites and how much to charge.
They post triumphant pictures of wads of cash, designer shoes, and bags.
“And it’s kind of a joke, but it’s also not because you actually . You just need a computer.”“Basically every gay dude I know is on Seeking Arrangement,” says Christopher, 23, a Los Angeles film editor.
“And there are so many rent boys,” or young gay men who find sex-work opportunities on sites like Rent Boy, which was busted and shut down in 2015 by Homeland Security for facilitating prostitution.
A growing number of young people are selling their bodies online to pay student loans, make the rent, or afford designer labels.
Is it just an unorthodox way to make ends meet or a new kind of exploitation? The waiter with the handlebar mustache encourages us to “participate in the small-plate culture.” Geraldine’s, the swank spot in Austin’s Hotel Van Zandt, is brimming with tech guys, some loudly talking about money. “I’m networking,” Miranda maintains, “learning things from older men who give me insights into the business world. I’ve learned so many soft skills that will help me in my career.“While in college,” she goes on, “I’ve had the ability to focus on developing myself because I’m not slaving away at a minimum-wage job.” asked the cover of in May—again apparently a rhetorical question, with an argument made for decriminalization that seemed to equate it with having “respect” for sex workers.(In broad terms, the drive for decriminalization says it will make the lives of sex workers safer, while the so-called abolitionist movement to end prostitution contends the opposite.)The piece elicited an outcry from some feminists, who charged that it minimized the voices of women who have been trafficked, exploited, or abused.The college student at our table recommends the ribs—she’s been here before, on “dates” with her “daddies.” “There are a lot of tech guys,” she says. I reject it when people say I’m oppressed by the patriarchy.“They want the girlfriend experience, without having to deal with an actual girlfriend.”“The girlfriend experience” is the term women in the sex trade use for a service involving more than just sex. People who make seven dollars an hour are oppressed by the patriarchy.”“She’s in control of the male gaze,” says another woman at the table, Erin, 22.“I thought about doing it,” says Kristen, 21, tentatively.Both shows feature graphic sex scenes that sometimes look like porn.“We talked a lot about agency” when conceiving , says producer Steven Soderbergh (who directed a movie of the same name in 2009), “and the idea that you have this young woman who is going into the workforce and ends up in the sex-work industry, where she feels she has more control and is respected more than she is at her day job,” at a law firm..