It's easy to paint sex workers with a broad brush. But like workers in other industries, they are made up of a diverse group of people who go into the business for different reasons. Sexual slavery and sexual trafficking are huge and pervasive problems within the industry, and sex workers are more vulnerable to violence than the average person — partly due to the criminalization of their work that makes them fearful of retribution and dismissal from law enforcement — but the complexity of the sex industry is such that it's impossible to label it totally harmful or totally harmless. Many, many people are forced into it, and many chose to do it of their own will.
The decriminalization of sex work is an ongoing international debate that has ardent supporters and detractors on either side. Last year, international human rights group Amnesty International made the groundbreaking decision to advocate for the decriminalization of consensual adult sex — sex without coercion, exploitation or abuse.
Particularly to the general public, sex work comes with negative connotations. Because of the taboo nature of sex itself, many people don't see sex workers as multifaceted, complex humans with thoughts and feelings like the rest of us.
So BuzzFeed decided to point the camera towards three sex workers to let them explain that yes, they are sex workers — but they're also so much more than that.
Watch the video here: