For instance, when sex work is portrayed in media, it often smooths over the more arbitrary details of the job, which I think creates a different reality - sex work is not always luxurious, or exciting, or profitable.
A look inside Australia's growing 'feminist porn' scene A new wave of feminist porn, created from the female point of view, is empowering men and women by highlighting diverse sexualities and bodies. Social perceptions surrounding the world of escorting are, perhaps, fuelled by pop culture and media portrayals of the industry. The hugely popular Netflix series You, Me, Her is one of the latest in a long string of shows based around the work of escorting.
Joining series such as The Girlfriend Experience, Secret Diary of a Callgirl, and Satisfaction; You, Me, Her takes on the escorting industry in broad strokes, eliminating much of the reality of the sex work involved.
The Canadian series focuses around the polyamorous relationship of married couple, Emma and Jack Trakarsky; and a year-old college student and part-time escort, Izzy.
Instead of having a night of sex, they engage in hours of deep conversation. Sex, it seems from this show, is an optional part of the escort gig. Not fall in love.
But, as she points out, this is almost always followed by the expectation of sex. Given the transient and often secretive nature of the industry, there are no official statistics on the demographic of Australian sex workers. However, Scarlet Alliance the Australian Sex Workers Association estimates there are roughly 20, sex workers at any given time in Australia.
Despite popular representations of escorts being young, white, and female; Kim says that it is far more diversified across both ethnicity and gender. Valentine, who is of Middle Eastern and Asian descent, says popular notions of what an escort might look like are often whitewashed. She explains that many women of non-Caucasian background who are involved in sex work are rarely portrayed with the same sense of glamour, or power, or prestige on television as Caucasian women.
They are invariably portrayed as trapped, forced to work in the industry under duress. Sex slaves, not escorts in control of their own destinies. On the contrary, Valentine says that her experience has been one of safety and respect - conditions that not all sex workers have access to. I would be lying if I said that the financial side was not a large aspect in the benefits on the work.
I would not work as a sex worker for free, but then, the majority of people would never work for free. Turn and look behind you and think - you have to have sex with this man. For those workers that are familiar with the internet, work-arounds will be inconvenient but not impossible.
However, Ms Lucas said she was concerned for more vulnerable sex workers who might have less time and resources to invest in their online safety. It's not simply that client communication may be inaccessible; there are also online forums, group messages and email lists where health and safety information about bad clients is shared.
Ultimately, Ms Lucas warned the laws might not only impact sites that are explicitly focused on sex work. To prepare for the bill's potential impact, advocacy groups like SWOP NSW and the Scarlet Alliance have held information sessions, teaching locals about encryption and even cryptocurrency.
On classifieds sites like Backpage, Mr Cox pointed out, you couldn't use most major credit cards to buy advertising, but new technologies like bitcoin were a solution. An online community of sex workers is also helping to ensure everyone's technology knowledge is up-to-date.
Sex workers are also turning to encrypted email services like ProtonMail, but another option is to control the platform outright. Ms Hunt is part of a group of developers called Assembly Four.
They have begun work on a new social platform called Switter, which is purpose-built for sex workers. When approached for comment, Google pointed to a statement from its trade organisation, the Internet Association, which said it was committed to ending trafficking online.
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