Sex industry myths refuted

Rebecca Davies challenges the perceptions that the sex industry and its workers are some kind of threat to public health. In fact, when it comes to safer sex they are the experts.
Rebecca Davies challenges the perceptions that the sex industry and its workers are some kind of threat to public health. In fact, when it comes to safer sex they are the experts.

Rebecca Davies is a sex-worker with more than seven years’ experience in the industry and said there were many myths surrounding those working in her industry.

‘One of these myths is that sex workers are ‘vectors of disease,’ and some kind of threat to public health and therefore require mandatory testing,’ she said

‘Research shows that sex workers, in Australia, have lower rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) than the general population,

‘This is because our bodies are our business. Peer education is health promotion among peers, i.e. sex workers educate each other in a two-way exchange of information on best health, safety and work practices.’

She also explained how they check their clients before commencing work.

‘If someone is presenting with visible symptoms, they are encouraged to visit a doctor. Sex-workers often teach their clients how to correctly use safer sex supplies, like condoms, and we teach our clients that condoms should also be used for oral sex, something that is not widely practised among the general populous.’

The sex-work explained how independent investigation into the Perth sex industry found that condom use at work approached 100 per cent, where comparatively other studies have shown non-sex workers use condoms about 30 per cent of the time.

‘It is a crime in WA to knowingly infect another person with an STI, which applies to everybody.

‘In a free country we let our adult citizens make their own choices regarding their health and their bodies- and this needs to include sex-workers. When people begin suggesting mandatory sexual health screenings for sex-workers it shows a stigmatised uninformed viewpoint because all the evidence shows the same thing ” when it comes to safer sex, sex-workers are the experts.’

– Rebecca Davies works with People for Sex Worker Rights in WA.