Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Sugaring and sex work

A few years back, Briarpatch magazine did an interesting piece on sex workers working around the closure of online sites to connect with clients by American legislation, such as the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. One website that continued to function was “Seeking Arrangements”, which connected sex workers and clients in longer term arrangements (often called sugardaddying/babying).

One interesting aspect of the article is that it explores this form of sex work in the content of precarious work (or the gig economy), noting how the criminalization of sex work intensifies the exploitability of these workers. The framing of sugarbabying as “dating” is also used to reduce the income of these sex workers.
“I don’t know if this is a hot take or not, but sugar babies should just hook,” [said] … . “They make less money than escorts. I want them to make more than they do.”
Essentially, argues the article, clients seek to manipulate sex workers into taking a lower wage. And the atomizing nature of sugaring sites means it is difficult for sex workers to share info about wage rates or unsafe clients.

-- Bob Barnetson

No comments: