Sex worker

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A sex worker is a person who works in the sex industry.[1][2] The term is usually used in reference to those in the sex industry that actually provide such sexual services, as opposed to management and staff of such industries. Some sex workers are paid to engage in sexually explicit behavior which involve varying degrees of physical contact with clients (prostitutes, escorts, professional dominants); pornography models and actors engage in sexually explicit behavior which are filmed or photographed. Phone sex operators have sexually-oriented conversations with clients, and do auditive sexual roleplay. Other sex workers are paid to engage in live sexual performance, such as web cam sex[3] and performers in live sex shows. Some sex workers perform erotic dances and other acts for an audience (striptease, Go-Go dancing, burlesque, peep shows).

Thus, although the term is sometimes viewed as a synonym or euphemism for prostitute, it is more general.

Contents

History of the concept

The term "sex worker" was coined in 1980 by sex worker activist Carol Leigh. Its use became popularized after publication of the anthology, Sex Work: Writings By Women In The Sex Industry in 1987.[4][5][6] The term "sex worker" has since spread into much wider use, including in academic publications, by NGOs and labor unions, and by governmental and intergovernmental agencies, such as the World Health Organization.[7] The term is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary[1] and Merriam-Webster's Dictionary.[8]

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