Presidential candidates for the 2020 election in the United States are already being asked about sex-worker rights as an election campaign issue. And given that the country has a neo-socialist turn brewing, it’s worth wondering if sex work - as a legal, regulated, taxed, unionized and insured industry - could create income to help stave off America's recession. But there’s significant work that must be done beforehand. Yes, sex workers are a marginalized and criminalized population that has experienced ongoing human rights violations. But taxable work allows for access to services and legal protection. All things considered, is the potential preservation of America’s status quo a cross worth bearing for sex workers?
“For those of us [as sex workers] who are truly motivated by the craft of all of this, not having our work be legalized makes me feel like an artist whose work is banned by the government,” says Domina Vontana, a Washington, DC, based sex worker of more than two decades. “If I would’ve had access to insurance, or known that there was an ability to unionize when I was getting started, it would have changed my career. From the services I offer to how I operate ... everything, probably.”