“The ugliness and beauty that I saw made me think that sex workers are providing a valuable service to society,” Ms. Cho said of her dominatrix days. “We shouldn’t just be protected and legitimized. We should be worshiped.”
But despite prostitution’s existence in virtually all cultures, there’s an almost universal aversion to the very idea of it. As Ms. Cho pointed out, while “ick” is a common visceral response, it is not particularly useful for developing public policy.
“If you’re disgusted by sex work, if your impulse is to shame and to abolish, what are sex workers to do then?” Ms. Cho asked. “How can we continue to operate in shadows and secrecy when the shadows and the secrecy are what’s killing us?”