Sexworkers want our jobs DECRIMINALIZED, not LEGALIZED. Why? Legalization means sexwork STAYS a crime, but state creates loopholes *only for rich business owners*, not workers.
Decriminalization means: removal of all criminal penalties for one-to-one exchange of sex for money.
A handy graphic to help you understand why sex workers want decriminalization.
Want a longer, more in-depth explanation on why decriminalizing #sexwork is the right thing, and how it’s not about sex trafficking? Read this excellent page from my favorite sex worker org, @swopbehindbars!
Hey, here is an great one-page read about what sex worker rights terms like “decriminalization” and “Nordic Model” really mean, plus statistical resources and statements about trafficking.
Here is ANOTHER great graphic about decriminalization of sexwork versus "legalization".
Just going to leave this here: Fox News describes the failure of Operation Cross Country, the annual Federal crackdown against sex workers.
A deep dive but important reading: the use of anti-trafficking laws is profoundly racist, arrests traumatize independent adult sex workers and leave them worse off than they were before, and more importantly, cops hardly ever catch any traffickers.
“The evidence clearly shows that criminalisation is associated with increased harm – including where some sex work is legalised but purchasing sex is banned.” #sexwork
I’m adding this Twitter thread here, even though it’s not about decriminalization per se. I just think it refutes a lot of the ideas that people may have about what the relationships between clients and sex workers are like.
This story came out last year, but in Seattle, we’re still dealing with the ruthless devastation of our community here.
Study indicates that bringing the Nordic Model to Northern Ireland has (unsurprisingly) increased violence against sex workers.
From the article “The archives of the Anti-Trafficking Review contain many articles documenting the simplistic images & narratives used to describe migrant and trafficked women in the sex industry, and the lack of evidence behind many anti-trafficking policies and interventions”
To clarify for new readers: the Nordic Model or the Swedish Model is a European legal approach that purports to only arrest customers (mostly men) but not workers (mostly women). It’s a STUPID system. But: we’ll never have it in the US, because here, EVERYONE gets arrested. 1/2
2/2 And there is no blessed way the United States is going to embrace a system in which mostly men are punished for sexual behavior but mostly women are (suppposedly) not. That’s never going to happen, we’re too sexist. When reform comes, it’s going to have to be reform for all.
Also: sexworkers are treated HORRIBLY under the Nordic Model. They are thrown out of housing, deprived of child custody, even abandoned to murder by an ex-husband, like #petitejasmine, simply because they are sex workers and therefore not...fully human, to the state.
Another great info graphic!
The Human Rights Campaign is in favor of not arresting people for doing sex work. Along with many justice organizations, like Amnesty International.
This whole thread!
Follow this thread backwards to see how the math plays out in regards to sexwork decriminalization.
Here’s my pal the awesome @StaceyLovesWeed with a good Q and A on decriminalizing sex work
Another great account to follow, @WilsonKM2 unpacks and explains studies on sex work in a very helpful manner
This whole excellent thread on why “the Swedish Model” is victim-blaming:
Sex workers fare better under decriminalization
More evidence that the "swedish model/nordic model" harms sex workers. Sex workers want FULL DECRIM, not legalization and not "partial decriminalization".
Even when we make small gains, with laws to protect us, our sense of safety is easily erased at some bureaucrat’s whim. 😠
Don’t try to sort consenting adult sex workers into “good” and “bad” categories.
Another easy graphic for fast understanding
I had not seen this graphic before but - yes, exactly this, right down the line.
Celebrities like to use sex work to boost their own celebrity, but the problem is they’re always wrong about it.
A very BIG region of Australia has decriminalized sexwork, this is such good news, and I can only hope this kind of success spreads!
Remarkably unbiased article in Bloomberg of all places 👍
About to dive into this
Not a pretty story, and not strictly analogous to current situation in the US, for obvious reasons.
But it a striking example of why it’s WRONG to say “sexwork could be legal but they should REGULATE the HELL out of it.” No. THIS is what that looks like.
As a little year-end housekeeping: I’m going to re-post some stories here that I talked about earlier in the year, that I think are important reading for overall discussion of the decriminalization of sex work.
Some history, on the sex workers movement for decriminalization
Here’s a Tweet-Longer explanation of The difference between legalization and decriminalization. Feel free to cut and paste it, as you require!
An incomplete list of all the ways that sex workers are discriminated against:  hat tip to @_AshLake_ and @LiaraRoux for compiling it!
Read the WHOLE thread. It sounds easy to say “go after the traffickers” but the fact is, the people most likely to be arrested as “traffickers” are: just regular sex workers, who are working/living together for increased safety, or just flat-out survival.
US strippers are “legalized sex work” and it’s really not a good situation for them. They are subject to illegal rules and often financially exploited by THE CLUBS, because the entire system is rigged to screw over dancers and take money away from them.
This whole thread on how "the Swedish Model " aka "the Nordic Model" aka "the Equality Model" are all BAD SYSTEMS that sex workers DO NOT WANT and which WILL NOT HELP anyone being harmed.
Police bust sex workers working together for safety. Because they don't want us safe and working together. This is why sex work MUST BE decriminalized.
So-called "Human Trafficking Intervention Court" fails to address real issues for sexworkers. "People engaged in prostitution...have complained that the counseling sessions amount to little more than unproductive conversations with well-meaning strangers."
From @KaytlinBailey: “The women were threatened with multiple felony charges unless they cooperated with police. Officers assured the public they’d broken up an international human trafficking cartel. Nothing could be further from the truth” #sexworkiswork
Lawmakers cautiously consider the idea that actually,
SEXWORKERS were right on all the bad things that we warned FOSTA would bring about
A moral panic that’s lead to poverty, misery, and violence to adult sexworkers who only want to be allowed to exist in peace and safety. #sexworkiswork
Elizabeth Nolan Brown is my very most favorite non-sexworker journalist on sex work! 👍
Find out why this zombie myths is killed a hundred times every year but it refuses to just DIE ALREADY
Under so-called "End Demand" policies, police surveillance of sex workers only increases. Even if selling sex is no longer criminal, police still arrest sexworkers, since activities adjacent to it, like living with other sexworkers, continue to be illegal
Most Americans think sex work should be decriminalized! And they are right!
Every Year: The Superbowl is not “a hub” (or an epicenter or anything else) of sex trafficking. This myth is simply false and always has been.
Plus: everything you think you know about porn is wrong!
Wondering what the decriminalization of sexwork would look like? Here’s some excellent examples!
From @natashalennard - the decriminalization of sex work finally becomes an issue that society must address
Massive “sex trafficking” panic around the Super Bowl continues to not be a real thing ever. But it’s very harmful to consenting adult sex workers.
The thing about statistics like this: they make you understand there are over 8000 women in Florida who told the police someone had raped them. But: no huge awareness campaigns for those victims! Instead, cops were hunting for women who had sex, but said they were NOT victims. 🤯
Though the myth of Superbowl sex trafficking has been extensively debunked, law enforcement continues to use the story of "a massive WAVE of sex trafficking" as an excuse to execute stings, which almost exclusively ensnare consenting adult sex workers.
Lots of 💛💛💛 to @swopbehindbars Polls indicate that many people support the decriminalization of sexwork: be sure to check the rest of @ENBrown’s work on this
This WHOLE THREAD on the complete lack of a HUGE WAVE OF SEX TRAFFICKING happening at the 2020 Super Bowl, including actual arrest numbers.
But any sex worker could have exactly predicted this. If they’d only listened. 🙄
And yet they do. Endlessly.

"The Queens lawmaker added, “We cannot argue that it’s my body and my choice when it comes to abortion, but not sex work.”
Criminal justice reform MUST include the decriminalization of sex work #sexwork
From the above article
Anti sexworkers have some magical math!
"Over the last two decades, human trafficking has become one of the most prominent social issues in America... There’s just one problem. None of the lawmakers or nonprofits behind these campaigns (are) doing anything to address it."
This is part of a whole dense and rather academic series on sex work
This WHOLE thread on why laws against sex work don’t protect anyone
Bad things happening, legal crackdowns on webcam models and porn performers - draconian and intrusive “ licensing” proposal put forward that included getting fingerprinted by the cops in order to get a “license” to cam?
So these proposed rules are OUTRAGEOUS. Sexwork is a blue collar job, often casual/occasional labor, and no other such industry is subject to hyperintrusive rules like spot license checks in yr own home, and having to pay to listen to mandatory faith based propagands against you.
Sex work can be complicated, but it is not, literally, brain surgery. A woman performing on cam in her own home, or a porn performer working on a professional porn site, cannot harm third parties through their behavior, and so do not need to be threateningly over-scrutinized.
OMG GOOD NEWS (it seems) for once! That extremely-terrible proposal, for truly draconian and unfair regulation of porn performers and cam girls is faltering, and MAY be withdrawn. Cross your fingers!
The whole thread, but this right here is a perfect explanation of why people who claim they just want to “😇rescue the victims😇” actually HATE 😡women who are doing peaceful and consensual adult sex work. Because we show their lie.
A major goal of sex work decriminalization is that: sex workers can call the police and report crimes, without being threatened with arrest themselves, just for being a sex worker.
The ordeal these people were put through simply for sharing a space with each other to stay safer!
People perceived to be sex workers are routinely denied the use of bank accounts, rideshare services, and the use of a wide variety of apps. Not because we’ve done something that violates the terms of service, but simply because we exist as sex workers.
People say “don’t be a sex worker, get a different job”, but when we do, we are hounded and stigmatized out of that job, too. Stop stigmatizing #sexworkers to death!
Don’t ever believe statistics you read in local news stories about “sex trafficking”.
What Do “End Demand” policies really do? It isn’t “protect women”
Decriminalization means that laws like this won’t get (or stay) on the books. These laws are unfair and they make sex workers less safe.
The whole thread. “Anti trafficking” measures invariably make life worse for consenting adult sex workers. And - they don’t help anybody who may be in trouble.
Sex workers around the world want one thing, and that is to have our work be decriminalized, so we can be free of the harassment and abuse of police.
If your article about sex work doesn’t have a single quote from someone who does sex work in it, @AaronKatersky, then your article is a piece of *journalistic crap*. You talk about sex workers like we are objects. 😡

Laws criminalizing being-sexy-for-money are designed to oppress, humiliate, and exclude women from the workplace and from society. We’re still putting Scarlet A’s on people in 2020, and it’s just incredibly harmful.
On political differences of opinion regarding sex work on the left - read the whole thread!
This brave writer has given us two excellent pieces about what it’s like to be someone who was sex trafficked, and who worked with anti-sex trafficking organizations. Read her story in her OWN WORDS.
Here is the other piece she wrote, it’s very moving.
Human rights organization @amnesty supports the decriminalization of sex work.
Sexwork is my chosen career, but many people who would choose other jobs, if they had opportunities to do so. But people of color are systematically denied better opportunities in our culture, and when they try to get ahead economically in alternative ways? We arrest them. ☹️
You can follow @mistressmatisse.
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