The ‘Swedish Model’ is Not Helpful to Sex Workers


By Phoenix Calida  (July 10, 2015)

People really claim to be pro sex workers and still support the Swedish model.

Pretty sure there’s a special level of hell for ya’ll.

There’s a lot of things wrong with the Swedish model. One of the first things that comes to mind is how the entire model is based on the view that sex work is inherently harmful and dangerous to women. That’s a really bad place to start from because then that’s assuming a woman should not have agency to go into sex work if that’s what she wants. And it makes it very hard to distinguish between human trafficking victims and voluntary sex workers because they’re all victims under this model. Even if a person is consenting, even if this job is what they want to do, the Swedish model says “no, you’re a victim.”

Of course that leads to the rhetoric that we see where we have abolitionists who say things like “all sex work is paid rape.” Um no. Rape is rape. Sex work is not rape. By telling sex workers that there is no difference between actual rapes and their consensual paid sexual encounters, we’re denying agency to women and basically telling them they’re too stupid to understand what consent looks like. We have to determine consent for them which is basically patriarchal playbook b******* under the guise of feminism. Literally telling women they don’t understand what’s harmful and they don’t understand what consent looks like? f****** that

Then of course they say that they have decriminalized selling sex, but its still not legal to *buy*sexual services. So that means the government really cut down on the customer base for sex workers. You can’t tell somebody you support sex workers but then you turn around and you cut half of sex workers income by making it illegal to purchase services. That’s not helpful.

Decriminalizing sex means that there’s less time to negotiate services. Sex workers end up doing things they don’t normally do. There might be services a certain worker doesn’t offer, but because there is a decrease in clients and bills exist…There’s less time to negotiate services for street based workers as well. Sex workers might end up taking clients they wouldn’t normally take. So in that aspect it’s really difficult because you’re taking away money and making sex workers have fewer options.

Finally,  there’s still stigma around sex work as an industry because if what you were doing wasn’t bad, then why is it illegal for people to purchase your services? There must be something wrong with you so that stigma still there.

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