Sex Work in the Digital Age
Updated: Jul 17
As technology has developed, so has the definition of sex work. While technology provides new platforms for sex work and an unprecedented opportunity to learn about it, the digital age also brings misinformation about sex work and sex workers. That means that a lot of times, people, including therapists, are uneducated about sex work, leading to difficulties in communication and support.
I am committed to ensuring that all of my clients feel truly heard, so it is vital that the information I provide, and the approach I take, comes from a place of understanding and respect. This includes combating misinformation wherever I can, so before I discuss my therapeutic offerings, it’s important to clarify an understanding of sex work.
What Do We Mean When We Refer to Sex Work in the Digital Age?
Throughout history, sex work has been reshaped and redefined in countless ways. The digital age is no different. The modern era has seen the dawn of internet-connected sex work, including pornography, sugar relationships, escort services and cuddling services. Depending on the individuals and types of service, the internet plays various roles, from an initial point of contact to the entire location of an exchange. The online nature of the modern era of sex work can act as a screening tool, and it can also present new complexity to this line of work.
Sex work is highly diverse — you are free to define sex work as is relevant for you, in ways that include these practices and more. The thread that ties types of sex work together is the exchange of money, or its equivalent, for sexual, intimate, and/or partnership experiences.
In the United States, there are barriers related to policy that often negatively influence the lives and experiences of sex workers. While there have been shifts in worldwide research initiatives and the conversation about sex work is developing, it remains the case that there is a shortcoming in access to advocacy and protections in the U.S. Despite this shortcoming, support for sex workers should be widely available, and individual experiences should be respected. I provide this support in my practice.
Support for Sex Workers
It has always been the case that your experience is your own, and no one else’s story can speak for yours, but this is especially important to understand in the area of sex work in the digital age, where there is immense diversity in practice and approach.
Sex work can bring unique challenges — such as misplaced stigma from others and a heightened introspection on value and worth — and as such, support for sex workers is an important component of my therapeutic practice. Because sex work is a job with distinct financial considerations, I will share financial planning tools that are tailored specifically to your plans for the future and current experience if you decide that would benefit you. We can also work through plans to manage self-care or any projections or fear your partner might have about your work. You will be heard and respected.
If you’d like to talk more,contact me and set up a free 20 minute session.
Sophia Lou. O’Connor, MA, Ph.D (Cand)
Psychotherapist | Trainer | Educator
Tel: (720) 935 2706