Kate Iselin on sex worker safety in a decriminalized state

Kate Iselin: When is the right time to tell your date you’re a sex worker?

The Mercury ran this piece by Kate Iselin in Sept. We’ve had some requests for posts addressing this issue and hope you find her take as valuable as we do,

AUSTRALIA — A few years ago, I was sitting in the dressing room of the brothel I worked in at the time.

The busy Friday night shift had begun in earnest, and those workers who weren’t already out meeting potential clients were rushing to apply the final touches to their hair and make-up. Next to me, an older worker was relaying her recent experience in the family court. Her ex-husband had, somehow, found out that she had started doing sex work after their separation and was attempting to use her job as evidence that she was an unfit mother to their children.

“That’s why you never tell anyone that you do this,” she said, her mirror reflection turning to me and meeting my eyes.

“Make your money, work hard, do whatever you need to do, but never make the mistake of telling your friends or your husband or your boyfriend or whoever.”

She applied a final streak of liquid eyeliner along the top of her lashes.

“Never tell anyone,” she said, now staring at herself. And then she picked up her purse and joined the rest of the girls in the corridor.

Of course, as you can tell, I did not take that advice. I went on to tell many, many people that I was a sex worker.

The rest from Kate Iselin

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