Sex workers cite safety as the main reason for working together and Rachel Bloom says the consequences of working alone can be dire
Rachel Bloom, 27, who lives and works in Dublin, has been doing sex work for almost five years, beginning while still at college, and says her clients have included members of the Defence Forces, the legal profession and a politician.
“I’d been having health problems and I needed a job where I had flexibility and could make a lot of money in the periods where I could work,” she said.
“Sex work ticked all the boxes and I think that’s something that rescue organisations or anti-sex work organisations don’t take account of, people who make their own decision to do sex work are doing it to manage their own circumstances as best they’re able.”
Due to Ireland’s enforcement of the Nordic model, the criminalization of the purchase of sex, but not the selling of sex, and legislation prohibiting brothel-keeping, Ms Bloom is forced to work alone, as sharing a property with another worker would be considered a brothel, despite working independently.
“I’ve only lived with another sex worker once, but it made us both really uneasy as we knew it would be considered a brothel even though we didn’t work at the same time, they can stretch that definition incredibly wide,” Ms Bloom added.
“She had a client who came back to the flat demanding money from her for five days, he would turn up every day, staring in the windows.
“It went on and on, he threatened to kill us, he told us he would bring someone with a gun to shoot us both in the head, at one point he told us he was a guard.