Which country is better?
Being an American, I am often asked which country I think is better. Australia or America. It's also sort of funny that we don't refer to our country as "America". If asked “where are you from”, an American will say either The States or The US. North America is made up of Canada, Mexico and the USA, also South America so we don't generalize.
I guess by default, I’d have to say Australia. I live in Australia, can legally work here, it's the country where I pay my taxes. Yes, I run a legitimate small business offering sex worker services along with some business services. There's pros and cons for each country, and for the time being Australia is the country I choose to be in. Two strong points for Oz, good coffee culture and a decriminalized work environment for sex workers.
There aren't many places in this great big world we live in that allows sex workers to have work rights. Provide safe conditions. Opportunities that suit flexible part time working conditions that so many sex workers need. Sure we face stigma and discrimination but being able to run a business just like the local tax agent, chicken shop, naturopath, lawyer and tradie makes me like everyone else earning an everyday living. It’s just my job.
I have provided companion services in the US. My fee covers the time spent together and does not include money for sex transactions… I have to have a disclaimer that clearly covers this. And yes, there is a thriving industry in the US for what we do here in Australia. I saw a client there, one very active in seeing workers. He suggested I write a blog about the difference of working in a criminalized vs decrim environment. At that time, I didn't want to draw any attention to myself so I let the idea go. Now that I am planning to return overseas for several months, I've thought a lot about his suggestion.
I realized how fortunate I am to work in Australia in my industry. I'm not trafficked. I have elected to work in this area. I like my job, a lot as you know! I don't understand what the big fuss is about regarding the oldest profession on the planet. After FOSTA SESTA legislation snuck through in 2018, Americans lost most of their platforms to safely work, or at least mitigate the risks for work. Can you imagine going to your job, whether it's at a store or office to feel that you are going to get arrested or get hurt without any security that you can report this to the police. It's a shitty concept.
The US needs legislation to help workers have a safe environment where they can work. There is only one area where sex work is legal and regulated. It's in the State of Nevada. Approximately 21 brothels legally operate, with strict conditions of needing a sheriff's card, weekly STI testing and a Nevada business license. To go through the process to legally work; you have to provide your legal name, fingerprints, address etc. It'd be scary to provide this information. We know privacy rarely exists these days, data breaches are in the news daily. Does this process put a target on your back, without you knowing it trusting it is confidential? We know women and suspected sex workers are regularly targeted at border entries. Did you know that if you worked as a sex worker in the past 10 years, you're banned from entering the US. As a citizen you can't be barred from entering your home country but big brother is keeping tabs on you. Even women who don't work, have been questioned about carrying personal sexual items; condoms, toys, lingerie. That's just blatant sexual harassment in my opinion. Sometimes I feel so discouraged reading accounts like this, is sexual liberation for women going backwards?
There are times when the US seems to make progress for example; medical marijuana being legal in many States and now recreational use is also being legislated. State governments approving this multi-billion dollar industry and getting its tax slice from it despite it being a Federal crime. Yeah isn’t that a contradiction!! Let’s face it, legalisation helps reduce the illegal smuggling of drugs into the country. Yet when it comes to sex work, even in 2019 it's still a shamed industry. Will it progress in my time? I hope so.
So America or Australia? Well for working conditions alone, I say Australia. A progressive country moving to protect the rights of workers, to provide safety and dignity. Not to mention providing us with the respect we deserve for the hard work we put into our service.
Well, that's my soap box rant for the day!!! I woke up thinking about this country debate and thought it’d be a good diary entry. I selected this photo of having hands tied and blurred out because that's what life is like as an American working in the US, you are in bondage until our work becomes decriminalized.
Have fun and thank you for supporting sex workers and the businesses we run no matter what country you're in.