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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Fatale

Sex Work Decriminalised

Image Caroline Caldwell

In the midst of the hell that is rolling lockdowns, we had a moment of joy this week when the Victorian government officially announced that they are going to decriminalise sex work.

For people outside the industry, there is often confusion when we talk about decriminalisation, because sex work is currently legal - but not decriminalised. Being legalised means that sex work is governed by criminal law and any breaches of those laws can result in criminal charges, whereas decriminalisation means sex work will no longer be legislated under criminal law but instead will be subject to standard business laws.

You can find out more here and here.

While it has come as a great relief to me, it does have to be acknowledged that as a middle class white woman who entered the industry from a position of economic and social privilege, the real discrimination and danger inherent in the outdated system did not affect me in the way it has affected so many marginalised workers. And while the changes will afford me some freedoms that I have not previously had, they pale in comparison to the impact these changes will have on other people in my industry.

One of the main challenges I have faced is being beholden to offering my sessions from a registered venue - ie, a brothel. While there can be many advantages to working in an environment like that; safety, peer support, established client base and, in the case of being a Dominatrix, a ready made dungeon, there are also downsides; high room rental fees (50% of the workers session rate), bullying, privacy concerns, and less control over the types of clients you session with.

An alternative to the above is working independently, which I have done since Dec, 2019, but that still requires an adherence to laws that make life pretty difficult - once again renting rooms in a brothel (on top of the high fees, now includes having to drag multiple suitcases of gear back and forth each visit - often just for one session), or doing outcalls (hotels or clients home), which I have personally chosen not to do for safety reasons and for the above mentioned practical reasons. The most obvious and reasonable option, having your own space to work from, under the current laws, is illegal.

If there's one thing this whole COVID disaster has afforded me, it's the opportunity to really reflect on what I want my life to look like on the other side and I have to say, I'm very excited about the picture that's forming. I have been working steadily behind the scenes to create the vision I have in my mind; the space, the energy, the Dominatrix - and I'm really bursting at the seams to share that with the world.

But, we have a little way to go before that fully forms, at least in a way that I can share freely. In the meantime, we will have to wait for the grinding gears of the law to make the necessary changes (touted to be passed by the end of the year, with a 2 year implementation process), and of course get through this current COVID outbreak/lockdown and GET EVERYONE VACCINATED (and yes, it will soon become a requirement for sessions with me).

In the meantime, I'll be sharing little tidbits along the way to whet your appetite and in lieu of any other reasons to celebrate, I'll continue to draw on the relief and elation that reverberated throughout my community this week.

Until then.


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