Prostitution / sex work
Prostitution means offering sex in exchange for money or other advantages. People working in prostitution are called sex workers or prostitutes.
Sex workers are often women offering their services to men. Men and transgender people can also be sex workers and their clients can be men or women.
Talking to each other before sex
Before having sex, the sex worker and the client should discuss the kind of sex they want to have and for what price. For example: oral sex and/or masturbation and/or vaginal sex with penetration, and/or anal sex.
All kinds of sex can be discussed with the sex worker, but she/he does not have to accept everything. She/he will tell you what is possible and what is not and for what price. Both the sex worker and the client should protect their own limits and respect the other person’s limits.
Safe sex and hygiene
Safe sex is important when having sex with a sex worker, both for the sex worker and the client. With safe sex you protect yourself and the other against STIs and unintended pregnancy:
- Use a condom when penetration takes place (vaginal and/or anal sexual intercourse). Renew the condom when the penetration lasts for a long time (more than about 15 minutes). You can use a water-based lubricant.
- You can use a condom when having oral sex (blow job). During cunnilingus, cut open the condom and place over the vulva or use a dental dam.
- If you have unprotected sex, talk with a health professional to get tested for STIs and HIV.
- Be careful when using alcohol and drugs during sex. You feel fewer restraints and are less aware of possible risks.
Practice good personal hygiene. For example: shower, use clean underwear, clean your teeth etc. You will care for your own body and you will show respect for the sex worker.
Tips for sex workers
As a sex worker it is also important to:
- ask to be paid in advance;
- trust your intuition; turn away dubious clients;
- protect your own limits. Be clear with the client about what you want and do not want to do. Nobody can force you to do something against your will.
- Create a safe environment. For example: work in a hotel, inform friends, write down names and telephone numbers.
You have the right to stop the sexual contact at any moment if you think something is not OK.
If you are a sex worker and you have questions or you need help, you can contact the specialised organisations below.
Prostitution and the law
Prostitution is legal in some European countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany under certain conditions. In other European countries it is illegal.
Forced prostitution and human trafficking are forbidden by law everywhere in Europe.