Luxembourg and sex work

By Jeff MannesLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Neither the Swedish nor the German model: Luxembourg went its own way when it came to legislation on prostitution and sex work. Not all of this has been successful from the sex workers' point of view. This also has to do with the social image of prostitution.

When people think of sex work, most of them probably think of prostitution – and prostitution on the street. They have an image of scantily clad women standing on the side of the road in Luxembourg's railway station district. Quite a few may feel a kind of paternalistic pity that many prostitutes reject. Also because they often do not see themselves as victims. For many, illegal human trafficking probably also comes to mind when they think of prostitution.

Sure, that's one aspect of sex work – although trafficking is not sex work because it's not work, it's illegal exploitation. But sex work is much more than what many people imagine it to be. This is important to understand if one wants to correctly frame socio-political debates and legislation around the issue. Because all too often the idea of sex work revolves around a (perceived or real) powerless woman who is sexually exploited by men.

The diversity of sex work

However, sex work has many forms. It can be, for example, the male escort who offers sexual and non-sexual services to people of any gender on the internet – from evening companionship to sensual massage to sexual role play. It can be the self-employed and self-determined dominatrix working in a feminist BDSM studio run exclusively by women and queer men. Sex work is also the gay employee who privately produces pornographic amateur videos for fun and uploads them to onlyfans for his subscribers to earn extra income.

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