Had a great discussion today with Mike & Sarahtopz about street harassment and sex work. Here’s a few notes  towards synthesizing a marxist view of sex work:
1. Sex work is a form of exploited, alienated labor under capitalism.
- Sex workers sell their labor power and not their bodies. Under capitalism, our bodies are consumed by capital quite literally, but Marx argues we do not sell our bodies, we sell our ability to labor to the capitalist. When women or others do sex work, they are selling their ability to labor, i.e. to make someone cum, to give someone pleasure or arousal, to be someone’s shoulder to cry on or their emotional outlet, etc. In exchange for money or other commodities, a sex workers’ body becomes the tool they use to carry out the labor of pleasure. The vagina and mouth are no less tools of labor than are the head and hands (which are usually associated with male labor). Further, they are tools that are consciously honed and developed by sex workers in order to produce an improved or competitive product.  To say that waged workers sell their labor but sex workers sell their bodies is to make a false distinction based on a false premise: that one is a legitimate or acceptable form of exploitation while the other is not.