24 September 2015
There are lots of different reasons why women enter the sex industry. Some will have a purely financial motivation, some will enjoy the work, others will be forced or coerced into the industry by a partner or gang. More still will feel like sex work is the only option they have.
Whatever a person’s reasons are for entering the sex industry, many don’t think about the long term consequences of working in the profession. In many cases, the after effects for sex workers can be considerable, affecting everything from their health to their future relationships.
Though some sex workers go out of their way to ensure their own health and safety by using condoms, having regular check ups and working from secure premises, others aren’t able to protect themselves in the same way.
As a result, a lot of sex workers suffer long term health issues. Whether these are the result of violent assaults, sexually transmitted diseases, drug use or alcohol abuse, they can have a significant impact on their future.
Many of these health issues, especially STDs and violent assaults, can lead to problems with fertility and miscarriages, something that can have a big impact on future relationships.
Women who have been forced or coerced into sex work can find it very difficult to trust others, even years after they have left the industry.
These trust issues can make it hard for women to form long term relationships and many will need counselling and support in order to learn to trust people again.
Sex workers who experience violence, manipulation and abuse during their time in the industry can experience long term trauma. This trauma can manifest itself in a lot of ways, though it most commonly appears as mental illness, self-harm and depression.
Women who have worked in the industry are unfortunately more likely to contemplate suicide and to suffer from on going mental health problems. Sex workers who have suffered violent assaults can experience post traumatic stress disorder, a condition that can cause flash backs, nightmares, anxiety and depression.
Dealing with these on going psychological issues can be a big challenge and will require a lot of support, understanding and commitment from a future partner.
Help and support
In order to build long term relationships in the future, most sex workers will need the support of family and friends as well as help from organisations like Doorway Women’s Services.
If you’re a sex worker who needs a helping hand with how to move on from sex work, call our friendly, dedicated team on 0808 800 1030 today.