Calls for decriminalization of male sex work
By Daniel Itai, Cape Town, South Africa
Dr. Gordon Isaac a psychologist and Lloyd Rugara a male sex worker have become the latest lobbyist to call for the decriminalization of male sex work.
To date, under the current Constitution, sex work is regarded as prostitution which is a criminal offence if one is found in the act. Dr. Gordon Isaac said:
“Male sex work has been hidden it’s relatively dominated by females because morality hinders the reality on the ground but people have choices based on certain circumstances on why they become male sex workers. There is a sense of urgency and survival sex others don’t have qualifications and they work on their own hours plus it pays more than certain jobs.
Moreover, we need to decriminalize sex work like in New Zealand and Australia because it offers access to anti stigma laws, access to mental health care and sex workers can reveal their identity, have labour laws and clients can be sanctioned. We need to look at sex work from a positive perspective because at this juncture sex workers are being shamed, tortured and in some cases sex workers have died in prison.”
Lloyd also alluded to Dr. Isaac’s remarks citing that both male and female sex workers were facing a lot of brutalities especially in the hands of Police. He said:
“It bothers me that sex work is still illegal that’s why we are fighting for the decriminalization of sex work. A research has found out that 12 percent of sex workers who are arrested are raped whilst in custody. Many sex workers have been taken advantage of because of money and fear of victimization. Male and female sex workers face the same challenges.
Moreover, I feel comfortable with the choices I have made. I don’t regret this choice at all. Intimacy services result in financial income it’s an occupational identity. Before, I found I was receiving rewards for what I was doing hence, it was easy for me to tap into this occupation and my clients are mostly men. They are many people who receive money or rewards in exchange for sex who don’t identify themselves as sex workers yet they are sex workers. It depends on the type of situation depending on the need for money. However, most male sex workers feel comfortable working online than in the streets because of fear of victimization.”
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