Has society’s attitude changed towards the women that work as escorts in Bath?

I was 16 the first time I met a sex worker. I had just been hired at my first ever job, working as a sales assistant at a clothing store, and one of my coworkers made amateur porn as a hobby. Being a rebellious, left-leaning teen, I had always been vocally supportive of sex workers, escorts, massage girls, and prostitutes, but I had never met or spoken to one until that point. Sex work is everywhere; from the stickers advertising phone sex you see stuck on street lights to the banner ads you see advertising-free camgirls on social media, sex workers are present in our communities and social circles, living completely normal lives outside of their arguably unorthodox career choices. There’s a reason why Bath escorts are known universally as the ‘world’s oldest profession’ -  the earliest records of prostitutes in Bath date back to approximately 2400 BCE, and people have been selling sexual services throughout history. The sex industry has been a cornerstone of almost every culture for thousands of years, and yet those who partake in it have continuously been shamed and mistreated for their work. In 1918, Vladimir Lenin ordered the execution of hundreds of prostitutes so they would no longer “distract” his soldiers; in the late 1800s Jack the Ripper brutally murdered multiple prostitutes and subsequently became one of the most infamous serial killers of all time; inc. 590 CE Reccared I, King of Hispania, criminalized sex work, with women caught selling sexual favours being sentenced to 300 lashes of a whip followed by exile, oftentimes resulting in their deaths. The cultural backdrops these persecutions happened against could not be more different from each other - the vilification of sex workers has, undeniably, always been a deeply depressing constant shared by virtually all cultures.

The deep-rooted disgust society feels towards girls that sell sex by working as Bath massage girls has, sadly, failed to die out in the modern-day, and sex workers continue to be treated as inferior. The creation of the Internet has resulted in a plethora of new platforms for both experienced and first-time sex workers, but these new platforms have also, regrettably, given a voice to those who wish to harass, demean, and abuse those who work in the sex industry. The content-sharing site OnlyFans, which allows content creators to share their work with fans who pay a subscription fee, has become hugely popular in recent years, with approximately 200,000 new users and 8000 new creators registering every day - but a quick search through social media will return thousands of posts showing the disrespect sex workers who use the site are shown. There is a huge market for compromised OnlyFans content online, and numerous Twitter accounts exist with the sole purpose of sharing adult content from OnlyFans that people would otherwise have had to pay for. Online harassment is not exclusive to those who use OnlyFans - take pornstar August, for example. Ames, who worked for a number of studios over the course of her 4-year career, was subject to intense online bullying after refusing to work with an actor who had appeared in gay pornography without being tested for STIs, and on the 5th December 2017 tragically took her own life. The way the Internet interacts with sex workers indicates that very few people see their work as a product worth paying them for, and even fewer see them as human beings beyond their chosen careers. Escorts in Bath has evolved throughout time, but alongside these developments has been the evolution of anti-sex work sentiments.

It’s not just the generally negative public attitude toward sex workers that has failed to change over the years - sex workers are still subject to violence in their day-to-day lives, and when sex workers are attacked or killed the media, who should be broadcasting these incidents in such a way that communities can become aware of how to protect the vulnerable people they accommodate, rarely offers them the same respect that other victims of violence are treated with. It is difficult to narrow down the centuries of violence against sex workers into one succinct, all-encompassing example because such violence has always been commonplace. This site does not promote human trafficking or any type of illegal sex work, nor is any content within this site an offer for Craigslist adult contacts in Bath to advertise or sell sex in return for money.  Adult work escorts in Bath are paid for their time as a companion only.  Perhaps the best way to put into perspective the dangers sex workers are up against in their line of work is to ask you, the reader, a few simple questions: Peter Suttcliffe, Steve Wright and Stephen Griffiths are three of Britain’s most well-known serial killers and all three targeted sex workers. Can you name any of the sex workers they killed off the top of your head? Have you ever heard, or been party to, a conversation where their victim’s lives were discussed, rather than them just being categorized as ‘prostitutes’? When the media reports on violence against sex workers, their focus on the perpetrators of the violence, and their labeling of escorts in Bath as merely being ‘prostitutes’ rather than regular people working a job, distances victims from the rest of society and makes onlookers feel disconnected from the deplorable, disgusting treatment people in their communities have to live with simply because they work in the sex industry.

When I met that sex worker at age 16, it took me a while to really grasp how badly sex workers are viewed in the modern age. As somebody who has never been a sex worker, I don’t think I will ever be able to understand the fear that they live with every single day as a result of something so menial and insignificant as their choice of job. I will never feel the need to remove metadata from my explicit pictures out of fear that somebody might find out where I live; I won’t ever need to run from a client trying to force me to do something I don’t want to do; I will never be the victim of a serial killer who decides one day that he wants to experience the thrill of murdering a prostitute - but no sex worker or Bath prostitute should have to experience any of these things, either. From the first-ever exchange of money for sex to the present day, society has incessantly looked down upon, dehumanised, and turned a blind eye to the suffering of sex workers, and it’s time that attitude changed.