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Archive for August 6th, 2020

What are the mechanics of retirement for a sex worker?

There are a few countries where sex workers have access to state pension schemes; even in the US a sex worker who diligently files taxes (as a “consultant” or whatever) is at least eligible for social security.  But of course that’s not what most people would consider a proper retirement income.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, most whores who stuck with the business long enough eventually accumulated enough money to set up their own brothels; even in the 20th century an ambitious lady might own an escort service.  In civilized countries that is still the case, though the rise of internet-based independent work has made it much more difficult for an agency to succeed.  And “sex trafficking” hysteria has made such services far more dangerous to operate because under criminalization regimes, cops and prosecutors actively seek to destroy such services and the lives of those who own and operate them.  Of course, it’s certainly possible for a sex worker of any sort to invest in a 401K or build up an investment portfolio, to set herself up in some conventional business (such as rental properties), or to marry for money, but that’s no different from what anyone else with a more conventional business might do.

I myself owned an escort service for the first few years of this century, but the changing world and the 2008 economic debacle killed any plans I had to retire on that; similarly, divorce ended my access to my wasband’s pension.  Currently, I’m working on building up my non-sex-work income streams, but unless a generous benefactor provides for me in his will or something like that, it seems unlikely I’ll ever be able to move beyond semi-retirement.  And in that respect, I’m afraid I’m a lot like many other self-employed people in the early 21st-century US.

P.S. – The original question was more specific and complex, but I felt it would be more instructive to generalize; if you’re curious about the original phrasing, just click on the link embedded in the question.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)  

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