Celebrities who have tried sex work
And what they have to say about it
© Getty Images
When most people hear “sex worker,” they often immediately leap to people who offer sex for money, but it’s actually a very broad term for an employee of the sex industry, which encompasses much, much more.
Sex workers can also include various services, pornographic models and actors who engage in varying degrees of explicit behavior on camera, phone operators, establishment managers, strippers, pole dancers, and even sex toy testers.
It’s an industry with an enormous stigma around it, but it’s also an incredibly profitable industry. The key difference between sex work and exploitation is the choice someone makes to involve themselves in the commercial exchange. There are, of course, gray areas in this as well.
Some people are drawn to sex work for the higher pay, flexible schedule, ability to choose their clients, or the sexual empowerment they feel. Others, however, are forced into the industry because they are in dire need of money, whether it’s to pay off debts or to just make enough to get by, perhaps support a family. In even worse cases, sex work can be the fuel to a drug addiction.
Sex work can be a result of leaving people with no other place to go, or it can be an active choice. Many who are morally opposed to the industry see "sex work" as legitimizing criminal activity or disguising exploitation as a type of labor, but many people within the industry chose it over other service jobs, and a few of those people are actually the stars we celebrate in society.
It’s difficult for people to talk about their experiences in sex work, as Whorephobia (the fear of and discrimination against sex workers) is still alive and well. Some celebrities risked being stereotyped as deviant, hypersexual, sexually risky, or substance abusive, and could have (or might have) tried to hide their experience. But the truth is out!
Check out this gallery to see the alternate careers some of your favorite stars might have had, and what they have to say about their time in the sex industry.
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