While there are a small number of people who prey on the vulnerable in the sex industry, just as there are in almost any other industry, most of the buyers surveyed for a recent national study are simply individuals seeking to purchase a service they feel they need. Most do not see themselves, nor are they perceived by those they pay, as exploiters or even as enjoying a position of power in the transaction. Overall, the responses indicate that sex workers have a significant amount of control and that transactions are in most cases experienced by both sides as amicable.
Much of the vulnerability experienced by some sex workers has little or nothing to do with sex work
As a group, sex workers experience lower than average levels of physical and mental health, higher levels of stress, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, higher rates of disability and a variety of other factors that contribute to poor health outcomes. For some, these health outcomes relate to various experiences of disadvantage in childhood and adolescence. While these factors frequently interact to constrain opportunities, increase risk and negatively impact health and wellbeing, they often have little or nothing to do with sex workers’ interactions with clients which usually go smoothly for both parties.