According to the Sex Workers Outreach Program, sex work is any type of labor where the explicit goal is to produce a sexual response in the client. Sex work includes prostitution, but it also includes a bunch of other things such as stripping, webcam work, porn, phone sex, being a sugar baby, etc.
There are many, many, many articles posted online about sex work, but they're typically written by researchers and academics-- AKA not from sex workers themselves.
I recently had a friend of mine share with me that she was a sex worker and that she wanted to start speaking openly about it in hopes of removing stigma and eventually decriminalizing sex work. She chose to stay anonymous because unfortunately sex workers are some of the most stigmatized and marginalized people.
She took the time to sit with me and educate me on so many of the issues sex workers face. I think this is a very important topic that needs to be spoken about more. Due to the recent passing of the SESTA/FOSTA bill, raising awareness about sex work has never been more important.
If you are interested in learning about the realities of consensual (consensual sex work is different than human trafficking, although they are often lumped together) sex work please listen to this podcast. Educate yourself. It's 2019!
Regardless of how you feel about the sex work industry, sex workers, like any other people who work any other job, deserve support and basic protection.The ability to safely work and support themselves financially is a human right.