I was recently interviewed for $pread Magazine in regards to how a sex worker would look for a therapist that would not judge him/her. I am a sex-positive therapist which means that I support all alternative sexuality that a person would consensually choose to engage. Spread Magazine is a great publication that works to provide important information for those in the sex industry (i.e. pornography, prostitution, exotic dancing, dominatrix etc..) and I think it is important to continue to support the rights of those within the industry.
I think that it has long been understood that sex is going to sell. In my mind, there is no reason that it should not be legalized as a measure to help protect ALL of those involved. If we can create a safe environment for sex workers and their customers, I am whole-heartedly convinced that everyone involved would benefit. You do not have to agree with sex workers choice of vocation however, support each person’s right to be safe makes sense to all of us.
So here is an excerpt of the write up from Spread Magazine that I did with Bunny:
Because I stumbled upon my own sex work-friendly therapist by sheer dumb luck, I, personally had little insight for you. So I consulted with Jasmine St. John, LMFT of Madison, Wisconsin, for her pearls of wisdom. What follows are her ideas of how to start your search:
- Ask other people in the business. And ask people whose opinions you trust, period. Whether co-workers or friends, personal referrals are a great place to start. This works best if you are “out” as a sex worker to the people you ask, but even if you are not, ask anyway. Sometimes you can get a feeling if the therapist might be cool by the way your friends describe him/her.
- Look for therapists who use “alternative” or “altsex” in their marketing materials. These are signals for a non-judgmental toward the sex industry (among other things related to sex and gender).
- Look also for therapists who work with LGBT populations. They may be less caught up in out-dated thinking about sex and sexuality.
- Check out publications that promote the kind of politics with which you resonate, and see who might be advertising there.
- Ask for referrals from local organizations that provide services to sex workers.
- Finally, interview (briefly) potential therapists, and see if it feels like a good fit. Make a list of a few questions you want to make sure to ask, and spend about 10 minutes on the phone with each of them. You can ask them directly about their perspectives and biases. Make sure you have a good solid feeling about them before making an initial appointment. If you don’t find it, keep looking. The right match is crucial.
She also reminds us that a therapist does not have to be a current or former sex worker to be good. Their personal life history may be much different than ours, but there is a way in which they resonate with our personalities and our hearts. As Jasmine St. John says, “you deserve someone who will help you become more alive, more aware, and stronger.”