The op-ed, titled ‘Why Sex Work is Real Work‘ faced immediate criticism and backlash on social media from people across the political spectrum.
Written by Tlaleng Mofokeng, founder of an organization called Nalane for Reproductive Justice, the article calls prostitution to be decriminalized and for children to “fund public campaigns to decrease stigma.”
“The clients who seek sex workers vary, and they’re not just men. The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support. Some people may have fantasies and kink preferences that they are able to fulfill with the services of a sex worker,” the article, aimed at children as young as 13, states.
Teen Vogue tweeted this out.
The author of the piece is clearly aware that they are targeting an extremely young audience, as the opinion piece begins by asking “So, what exactly is sex work?”
“Not all sex workers engage in penetrative sex, though, undeniably, that is a big part of sex work. Sex-worker services between consenting adults may include companionship, intimacy, nonsexual role playing, dancing, escorting, and stripping. These roles are often pre-determined, and all parties should be comfortable with them. Many workers take on multiple roles with their clients, and some may get more physical while other interactions that may have started off as sexual could evolve into emotional and psychological bonding,” the article explains.
Many critics accused Teen Vogue of getting into grooming territory.