In a bid to decriminalize and de-stigmatize sex work, an Iowa lawyer came out as a prostitute this week.
Des Moines attorney Katherine Sears, 30, told CBS affiliate KCCI that she feels empowered by her part-time job at a brothel in Nevada.
She travels to “The Silver State” for three weeks at a time, before coming home for a week. According to Sears, she’s made as much as $55,000 in less than a month.
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“I like sex,” she said. “Sex is fun and I can get paid for it.”
The married mom started her side-gig three years ago and hasn’t looked back. By sharing her own experience, Sears hoped to end “judgmental stigmas” about sex workers.
“We degrade women who are open about sexuality,” she said. “You’re supposed to be this way and if you’re not this way, you’re bad. So, I think it’s a lot of indoctrination.”
Sears told KCCI being open about the issue is the best way for advocates to make headway in decriminalizing it.
“We’re not going to have legislation change if we’re passive about it,” she said.
And her husband John Sears, whom she met while studying at Drake Law School, is supportive. Mostly.
“I don’t really care that much,” he said when asked by KCCI what he thinks about his wife being a prostitute.
Sears has also found a way to merge her activist outlook with her dual occupations – by taking on prostitution cases pro bono.
“Their bodies belong to them and we have absolutely no reason to be telling them that you cannot condition your consent this way,” she said.
Katherine Sears and sex-positive feminism
Spearheaded by feminists, the sex-positivity movement has gone well beyond combatting “slut shaming” to celebrating overt displays of female sexuality.
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Conservative critics have bemoaned the weakening of traditional gender norms, including female modesty. And other feminists have agreed, warning that their lascivious counterparts are playing into the hands of the patriarchy.