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Sex Workers' Rights Group to Put up Billboard in L.A.

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A performer on the set of 'The Sex Files 2: A Dark XXX Parody' (Photo by Koga/LAist)
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Sex work is nearly inextricable from the fabric of Los Angeles. Our county contains the so-called porn capital of the world, rock legends have commemorated our dancing girls, and our city government is highly concerned with the behind-the-scenes goings-on of adult films. But amongst all that chatter and mythology, there's surprisingly little real dialogue about what sex work is. A common misconception? That sex work and sex trafficking are one in the same.

To address that very fallacy, a group called SWAAY: Sex Worker Activists, Allies and You is planning to erect a billboard in Los Angeles with the following message:

Sex Worker: A person who consensually exchanges their own sexual labor or sexual performance for compensation. Sex work is not the same as forced sex trafficking.

Clear enough! Still, it's amid volatile times that the organization chooses to combat the idea that all sex workers are forced into their profession. Ashton Kutcher recently accused Village Voice Media, very publicly, of engaging in trafficking by running ads for escort services. And a controversial article published in Newsweek in July drew no distinction between men who watch online porn and men who pay to have sex with children.

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Hence, the billboard. No word yet on when or where it will go up.