Sex Work and "Selling Bodies"
In different societies at different times, there are always people who like saying that sex workers "sell their bodies", as if by providing sexual services, sex workers sell their bodies to the clients and thus lose their own autonomy.
This is quite an outdated idea.
In fact, what a sex worker sells is only the sexual service agreed to be provided after an agreement is reached. His/her body certainly still belongs to him/her. The ownership and autonomy have never been transferred to the client. The agreement is only valid under certain conditions and premises, and no one can change it without the consent of the other party. Once breached, the agreement is no longer valid, and the party who breached the contract can be held accountable.
In the labour and service market of a civilised society, this is common sense and this is norm, and it is regulated and guaranteed by law. Regardless of whether what is sold is labour, brain power, skills, or services, no one will think that once the seller agrees to the transaction, it means voluntarily handing over personal autonomy to the other party, and no one will think that the buyer can change the terms without consent, or casually lower the price or make off without paying.
But when the principle is applied to sex work, it is not difficult to see some people's double standards and goalpost moving.
Some people insist not to see that sex workers can choose for themselves, not to understand that what sex workers sell is services not their bodies, and that the relationship between sex workers' clients and sex workers can be equal transactions rather than exploitation. These people insist that sex work is inherently bad and should be banned, but they avoid discussing how legal and social measures can protect people's rights and freedom to participate or not to participate in the purchase of sexual services, and how to ensure the safety and interests of both parties to the transaction.
The persistence of these people pushes sex workers to the edge of the law and the society, allowing them to repeatedly copy and fulfill their claims of exploitation and misery.