Why Many Sex Workers Find the Term “Hobbyist” Offensive

hobbyistIn the sex industry, many clients who self-identify as frequent patrons of sex workers use the term Hobbyist.  In truth, it is a term that many sex workers despise.  Please allow me to explain.

Although some might argue that the term is innocuous, I disagree.  How someone labels something also affects how they treat something.  For example, clients will not visit sex workers who refer to their clients as “tricks” because they understand that sex workers who incorporate disparaging labels will not treat them with the dignity that they deserve.  As such, language influences behavior.

By incorporating the term hobbyist, clients imply that experiences with sex workers are things to collect.  It reinforces a power imbalance in which clients are specialists and sex workers are commodities. 

Because language often influences behavior, it has been my experience that some clients who incorporate the term hobbyist tend to (eventually) treat their interrelations with sex workers as though they are just a game, which has the potential to result in a lack of respect in their behavior towards sex workers.

As such, please seriously reconsider the use of the term Hobbyist.


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