Fight for fairness & equality

You can help sex workers keep their workplaces open.

On the 31st March 2022, Edinburgh City Council voted in favor of a ‘nil-cap’ on ‘Sexual Entertainment Venue’ (known as SEVs) licenses. The council claims this cap is needed due to Male violence against women & girls.

Come April 2023, the consequences of this ban for workers in Edinburgh will be devastating. But the effects have already begun to ripple across the UK with Bristol and Westminster councils looking to follow the Edinburgh model.

"Just like thousands of others, the workers in Edinburgh strip clubs have acknowledged their power. "


Just like thousands of others, the workers in Edinburgh strip clubs have acknowledged their power. This power may go against the ideas that our society has taught us: that people should be modest, ‘good’ and not flaunt their sexual wares to the nice gentleman because the nice gentleman may become so overcome with frustration and do something he cannot undo. This notion is the same being employed by councils to argue why strip clubs must close. Reducing male violence against women & girls (VAWG) is the ONLY aim cited by nil-cap supporters. There has been no evidence showing that the existence of these workplaces cause or correlate with such violence.

sex worker rights

"Indirect gender discrimination contrary to The Equality Act."

Danielle Worden is a legal caseworker for the United Sex Workers Union who has spoken out against the measures being proposed by local councils across the countries. Danielle states that “A policy on banning strip clubs would cause particular disadvantage to women by removing the livelihood of hundreds of female workers.”

She added it would constitute “indirect gender discrimination contrary to The Equality Act.” 

I touched upon this discrimination in the blog post Shame On You Crazy Diamond. Those who do choose to work in an industry that capitalises on their erotic capital already face discrimination, harassment and victimisation. This further discrimination could mean they lose their workplace. Contrary to radical feminist beliefs, sex work is a choice for many people. It’s a choice that works for them around child and eldercare, invisible labour, studying and other jobs. Losing access to safe places to work will not stop the trade in erotic capital, it will simply push it underground. As with trials of the Nordic model, pushing sexual entertainment underground further stigmatises workers. It also deters workers from speak up against violence or crime for fear of persecution.

United Sex Workers are crowd-funding to launch legal challenges against SEV bans across the UK, starting with a judicial review against Edinburgh City Council and they urgently need your help. Please help fight for fairness and equality and help sex workers keep their workplaces open by donating anything you can

More on United Sex Work

USW work with strippers, hostesses and sex workers across the UK to improve conditions in clubs through collective negotiation and individual casework. They organise to establish ‘worker’ status, which will enable those working in clubs to claim basic rights at work such as annual leave, sick pay, a guaranteed basic wage and the right to organise and be represented by a trade union. The sex workers unionisation campaign is organised in partnership with x:talk, a sex workers support project and in conjunction with Decrim Now, the campaign for the full decriminalisation of all sex work.

I encourage my fellow sex workers to join the union now to show solidarity for those currently facing these council measures and to protect yourself when the measures come to your council. And I speak now to some of my fellow Dominatrices who may feel that this isn’t their fight: I assure you, it is. Every movement to repress sex work has knock on effects for all of us: and if you don’t stand against it now, when it eventually hits you it’ll be too late to fight it.