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Sex Work Is Set To Get A Better Legal Status In Belgium

Why do I care about this? I do not pay for, what I consider, sexual services but I do on occasions employ the skills of professional Dommes and Disciplinarians and they come under the classification of sex workers. Some of them do offer sexual services, I do not seek that part of their services, they are offered but are not compulsory. Many only offer BDSM services. Apart from the dress code being somewhat different, I do not see that there is much difference between a non sex service offering Domme and a professional Masseur but society here tends not to agree with me.

What is the situation at the moment?

At this time it is technically legal to participate in paid for sexual services in Belgium, both for the provider and the client. However, this law is overly simple and has a clause to stop a third party from profiting from this transaction. This was designed to penalize pimps and people traffickers and I agree with their activities being restricted or hopefully stopped. BUT, and it is a big but, this law was badly written and can be interpreted that anyone taking money earned from sex work can be prosecuted. For example, if a sex worker uses his or her hard-earned cash to buy a loaf of bread, then the bakery that sells that bread can be prosecuted for profiting from the earnings of sex work. This area of the law is at the discretion of municipalities (Towns and City councils) to apply or not apply as they see fit. As a result some local authorities have effectively totally banned sex work whilst others allow sex work on the professional’s own property or in a brothel or even in Red Light window areas, in some towns. There is a news article that explains this better than I can, it is linked below


The Problem

This has left Belgian sex workers in a grey area of being neither officially employed nor unemployed or self-employed, although they are still expected to pay taxes on their earnings and I believe that most of them do. This has been a greater problem recently as due to a certain global pandemic many of them have not been able to work for long periods of time and due to their uncertain employment state, have not been entitled to any of the benefits afforded to others that have been effected by the crisis. There have understandably been some protests about this, such as the one in a news article that is linked below


What Is Happening Now?

The Justice Minister for Belgium, Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal), will hopefully be getting the law changed to take away the vagaries about both the status of Sex Workers and where and when they can spend their taxed earnings. And about time too, in my opinion. You can read a short news article about this in the link below


I hope that this post has left you more informed and hopefully not been too boring


12 responses

  1. Very interesting Prefectdt, it seems the sex work industry is a difficult one for many Government’s to negotiate. I remember noises being made here about the inability of these workers to earn during lockdown.

    Sex work was legalised here some years ago. It sounds as though the laws there do need clarification.


  2. Very good post. It raises issues one would not immediately consider. Thanks. I’m mulling it all over.

  3. Sounds a bit like liquor laws in the Bible belt here in the U.S. No rhyme or reason, just local option to where in some areas you could literally walk from wet to dry neighborhoods and back again in a matter of minutes.

  4. I was distracted by werk. Up in the North of England there are some accents that pronounce work as werk. Is that photo with with the placards from Belgium?

    • That image is from a newspaper report about one of the protests in Belgium Jenna. I think that the English and Dutch word for this probably have similar origins but I have not researched the etymology of this one. It could explain the pronunciation in both countries


  5. Not boring at all. It is a really grey area in a lot of countries, pref, and I think they really should be clearer on what ‘third party profiting from such income’ actually means. I do feel terribly for those who are self-employed in not-so-obviously-legal trades who now cannot get access to the subsidies and grants that are being provided to help those in need during this pandemic.

    • People complain about laws being too complicated Fondles but when they lack detail, this is what happens.

      In my opinion anyone who has been paying their taxes should be afforded the same safety net as other taxpayers in this situation, regardless of their profession


  6. Truly sad how governments confuse the issue, in trying to shirk responsibility by passing a totally worthless piece of legislation that can be interpreted in so many ways. How massage parlors are treated versus dominant submissive studios is a interesting example.
    Doubt any government will ever get it right. How does a court ever decide if a woman sex worker providing for her boyfriend and her is a case of friendship or a pimp.
    bottoms up

    • I think that decision is for people with better knowledge of the law than me Red. I do hope that some sex workers are consulted on these issues, by the powers that be, before a final draught of the law is submitted


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