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
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