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Wickedly Smart Women

Oct 25, 2023

We criminalize sex work under the guise of protecting people, particularly women and children, from exploitation.

But what are the true consequences of law enforcement’s efforts to prevent human trafficking? What if the fastest way to trap someone in a life of prostitution is to arrest them for it?

Have you considered the broad spectrum of reasons why someone might choose to be a sex worker? Or purchase sexual services?

Kaytlin Bailey is Founder and Executive Director at Old Pros, a nonprofit working to decriminalize sex work, and Host of The Oldest Profession Podcast.

As a stand-up comic, sex worker rights advocate and writer, Kaytlin is an irreverent expert on the history of sex work and a leader in ending the shame associated with ‘the oldest profession.’

On this episode of Wickedly Smart Women, Kaytlin joins Anjel to explain how her organization helps people release the shame around sexuality and sex work.

Kaytlin walks us through the consequences of criminalizing sex work, describing how the same tools we use to censor sex workers are used to deny access to abortion or reproductive sexual health care.

Listen in for Kaytlin’s vision of a future where sex work is neither illegal or shameful and learn why legislation that criminalizes sex work does more harm than good.

What You Will Learn 

How Kaytlin developed an interest in reclaiming the lineage of sex work

Kaytlin’s perspective on the danger of keeping secrets

How Old Pros helps people release the social shame around sexuality and sex work

Kaytlin’s comprehensive study of the history of sex work

The story of 16th-century courtesan Veronica Franco and how she traded ‘respectability for access’

The consequences of criminalizing clients of sex workers

Kaytlin’s vision of a future where sex work is neither illegal nor shameful

How we conflate obscenity with information about women’s bodies

Kaytlin’s take on why efforts to prevent human trafficking are ineffective

Connect with Kaytlin Bailey

Old Pros

The Oldest Profession Podcast


Maria Bamford

Wickedly Smart Women: Trusting Intuition, Taking Action, Transforming Worlds by Anjel B. Hartwell

Connect with Anjel B. Hartwell  

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