Complete Sex Work Guide in 21st Century

So, you want to work as a sex worker? We have the complete lowdown on the best of the jobs that are available to you in this rather high-paying industry. We are even going to give you a few ideas on how you can go out and track that awesome work down. This is your Complete Sex Work Guide in the 21st Century (so, you are pretty much covered for another 80-years with this article!)

A (Brief) History of the Sex Industry (4000 BC to Present Day)

We can’t give you a complete guide to the history of the sex industry. Sex work is the oldest profession, after all. the oldest profession (this is true, it isn’t just a saying). While we do not know exactly when it all started, it is believed to be somewhere around 4000BC in some of the most primitive societies. This was in the civilizations that lived in the Near East. The first proper records come from Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. Sex work was rife there and, supposedly, a noble profession.

We then head into the Middle Ages where prostitution was fine, but if you were engaged in it, you were the lowest of the low. Of course, you wouldn’t have a shortage of people looking for your services! Once we hit the 16th Century, we started to see prostitution become more restricted, particularly in countries that were heavily Catholic.

Sex work has always been kicking around in the United States. In fact it wasn’t until the 20th Century that it became technically illegal, and a lot of this came with a fight for increased sex worker rights. Perhaps the best solution was to take them away? Although, of course, many states have now started to legalize some sort of sex work.

The 20th and 21st Centuries were a turning point for sex workers. Obviously, escort and prostitution services were still rife, but you now had more opportunities available to you. A lot of these opportunities were far more legal. This means pornographic films, working on webcam, selling your panties online etc. This is where most sex work is nowadays, and where you will likely be working for the most cash when you want sex jobs.

Risks in the Sex Business

The sex business is a very risky business. Even if you try to stay safe (and work within the law), then there are risks present that can be difficult to avoid. In this section, we want to run you through the ones that are running rampant in the sex industry, and we do not see them disappearing any time soon. However, you really do need to know what you may be getting yourself in for when it comes to this business.

Sex slavery is a massive issue in the sex business. Governments are, of course, going to massive lengths to try to prevent sex slavery from happening. However, the issue is so rampant that it is impossible to present. That being said, as a sex worker, assuming you willingly entered the industry, you should be fine.

The risk of violence is also a massive risk as a sex worker in some sex jobs. This is because, quite often, you are going to be working with somebody one on one, in the dead of night. There isn’t going to be anybody to protect you, and there can be issues. Granted, these are going to occur in the absolute minority of cases, but violence against sex workers is a major problem, particularly when it comes to escort services and prostitution. It isn’t just clients you need to look out for. If you are trying to go at it alone in the prostitution business and you work with a pimp, you will be surprised at how many of them will be violent towards you.

Then you have STIs on top of this. The pornographic film business goes to huge lengths to try and stop STIs, and they pretty much have succeeded, but it is always going to be a risk. As an escort or prostitute, then the issue is massive. You don’t really have an opportunity to inspect your clients beyond a quick visual check. You can’t dive deep into their medical histories, so you are putting your health on the line here.

Finally; mental health and drug issues do run rampant in the sex business. This has always been the case. It may be likely related to the amount of cash in the business or, perhaps more likely, the fact that you are sharing one of the most personal things a person can do with somebody that you have no real emotional bond to.

What is a Sex Worker?

Contrary to popular belief, a sex worker isn’t somebody that goes around and has sex. It was like that in the past, but there are so many jobs in the ‘sex industry’ now, that the term sex worker goes beyond penetrating or being penetrated for money. In fact, the term can also be applied to anybody that works in the sex industry. If you are doing marketing and haven’t so much as considered getting your kit off, but you are promoting porn films, then you are a sex worker. If you work printing the covers for sex DVDs, you are a sex worker. However, for the sake of simplicity, when we talk about becoming a sex worker on this page, we are pretty much just going to be focused on those who are doing the job ‘directly’ i.e. actively engaging with people on a sexual level, whether it is in person or through some other method of communication.

A sex worker is pretty much anybody who does something to help somebody get their sexual kicks. This could, of course, involve having sex with somebody. However, the vast majority of sex worker jobs are not tied to that. Some could be performing on webcam, selling your panties, talking to somebody on the phone, or even a spot of dancing. As long as you are helping somebody to get horny, and then relieving their horniness (and this is all intentional), then you could probably be defined as a sex worker.

How to Become a Sex Worker (Online or Offline)

So, how do you become a sex worker? Well, the process is going to be a little bit different, depending on whether you are planning to do sex work online or offline. So, we are just going to give you a general overview of both. We are not going to go into drastic depth here (i.e. places where you can do your sex work), but just give you more of an idea of how you break into the industry, just to demonstrate that it is actually going to be pretty easy to get into…providing you know what you are doing.

Before we do that, we do want to shake the belief that you need to be some stunning blonde chick with a body that just won’t quit to do sex work. You don’t. Now, obviously, pretty people are going to have an easier time making money when it comes to sex work. That is, sadly, the nature of the beast. However, there are very few people who couldn’t make it in the sex industry, as long as they are trying to make it. There is a niche for everybody. It doesn’t matter what you look like. You will find work. You will need to work a little bit harder, but we promise you the work is there. Hell, with one of the jobs that we are going to talk about in the next section, you don’t even need to look good to make it big. You just need a good, sexy voice.

Online Sex Work

Let’s start with the easiest one; online sex work. This is going to be anything where you are not going to be physically meeting somebody (we will include phone sex work in the next section, mostly because this is done offline, even if you will not be meeting somebody personally)

As long as online sex work is legal in the place that you live, then you can just sign up to any website you want and start to collect cash. For many people, this is just going to be a case of turning on their webcam and starting to perform at one of the major sex cam websites. If you want to sell clips and panties, then there are plenty of apps out there for you. Hell, you could probably put together your own website if you really, really wanted. Most people are going to link these two jobs up.

You could even make your own pornographic films online and collect advertising on them. However, this is going to be a little bit more difficult. It is probably going to be far, far easier to work with an agent on this one. It is tough to make a name for yourself as an amateur porn star. Well, it isn’t tough to make a name for yourself, it is tough to actual profit when you have made your name (outside of actually selling clips)

Offline Sex Work

Offline sex work is going to be a bit different. A lot of the time, you will have two options available to you:

Give it a go yourselfWork with an agent

For things like escort services and pornographic films, it is going to be a lot easier to work with an agency. This is because they will do the work involved to promote you and find you new work. Yes, they will take a cut of whatever you make, but it is going to be 100% worth it. If you find a good agency (and you are good at what you do), then the money is going to roll in.

When it comes to escort services, you could try and give it a go yourself. There are sites online where you can promote yourself as a private individual. You can even promote yourself on your own website. However, do bear in mind that this is going to be something that is quite difficult to do. Not only do you market yourself, but you need to keep on top of current legislation related to sex work and providing escort services. Honestly, it is going to be a whole lot better simply to work with an agency. You will save yourself a massive headache.

Being a phone sex operator is a bit different. This is more of a job that you ‘apply’ to. Many of these positions will actually be freelance, You may even find some of them kicking around on freelance job websites. However, this is something that can be difficult to track down, no doubt due to the plummeting number of people calling phone sex lines.

Remember; no matter which route you go down, whether it is online or offline, then you will always need to ensure that you are working with somebody reputable. If you don’t, then you are putting your health and safety on the line.

Best Sex Worker Jobs

In this section, we are going to take a look at some sex worker jobs. Do note that all sex work will involve actual intercourse. In fact, for a good number of sex worker jobs on this list, you won’t even need to interact with another person. Some may require you to get naked only if you really, really want to. Remember; nobody is (hopefully) going to be forcing you to do anything when it comes to sex. No matter which job you opt for, you do have the ability to set your own limit.

These are some of the highest paying sex worker jobs out there. Chances are that if you make it big with one of these, you could earn a rather decent living.

Webcam Modeling Jobs

For many people interested in sex worker jobs, this has become the ‘go-to’ way to earn money. It isn’t really a surprise, to be honest. It is easy to get into. All you need is a webcam and a decent internet connection. You can then perform online for tips.

You probably will need to get naked for this one, and the people who attract the most bucks in this line of work tend to be the ones with decent personalities. Oh. And you do need to be confident on cam. You should also feel confident knowing people may record you and put you online, even without your permission.

So, if you don’t fancy your friends eventually finding out you are doing sex work, then webcam modeling jobs may not be for you.

Phone Sex Operator

Have a sexy voice? Know how to use it? Well, the sex work that may be ideal for you will be a phone sex operator. You get calls throughout the day from horny men and women. Just talk to them. Play into their fantasies. It probably doesn’t pay as much as it did in the past (other avenues of getting kicks have replaced it), but you could earn more than a few extra dollars each week. The kicker is that if you get really good at it, you don’t even need to be naked. Just go about your day-to-day life in your home (probably don’t want to do this in public), and the person on the other end of the line will be none the wiser.

Selling Clips and Panties

Yep. There people who are willing to pay big bucks for your panties. These could be used panties, freshly cleaned ones that simply have your scent on them and yep, there are even people who are willing to part with their cash for some period panties too. Honestly, if you wear panties and you look reasonably decent, then somebody is going to be willing to give you cash. There are some top people who are sending out dozens of panties a week, often at a $100+ a pop.

If you feel like you have decent camera equipment and don’t want to record yourself doing a webcam modeling job, then you can even film your own clips. Masturbation and blow jobs work well for this, but people are willing to pay money for sex scenes too. If you want to make the serious cash here, then investing in creating unique clips for people is where it is at. You do a masturbation scene ‘on request’, and only send it to one person, you may be able to get a couple of hundred dollars for just a few minutes of work.

Escort Services

The idea of escort services have often become synonymous with prostitution. And, we guess, to some extent this can be true. There will be escorts who will provide sex for a cost. However, you will be surprised at how often you won’t be asked to have sex as part of the job. A lot of escort workers are doing nothing but ‘escorting’ people around. These services are often used by people who are looking for a little bit of companionship. Maybe a good date, or escorting to a social event. That is all that is required of you (in many cases). Although, as mentioned previously, some escort workers in states where it is legal may also offer sexual services.

Pornographic Films

You are probably going to have intercourse or touch another person if you are starring in pornographic films. You may actually be surprised at how much cash you can earn from this type of sex work too (females, men do not earn anywhere near as much). You are going to need to be confident having sex on camera, and you are probably going to be filming multiple movies with different partners per week. This is not a job that is for the faint of heart, and many people claim that this is probably the hardest sex work there is. Many people only last a couple of years in the industry before they get overwhelmed by it all. Trust us. Starring in pornographic films is not going to be glamorous in the slightest.

Exotic Dancing

This is a job where you may not need to get naked at all. It may be expected of you, but there are plenty of glamorous exotic dancers who do not get their kit off. Obviously, you are going to need to be decent at dancing here if you want to pull in the big bucks. Do bear in mind that most of the places that have exotic dancing will have lap dancing too (not all of them, it depends on state regulations), so if you are not a fan of giving a private dance to somebody, then exotic dancing is probably not for you. That being said, it is a high paying job. Really high paying once those tips start to roll in.

Sex Worker Regulations (Fosta, Sesta)

Obviously, the rules for sex work are going to be different depending on where you live. We are going to focus on United States legislation here since this is where most of our readers our from. You may need to lookup sex work regulations in your country before entering the business.

General Rules

Obviously, to work in the sex business, you do need to be at least 18-years-old. Most states will allow escort services, but not all states are going to allow prostitution. You will need to look into the rules for your state yourself. If you are in a state that allows the recording of pornographic films, then you will be subject to regular STI tests, otherwise, you will be unable to work in the industry legally. Part of the reason as to why we do suggest that you work with an agent is because they are there to help you live by these rules and ensure that you do not fall foul of anything that could cause you serious legal issues.

Some states may have legislation related to exotic dancing e.g. no nudity etc. Once again, this is something that you will need to look into with your specific state to know you are working within the bounds of the law.


This is two different acts:

Fight Online Sex Trafficking (FOSTA) from the HouseStop Enabling Sex Traffickers (SESTA) from the Senate

They accomplish pretty much the same job, and they are meant to cut down on sex trafficking (as the name suggests), but these are probably some of the most controversial bills to ever enter the sex industry. This is because while they do a great job at cutting down on sex trafficking, it actually makes it a whole lot more difficult to become a sex worker, particularly in the escort and prostitution industry, even in places where it is legal. This is because sites are now legally responsible if trafficked people are offering services there. This wasn’t previously the case. As a result, many places where you could previously advertise your services (Craigslist, Adult Friend Finder etc.) changed direction in the US.

Many people argue that this is now going to make people more unsafe, as opposed to the intention of the act. We will have to see if the language of FOSTA-SESTA is changed later on down the line.

Legal Framework

There are four different ‘legal frameworks’ to sex work. In the US, we practice all of them. It just depends a lot on where you are based:

Full Criminalization: this is where everybody who does anything in the sex trade is punished. This means the person buying it, the person selling it, and even the middlemen.

Yes. This is still practiced in many parts of the US.Partial Criminalization: this is for private sales only. No full commercial selling here.Legalization: this is full legalization. Commercial sales are allowed (Nevada is a good example of this), but there may be some restrictions to help protect the sex workers, but this is the same for any industry.

Decriminalization: this is where the industry is completely decriminalized. There are no restrictions surrounding sex work (bar minors and, of course, sex trafficking). A few countries have full decriminalization. New Zealand is probably the biggest one here.

Getting Paid For Doing Sex Work

You have to be careful when choosing any of the mentioned sex jobs, because finding a right payment option for sex workers can be a pain in the a..

Always look for websites sending payouts daily or via regular and safe payment channels.

Make sure that your country is accepted with the payment company and check payment options available in your region.


So, there you have it. Pretty much a basic guide to the world of sex work. Hopefully, you picked up a bit of advice about working in the sex industry here. This information should make it easier for you to track down sex worker jobs that are going to be perfect for you.

Disclosure: this article is only for informing yourself, we do not endorse or nor we promote anything said in this article. It’s up to you to collect and filter information you find on blogs like ours. This is submitted by a guest author who’s been working in sex industry for a while. Thank you for reading, lustfel team.


My name is Emma, I have founded along with Amy and other webcam models. Writing more about adult industry as a whole. European cam girl.

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