Sex Work and Human Rights

Working? Working!

More often than not, the ideas that people have about sex work result from the narratives created by the media or anti-prostitution activists and have little to do with reality. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to present to you a photo series by Yeoni Kim, a South Korean sex worker and activist with Giant Girls, Network for Sex Workers’ Rights. I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to Ms Kim for kindly providing her photos and statement to bring people – in her own words – “closer to sex workers”.

copyrightPlease note that the copyright for the photos and statement lies with Yeoni Kim and is not licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please share the link to this post with others but kindly refrain from downloading the photos and posting them out of context elsewhere. I would also like to ask bloggers to refrain from re-blogging this post. Should you wish to share Yeoni Kim’s work with your audience, please feel free to use the cover image and link to this post.


Working, Working - Yeoni Kim - All Rights Reserved

Artist’s Statement

The reality is that unless you are a client, sex worker or middleman, it is not easy to gain access to the working environment of sex workers.

성노동자들이 어떠한 환경에서 어떻게 일을 하고 있는지, 구매자나 성노동자, 중개업자가 아니면 우리는 쉽게 접근할 수가 없는 것이 현실이다.

The shop that granted us the permission to take these photos is classified as ‘Hyugetel’, which usually have signboards that read “College Girl Massage” or “Gentlemen’s Massage”.

사진 촬영을 허가한 이 업장은 ‘휴게텔’이라 분류되는 업장이며 보통 ‘여대생 마사지’, ‘남성전용 마사지’라는 간판을 달고 있다.

The process starts with washing the client, applying gel on the client’s body while being naked, and then rubbing against the slippery body. This is also known as “riding the body”. After “riding the body” is performed, you wash and towel-dry the client, and then lay the client down in bed. Caressing and petting starts from the neck to the knees, both in the front and the back of the client’s body.

손님을 씻기고, 알몸으로 손님의 몸에 젤을 발라 미끌미끌하게 부벼 주는 일명 ‘바디 타기’ 후, 다시 손님을 씻기고, 수건으로 닦아주고 침대에 뉘여 목부터 무릎까지 등판과 앞을 전부 애무한다.

Intercourse is the last stage. When the client ejaculates, you remove the condom, wash the client again, dress him and send him on his way. The photos sum up the process.

그 다음 섹스가 이루어지고, 사정 후 콘돔을 정리하고 손님을 다시 씻기고 옷을 입혀 내보내는 이 과정들을 몇몇의 사진들로 축약해 보았다.

A lot of the process has been omitted in the photos, since it was hard to modulate the level of exposure. The pictures were taken to let people understand that sex work is more than “lying down with your legs open”, and perhaps bring the audience closer to sex workers.

노출의 강조를 어떻게 해야 할 지 고민이 되어 일하는 모습들을 생략한 부분이 많지만, 이 사진들을 통해 아주 조금은 성노동자들과 가까워지고 그들의 노동이 단지 ‘다리 벌리고 누워있는 것’ 이상임을 이해할 수 있기를 바라는 마음으로 찍어보았다.

Yeoni Kim / 김연희

Please click on the cover image to view the photos as slide show. Press Escape to exit.

 

7 responses

  1. Pingback: Поблиску до сексуалните работници преку фотографии | СТАР-СТАР

  2. Mardi

    Yeoni, this is such an elegant way to de-mystify the work of sex workers. Congratulations!

    Mardi from RhED

    April 5, 2013 at 4:47 am

  3. Scova

    A good insight.

    April 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

  4. Reblogged this on elegiacomo and commented:
    A photo series by Yeoni Kim, a South Korean sex worker and activist with Giant Girls, Network for Sex Workers’ Rights. Her photos and statement bring people – in her own words – “closer to sex workers”.

    April 10, 2013 at 1:18 am

  5. Pingback: In Pictures: Korean Sex Workers’ Day | Research Project Korea

  6. Pingback: “I feel used” – Behind the scenes of Groove Korea’s cover story | Research Project Korea

  7. Pingback: “People clearly don’t know what’s going on” – Interview with Hyeri Lee, sex worker in Daegu | Research Project Korea

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