“YOU have got me for an hour and you do not have to pay for it,” a sex worker joked with her audience at a leadership forum in Launceston yesterday.
Nanjing Night Net

Rachel Wotton addressed about 20 people at a Tasmanian Leaders Program lecture day at the Silverdome.

Ms Wotton, 38, of Hobart, said she had been in the sex industry for 18 years and had worked in different parts of the industry but now specialised in an overlooked clientele _ people with a disability.

She said people at the forum could probably go home that night and be “frisky” if they wanted, but some people with a disability had to plan three months in advance, because that was how long it could take to see a sex worker.

“We put man on the moon . . . but in Australia we are still talking about the right of consenting adults to touch each other,” she said of sex law reform.

But she said the situation had improved, she used to have to “sneak into” the places where people with disabilities lived, but now she could often use the front door and sign in as a visitor.

She is a founding member of a group called Touching Base, which assists people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other.

She is also the subject of a 70-minute documentary, Scarlet Road, that screened in Hobart this week that followed her work with clients who had disabilities.

She was also critical of the media, saying some “lazy journalism” gave incorrect information and “gives people permission to slag off sex workers”.

Tasmania is now reviewing sex laws and she called for laws similar to New South Wales, where sex work has been decriminalised, and she said the worst model was the Swedish, or Nordic model, which prosecutes clients.

Sex work in Tasmania is legal if no more than two sex workers work together and neither can manage the other.

Sex worker Rachel Wotton

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