In Australia, hundreds of them are telling the world about themselves using social media. And then it began: a mass of hundreds of mostly Australian and mostly female sex workers posted images showing their faces to the world, many coming out publicly as sex workers on social media for the very first time. She was responding to an blog post re-published last week in the popular online Australian women's magazine, Mamamia.
It was started last Sunday on Instagram by year-old sex worker and history graduate Tilly Lawless. She decided to post a picture of herself on her Instagram feed to show another face of prostitution - the face of a young woman who had made an informed choice to be a sex worker - as a protest against the blog. Sex worker Holly, pictured above, said her main issue was the photo used - a harrowing photo of a sex-trafficked Eastern European woman.
The article's author, Laila Mickelwait, claimed that the film had lured young women into prostitution and subjected them to a life of abuse and trauma. I don't need rescuing.
The blog was written to mark the 25th anniversary of the prostitute-meets-prince-charming film Pretty Woman, and argued that the reality of sex work was much uglier than in the movie. About sharing image copyrightTilly Lawless What kind of people are sex workers?
She told BBC Trending that she stands by what she wrote despite the sex workers' campaign, and that legalised prostitution creates an environment where illegal sex trafficking can then occur. Then after posting on the Facebook of the Scarlett Alliance - the Australian Sex Worker's Association - she was persuaded to put the escortz and hashtag on Twitter.
Tilly Lawless was angered by the way the piece "generalised sex workers" and "depicted all prostitution as harmful. Daughter, sister, sex worker.