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‘Why would I not do this?’ Attorney opens up about her life as a prostitute


An Iowa attorney is unveiling her life as a part-time prostitute.

The mom, wife, attorney and prostitute, Katherine Sears, hopes that by shining a light on her lifestyle, she can help decriminalize prostitution.

“I like sex,” Sears said. “Sex is fun, and I can get paid for it.”

She began working as a prostitute three years ago at the age of 27. Sears travels to Nevada, where prostitution is legal, and works in a brothel.

“You can make a job out of this? That’s fantastic,” Sears said. “Why would I not do this?”

By speaking about her experience, Sears hopes to educate people on a taboo topic.

“I think a lot of people are upset about prostitution without understanding what it is they are being upset about,” she said. “Which is really frustrating because it’s hard to talk somebody out of something when they are just entrenched in, ‘No, this is what’s right.’”

Sears knows some people may see it as a morality issue, but she sees it as a right.

“You can say, ‘No sex without a condom.’ You can say, ‘No sex until we’re married.’ But you can’t say, ‘No sex until you pay me’? And that feels like it really undermines what consent means,” Sears said.

While Sears said she’s shy, she feels empowered being a sex worker.

“I think the more we talk about it, the better our chances are of getting decriminalization that we’re pursuing,” Sears said. “We’re not going to have legislation change if we’re passive about it.”

Sears and her husband, John Sears, met at Drake Law School while Katherine Sears was already working as a prostitute. But John Sears isn’t bothered by her part-time job.

“I don’t really care that much,” John Sears said.

Katherine Sears travels to Nevada, where she works in the brothel for three weeks before coming home to Iowa for a week.

“Prostitution is consensual sex,” Katherine Sears said.

When asked about the money, she had to guess.

“I’d have to get my taxes out and look at it,” Sears said. “The best I did, I made $55,000 in three weeks.”

While working in the brothel, she starts her day with three hours of prep in the morning, between showering, black soap, exfoliating, washing and drying everything. A busy day for Sears means 10 to 15 clients.

Sears said she never fears for her safety and as far as sexual health goes, she is required to have health check-ups.

“You’re really less likely to get an STD (sexually transmitted disease) from a prostitute than you are from the general public,” Sears said.

In the past year, she has taken time off to focus on her law practice and her 4-month-old son. But it hasn’t stopped her from trying to break down misconceptions around prostitution.

“Prostitutes are people,” Katherine Sears said. “Prostitutes I’ve known are some of the best people I’ve known.”

While she understands some people don’t agree with her lifestyle, she wants to end what she calls “judgmental stigma.”

“We degrade women who are open about sexuality,” she said. “You’re supposed to be this way and if you’re not this way, you’re bad. So, I think it’s a lot of indoctrination.”

Sears is so passionate about the decriminalization of prostitution, she is willing to take prostitution cases on pro bono.

“Their bodies belong to them and we have absolutely no reason to be telling them that you cannot condition your consent this way,” she said.

Sears believes that decriminalizing prostitution will help reduce sex trafficking.

“If a prostitute sees somebody who is being trafficked, she is less likely to go to the police and report this because she is incriminating herself, too,” she said. “If she is not doing anything illegal and she’s just doing her job and her friend over here is having an issue, she is now in a position where she can get her help out of that situation.”

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