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Selling sex - to have sex and get paid for it

Sälja sex - att ha sex och få något för det - engelska

Selling sex means that someone pays you to do a sexual act. You might do this voluntarily or because you feel forced to do it. If you have experienced this, you can get help and support.

En person som tagit emot en betalning via mobilen. Illustration.

It is called selling sex, even if you get something other than money for performing a sexual act. For example, someone might give you a place to sleep, a mobile phone, food, drugs, clothes or a job.

Why do people sell sex?

Some people sell sex because it seems like the only way for them to get the things that they need, such as money or a place to sleep. Other people are forced, threatened or coerced. Some people can simply think that selling sex is a simple way to get the things that they want.

How might you feel if you sell sex?

Selling sex can make people feel different things. It is common for people to be secretive about selling sex. This can make a person feel alone.
Many people feel bad when they have sold sex. If you have felt forced to do something you did not want to do, you might feel scared, used or powerless.

You can get help and support

If you have sold sex, it is a good idea to tell someone. It usually feels good not to keep it a secret.

You decide how much you want to tell and who you want to talk to. For instance, you might want to tell someone who works at a Youth Guidance Centre. You can get help to stop selling sex and support to help make you feel better.

You can also get help if you are worried about sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. There are also places that you can call or contact on the Internet, anonymously.

Never feel that you must sell sex to get food or a place to live. Contact social services (socialtjänsten) if you need help with this.

It is illegal to buy sex

It is illegal to give money or anything else to someone in exchange for sex. It does not matter what kind of sex, where it happens or who pays. A person who pays for sex can be punished with fines or prison time. This applies even if the person has tricked you and not paid.

It is particularly serious to buy sex from someone who is under 18 years of age.

If someone does something sexual with you when you do not want them to, it is called sexual assault. Even if you say yes at first, you always have the right to change your mind.

If someone else earns money from you selling sex, that person is committing a crime. An example of this is if a person arranges for someone else to have sex with you. 

It is not a crime to sell sex in Sweden. You have not done anything illegal if you have taken money or something else in exchange for sex. 

You can report the person who has bought sex to the police

You can report the person who has given you something in exchange for sex to the police. It can be a good idea to file a police report for several reasons:

  • It can make you feel better within yourself.
  • It can prevent the person from buying sex from other people.
  • The person who has paid for sex can be punished. 
  • You might have the right to claim compensation for damages. This compensation is financial compensation which you receive.

More on Youmo


Film: I've stopped selling sex and taking drugs

This story was sent to Youmo by a young person.


Making a police report

You should make a police report if you think that you have been a part of something illegal, or if you have witnessed a crime.


How to get health care

Everyone who lives in Sweden has the right to get health care when they need it. Call 112 if you or someone else has a life-threatening injury or illness.

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