Sex work, operating a sex industry business or being a sex worker are all legal in NSW, as long as the relevant NSW laws and regulations are adhered to. Anyone 18 years and older may legally provide sex services to a person over the age of consent (16 years old) in exchange for money, goods or favours. However, a person under the age of 18 is not legally permitted to enter a sex services premises.
It is important if you are considering doing sex work or are already in the industry to understand the laws and regulations related to the type of work or premises you work at. In NSW the law focuses on the type of premise or where the sex work will take place.
To understand the law and your rights, check out:
If you are a sex worker and have a legal problem, you can get free legal advice from the
Inner City Legal Centre Sex worker legal service (interpreters available).
Your sexual health is extremely important as a sex worker. It’s also important to recognise the signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), in yourself and your clients. You should get regular sexual health check-ups and get treated immediately for any signs of infection.
NSW Sexual Health Centres provide free sexual health screenings and treatment. You do not need a Medicare card or insurance to attend any NSW Sexual Health Centres. Find your nearest NSW Sexual Health Clinic.
SWOP has a detailed guide on how to check your clients for visible signs of an STI: Checking Clients.
SWOP also provides free safe sex supplies, peer support to anyone in the sex worker industry, education, sexual health information and referrals to sex worker friendly professions such as legal, financial, mental health and other services.
SUPRA supports all students working in the sex industry. If you are working in the sex industry and need advice or assistance with understanding your employment rights, access to free sexual health support and supplies we recommend you speak to one of our professional and confidential lawyers or caseworkers.
This information is current as at July 2023 and where it includes legal information is intended as a guide to the law as it applies to people who live in or are affected by the law as it applies in NSW. It does not constitute legal advice.
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Written by SUPRA Postgraduate Advocacy Service August 2023