Quitting sex work

Quitting sex work means something different for everyone. For some, it is just a matter of quitting and moving on to something else. For others, it can be a bigger event with many consequences. The choice to quit may be very clear to you. It may also have pros and cons for you. Perhaps there are consequences for your income, housing or you need help finding other work.

Advantages and disadvantages

Every person is different. There are many different reasons for starting and quitting sex work. For example, you may have grown so disgusted with the work that you no longer care what the consequences of quitting might be for you.

Think carefully beforehand about what quitting means to you. What might the consequences be? How can and do you want to deal with them? Review the pros and cons of quitting here. Maybe this will help you make a good decision.

Advantages of quitting:
  • You no longer have to be secretive about your work.
  • Your daily work rhythms will better align with your friends and families.
  • You can take the time and opportunity to develop yourself in other areas.
Disadvantages of quitting:
  • You may have to get by on less income (temporarily).
  • You may have less freedom to manage your own time as your own boss.
  • You might miss having contact with colleagues or clients.

These are just a few examples. You may have very different reasons yourself. Make a list of pros and cons for yourself if you are thinking of quitting.

Career switch

If you no longer want to work as a sex worker and are looking for another job, you can request a meeting with one of our social workers. Together, you can start looking at exactly what you can expect, how to quit and what you’d like for your next career adventure.

Start by working out what your goals are. Finding another job? Then, start making it more concrete; what kind of work do you like? Where do you see yourself in the future? Next, it is good to consider what you need to find the job that suits you. Perhaps a training course. Or get work experience first.

Would you like to know if you are entitled to welfare benefits during this process?
Then please go to our section on Money.

Would you like help applying for benefits? Then contact a social worker at ACS.

If you are entitled to benefits, we will look at the best way to get you into alternative employed work or how you can get more work opportunities. At the Werk Participatie en Inkomen (WPI) department of the municipality of Amsterdam, you can be assigned a customer manager and a job coach who can help you find another job. Even as a ‘non-beneficiary’ (so-called NUGger) you can get help from a job coach under certain conditions.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

A CV gives insight into your work experience and is needed when applying for jobs.

Tips for preparing your CV:
  • Try not to make your CV longer than two pages.
  • Keep it clear and neat.
  • Do not use abbreviations.
  • Always have someone else check your CV before sending it.
  • Make a basic CV and adapt it each time to the job you are applying for.
  • Do not use full sentences but write in bullet point form.
  • Use an ordinary e-mail address.
  • You may be asked questions about your CV during a job interview.
  • Also save your CV as a pdf file.
There are different types of CVs:
  • A chronological CV: a list of your work experience and education by year.
  • The skills CV: a description of your experiences, achievements, knowledge, roles and work experience. This model is good to use when there is a gap in your work experience.

You can find many examples of CVs and cover letters on the Internet. If you find it difficult to create a CV, an ACS social worker can help you.


Don’t have enough income to pay your rent and no right to rent allowance? Or do you live at your workplace and can no longer live there when you quit sex work? You will need to look for other housing.

It is important that you remain flexible during the search. You have to take into account that your future home might not meet all your needs.

In Amsterdam, it is very difficult to find an affordable house. The city is popular and the waiting list for social housing is very long, about 15 years. In some rare cases, you can get an urgency declaration. But that almost never works out.

What can you do on your own?
Don’t just look for properties in the municipality where you most want to live. Also look at other municipalities where you might be able to find something suitable much faster. The further away from the big cities, the more likely you are to find affordable housing.

Ask people you know if you could (temporarily) stay with someone. If you can do so free of charge, that’s good, but if you can offer to pay something, it can go a long way towards getting yourself some temporary housing.

People are often afraid of losing their rent allowance if they take in someone else. That could be €300 a month. You can offer to pay that rent allowance, which makes the burden less for both of you.

Tell as many people as possible that you are urgently looking for housing. The more people know, the more likely you are to find something via the grapevine.

Keep searching online as well. Look carefully on Marktplaats, Kamernet, Funda and other websites. If you respond to an ad, work on a response that shows you in your best light. Prepare for a phone call and think about how to present yourself. First impressions are very important!

To qualify for social housing in Amsterdam, you need to register with Woningnet. You pay a one-off fee of €50 for this. After that, €8 per year will be debited from your account.

What can you do if your homeless?
If you are homeless, check the website of the municipality where you are registered for up-to-date information. To be eligible for shelter in Amsterdam, you will need to prove that you have lived (and have registration) within Amsterdam for at least 2 years. (This does not include the winter shelter.) Are you homeless and need help? Please visit Jan van Galenstraat 323, entrance B and they will be able to direct you.
Rent allowance
Rent allowance is a contribution to the cost of rent. If you live in a rented house below the rent allowance limit and can prove that you have a low income, you may be entitled to rent allowance. The amount of the allowance will depend on the rent, your income, age and living situation. You will not get a rent allowance if your savings or income is too high.
Even if you were not entitled to rent allowance while working as a sex worker, there is a chance that you might now be entitled to rent allowance (if you have no/low income). Find out if you meet the conditions on the Tax Administration (Belastingdienst) website.
Do you live in Amsterdam and can no longer live in your current home due to a serious medical or social problem? Then you may qualify for an urgency declaration from the Housing Care and Living Department.

An urgency declaration gives you priority over other house seekers for some of the housing offered by housing corporations via Woningnet. Because of the low availability of social houses, the conditions for an urgency declaration are strict—if you get priority, others have to wait longer. Check the website of the municipality of Amsterdam for the conditions.

Do you have questions about quitting sex work? Then make an appointment with one of our social workers.

Related topics

Health & Sex

Your (sexual) health is important. Especially if you are a sex worker. It is important to be vaccinated and protected against hepatitis B.


Perhaps you have experienced something bad, in your private life or at home. It could have been a recent event or even some time ago. Has a client crossed your boundaries?


It can be difficult to deal with less or little money. This can potentially lead to debt or other money problems.