Is there some memo that I missed?

I get these emails or tweets or blogs replies, and honestly I’m starting to get very doubtful that any of these people have ever worked in the sex industry.  I have been, and know many people who have also been, in the nasty fucked up part of the sex industry or even further in the trafficking and rape world (which I do not consider to be a part of sex work, as work means it’s work and that shit is basically forced labor and rape.)

Am I just getting bitter?  Did I miss a memo about all trafficking victims now being really really into putting women at risk because of their fucked up pasts?  I mean honestly, I did come from that view.  I used to think that whores needed to be saved.  I totally did.  Part of this was self loathing.  I always, and I mean always – since the moment I knew was sex or sexuality was – always wanted to be a stripper or a courtesan.  But I also thought that I was evil.  My step dad put that idea in my head.  He hated women, absolutely hated them, and taught me that all women were evil.  So, what could have been nurtured into a beautiful sexual being, ended up this self loathing person who thought that her natural sexual thoughts and feelings were somehow evil.  So how could I not have thought that whores needed saving, since I thought I was a whore at heart.

I mean, honestly, I am a whore at heart.  I was, and I am, a whore at heart.  If I had nurtured my sexual nature and allowed myself just that, I would have grown up a much more confident person, and I could even bet a lot of money, that several of the rapes I experienced would have either never happened, or ended very differently.

I now, mostly, embrace my sexuality.  It’s difficult, it’s a damn struggle, but I know when I feel it, that it’s natural to me.  This is a part of me.  If whore is the word you want to use, go a fucking head because it’s me.  I like to be sexual.  With or without a partner to share that with.  I love fucking but even without fucking I love being sexual and tapping into that sexual side of myself.

Now, I have been raped, and the ONLY thing that heals me in any way from that, is becoming ok with my sexual self.  I know that there is damage, there is trauma, and there is fear that will be there probably forever, but I never would have even thought I could be friends with people again, much less intimate with people, if it weren’t for allowing that side of myself to be expressed and nurtured…at last.

Not everyone is like this.  I know that, and I never ever want to push that on someone else.  But I also don’t want anyone to take away that one thing from me.  I don’t think it should be allowed.  I should be able to be myself.  I should be able to be sexual.  I should be able to fucking fuck whoever the fuck I wanna fuck.  For money, or not.  For whatever fucking reason I want.

I want to end trafficking.  All trafficking.  I want to end rape.  I want to end child abuse.  I want to save the whole g-d damn world.  But I cannot do that, I can’t even function, if I’m not allowed to survive.

So when did it start to be ok to tell other people what to do in their private lives?  Oh wait, it’s not.  It’s only ok if you are telling a woman right?  Or a profession mostly held by women and/or minorities?

I love that people have different opinions, I love the human brain…but come on.  Fucking science folks.  I mean basic logic and science.  Illegal = dangerous for sex workers.  Decriminalized = sex workers have the right to protect themselves or report assault.  Illegal for clients = dangerous for sex workers and clients.

And here, just for a laugh, I’ll repeat the same thing I repeat every fucking post.  It’s illegal and will always be illegal to traffick, rape, underage, etc.  Do I need to go on?  Decriminalization and even full legalization would never mean that we are allowing people to abuse other people.  That’s still going to be illegal.  Got it?  It’s easy, it’s simple.  If you want to exit and you hate sex worker and you’ve had a shit life in it, you have a much much much better chance of being ok, if you live in a decriminalized system.  You can report, you can get help, you can start over.  Yes, the stigma still sucks, it still fucks people over, but you have legal rights.  Legality, however much people want to dispute this, it actually makes a lot of people respect something more.  How many people say pot is bad because it’s illegal, and for no other actual reason?  Guess what, if you are living somewhere that sex work is legal or decriminalized, even if there is stigma and all of that shit, there is so so so much more respect than anywhere that it’s illegal, simply because people care about the law.

So did I miss the memo where people who’ve had a shit time can now make everyone else’s life more dangerous?  Because I wouldn’t’ sign up for that fucking club anyway.

There is no freedom as long as women are being raped

Originally posted on glosswatch:

One week in November.

View original 912 more words

Working well with others

Sometimes I hate having to work with other people.  I am so panicky.  I just want to work for myself with a client, one-on-one.  I’m not good in social situations.  I’m not good in groups.  This is why sex work is fabulous for me, I am able to do it without having anxiety attacks or other problems that I have at my “day job” which end up with me going home feeling like an awful person.

Let me fuck my way through school, I’m sick of this office work bullshit.  Why is it that this is what I’m supposed to do?  I’m much happier fucking than writing reports.

Feminists talking about how gross women are…”

…who are sex workers.  Feminism isn’t about putting down other women.  Just FYI for those fucking assholes out there saying shit like “don’t say “whore” but that bitch is a whore and sex workers are all sluts, but don’t use the word “slut” towards us non-sex workers.”  Obviously that’s not a direct quote.  That’s me reading into some “ews” and “gross”es a bit.  I would link to what I’m referencing here but really it’s either clear or it’s vague and it’s true for a lot of people so it doesn’t need to be specific.  

Generally if you want to make the point that women are good, patriarchy is bad, and all of that nice stuff, you don’t go around saying what women do is “gross” or “bad” or literally talking down to us, because we are sex workers.  Or being sarcastic about our work.  Do you know what I’m saying here?  Saying, Sex “Work”, or Sex Work*   *misogyny.  Or otherwise generally sarcastically denying our agency, basically you are being sexist.  Oh shit, did you forget that I’m a fucking person too while trying to save me?  Because you clearly fucking did.  

I am specifically talking about people “ew”ing and such, at a chart about how much sex workers (on average) charge for certain services.  “Oh ew they charge differently for butt sex?!”.  Yeah, that sort of thing.  Hmmmm…..who else charges differently for different services….except maybe every single service industry worker ever.  I know, sex is gross and such, but maybe if you don’t want it, don’t worry about it.  You don’t have to pay for sex from me, or any of my sex worker friends.

I don’t want to be in a fight with anyone.  I hate being in fights.  I hate being yelled at even by assholes, I find it difficult to deal with emotionally.  You might call me a wimp or whatever you want but yeah, I can’t handle emotional abuse.  However I also can’t just sit back watching this bullshit and pretend like it’s ok.  

Shit, I’m sorry that sex workers are some sort of issue that you have to deal with.  Apparently this is a really big problem for you; our jobs and our lives are really gross and you have to make sure that we know how much saving we need because we are just so unaware.  I’m also sorry that sex seems to be such a huge fucking issue, our sex not yours, that you have to be grossed out by people doing it.  I mean seriously, if people paying more for different sexual services bothers you…well actually don’t think about it.  I don’t want you thinking about my sexual services if you are going to think about it with your goggles of bullshit.  I’d rather you just not even worry how much I charge for my services. 

Sex workers and drug users/ illegal

There is a lot of crime where I live, it is very economically depressed and there is just a ton of meth about.  It seems ridiculous to me that marijuana is illegal.  Just as it seems ridiculous to me that sex work is illegal.  I won’t get heavy into my ideas about all drugs but, I support a basic decriminalization of drugs, at the very least, and full legalization of marijuana and anything else that does have actual medical uses that’s not dangerous or easy to overdose on.  

The crime around here is usually caused by meth addicts.  I’m not saying this to judge, I honestly don’t think it’s fair to treat someone like shit for an addiction, but I am trying to point out the absurdity of marijuana being illegal when it’s not actually causing the majority of the crime, and people using marijuana, are not causing violent crime.  If I were of the belief that the police were here to protect people, I would think this seems like an incredible waste of resources, to have police arresting marijuana users.  I do live in Northern California, so yes there are cartels who do cause violence and have created incredible farming issues along with pollution and poisoning, which is actually even worse because it is illegal.  If this thing, this plant, were legal, would cartels being growing it and using pesticides that soak into the ground water and rat poisons that have killed countless dogs and other animals?  Would there even be an underground market for it in the united states?  No.  There wouldn’t be.  There wouldn’t be people with machine guns and poisons and violence that had anything to do with marijuana.  

So think about trafficking.  Think about sex.  Sex is like a plant.  It’s natural, almost everyone can do it.  It can be healing, it can be helpful and it is basically none of the laws business who does it, how they do it, or if someone is paid for it.  Except that it is.  It is the laws business because they made it their business.  Guess how much money anti-trafficking gets from the government?  How much of that is raised specifically for sex-trafficking?  It’s a lot.  The drug war, makes shit loads of money for a lot of people, just like the anti-sex trafficking organizations, forces, etc.  

Now, as with every blog post, I’ll have to put the disclaimer that of course I’m anti-trafficking.  I’m anti human trafficking for any reason.  Of course I’m anti trafficking humans for rape just as I am anti-rape.  

“Sex-trafficking” which supposedly is this gigantic issue, is not actually going to be stopped by creating worse working environments for sex workers.  Clear as day, this seems to me, yet people still argue against legalizing or even basic decriminalization of most types of sex work.  Sex worker rights are labor rights, human rights, women’s rights.  The battle is difficult because it is an issue that we are fighting from many sides.  We are fighting against sexists, and it’s an issue that were are fighting against feminists.  Good people, trying to do good things, often get caught up in the fight against sex workers rights because they think that this image they have in their head of the trafficked woman, or coerced woman, or just plain unintelligent woman, is too scared or stupid to know any different or to get out of it.  This image that sex workers don’t have other talents completely detracts from the idea that sex is normal and should be had and really shouldn’t even be questioned.  Sex has been incredibly therapeutic for me, and it can be for others, and when it’s not, and it’s just fun or just whatever, still shouldn’t be illegal.  Shouldn’t even be touched by laws.  Sex work is just work.  If putting genitals, or the word sex into the equation means that it’s somehow not work, or not good or not ethical, automatically, then we really need to address our issues with sex.  But it’s not really about that wholly.  Because some sex work isn’t illegal.  It’s about the image of a prostitute.  It’s about the image we have of a hooker.  

I didn’t write this to rag on drug users.  I’m not going to pretend like I don’t see the issues here where I live, but I also don’t blame people for their addictions.  My point is basically the absurdity of pot being illegal when meth is a problem that causes actual crime.  That isn’t to say meth should be illegal, I think it would most likely decrease crime if they didn’t feel the need to support addictions.  If they were supported rather than punished.

The things that are actually bad that people say sex work makes worse, they are already illegal.  So when people say we must make sex work more illegal to protect trafficking victims, it’s absurd because trafficking is incredibly incredibly illegal (and should be) and making sex work illegal and then lumping trafficking victims in with all sex workers, ONLY PUNISHES THE VICTIMS.  How on earth does this help them at all?  

This is why I am so angry.  This is so simple so clear and so obvious.  So I feel like people who are genuinely good people who buy into this anti-sex worker rights bullshit, are skipping over some serious critical thinking to come to the conclusions that they seem to that involve further criminalization.  

So what am I going to do about it?  I’m going to talk about my own experiences as much as possible, to at least give my own perspective on my own life.  I have and will end up repeating myself.  But hopefully if I say it from the heart every time, maybe one way that it’s said will make more sense and change someone’s mind.  If I keep saying it over and over but in different ways that make sense to me, hopefully it’ll reach other people as well.  

I am no expert on anything but my own experiences.  But I am grateful that I can at least share that.  

Repeating myself, but I just don’t get bigots.

Doesn’t it strike most people as strange that the country that we live in (if you live in the US) makes things illegal, or refused to make things legal, that pose no threat on others?  What’s the point of this?  Isn’t it absolutely transparent?  I mean clearly there is no reason to have something like marijuana be illegal.  And even more so when it comes to being other than straight.  How come I can’t marry my fucking girlfriend and my boyfriend?  Why does it matter if we all get stoned, married and fuck for pay?  What in the hell does this have to do with anyone else and why are any of these things illegal?  Yes, religion.  Yes it is mostly based on religion.  But there are non religious people who buy these puritanical ideas as well.  There are atheists (many many many, actually) who refused to see the sexism in our society and the racist surrounding them.  I think these are based on archaic religious ideas, but at this point it’s really not fair to point the finger purely at religion.  Religion doesn’t turn assholes nice or nice people into assholes on it’s own.  As I said, there are plenty of asshole atheists.  It’s the society we’ve set up in these old crusty ideals that is the problem.  

I have a very difficult time understanding these things because I don’t believe in making laws that cause people harm or prevent people from doing things based on their sexual nature or race or wanting to smoke weed or whatever.  I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand how people can believe the utter bullshit that they believe that allows them to vote for these absurd laws.  How can making it illegal to marry someone because you are gay, trans, queer, how can that be ok with anyone?  I am terrible in these conversations because I just have very little understanding of this type of ignorance, or not even understanding but maybe patience is a better word.  I don’t get it.  

I’m 100% (time a million) in favour of reclaiming/claiming an ACTUAL and strict as fuck separation of church and state.  Hobby Lobby wouldn’t be allowed to do that shit.  Marriage would be legal for everyone.  Especially, and this is important for any religious person who isn’t Christian, these laws are all based on Christian ideals, never any other religion.  But I just don’t think there is a place for laws based on religion, however good the religion is, because we are a mix of people and religions and non-religions and as a society, our laws should reflect protecting and supporting, not punishing and fake moralities. 

Principle, practice and ‘not all men’

Originally posted on Sometimes, it's just a cigar:

@prisonerben and I had a discussion last night about, in effect, the utility of insisting that not all men are rapists. Let’s be clear here, so no-one is mistaken. I think it’s utterly useless for any man to do the not all men riff.  Ben equates my position with my asserting that he is variously, a rapist, a semi-rapist or a support of rapists. As you can tell, it was not an even tempered debate.

Here’s the issue of principle. The experience of the women I know and care about, as they have related it to me, is that all men can be rapists, that there is no distinguishing factor that enables them to separate out the rapists from the non-rapists ahead of the fact. If I insist on saying ‘but not me…’ I’m denying their experience, and it’s an experience that is universal and collective. As a matter of…

View original 369 more words

Let me walk you through my typical day as a sex worker

I’m not sure what you imagine sex workers do, but here’s what I do.  And I’d say my experience isn’t all that unique.  

I wake up at 6-6:30am, take a shower – damn I’m usually running low on something so I try to make a mental note of what I need to buy before I run out – then the moment I step out of the shower it’s probably gone.  Later I’ll end up being annoyed I’m out of it but keep forgetting to purchase another bottle/tube/whatever.  I do my usually lotion and hair and whatever, probably put on some make up if I’m going out, maybe not if I’m feeling like I don’t want to.  

I make breakfast for myself and my child while she stretches and yawns, waking up slowly.  We have breakfast together every morning.  Then I change her clothes, get her read for school, and we head out the door.  I drop her off at school, then I drive to one of my jobs or maybe I’ll go to school if it’s a school day.  Some days I’ll go home and do some sex work – this could mean taking photos or shooting some videos, taking phone calls.  Usually I’ll spend at least 50% of that time on my website or otherwise working on my brand.  If I don’t have any client work to do I’ll answer emails, calls, any other correspondence I have to do.  I no longer take in person clients so that has cut out a lot of the hours I need for work, but it also means I have very little money during the week.  I would say it’s cut my income by 300%, this is not an exaggeration but it is an estimate. 

If it is a day where I work my other job, I will go to the office and do that job, and come home exhausted and feeling a bit defeated and like I’ve accomplished very little.  But hey, at least it’ll look good on a resume.  Although it doesn’t offer health benefits either, which seems to defeat the purpose just a bit.  It isn’t even enough to pay rent with.  If I wasn’t in school I don’t know if I could mentally handle this job full time, it makes me feel so awful every day that when I come home I fight off the depression and feeling of hopeless.  It’s a mental health thing, and it’s really not going to help me succeed.  Working full time, whether you understand this or not, is not an option for someone with my problems.  I wouldn’t survive.  I know a lot of people have very little sympathy for this, because they don’t understand the incredible struggle mentally ill people can go through just to exist in a “normal” environment.  To me, it’s like taking any progress I’ve made with my emotional and mental health, and peeling it back again, just to be in this sort of working environment.  That is why sex work would be my preferred work.  But that’s for a different post, and I’ve also posted about it before.  

I do my best to put on a good face, but by the end of the day I’m always exhausted.  I play with my kid as much as I can until I need to make dinner, and then I make dinner and we eat together.  Then we do our bedtime routine and I put my child to bed.  Usually after my kid falls asleep I do some more work on the computer and update and interact and whatnot.  I do like to stay active with my sex worker rights activism, when I have time, and usually I’ll do this at night so I can be more focused.  

On Saturdays, when I’m not otherwise working or in school, we (my kid and I) get to sleep in until 7am!!!  Then we watch PBS cartoons and eat breakfast together and snuggle on the couch.  At some point, I will try to get on twitter – me and @Whorephobia have a Saturday thing where we do a theme, I enjoy doing that although I have been too busy to keep up with it this semester but I’ve done my best.  Saturdays are the best days.  I get family time, and I get to do fun sex worker rights stuff.  I miss taking clients, but I love having my Saturdays.  

 

I would do sex work full time if I could do it all fully legally and see people in person.  Full time, but with me controlling my schedule, my clients, my life.  I would happily do that.  But even full time, it’s not the only thing in my life.  It’s barely any of my day, even if I was doing it 8 hours a day, it wouldn’t be what I obsessed about like anti-sex worker people who erase all the other things that we do and make us into these helpless idiots that spend all day getting screwed by disgusting (imaginary) men who hate women.  No, that’s actually what anti-sex worker people want us to do so that they can be right when they take away our rights.  They want us to be abused and helpless and useless, but we aren’t.  We are just people, and we aren’t as freaked out about sex as they are apparently.  We aren’t as obsessed by it as they are.  We are making a living.  Struggling to make a living sometimes, because of their work to make our lives miserable and dangerous.  We get stalked by these assholes, and they call us pimps and liars and sluts and idiots, and say we have no talents and we must have no education and so on and so on.  They show where their values lie when they insult us.  We get stalked and harassed and abused and sometimes even killed by people who want sex work to be illegal or who are happy that it is.  Usually our deaths are caused by the stigma they create but sometimes they are wielding the actual weapons.  

How much different is my day to your day?  To the anti sex worker’s day?  Even if I spent all day covering in bodily fluids and being fucked from every direction, does that mean I’m a bad person?  Fuck no it doesn’t.  But the truth is, my day isn’t really that different from most the “average” person’s.  But I do something that involves SEX! which scares so many people.  And I just don’t get it.  I don’t understand why it’s such a big deal.  

What is your fucking problem?

I sometimes marvel at the fact that people can come at me and say what I do deserves disrespect or stigma, and then in the same breath they will defend people who cause suffering and death.  

Think of the police, helping evict a family because the bank has foreclosed on their house.  The police may arrest or abuse or even kill people for resisting even if resisting is the most common sense thing to do, especially when someone is taking away your home, shelter, ability to buy food.  Ruining your credit because they are outright thieves, backed by a broken political system.  Think of all of that.  Yet people defend the police, they defend bankers, they say even bankers who they may hate don’t deserve to die or be put in danger for who they are.  Even the most hated of people should never be put in danger.  Unless they are sex workers, people of color, lgbtq or especially a mix.  Bankers, are horrible people, even in jokes made by white men, but it wouldn’t be funny if a banker was raped and murdered.  Yet it’s hilarious to tell raped hooker jokes or dead hooker jokes.  

So basically, what is your fucking problem?  It’s sex.  It really is just sex.  I do good for some people, I help some people, and I have sex – just sex – with some people.  So what is the fucking problem here?  I don’t get it.  

This is what’s wrong with the sex work conversation

“Why would you choose to do sex work when so many people are forced into it?  Underage kids, and women who are sex slaves?”

“I don’t know, why do you garden when people are trafficked to countries to do field work for little or no money, including children and women who are slaves?”  

Because they are different fucking things all together. 

The majority of people who are trafficked are trafficked for labor and not “sex” (in my estimation rape because forced sex is not sex but is in fact rape).  That doesn’t mean I want to end gardening, or end food production or end sewing or end crafts in general.  It means I want to fucking end trafficking and slavery.  What’s the fucking disconnect here?  I don’t know.  I know that part of it is the taboo that is SEX.  S.E.X.  Oh my goodness how dare people not find it this haunting secret that no one must know properly about.  How dare people pay for it and enjoy it and do it even if they don’t enjoy it all the time!!!  How fucking dare they have sexual autonomy and financial security, or any sort of income at all really for the majority who aren’t raking in thousands or millions.  How dare anyone get rich off sex.  How dare anyone pay their bills from sex.  How dare the!!!  

 

How dare they?  Well actually I’ve had sex with quite a few people, for free, when I didn’t charge.  But no one’s calling me out on that.  Well not as many people anyway.  The supposed “feminists” aren’t calling me out for having sex with whoever I wish when I don’t charge.  It has something to do with this idea that sex is … I don’t even know.  It’s like unattainable.  We are supposed to use sex to get shit, but we aren’t supposed to charge?  I’m so confused by all of this bullshit at this point that it just doesn’t even make sense anymore.  I can be a slut; slut shaming is bad but sex work isn’t ok?  What the fuck?!  

Some people shouldn’t do sex work.  I shouldn’t run a gun range.  I shouldn’t be a pharmaceutical drug rep.  There are just some people who don’t fit into certain jobs.  I can’t be a psychologist because I tend to get too emotionally involved with other people’s problems.  Therefore I literally cannot handle being a therapist.  That doesn’t make therapy evil does it?  Should we outlaw venting your emotions because I might be suckered into becoming a therapist against my will?

Trafficking is not the same thing.  It’s simple.  Trafficking bad, trafficking is mostly for labor.  “Sex” Trafficking bad.  Prostitution, sex work, hooking, brothels, paying for sex, stripping, oral sex, anal sex, etc, none of these things should be illegal.  Trafficking should be illegal.  See the difference here?  I’m sure you probably do.  Because they are different things.  And trafficking should be ended.  

So when you go any use the money that people donate to you (as an organization or the government – although donate isn’t the right word for taxes) to shut down strip clubs, arrest sex workers who work the street or in their own homes or brothels or whatever.  You are basically saying that me having consensual sex, or doing any consensual sexual acts, is the same as someone who’s kidnapped or sold into slavery and possibly raped repeatedly, often abused in other ways and forced to work for little to no money and for long hours with little rest and little care.  When you spend the money to shut down consenting adults sexual activities, you are saying that those people are less important than creating a stigma about sex work.  They are less important to you (you – the organization or government who practices laws like condoms as evidence or denying strip clubs liquor licenses) than taking away my income and my health and my life and my freedom and safety.  

Imagine if this money went towards actually helping to stop trafficking.  Imagine the fucking resources this country, all countries where sex work is illegal, would have to actually catch traffickers and give victims/survivors the help they wants.  Not the help you think they need, the help that they say they need or the help that will help them.  Not the pockets of anti-sex worker organizations.  

And guess what…if sex work was legalized, this would actually curb a lot of “sex” trafficking.