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Friday, March 16, 2012

Don't You Feel Used? Guest Post # 2

I am SO pleased to announce that we have received our second guest post from one of our incredible readers! I've only been accepting guest posts for 3 days, and I've already received two! So, for everyone who insists that women in sex work and the sex industry don't have a choice, or a voice, this guest post is for you. To all the "feminists" who deny the existence of women who CHOOSE to be involved in the sex industry, this post if for you. I've spent my entire day speaking to "feminists" who tell me that my work is immoral, and that I am "supporting the patriarchy and suppressing women." Seriously? Give me a fucking break.

I'm doing the opposite of that. I'm giving women a voice- women in the SEX INDUSTRY. Yeah, get over it, the sex industry. Women who fuck on camera for a living. Women who work in brothels. Women who work as escorts. Women who masterbate on a webcam. Women who work in strip clubs. Women who get paid to cum. Women who get paid to offer their time, company, and conversation. They are used to hearing "you're just a whore," "you have sex on camera? wow, don't you feel used?" "are you supporting a drug habit?" among other things. Well, they're sick of hearing it and they want you to hear their side of the story.

So, here is guest post # 2. The writer requested that I post it anonymously, and of course I will honor that request. She sent a picture to go along with it, and that is posted below the entry.

Thank you so much for your bravery and for your help with this important project. Xoxo, Page


 I met a sex worker when I was six years old. Back then I didn’t know she was a sex worker. She was a beautiful and friendly woman. People treated her differently I noticed, however I couldn’t put my finger on how exactly they treated her differently. Perhaps it was just something I sensed. I overheard my parents discussing how this woman was a ‘working girl’. I didn’t know they meant sex worker. I assumed that meant any woman with any job was a working girl. I never thought about it a great deal after that, and I had no idea that one day I would be a working girl too.

 When I was fourteen, I read an article in Cosmopolitan magazine about a woman who worked her away around the world as a prostitute. At this stage in my life I hadn’t even had sex, but I thought ‘I could totally do that!’. Although in saying that, travel was not a motivating factor when I did venture into the industry.

 I started working as a sex worker just after my seventeenth birthday. I had a fairly expensive drug addiction at the time and was having problems with the law. No one ever pushed me into sex work. I must be clear about that. I was never the kind of girl who believed love and sex to be mutually exclusive. Which led to think why give it away for free?? In the beginning I really didn’t know what I was doing, and I was unaware of the power I could ultimately wield.  Over time the people I was working for began to treat me worse and worse, however I won’t delve too deeply into that can of worms now. After I turned 18, I was able to legally advertise, so I left and began to work for myself. It was incredible! I was making more money than I knew what to do with, I could choose my own hours. My mantra was the line Julia Roberts says in pretty woman- “I say who, I say where, I say how much.’ 

The clients fascinated me. All so different, yet with so many similarities. I loved learning about my body, what turned me on, what I reacted to, what repulsed me. And I loved learning about their bodies, and their minds, their fears, their desires, their troubles. I loved having my body worshiped, and sometimes my mind too. In end I worked in the sex industry for a total of six consecutive years. I started my journey of giving up drugs about a year before I left the industry. I really enjoyed my time in the industry and look back on it with fondness, and no regrets. I have experienced trauma in my life, but not due to the sex industry. A lot of frightening things happened to me in the drug scene, but even those I do not regret. 

I love who I am today, and I am an accumulation of my experiences. Thank god I have been able to choose how I want to live. The worst thing about working as a sex worker was not how I felt about it, it was other people felt about it. Words like disgusting, dirty, slut, whore. Questions like ‘don’t you feel used?’ ‘Don’t you feel ashamed?’ ‘How can you do that for money?’ ‘Don’t you feel degraded?’ Well, in a nutshell, No I don’t and never have felt ashamed. I have felt more used by boyfriends-which society says is ok- than I ever did my clients. How can I do that for money? I’d rather do that than work at McDonalds! And no, I don’t feel degraded. I have felt more used, degraded and under-appreciated in mainstream employment than I ever did a sex worker. I suppose you are wondering why did I leave the industry then? Many reasons. I have a daughter now, and while I may share with her one day my experiences, I don’t want her to have to deal with society’s views of what her mother once did for a living. And I guess I’ve just changed. I no longer have the energy.

 When I have sex now, because I’m not working, I can be more concerned with my own pleasure. Well, I’m going to wrap this up now, because I could probably ramble on about this topic forever!!
Ciao xx


  1. There is no shame in stepping into your own power as a woman and choosing to be of service as a sex worker. The culture is afraid of women's sexual power so much so that the GOP wants to strip women of their rights.

    I remember once when I was feeling depressed and I could not afford to pay for someones attention, a woman like you gave me a life giving hug, human to human. No sex but just was there to allow me to cry and let go of the pain I was carrying. I wonder how often someone decided not to kill themself because someone like you gave them some needed attention.
    It is unfortunate that legit therapists are not allowed to use touch as therapy and certainly not sex.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing that information, Anon. I really appreciate it and your voice has been heard.

    Also, to the Anon in the comment, I agree with you, but the issue of touch can be hotly debated; sadly, there are gender and potential sexual issues that can enter into the process (for example, as a male heterosexual therapist, what does physical contact with a heterosexual female ct communicate?).

    Many therapists/in training can feel very deeply for their clients, but there is always the fear that such an act would communicate the wrong message.

  3. Yes, I agree with the above post. As a therapist, I don't feel comfortable with the idea of touch in therapy. I'm not really sure what that could add, although I foresee many problems that could arise. I fully support sex workers, sex surrogates, etc. But IMO, the job of a therapist is different. Sex and touch would create a power differential, cross boundaries, and polute the therapeutic relationship. Also, think of the implications if one person falls for the other...and the involvement of insurance companies, etc. I'd probably quit the field if that became common practice. Btw, this is Page but I'm doing this from my iPhone and it won't let me sign in.

  4. Thanks, Anon, for sharing your experience. I got nothing to add really, but I wanted to highlight which statements I found the most interesting.

    "The worst thing about working as a sex worker was not how I felt about it, it was other people felt about it."

    "I have felt more used by boyfriends - which society says is ok - than I ever did [by] my clients."

    "I have felt more used, degraded and under-appreciated in mainstream employment than I ever did a sex worker."

    Well put.

    1. thank you! Glad you enjoyed my writing :)

  5. As a former sex worker I agree the most with the above comments Matt and feel that those really resonate for me. And choice or no choice, the fact remains there is a systemic and gender imbalance in the world that makes it easier for many girls like me to make those same choices. I am not ashamed of what I did, I do not want to forget what has made me who I am today and I am NOT defined by what I did for a living (god knows I've had my fair share of crappy jobs that I wouldn't want to be defined by).

    Thanks for the blog I appreciate all you write and many of the posts reflect a lot of my own thoughts ie "rape as an occupational hazard" like REALLY? I once had an ex tell me "I can't believe your not ashamed of yourself, it's disgusting you broke up families".. really? I didn't go knocking door to door last time I checked :) I worked in the industry on and off for 12 years, a lot of crap happened during those years but the truth is FAR worse crap and trauma happened to me BEFORE I was in the trade and while I wasn't working. That being said I had a lot of trauma through the trade as well..

    After 12 years I just burnt out. Now 4 years post-"retirement" I am trying to pick up the pieces that is the sum of my whole life and I realize how much my trauma has shaped me.. if anything the sex trade taught me to take some of that power back, to not take crap and to know what happens to me does NOT define who I am. I am a strong, tough, survivor who is also loving and giving... the trade taught me some of that and in a weird way it helped me realize that despite everything, I too deserve love, respect and I am an honorable/moral person. My life experiences broke me, the trade made me strong and understand that humans are complex and intricate creatures... there isn't black and white just a lot of different stories and somehow we all share heart-break and disappointments, it shapes who we are and it defines our character how we deal with that.

    I have learned to embrace the light of myself while honoring the dark parts, we all live somewhere in between both ~ Darkrayne

  6. Darkrayne- I'm really happy that you enjoy the blog. Not sure if you're a member of the private facebook group that's associated with the blog, but feel free to join if you'd like. It's a safe supportive online community, all sex workers and/or advocates. Also, thank you for sharing your personal experience. If you'd like me to create a guest post that shares this experience, let me know. I think it's important for sex worker's voices to be heard- for people to know that sex work is different for everyone, some people love it and some people hate it (like any job). There's the good and the bad, but at the end of the day, we all deserve respect.

  7. Wow I LOVE thi- "My life experiences broke me, the trade made me strong and understand that humans are complex and intricate creatures... there isn't black and white just a lot of different stories and somehow we all share heart-break and disappointments, it shapes who we are and it defines our character how we deal with that."