Monday, April 8, 2013

The Three S's of the Sex Industry: Stereotypes, Stigma, and Shaming

This is how I start my mornings.

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding sex work and the porn industry which only serve to fuel to the ongoing stigma and shaming of those who are part of that world. I am very open about what I do and who I am so when people ask me under hushed breath if I'm an escort I raise an eyebrow at them and respond with another question, "why are we talking with our library voices?" It's not necessarily something that I have tattooed to my forehead, but my friends and family know and if you ask me I won't deny it - why should I?

The three most common responses I receive after confirming the fact that I'm a big whore are disgust and pity, pleasant surprise and honest curiosity with my candid revelation, and inquiries regarding my hourly rate and availability. The latter two are most definitely welcome because I enjoy dispelling the stereotypes, stigma, and shaming of sex work, and new clients are always fun. As Liza and Alan sang in jovial praise: money makes the world go round!

Although thoroughly annoying, hate mail can sometimes be hilarious and a fun way to pass the time between subway rides and prepping before meeting up with that 9x5 monster cock on which you're about to sit. One of my most recent messages came from Tim Tim on Jack'd. He had been messaging me over the last few months asking to meet and I continued to ward off his advances with various rejections until he finally sent me this precious gem:

It's always better not to engage with people as mind-numbingly boring as this guy who actively sought out my RentBoy ad and found me on another web application to scold me for my poor life choices. I usually just ignore these kinds of messages but I was feeling sassier than usual that day. As I told him in our messages I would have gladly spoken to him about sex work and why I have and continue to do it, but he and his prejudices were too far gone for me to salvage.

When my friends discovered my Hookies nominations they confronted me about my being an escort with shocked faces but open minds which I found to be both pleasantly amusing and comforting to know that I picked the right people with whom to associate. Many were surprised that I would choose to get into the industry in the first place, citing my career in the ballet industry and the poise and intelligence with which I carry myself. For what were they looking, a disease-ridden drug addict incapable of holding a conversation? I'm offended!

It soon becomes clear to them, and to others with whom I've spoken, that their preconceived notions of the daily musings and life of an escort aren't all that different from their own and that's when I flash a smile and pat myself on the back for another job well done. Visibility and honest communication are essential to finally ending the stigma that surrounds the sex industry. I think that events like the Hookies Awards, Black Party, Folsom Street, and HustlaBall, while all sexually-charged, open the doors to talking openly about sex and sexuality and why we're so afraid to discuss it. We're all, or at least most of us are, humans after all. The resurgence of archaic Puritanical values is so 17th century and it bores me.

So come at me, bro. I know that you have a lot of questions, and I have the answers... and cuddles. I have a lot of those, too.


  1. I am so sorry you have to deal with comments like those above - but I'm not terribly surprised. I work with groups of sex workers across Asia and the South Pacific, and I hear those kinds of attitudes regularly. Sadly, it's often coming from precisely those people who are supposed to be sources of help and protection - doctors, nurses, police officers, religious leaders etc. I wonder if Tim Tim, who appears so concerned with spreading disease, is aware that attitudes like his are exactly what allow preventable diseases to be spread, and keep people from accessing treatment when they need it. Someone should be ashamed of their behavior here, but it isn't you. I just wanted to say thanks for standing up for a lot of people who lack either the platform, the eloquence or the self-confidence to say what you said.

  2. I love to wake up and read this to get me in the mood for another day.
    It just makes me stronger to rock as an escort.
    Of course I get emails/tx msgs like that often but far away less than the others who thanks me to be an escort.
    Awww,if he realizes how good is to be well know around the world for who you are. How hot is to be among rich and famous people who this Tim Tim probably would crave to have a moment. How sweet is to travel to places (Tim Tim might know if he watches TV) and meet people of your own kind - free minded- , if he barely knew that I make more money than he does as an ADA......oh no Tim Tim!! Please don't put your ad in Rentboy, I rather have you as a client.

  3. Well written piece...we ALL have gone through (and continue to) this..I'm PROUD of WHO I am & WHAT I do.
    Let the hater's hate, I have an appointment!
    Ace (Las Vegas)