where pen-pals should go

Someone (possibly a retired escort?) has finally figured it out. You can have the best pen-pal of all, for a fee, of course. Just like the guys who constantly write escorts without ever setting up an appointment, you will never meet your fake Internet girlfriend. Plans start at $250/month and go up depending on amount of contact required (sounds familiar). Seems to be the real deal, though I do wonder just how many different people are actually in the talent pool and if they are all actually females (it’s pretty easy to fool guys online).

Personally, I’m waiting for FakeHooker.com to debut. Oh wait, nevermind.

the work-positive theory

Another piece by Audacia Ray in which she recants former beliefs and apologizes for being a white female of conventional appearance (she should apologize for believing that New York/San Francisco sex work activists represent the entire rest of the country). But I read this piece and wondered if I was one of these sex-positive activists. No, I’m not sex-positive and don’t believe I’ve ever identified that way. Sex workers who endlessly blog about their personal/professional sex lives makes me squirm and I’ve never, ever stated that sex work satisfies my sexual self. (I usually go the other way and tell sex workers that this work is not a substitute for a sex life.)

Sex work is work to me, not sex. I am work-positive. I firmly believe in every sex worker’s right to work in the safest possible manner, maximizing their income as much as they can. As much as I can give sex workers the tools to do that, I will. Granted, my focus is on what I know best: Internet escort work. That still encompasses a pretty broad swath of people. I insist on sex workers working ethically as well — that’s my belief in how the world functions best. Not that I can somehow force anyone to do any of this. That’s a laugh!

For some reason, work is a four-letter word among Internet escorts. There is nothing dirty, ignoble or dispassionate about work. Job is also not a bad word, yet is also treated as such. Maybe my origins do affect my sex work. I was raised with a very strong work ethic and having a job was what one did. Since my family did not provide me with a trust fund to last the rest of my life, having a job and working was an integral part of my future no matter how I looked at it.

That my sex work is work isn’t a negative to me. I take pride in my work, I pour a lot of my personal energy into my work. My work revolves around connecting with individual humans on a personal level and making them happy. It’s not easy work and it’s not a job for everyone but it is a job that many are drawn to. I certainly don’t resent having to make a living. It’s an expected part of my life. Sure, there are annoyances but there are plenty of other jobs that would have killed my soul long before.

Audacia discusses the issue of money and yes, it’s a valid reason for why many choose this work. Nothing wrong with taking the highest-paying work one can get. But I have found that those who find fulfillment only through the money end up with emotional problems regarding the work. The answer for these people isn’t decrim, it’s helping them get similar-paying work they can personally handle. The reality is that not everyone is cut out for sex work. Just like not everyone is cut out to do all sorts of other highly-specialized work. Still, those who hate sex work but need to pay the bills deserve work-positive activism just as much as those who feel naturally drawn to sex work. (I’m deliberately leaving out the experiences of those who were coerced into sex work because, obviously, they made no choice to be involved.)

In a perfect world, everyone would only do the work they wished to do and it would magically pay their living expenses. We’re not there yet. Changing the laws and providing harm reduction is the best that can be done. I don’t feel there is inherent conflict in telling the world “Most sex workers choose sex work. Many like it. Many do not. None of them wishes to work in unsafe conditions and be subject to arrest or become ready-made victims of crime.”

Sex work is a gigantic spectrum of experiences. One thing I’ve noticed is that those who have negative experiences rarely acknowledge that not everyone shares their experiences, yet any sex worker who has positive experiences is seemingly required to acknowledge they aren’t shared by everyone. Positive experiences aren’t a by-product of “luck” or any socially-endowed “privilege” (a laughable concept under a criminalized system) — they’re a product of hard work by the individual sex worker who approaches their work as a business to be learned, managed and maximized. Does this mean every sex worker who has negative experiences aren’t taking the right business approach? Sometimes — yes. Sometimes just a little application of common sense and personal responsibility would do wonders for the sex worker. Other times the answer is clearly no, an awful lot beyond the control of the individual needs to happen to change that person’s fortune.

I’ve really said all I wanted to say today. I’m work-positive and will continue to be so. Audacia helped clarify this for me and I thank her for that — regardless of what I think of her thoughts, she made me think and that’s always appreciated (and I like her on a personal level). I’ve been trying to clarify a lot of things in my life lately and this is just one more piece in place (a small one, but one I wanted to share).

a natural history of the prostitute

The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet (he had the right idea)
The Origin of the World by Gustave Courbet

Prostitutes are born.

Not every sex worker in the world enters the work because she has always felt a pull towards it. Many have. I know a number of women who have felt the interest from a young age, including myself (and this was before I even had a clear idea of what sex was). Conversations with these women reveal that we all say the same things about our early interest, we all became interested right before entering puberty and common myths about prostitution were not enough to dissuade us from desiring that life-path.

This is a very small sampling and it’s highly unscientific. Given what we know about genes and hard-wired behaviors — it seems more than plausible. Just as homosexual people are born, I am convinced prostitutes are born too.

My inspiration came last year after reading a US-based survey about attitudes toward gay people. The discovery of “gay genes” seems to have really turned the tide in popular thinking and acceptance of homosexuality. It sounds like an argument of convenience for prostitution. But if the range of human sexual orientation is, in fact, genetic; then how come prostitution — an extremely common sexual behavior — supposedly isn’t? What if prostitution isn’t merely a sexual behavior but is actually a sexual orientation? Why has prostitution always been viewed as a deviant behavior? How come people aren’t willing to examine the idea that a prostitute is a perfectly natural occurrence and that it’s society which has formed the deviant behavior around the prostitute?

If being a prostitute is a natural tendency for a percentage of women, then how can laws be made against who they are?

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what are you really paying for? 3

Though I repeat (ad nauseam) that you pay for my time/energy, I have now figured out how to prove it!

I don’t sell my body — it’s still with me when I leave. Though I have occasionally left possessions behind, I’ve yet to leave behind any bit or piece of me. When I’m naked, my body is very conveniently made so that it’s all attached into one smooth package. It’s awfully great in a business like this because I don’t accidentally leave important working bits behind without payment, so nobody can steal my body either.

Now that I’ve proven I’m not selling my body, here’s how I prove I’m selling my time: when I leave my client, I leave behind part of my day (or evening) that I will never get back. In my life, time only moves forward, therefore the time I’ve spent with my clients is gone, never to be regained. I have effectively sold my time.

The personal energy I’ve expended with my client goes with him as well, though I can replenish my personal energy. So maybe I don’t sell my energy after all. I most certainly sell my time. The sex is always free.

Though I’m speaking of my own perspective, I honestly don’t believe any sex worker sells her body though some clearly do sell sex acts. I do believe unhappy sex workers or those in coercive situations are selling their personal energy and it’s not being replenished. (Or it’s is being sold for them without their consent.) Being psychologically-drained leads to problems, regardless of the job. Of course, all are selling their time because they, like me, will never get that time back.

Please note: Zombie sex workers or those suffering leprosy may have body-containment issues I do not.

floating blossom

Mizu shōbai. The water trade. It is a constant stream, ebbing and flowing.

I’ve spent nights in ridiculously expensive suites in some of the best hotels in the world and bug-infested little rooms (hotels can offer more kinds of bugs than just cockroaches, BTW). One morning I checked out of my hotel with my bank account severely overdrawn and no place to go, that night I had a nice room paid for 3 nights and was $1000 to the good. I’ve been ripped off. I’ve been shorted. I’ve been tipped with lots of extra money and beautiful gifts. I’ve worked in situations and at rates most of my friends would never deign to do. I’ve worked in situations and at rates many envy.

The water trade. Continually ebbing and flowing.

I’ve had sex with soldiers, farmers, fellow adventurers and executives. I’ve had no sex with clients — very often. Men have cried, laughed, loved with me. I’ve had days where every single client screwed me into the mattress (God bless Australia). I have “done it for the money” because I disliked the client so much (this is very rare). I’ve fallen in love, knowing I will never see them again (this happens more often than the disliking bit). I’ve been bored, annoyed, drained, turned into a purring puddle of goo, energized, refreshed, happy. “Happy” is my most common reaction.

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