There’s been a small blitz of media attention directed at me (I haven’t been updating stuff, though, I’m behind). And it’s not at all when I expected or asked for it. My relationship is over so I moved to regroup and finish Book #2. I figured on a fairly quiet existence for the next couple months. Instead, all of this hits the fan the very day that I moved (right after I unplugged my computer, apparently).

What’s amusing is a lot of people think I just published the book to capitalize on the Spitzer thing. They don’t do enough fact-checking to discover its public-release date was mid-October 2006. Less amusing is how they mangle my bio or misquote something they read about me on the Internet, written by someone else.

Last night on XBN, I discussed this with Jill (rambled, actually). These are some residual thoughts on my brief experiences with the media as a self-identified sex worker.

A definite downside is that I’ve attracted the attention of every shock-jock in the country, it seems. I’m a chance for them to use as many dirty words on the air as possible and a chance to score points off me. Seems women are only fodder for men’s lame sex jokes. I’m done with these shows. No more. ‘Course, it’s actually easier to screen clients than screen radio stations (they tend to be misleading about the nature of their show, of course).

Or there’s an accusatory tone that would not be there if I were a client. Men get a “wink wink nudge nudge” thing when paid companionship is discussed. Women are branded and I bring out the self-righteous prig in everyone. The only explanation is that there must be something wrong with me. Being female and openly sexual means I’m off my rocker; something to be either pitied or reviled.

More infuriating, they think they know everything about sex work (escort work in particular) because they believe every stereotype they’ve ever come across. This makes them an “expert.” Which makes me wonder why they bother to have me on. None of my interviewers have yet to actually admit to having experience as a sex worker — only me. Yet apparently I’m not to be believed.

I’d love to get an interview like the one on NPR earlier this week (with actual sex workers). It was a serious, real discussion; calm, controlled, wonderful to listen to. But no, I’m not taken seriously enough for these gigs — few that there are. That would legitimize me, I guess.

One might say I’ve asked for it, and I sort of have. I need publicity because it helps book sales. But at what cost? It’s already taking a lot out of me. The horrors that sex work supposedly does to one’s soul did not happen to me with my sex work. It’s happening now by the mainstream media. I’m being treated in ways I would never tolerate from a client.

Two-edged sword indeed.

24 thoughts on “media and a sex worker

  1. “The horrors that sex work supposedly does to one’s soul did not happen to me with my sex work. It’s happening now by the mainstream media.”

    No kidding! One of the most painful things about being an escort has to do with the way society hates and shames and blames us. The media only represents that mindset. You are brave for being out there trying to set the record straight. Thank you for that!

  2. Brave or stupid, I haven’t decided which. Willingly submitting one’s self to abuse doesn’t indicate sanity.

    In all seriousness though — thank you for the support, Emilie.

    XX

  3. Your experiences reflect in part the media’s ability in general to seize upon some topic be it a natural disaster, economic news, or in your case, work as an escort and tout its newsworthiness provided that the media is able to make whatever it is fit into a particular “established” narrative. One could argue that a similar type of process frequently occurs when it comes to acceptable gender roles. Unfortunately a woman who embraces her sexuality in whatever form does still make some people nervous, regardless of the gender of the person.

    As one of the other comments mentioned you are brave and should be commended for your efforts.

  4. It has been quite some time since I visited your site, but I saw the interview on Bill O’Reilly this evening … just wanted you to know, … I thought you did a great job, handled yourself quite well and you looked great too!!! Good for you.

  5. BAS,

    Thank you! I did better than I thought I would too. It was a confidence boost, though I have watched it and watching myself on TV is very strange and unnatural.

    XX

  6. Alex,

    Thanks for the support.

    I realize I’m a quick fad, a news story that will quickly fade. Everyone forgets this is a daily reality for many, many people. Oh well, if it helps sell books in the interim…that’s good. I may open some minds along the way — even better.

    Sexual women do make people uncomfortable; which is ridiculous given how almost everything in this society functions on the premise of having sex with a woman.

    XX

  7. Holy shit were you really on O’Reilly?? I just saw Callie Simms mention it on Twitter. As I said there: you have some major ovaries.

    Still blown away by this. 😮

  8. Amber,

    Yes, I was on O’Reilly. You need to subscribe to my newsletter, Amber! It was also on my Amazon blog and the Latest News section of the book’s site. Though honestly I didn’t publicize it much because I didn’t think too many people would care.

    XX

  9. Though honestly I didn’t publicize it much because I didn’t think too many people would care.

    Oh you underestimate yourself!

    Seriously, MAJOR respect to you for doing that… just wow.

    I will subscribe to your newsletter post-haste! 🙂

  10. Amanda – I called your 800 number to order Book One but got the answering machine so I downloaded the form and ordered snail mail requesting you sign my copy. You might not believe this but I think exactly like you do. We’re kindred spirits. That aside you’re carrying on extremely important work that must be continued. Never quit! – Scott

  11. Amber,

    A big deal to me does not automatically = a big deal to anyone else. So no, I really didn’t think anyone would be impressed by O’Reilly or watch it. I’ve done things before that I thought were impressive which made zero ripple, so I figured this was simliar — something only I cared about (and the few people close to me).

    Course, you have been a long-time supporter, so a sincere thanks for your compliments.

    Newsletter sign-up is on the home page. Though I think this site re-design is very pretty, I’m not entirely sure I made the right decisions as to putting what where.

    Scott,

    Thank you! The call-in number operates during business hours on Central time. On the other hand, my fulfillment center was out to lunch for all I know. Sorry about having to order slowly. I’ll let them know to expect your order and get you a signed copy.

    Thank you so much for supporting me. Your feedback on the book is welcome, too.

    XX

  12. Since I brought it up … what is your thoughts about Mr. O’Reilly’s interview??

    To be honest, I thought he was fairly mild mannered and respectful considering the topic, if I remember correctly, he even gave you a compliment at one point. It would have been nice if he had allowed you to elaborate more, but again, considering the topic, I wouldn’t have expected it! Not on his show!!

    Saw you previously on FOXNEWS as I was up late one evening and I caught them discussing your book on “RED EYE”. They showed the book and gave you about 30 seconds of their style of commentary … I forget who was on the show! Did you see it?

  13. BAS,

    O’Reilly was far more mild than I thought he would be. In fact, he was a little boring. I came in expecting to fight tooth and nail but I’ve had more difficult radio interviews. I wish I’d been more agressive in pursuing my points — I was very prepared. But I’m too polite and don’t talk over other people. Guess I’ll get over that someday.

    On the other hand, it was nice not to be (verbally) kicked around. Can’t complain there.

    Yes, have seen the Red Eye short (without sound). I don’t even want to hear what they have to say, frankly.

    One thing I find amusing is that FOX sure likes talking about sex workers.

    XX

  14. Congrats !!!!! First on the radio show…(he was a putz for not letting you get a word in edgewise…grrrrrrrrrrrr……..) Second, moving on to Book 2!!

    I have your first book, the one published way back in 2006……I got yours when I first started this business, in August of 2007.:)

    I’m looking forward to the next one!

    Alexa Hampton Stone

  15. Alexa,

    Thank you! I love it when a real reader comments.

    I’m looking forward to FINALLY getting #2 out. Tyepsetting is done, I just have to pay for printing. And it’s done! Yay!

    XX

  16. O’Reilly is a huge deal & now I feel like an idiot for not signing up for your newsletter… but will do so right now.

    xo ~ casey

  17. Keep up the good work. We need more people out there telling the truth. there are so many men out here who think they can buy anything. They can not buy your sole, only you can give it away and It’s up to us where it goes. we all make mistakes and feel we are trapped in those mistakes. But it is not true evil makes you feel no one will ever love you or respect you because of where you have been. That’s just the evil fear evil one’s have placed on you to control you and distroy you. the ones that love you want the bes for you and be on your side when thing are at there worst. Love is something few people understand becouse is not the way most of us first choose. The lucky one’s have faced the evil and learned to live with out it some of us even learn to love ourselves and become wise enough to help others. I see you made it and if you ever need a friend just call on me I will do what I can.

  18. It’s brilliant that the synopsis on the O’Reilly Factor page says something about them ganging up on you and asking you why can’t we all just tell girls not to do it because it only takes one nut to slit their throat. And this is supposed to be the answer. I’m guessing they were already told not to have sex at all unless they were married, or at least planning to marry their lover. See how that doesn’t work. Not too long ago people were told to just stop being gay. All of society told them, and they had the bible to back them up. If simply telling people not to be the way they are actually could work, wouldn’t it be a better solution all around just to tell the psychos not to slit anyone’s throat? You can’t prevent people from choosing to do something when they feel the rewards outweigh the risks. That is why people smoke, go tanning, drive home after “just a few” drinks, etc. However, if you know of a few ways they can minimize their risk while engaging in their dangerous behavior, wouldnt it be selfish and unethical to withhold that information?

  19. Bobbi — You’re talking the common sense of harm reduction, which is part of the underlying message of my books. Common sense isn’t so common — as you’ve noticed — especially not on FOX News.

    LOVE “wouldn’t it be a better solution all around just to tell the psychos not to slit anyone’s throat?” I think that all the time. It’s part of the reason why “rape prevention tips” anger feminists: why not just focus on NOT raping someone instead of making it the victim’s responsibility to avoid being raped? This sort of thinking is so easily applied to everything that is wrong with criminalized sex work.

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