reactions v

getting paid on time

One thing sex workers have going for us is that we get paid on time. Smart ones get paid upfront (this is standard for most, but not all, of the world). While I’ve often compared mentally freelance writing work with sex work, they’re only now catching up to the pay-upon-completion model. Not the same as pay-upfront, more like pay-as-you-go but for a legal occupation, it’s a huge step forward.

make an authentic logo

Too funny! Hipster logos!

speaking of authentic

Yes, that guy I mentioned in the first section did indeed make another one of his damned “authentic” posts. I cursed at the monitor for subjecting me to it, then unsubscribed. I’ve added a couple new non-sex-work blog subscriptions and am much happier. Thank you, non-authentic bloggers, for writing more of what I like reading.

jacqueline carey

If you care, she’s doing her second AMA on February 13! I won’t pester her with any questions, but can’t wait to read it.

hooker-spotting part 1

I’ve always wanted to share this but haven’t. Here you go:

“Hookers stand out in Cannes. They’re the ones who are well-dressed and not smoking,” Tweeted Roger Ebert in 2010.

Though I have not been there during the film festival, I agree with his take on the scene.

hooker-spotting part 2

In the review of Girl Undressed, Caty and Red lightly touch on the author’s trotting out her credentials before she started stripping. They really discuss the author’s viewpoint of herself as very different from other strippers (i.e. different as better). They call this the Unlikely Stripper Syndrome and they’re right. I think every stripper memoir I’ve read has this in it. Prostitute memoirs are usually a bit less into the rationalization. I don’t know why so many sex work writers feel the need to grab the label. Denial? Guilt? Shame?

I find myself to be Unlikely in many ways, but a lot of that is because of my attitude (and my lack of denial and rationalization) and sometimes my ethics. I am the weirdo who always wanted to do this from a young age, so I think I’m very likely, likelier than most. But in real life, I sometimes have to argue to convince people I actually am/have been an escort/stripper because they don’t think I look or act like a sex worker of any sort — these people include other sex workers. (Makes turning tricks in bars difficult in the US, men in other countries aren’t so self-deluded.) So while I get the Unlikely syndrome based on the reactions of others, it’s not something I’ve sought because I see no reason for it. I don’t feel the need to fit any sort of stereotype because I’m not bending my nature to suit the job (it works the other way around for me, sometimes this is good, sometimes frustrating).

The Unlikely syndrome is foisted upon me by others and I resent it. Many sex workers, published or not, seek it because they’re not getting it and it galls them. Grass is always greener, I guess.

twitter hashtag campaigns are working

The Twitter hashtag thing for sex workers, #banfreebies, apparently has been taken too seriously by a civilian woman, though I doubt a sex worker attacked her on Twitter for giving it away. Sex workers have personal relationships, you know. But also, her getting the point of #banfreebies was a complete, total #fail.

trying to shut down twitter for sex workers

Since America has solved all other social problems, Congress has focused on Twitter and its sex worker population. The two articles I’ve seen on this issue all contain screenshots of Twitter accounts located in countries where prostitution is legal. Not to mention that they include pro-dommes in their concern about trafficking. While I’m sure it’s happened since anything is possible, I feel that it’s very rare for a pro-domme to be a) trafficked and/or b) underage.

Mostly, Twitter is a space where sex workers are fairly free and most use it for global networking. I guess that networking is too successful. That, and the US doesn’t like uppity hookers. Freedom of speech does not apply to us. I hope Twitter decides to fight back and not throw us under the bus, like Craigslist.

women are liars

I’ve never thought about this way before, but the author is right: women are seen as liars in our society. The first half of this essay is particularly good and relevant to almost every woman I’ve ever known.

things i’ve recently realized, not learned

These are things I learned a long time ago but only have recent events made my lessons clear to myself.

  • Whenever a man tells a woman to do something (especially if that includes being silent about injustice or harm), then the woman needs to do the exact opposite. He’s filled with fear and can’t wait to spout his deepest fears to his victims. Unwittingly, he gives up his power by revealing himself.
  • Having fear gives the bad guys all sorts of power over you. Have no fear and they have no power. (This is why I told my mom I am an escort.)
  • One way to recognize freedom is by the lack of fear.

10 thoughts on “reactions v

  1. Jim

    I followed the link above to where you wrote:

    Because if society starts realizing just how many sex workers are out there, things will change. Sex workers are sitting across from you at the dinner table right now. They’re on your speed dial. They’re in your family photos.

    So I got to wondering. Do you know of any solid, credible estimates of the total number of sex workers, active and retired, in the US?

    And, on a totally different topic: thank you again for your advice on elementary skin care. It was not wasted here. I continue to exfoliate and moisturize daily. I’m in the second half of a fairly brutal winter here in the Great Lakes region, and: no cracking, no bleeding, skin’s more flexible, and yes, my wife has noticed me doing this. She pokes me about having gone “metrosexual.” If it amuses her to do so, fine. Don’t bother me none.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Jim — No, there are no credible numbers, but they are huge. Just think of all the girls on Eros, TER, local review boards and Backpage, plus all the ones who don’t advertise. There is overlap, yes, but most girls find their niche and stay there. Most are not on the streets, most do not access public services and discuss their work, most are not arrested. The economy has only brought more women into the work. I don’t even know where to start to get an estimate of the numbers. It’s probably 10-20% of the female population in the US at any given time. Which also means that as those active retire, the female population with some hidden experience is actually quite large.

      Glad about your skin! This is indeed the winter to try out some moisture! I’m very pleased that you’re keeping yourself well. Just remember to use sunscreen when you finally get some sunshine!

  2. serra inarra

    I completely agree with so much in your post! Especially get paid up front and whenever a man tells a woman to do something that she should do the exact opposite. Especially about being silent about injustice or harm. Every time a man says be silent on that kind of thing they have their own and protecting other men’s agenda as the basis. Outspoken women terrify men.

    For once I got through a post with no bad words :)

  3. Laura

    When I clicked on “civilian woman” above it went to a comment I made. On my Twitter account a while back I stated that I do understand the point of the “ban freebies” hashtag but I also commended a lady on there for saying that some people do say these things about women who purposely give sex away for free and it isn’t a joke for them. I’ve seen it online from some (not all) sex workers and also those who say they’re not sex workers and/or you can’t tell from their information if they are or not. For example I’ve had this stuff directed at me on Twitter from those in the second category I noted above. If anyone has questions, concerns, etc. about comments I make, they’re welcome to bring them directly to me and that’s my preference. Thank you.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Laura — I appreciate you commenting on my blog. But honestly, your comment on Salon and the subsequent comments you made were not well-informed. There may have been a sex worker or two who attacked you for giving it away, but they would be the exception. The point about #banfreebies was attacking stereotypes and Whore Stigma, not you personally. I’m still not clear on why you’re upset about the #banfreebies hashtag campaign when you should be upset at the individuals who sent you nasty Tweets. They’re not representative of sex workers and probably not civilian women either.

      I didn’t comment on the Salon thread because a) it was old when I discovered it and b) I only want so many accounts. Anyplace that requires I create an account just to comment usually means I don’t bother. Also, this is my blog. I comment about a LOT of things here and I can, because…it’s my blog.

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  5. Laura

    Dear Amanda, please note the only things I remember saying on the banfreebies hashtag was to commend a lady on there who said that some people do really believe and push the negative stuff about women who give sex away for free. I thanked her for that and said I’d seen the negative talk online and off. Also, when I say I’ve seen some sex workers on Twitter say the same things they didn’t SPECIFICALLY say them TO ME on Twitter. They were general statements about women who give sex away for free. I don’t like this stuff said about other women like me just like I imagine you don’t like it if you see things like “sex workers are on drugs” (an example of an unfair blanket statement). I understand the hashtag isn’t specifically about me and also understand why it was set up (I read up on the background of it). I could have been clearer on all this in my comments on the Salon article. But, to me the actual number of people pushing unfair blanket statements, stereotypes, etc., about ANY groups doesn’t matter. None of it should be happening and if people don’t speak up about it things won’t change for the better. Yes, the negative things I’ve gotten on Twitter SPECIFICALLY to me about women who give sex away are upsetting and I’ve confronted those people about it, but it won’t ever stop me from speaking up. Actual numbers don’t matter to me when any groups are being talked about unfairly. When doing research on women like me who give sex away I found the same negative stuff over and over online and decided to speak against it. This doesn’t automatically mean I have a problem with things like the banfreebies hashtag. If I had I would have said way more on there than I did. I can understand why it was set up. Hopefully people will understand that I set up my Twitter to go against the negative things about women like me, etc. ALL who help people sexually (whether for pay or for free) deserve credit and to not have negative things said about them. Thank you for speaking to me nicely on here. You could have talked to me in a patronizing way, etc., but didn’t.

  6. Lionel

    Dear Ms. Brooks:
    It just goes to show with a certain respect to a type that you never know who is what in terms of their choice of occupation. Also it seems although you always aspired to working within the industry as you noted in the paragraph, you where able to make some sound and safe decisions and execute your game plan optimally to get the most out of the business. Finally although you probably knew what you wanted to do at an early age, it was the same with Maggie Mcneill. You both like to engage with men and felt comfortable with that and you both did not conform to the ideals that corporate America would require. Henceforth, it might be slightly unconventional but you became self made business women and educators to a demimonde that for most would be considered taboo.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Lionel — It’s not “able” to make safe and sound decisions, it’s just doing so. Probably not having a lot of guilt-ridden baggage around my work helps my decision-making process, as well as the fact that I view it as a business. I’ve certainly made bad decisions and try to educate others so they don’t those same bad decisions.

      Maggie isn’t the only one who was drawn to this work from an early age, a number of girls I’ve talked to have been, which inspired this post: http://www.texasgoldengirl.com/afterhours/genetic-prostitute/

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