by GRACE BELLAVUE
Please note that this post could trigger difficult memories for survivors of rape or sexual assault.
One day I went to work and this happened.
Opening the door I neglected to look through the peephole. In retrospect I wish I had.
I remember him stepping in — blocking the doorway. My only and instantaneous thought was “Fuck.” We had a prior history involving him owing me money and prior aggressive bookings. I’d ceased communication with him and he’d booked under a false alias, hence the surprise.
“Have you got the money yet?” I forced my legs from collapsing. Gone was the anticipated booking; lost was my afternoon. I never expected him to be here. My heart sank, my intuition, something I trusted implicitly, had failed me.
As a female I often have to take a manipulative but also passive position in sex work because I’m not physically powerful enough. Mentally and emotionally I am up against a male twice my size I have no physiological strength. They know that; I know that, so I have to use the only weapon I have – my mind.
“No.” He was discussing the owed money.
Like a child caught out on a lie, his reaction was petulant. Time slowed as his right hand splayed, his fingers and thumbs spreading to form an arch that flew to grab my throat. I could feel the strength of his shoulders as he dragged me across the floor. My feet could only kick backwards as he pulled me over to the kitchen. Bent over the stove I flew into a disassociated cloud.
“You fucking whore.” There was that word thrown at me again in anger. My mind calmed down – assessing the situation as it always did in times of danger. I’d learned this early in my career. Remove emotion, evaluate the surroundings, analyse your opponent.
People always asked me if I’m afraid of my job. I’ve done it so often I’ve learned I’m not allowed to be afraid. When you are in a room with someone who can physically overpower you, you learn to work mentally, emotionally and energetically with them to create a positive, safe environment. Sadly, if they truly want to hurt or kill me with a weapon, I am powerless. It’s a risk I take. That’s why they prey. I can however, own a situation and energetically project confidence and strength. Very few humans want to fuck someone that doesn’t want to fuck them – therefore psychologically and empathetically working with another human can often become my most powerful weapon.
He shook my throat as he was trying to get a response quickly. I mentally considered the room. Too far to the front door and the back door was still deadlocked. I was alone. His fist tightened.
“You called me a rapist cunt.” I had. In drunk in angry texts I’d attempted to provoke payment of money owed. As for the rape – running on instinct I’d suspected by picking cues from his behaviour. He looked me in the eyes, a piercing stare. His voice steadied, threatening, punctuating each word.
“Why. Did. You. Call. Me. A. Rapist. Cunt?” Logic calmly settled back in. Ease, placate, rationalise. I tried speaking; he lessened the pressure on my vocal box so I could utter words. I tried to diffuse the situation.
“Look at me in the eyes. Think about what you are doing right now, you don’t want to do this.”
“Keep looking at me, I know you are angry.”
I saw his eyes turn from half hypnotized to darkness in response to my words. His fist tightened again and I struggled to breathe.
“I’m going to teach you exactly what a rapist cunt is.”
I stared him back in the eyes.
“Are. You. Afraid. Yet?” I wasn’t. I wasn’t allowed. I remember reading as a child that courage exists in the absence of fear. People had so often told me this would happen, it was as though i had been preparing for just this moment, as they said, it’s a numbers game.
“No.” They hate that. Humans are controlled by fear. If you are fearless, you control the situation. His eyes flicked to the open bedroom door.
“I’m going to rape the fuck out of you. You fucking whore.” Pressure began to build in my throat as the palm of his hand pressed harder against my esophagus. Four fingers curled around my neck spontaneously wrenching it towards the bedroom. Fuck him. Fuck this. There’s a time where fearlessness is useful – in others it’s just plain idiotic. I pushed my chin down to work his grip loose and screamed like I’d never screamed before. His hands dropped. Shocked he hesitated for a moment and fled through the door.
I sank to the floorboards. There’s an animalistic keening that arises from your gut when you know your soul is hurt. It manifests from the base of your spine, surges through your stomach and erupts in your throat. It steals your breath and focus. The grief began to propel the heels of my feet until I’d kicked myself, crouched, towards the corner. I pushed my body until I could go no further and the walls supported me so much they dug into my spine.
I wasn’t fearless anymore I was afraid.
This happened in my office. My name is Pippa (working alias Grace Bellavue - [link NSFW]) and I used to work as a producer for digital media prior to becoming a sex worker. I’ve since traded a desk for a bed. If this man had walked through my previous employers front doors and done the exact same thing to me over my workspace there’d be an outrage.
I didn’t get really listened to by the police, even though I raised alarms within my community and discovered he was a paroled rapist.
I haven’t changed. I’m still the same person. Sex worker or not, I do not understand why acquaintances, friends and family turned to me in sorrow muttering, “It’s a numbers game, it was bound to happen eventually.”
Having decided out of a passion for human sexuality and also dealing one on one intimately with people I chose an alternate career, did I in turn somehow mutate to be more susceptible due to my job for attempted rape?
I don’t get it. I run my sex-work business like I ran any of my past careers; with intelligence, passion, empathy & values. Characteristics I see in many of my sex worker colleagues.
I go to my office every day, do my work, pay my taxes and come home. I look at myself when I am removing my “Grace Face” and I see Pippa.
I give pleasure for a living. I don’t want nor have any desire to encroach or destruct others relationships. I enjoy the boundaries of the professionalism and discretion I set with my clientele.
I still don’t understand why it’s okay, or “part of the job” for someone to do this to me when I am at my office.
If this post brings up issues for you, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence hotline on 1800 737 732 for 24/7 counselling. Alternatively you can visit their website for online help from a sexual assault counsellor.
Grace Bellavue is an Australian escort passionate about industry advocacy who used to be a digital monkey chained at a desk. Unchained, she know spends too much time indulging in unmentionable sexual acts, scotch & relishing owning her own business. Find her website here (NSFW) and her Twitter here.