by EVA SLESS
I have a problem. The problem is I am angry. Really really angry and I’m trying to write. I don’t like writing when I’m angry because I find a lot of points get missed and lost and I get a bit shouty and sweary which, in turn, makes me look like a petulant child who hasn’t got her own way.
My anger started on Saturday night when a friend wrote a Facebook status. The status asked that if sex work was as empowering as some sex workers “claim” it is, would they then encourage their daughters to enter the profession? And then she went on to say no, of course they wouldn’t because really it’s a degrading and exploitative job and no-one should ever feel proud or ’empowered’ because of it.
She then bandied around some ‘statistics’ that the majority of girls who work get into it, do so solely because of drug habits and as a last resort. because of desperation. She claimed that the sex workers who advocate what they do as a positive thing are just kidding themselves because everybody knows there’s nothing empowering or positive about sex work…
She says this knowing full well what I do. That I am a sex worker. That I am also a mother to a daughter. And that my world, my job, my career – has been built of the positivity of sex work.
My friend was wrong. And this is why:
When it comes to my daughter and what I will ‘encourage’ her to do, it actually has nothing to do with a specific job or title and has everything to do with giving her the tools to make choices and decisions on her own.
I will ‘encourage’ her to be a good and decent person. To treat others with respect and to not judge anyone by how they look, where they are from, who they love or what they do for a living. I will ‘encourage’ her to make her own well-informed choices and live her life in a way that makes her happy, satisfied, fulfilled and confident. Whether that future job is as a surgeon or a sex worker is entirely her choice and, if I do my job as a parent properly, will be the right choice for her.
I cannot stand the uninformed and ignorant rant that sex work is not empowering or a real ‘choice’.
I am going to put it in a very simple way:
I love sex. I f*cking LOVE it. I have loved it before I even knew what it was or that there was such a thing as the patriarchy. All I knew was that something down there felt really good.
As I grew up and learned more about it – I loved it even more.
And as I started to do it… I realised I was really, really good at it.
So, something I really enjoy, am good at and can be paid to do is somehow NOT my choice?
I work for myself. I have no pimp, no manager, no brothel. Just me and a few advertisements dotted around the place, but I am being forced into this?
No. Really I am not. And to say that I am, is insulting and ignorant.
Now we come to the whole “exploitation” thing. But before I go any further I will put in my usual disclaimer: I am aware that the sex industry is not perfect. I am aware there are many, many girls who are being forced into this work. Being trafficked and held prisoner.