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.