Dirty Little Whore Diary

Everything you ever wanted to know about sex work and then some.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It Never Stops Hurting

Like I've stated before, I'm no nubie to this industry and all the shit that comes with it sometimes. I've been labled, treated like and called a whore on many occasions and while I understand that these feelings come from a place of misundertsanding, sometimes it still really pisses me off.

Being stigmatized by medical professionals really hurts and gets under my skin. There is already a weird dynamic at play when you are visiting a doctor and having to justify my personal decisions to a judgemental bastard only increases the uneven power exchange.

I guess I forget sometimes living in my little sex positive bubble that is San Francisco that our society is still extremely sex negative. Experiences like the one I had yesterday with my doctor are a harsh reminder of the streotypes that I live to break.

Whatever happened to comprehensive and nonjudgemental health care? Why should I not be able to discuss my (recent car accident) injuries and how that affects my ability to do my job? Why should I instead have to sit there and defend why I'm "dancing" as oposed to some lame office job that I'd never be happy in? Why is that even relevant when discussing my physical health?

What really makes my mad is that someone like me who is out about sex work and confident in my choices can be affected and in essence "silenced" by this kind of treatment and stigmatization. If I'm affected like this then I can only imagine it is worse for those who aren't out and comfortable about publicizing their jobs. This just serves as a reminder for me to continue to be open and face those sterotypes head on.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Stripper vs Sex Worker.

I've been a part of the sex industry for about seven years now but it has only been in the past year that I have begun calling myself a sex worker. Since I've claimed this new identity for myself I have become extremely sensitive towards being referred to as such by others. Endless conversations have taken place in an attempt for me to make people understand why it is important that I be called a sex worker as opposed to dancer, stripper, etc. I could give people a list of reasons why I was one and not the other but I'm really curious as to why it has become so important to me to identify with a title that is so emotionally loaded.

One of the biggest reasons I think that I have really come to value my new identity has to do with what I feel is my entering into a different phase of sex work. In the past I've had jobs that were less than ideal for me or felt that I needed to compromise big parts of my personality to mold myself into a "sellable" image. I've finally found a job that allows me the freedom to be exactly as I am, in physical appearance and personality.

Working at the peep show has afforded me a sex work environment like non other, and literally non other in the world. I work for a worker owned and operated and unionized peep show. Hands down the most important aspect about my job to me is the amazing community that we have among the worker/owners. Competition against others in the same position is a natural part of sex work. There is only a limited amount of money and you need to convince someone to spend that money on you rather than someone else providing the exact same services, whatever they might be. However, at the peep show, we work for an hourly wage as well as a percentage of our private booth shows. This removes the pressure of competition as needed for survival.

In addition to the fact that there is no competition between the workers, we also all run a business together. For most of us this isn't the kind of job where you can punch in, punch out and then go about your life. There are endless meetings, decisions to be made, policies to change and several committees to be a part of. We work there not only because we love what ever it is that sex work provides for us personally but because we have a real commitment to our business and desire to see it succeed.

With this newest "phase" of sex work that I am in also comes a comfortableness with my work. In the past I have lied about my job or severely controlled the information flow about my job. Now, I'm totally out about sex work. This is another reason for my identifying as a sex worker. I want people to know what I do and where I work and to see the fucking amazing things that we are doing. No where else in the world is there a worker owned and operated sex business! That's fucking amazing to me. Talk about breaking down stereotypes.

I want to be out about sex work and face those stereotypes and the stigma that I receive head on. I want to challenge them and make accessible information for more realistic points of view about sex workers. I want to help a population that has been scorned into silence be more visible so that issues that are important to sex workers are voiced and listened to. I want to watch people's faces change when I tell them I'm a sex worker and answer the fifty million stereotypical questions that I can see forming in their minds. I just want to get people thinking about their definition of a sex worker and why I don't fit that model.

I am a sex worker.....and I fucking love it!