But as sex workers we also face deep-seated stigmas which mean that if we don’t disclose to you our stories of tragedy and the demeaning experiences we have faced we run the risk of not being believed by you.
This is what we call “tragedy porn”: A desire in the feminist movement to hear tragic stories of hardship from sex workers, and when we don’t tell them, we face the accusation that we are covering up the “truth” about sex work.
An interesting and important read.
Dead Sexy Misandrist: Sex Work Zine Call for Submissions!
Do you or someone you know engage or have engaged in sex work? Would you or that other person like to contribute to a zine about sex work? Well here’s a chance to do such a thing as what I just described!
I am currently seeking submissions for a zine for and by current and previous sex workers about sex work. If you or someone you know has worked in or for the sex industry and would like to write, doodle, and/or snap a photo about said experiences then I would like to know about it. And also put it in some sort of book like format for other people to also know about as well.
If you are or have ever been:
A call (trans)girl/guy/gender non binary
A web cam model
A fetish model
A nude model
A private dancer
A go go dancer
An exotic masseuse
A sugar baby
A burlesque dancer
A sex therapist
Those working in the production side of things
And/or any other type of sex work that I can’t think of at the moment then I want to hear from you and your experiences!
No topic is off limits, this is an expression of your feelings about a job that we both love and hate. Format is as yet undetermined but I’m leaning towards something I can make out of normal printer paper. If you are submitting a picture or photograph please make sure it is of a high quality so if it needs to be scaled down or altered we can do that without compromising your art.
This first issue (I am hoping to have many) will center around the sex workers themselves. If you are on the receiving end of any of these services and would like to contribute your opinions I will accept them now but will be saving them for later issues.
Please send your submissions to email@example.com
If you would like to remain anonymous or would like to use a nom de plume just say so and I’ll be happy to oblige.
Deadline for the first issue will be DECEMBER 1ST so I can get it out for the winter holidays.
Vanessa (http://mazhogimaakwe.tumblr.com/) will be co-producing or whatever so if you have any questions you can shoot them at her or just use the email and one of us will get back to you.
P.S. I hope the tongue in cheek nature of the zine’s title is obvious haha.
signalboosting to get the word out!
i want to network with other qtpoc involved in sex work
it’s strugglingtobeheard here, trying to reach out to some people that i would like to network with. i have talked about my involvement in the sex work industry. i am a queer genderfluid person who has been involved in this industry for about 6 years, on and off. right now, it is a lot more mild than the club scene i was dealing with in the past. but online camming is still a world of it’s own with the oppressions we face in our in space lives coming into our online lives. and so i want to network with other self-identified qtpoc (especially Black folks) who are involved in this work, either online or offline, who want to create or work together to create some kind of space where we can discuss, share and have some safety to just be us.
right now i am thinking something that is free and easy to start up, such as a password protected twitter, tumblr or facebook group. something along those lines. or even an email list where we can send each other messages. tinychat and gchat options or skype sessions as well. i want to protect people’s privacy, i know this is a big issue, so if you want to chat or collaborate but don’t want to reblog/call attention, i understand. a message marked private might be a good way to start, if you are comfortable.
i don’t have anything concrete yet, but my time at the allied media conference has given me a bit of energy and an idea and the sense that i might as well and see what i can do on my own and build from there. so if you are self-identified qtpoc who is involved in sex work (or seriously considering, maybe… maybe.) then i would love if you signal boost this, contact me, or those who aren’t pass this along to those who might be.
my ultimate dream would to be to set up a way to market ourselves to a qtpoc customer base so we would have less of the stress to deal with in our livings. but this is further down the line. so in the meantime, please signal boost or hit me up if you’d like!! if you don’t feel comfortable doing so or want more info, feel free to also message me in that regard.
A Complicated View of Sex Work
Anti-sex work feminists are cute in how simplistic they are.
What’s not cute is that they have to share that simplicity with the world.
—- —- —- —- —- —-
Here’s something a little more complicated:
-I didn’t have much of a choice in being a pro switch.
-I really, sincerely enjoy parts of it.
-I really, sincerely loathe parts of it.
-I really, sincerely fear parts of it.
-You can pry this option from my cold, dead hands.
-I find certain aspects of my job empowering and just as many disempowering.
-My job is not oppressing anyone more than most jobs in this society are.
-My job is not liberating anyone more than most jobs in this society are.
-I hate most of my entitled, dickhead clients, not because they’re clients, but because they’re entitled dickheads. (If you’re a client, and you’re reading this, and you’re worried, then maybe you should stop being a fucking dickhead. If you’re not worried, I very much hope it’s because you’re one of the good ones.)
-I also hate clients who insist that I love my job or even get off on it. (If you’re a client, and you’re reading this, and you’re alarmed, let me ask you a few rhetorical questions. Do you *love* being a fucking accountant? Does it make your dick hard? Does that make you bad at your job or a victim of it?)
-I actually do appreciate clients who don’t fucking suck. My resentment towards them is entirely limited to their being rich (usually)white men. (If you’re a client, and you’re reading this, and you think you might be offended, read a helluva a lot more about social justice and then realize you are not actually offended.)
-I’m a radical feminist, minus the shit parts. (And yes, I do actually know what that label means. I disagree with the anti-trans, anti-kink and anti-sex work path y’all have dragged this ideology down).
-Porn is a form of sex work I mostly love, and one that I think has genuine radical potential.
-Most people are coerced into their jobs and kind of hate them and many find them damaging.
-This is probably the least damaging thing I can do right now, and I have a problem with that, and so should you, and you should take that out on the capitalist kyriarchy, you stupid shit.
-The super-privileged ‘I choose my choice’ sex workers are very much not helpful, but the anti-sex work non-sex workers are toxic as fuck.
-Most of my co-workers have opinions that are equally complicated.
-A trafficked woman is not a sex worker any more than a woman is sexually active because she’s raped. You harm both sex workers and trafficking victims by grouping us together. And by harm, I mean you’re trying to kill us. Fuck you.
-Decriminalize all sex work now.
-Abolish most sex work eventually.
——Fuck the sex industry and support sex workers.——
Maggie McNeal Commenting on Chicago Tribune article (via thefumoblu)
So true never thought about that.
wow soaked in your colonial, racist, gendered privilege much, OP? Logically absurd is a mighty big gauntlet to throw down…beyond exhausted with white privileged anybody thinking they even remotely voice anything of relevance for the women and people of color in all those nooks and crannies of the world they don’t trouble themselves to look in. What do you think happens to sex workers living in Brown/Black, gender non-complaint, disabled, too young, too sick bodies in your fantasies?
Those capitalist big meanie systems hipster progressives are so fond of protesting - you know the ones whitey himself never can seem to to topple - under who’s thumb exactly do you conscript the bodies of MY PEOPLE to exist? What mechanisms do you think will help a sex worker in a contract dispute in THIS society when a square can’t get any justice? Think whole hog legalization will make cops a resource - ever talked to a stripper - legal sex work - whose been raped? I have..guess what cops dont give a fuck when moms and secretary goodie-goodies get attacked and their give-a-fuck disappears down a slidding scale the closer you get to working instead of walking.
You know why you don’t see a huge brigade of sex workers speaking out en-mass to voice A VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE based on all those pesky intersections this blithe rhetoric doesn’t ever engage…IT”S CAUSE THE”RE ARE FUCKING DEAD AND DISAPPEARED. They were sold and guess what their bodies arent fucking here cause the same system that said it was ok to sell them like objects said it was ok to dispose of them the same way. And the ones who survive no one listens to anyway cause they are still members of marginalized communities overall even if they do speak english and endless sea of them dont! Way to ignore the millions of women who do exactly live in a context where their sexuality IS ALL THEY ARE WORTH and there is no ‘and now i do something else option’ like you so clearly enjoy. You are a hobbiest - they are in it for life. Got any policies cooking specifically tailored for them? or do you just care about making it easier for YOU to flex that privilege in every direction?hmmm…think on it.
Upper-end call/indoor/uppityass sex workers are usually white or white compliant/specialty in-demand and leveraging every ounce of privilege to pull those $$$ with some ‘relative’ safety when you work.
You’ll claim your big spending, nice guy, girlfriend experience wanting tricks are swell guys who DESERVE access to teh services you so willingly provide and completely erase what those same johns and others do when they decide they wanna go discount shopping for something distinctly OTHER. You willfully erase the violence done to women not like you cause it busts your game and fuck it - you don’t give a fuck when every other part of your system abuses and murders us — so your spiel’s got no cred when it’s white patriarchy pleasing bodies clocking all the good money and flexi-schedule empowerment. It’s white academics that get to flip a shallow, touristy dip in the sex work pool into a fucking dissertation/book/tenured teaching gig. We WOC who disclose that shit in the SAME academic settings just reinforce the stereotypes and aren’t even considered edgy …cause WOC = whore and POC = objects for consumption.
Bodies available for consumption/sale is a presumption made about WOC on sight long before any get a ‘choice’. You erase the real abuse and murder of real people at the hands of the men who exploit, consume, and kill them. You ignore the voices of the many queer sex workers who don’t find servicing clients a sexually empowering event but rather a criminal and traumatizing imposition on their bodies which is horrific enough to endure - but to be told that to have the unmitigated gall to think you have a right to survive as a marginalized person for even one day construes a free un-coerced choosy choice is just adding insult to injury by AGAIN erasing all the structural violence white amerikka uses on a global scale to create those limited choice sets. [here’s a hint - there’s not one bit of liberating f*minism involved!]
And about that global scale, do you realize BY THE NUMBERS just how many sex workers you so flagrantly gather up under your skirts when you presume to speak for anyone other than yourself and attack viewpoints that just may encompass more than your narrow privilege lets you see…do YOU realize how very much you don’t know or don’t care to address says a fuck ton about YOU, OP. meh. I’ve never heard of an “anti-sex worker” activist, other than some religious fundie…sooo that busted ass attempted shade is just a bunch of power paradigm reinforcing bullshit. Real meaningful advocacy for sex workers hits the fucking ‘system’ so hard in the gut it starts pulling out intestines and necessarily includes all the core issues of the criminal justice system, human rights, labor rights, globalization, healthcare, economic inequalities and a dizzying number of systems of oppressions that i can’t imagine the F*minism lite brigade that mans the sex-poz front for the mainstream could engage it any better than the miserable job it does with the 101 shit…so psssssh without nuance this shit is hollow propaganda for the man - at best
Things I Once Valued But Now Think Are Massively Problematic
I haven’t blogged step-by-step about all the things that have changed in my brain over the last couple of years with regards to the work and activism I’ve been involved with for the last decade. But things have shifted a lot for me, and hopefully also in how I do my work (forget about intentions, its all about actions). Lists are hip on the internets these days, right? So here’s some things:
- Feminism: Once upon a time, “feminist” was my main self-identifier, the word I held onto above all else. Now I feel sort of embarrassed to admit that. Yeah, and don’t tell me that feminism can be a good thing! I know that parts of it can. But when people whom your ideology fucks over -in the case of feminism, especially people of color and transgender women- tell you that your ideology is fucking them over, you should shut up and listen. And excuses about intentions are still excuses. Feminists largely remain cissupremacist, racist, classist, and too obsessed with my next point…
- The Idea of Choice: the concept of “choice,” as in being free to choose something or other, is a fallacy that rests on middle class ideals. The choices of most people are not free, they are constrained by something, shaped by the circumstances of one’s life. (But this is slippery thing: to say that there’s no such thing as choice is close to saying that when people do things that others may regard as a bad idea, they were duped into doing them, and perhaps aren’t responsible.)
- Proving That I Like the Sex Industry and It Hasn’t Done Me Any Harm: I used to try really hard to prove that I was a healthy, well-adjusted person and sexual being both before and after working in the sex industry. Neither is really true, and I still don’t entirely understand the lines of causation and correlation. But it used to be really important to me to prove my wellness, which I saw as defending myself and maybe even defending the sex industry. The two narrative options available for people to tell stories about their experiences in the sex industry are: “I was a happy hooker!” vs “The sex industry ruined me.” So I opted for the first, even though it didn’t fit. But it sure sounded better. The reality is much more complex. I think that space for these realities is starting to be created, and I hope I am part of creating those spaces, and making it possible for people of many experiences to talk about their stuff.
- Sex Positivity: So, I like sex. I like it more now than I have in years and years. And although a lot of sex positive culture has queer rhetoric all over it, its become clear to me that so much of sex positivity centers around unchecked, gleeful privilege. I’m only interested in a sex positivity that has a racial and economic justice frame, and that’s most definitely not what I’m seeing.
There’s definitely a lot of intersection among the shifting, mostly that I’ve gained a different kind of race, class, and gender analysis and have started to take a harder look at things that were once precious to me. Which is, you know, hard. But proceeding and doing things as I’ve built them because that’s how I’ve built them is shitty, if the foundations are corroded with racism, classism, and cissexism - as I’ve found they are.
This whole thing rocks me. I bold-plus-italicized points I really dug.
So I was looking for one of these and couldn’t find one, anyone else who wants to contribute, feel free to.
- People do not assume I am sexually available because of my profession.
- People do not assume I am a drug user because of my profession.
- People do not question my sexual orientation because of my profession (in cases where my profession does not fall outside social gender norms, as in the case of male ice skaters etc)
- I am not harassed by police officers for my profession even if what I do is strictly legal.
- I am not blamed for harassment in the work place because of my profession.
- Provided it is legal, my profession does not make people think I am an unfit parent.
- Romantic prospects do usually not react with horror at the mention of my profession.
- People do not question my ability to be monogamous because of my profession.
- People do not assume I am traumatized because of my profession.
- People do not try to dictate my experience of my profession to me.
- I am not told my profession is tantamount to selling my soul (unless I’m a corporate lawyer, in which case I probably have in fact sold my soul) sorry couldn’t resist the joke.
- There are depictions of my profession in popular media that do not make me either the victim or perpetrator of a crime.
- My profession does not discredit me when I accuse someone of rape or sexual harassment.
- News stories about people in my profession (provided it is legal) do not automatically make us monsters or martyrs.
- My boundaries and limits are not assumed to be for sale.